Mailbag: GM for a day

One question for the mailbag this week, but it’s a long one. As always, use the widget on the side to submit your questions.

Guillermo asks: If you were GM, what would be the moves you make with a two-year window?

This is very difficult to answer, mostly because drafts are not my strong suit and while I like to believe I can figure out trade value, I’ve learned that I know nothing. With that in mind, a lot of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt.


  • There will be a taker for at least one defense contract.
  • The Rangers are still a destination for free agents.
  • Reminder: I’m not doing a significant amount of research on this. Just basic look ups on stats and what’s readily available.
  • Reminder: Every single move here can be nitpicked and holes can be poked. This is just what I would like to do.

2019 Draft

  • Draft Kaapo Kakko. The rest doesn’t really matter and won’t have an impact the next two seasons.
  • There’s a precedent for trading up from where the Rangers will draft again (20) and move into the teams while giving up a 2nd or a 3rd. Given the need for quality, I’d explore that and make the deal if it’s there.
  • I think the Rangers can make a splash for Jacob Trouba at the draft. I’m guessing the cost would need to be a 1st round pick — so the trading up thing goes away in this scenario — and some collection of roster depth and a solid prospect. Let’s be optimistic and say the Rangers are able to include Neal Pionk in it. I wonder if the Rangers move on from Jimmy Vesey in this deal as well. Winnipeg is in a tough cap spot, and I am woefully ignorant when it comes to valuing cap space.
  • With Trouba, Adam Fox, and Tony DeAngelo in the mix, Kevin Shattenkirk can be sent away at 50% retained for a few picks to recoup anything lost in prior deals. All signs are pointing to Shatty being dealt anyway, so this isn’t much of a shock.
  • Buyout Marc Staal.

2019 Free Agency

  • Artemi Panarin, assuming he doesn’t get some outlandish deal that makes a team ::cough:: Florida ::cough:: look silly.
  • I’d re-up Fredrik Claesson, I think he did a good job last year.
  • Sign Jake Gardiner, again assuming the cost is appropriate.
  • Long term deal for Buchnevich. Short term deals for DeAngelo and Lemieux as show me deals.
  • The Blueshirts need a 2C backup in case Filip Chytil is better off as a winger. I wonder if Marcus Johansson could be had on a short-term deal?
    • Chytil should be given every opportunity to succeed at center.

2019 Lineup



Lundqvist/Georgiev. Yes, Shestyorkin to the AHL.

2019 Season

  • Pending UFAs are Kreider, Namestnikov, Fast. I’m torn on dealing any of them because the above lineup can likely finish top-three in the Metro.
  • I wouldn’t spend major assets buying at the deadline, at least not until the lay of the land in the East is obvious.
  • I know that dealing Georgiev is a popular take, but there’s no need to rush Shesty. The mid-round picks the Rangers would get for Georgiev aren’t really worth rushing Shesty to be the backup.

That’s a very rough edition of what I think I would do if I were the Rangers. There are obviously some holes here, mostly because I didn’t do a significant amount of research and comparisons.

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    • Yes – and it’s displayed like this to show the depth options. No one is going to claim Smith or Nieves if you send them down.

          • The prospects can move up and down from Hartford when needed they won’t be in the press box. Claesson is another spare part that services are no longer required.

        • Just throwing them out there and hoping they learn is a waste of time, money, and talent. The coach has to make his expectations perfectly clear to them, give them examples they can learn from, and hold them accountable. Quinn has done an admirable job of that with Buch and ADA.

  • Any move depends on what happens at the draft. If we get Kakko we can make moves, if we get Hughes, it’s another story. Each is very good and brings something special, but the moves needed change due to what these players bring.

    The first move if possible would be Trouba, and then go from there. Panaran is special but at what cost, and term? Give the Chytil kid all the rope he needs to develop into a center, and use either Name, or Strome as a back up. Everyone talks about all these finesse players, I would want someone with skill that has grit, and will protect our young kids. Look at what Maroon is doing in the PO’s, someone like him would do just fine.

    Let’s have this discussion after the draft, and free agent signings, then we know what we are dealing with!!!!!!!!!

    • You need someone like Pat Maroon/ Simmonds who can play a playoff/physical style and score a greasy goal when refs put the whistles away, but the idea of protection is sadly extinct in today’s game.
      We’ve had a Glass or McLoed on the roster the past several years and they have prevented nothing.

      More instigators are called, more linesman break up fights before damage can be done, mandatory visors, and 4th lines with more skill than toughness are the new norm.
      I wish we still had a Prust-type middleweight who could play a reliable bottom 6 role, kill penalties without taking many, and punch above his size. Hopefully Lemiuex grows into that role.

  • Buy out Staal, trade Shatty retain anywhere from 20 to 50% , Smith keep in a small sample size at D and FWD he can help for 1 more year.Trade Namestikov,Vesey. As for Trouba take him in a heart beat. Trade Skjei,no 1 and Vesey for Trouba and maybe mid level prospect. Keep Kreider if he will sign a 3-4 year extension. If not look to trade him. F.A. sign Panarin 6 yrs for $63m and Michael Ferland.
    If the pick is Hughes insert Hughes for Howden or Strome


  • Gardiner is facing possible back surgery so definitely no. I don’t believe Staal will be bought out this season. The Trouba situation is dependent on cost, obviously, but equally dependent on IF we can trade Shattenkirk which is no sure thing.

    I’m wondering about John Davidson and vision for this team going forward. I’m hoping for a revamping of the FO (keep Gorton), and instilling a competent analytics and scouting team.

  • If Georgie comes into camp and continues to play like he did last season there is no way on the Hockey Gods green Earth that he even visits the city of Hartford as a tourist…never mind as a NYR employee….Dave that take that comes from that other place knocks me to the floor…Very few over there have a grasp

      • Um Dave…Where did I say you did?…I simply added my opinion to what you wrote with which I agree with….This is twice now where you have come at me on points where we are in 100% agreement

    • Dismantling and upgrading the D is crucial….if they want to move forward and make the playoffs in the upcoming season, the leadership will have to upgrade the D…

  • If the rumors that the Rangers are REALLY hot for Trouba are legit, then you have to believe that Tony DeAngelo is on the trading block too. Let’s be real, who wants Shattenkirk? If he can’t be dealt even at 50% retained, then ADA may be a goner. Hope not!

  • Draft Kakko …

    I could see moving up, for the right player — but #20 isn’t a bad spot to draft this year. The draft strategy should be to look for home runs, the players with the highest upside. No singles please.

    NO to Trouba – I don’t think that price will be enough to entice Winnipeg and I don’t like the idea of jamming Fox and ADA up. Besides, I think ADA can be a cost-effective 1st pairing RD in the next couple of years if things break right. Trouba will eat up $9m in free agency.

    Long term deal for Buch and ADA, Lemieux on a show me deal.

    Trade either Shattenkirk or Pionk depending on who will fetch more (in a relative sense, we probably don’t need to save cap space here), although I think the market value on both dropped this year. Neither should provide a significant get and this is more about clearing up some space back on D. Keeping Shattenkirk around doesn’t bother me too much, at least he appears to be a good vet presence.

    Don’t buyout Staal and/or Smith, but try to move one of them at 50% retained salary.

    No to Jake Gardiner, doesn’t fit in with the “accelerate” the rebuild plan.

    I don’t think Marcus Johansson is a bona fide every day 2C, so probably not interested. I would rather keep Namestnikov around to slot in the #2 if necessary.

    Trade one of Namestnikov, Strome or Vesey — if the return is worth it, otherwise wait for the trade deadline.

    Lastly, no to Panarin @$10m+ … no point in getting into a bidding war.

    To summarize, I don’t see the goal as making it to the Playoffs next year. The moves I’m willing to make must further the mid to long term goals of the rebuild. I’m looking for growth from the younger players. Accelerate the rebuild? Fine … but to me that means looking at younger players in the 22-25 year old range.

    • Winnipeg is in cap trouble…4 ELC’s getting big paydays in July….Trouba wife goes to med school and wants to work in NY….Jets cannot afford him and he has no intention of signing long term with them. Its not going to take as much as you think. We are absolutely going for the playoffs next season

  • The inevitable shoe has dropped, Slats’ poker busy Shoney has stepped down as SVP/AGM.

    Will miss the piss and vinegar at Traverse City, but it’s for the best.

  • There has not been one Cup winning team that got all their players through the draft. Not one.

    While the days of getting 30+ year old, over the hill stiffs, are over, there is nothing wrong with adding better players in a reasonable and calculated way. As long as the near future of the team remains in tact.

    The Oilers apparently are on a 15 year rebuild plan that will need to be started all over again, with no success. No thanks.

    Panarin is a superstar that plays the type of game that will last for years. His addition, that will only cost $$, will automatically elevate the team to potential playoff status, without doing anything else other than bringing the young players that are already coming. Having Kreider. Zib, Buch, Panarin, Chytil, Kakko in the top 6 is potentially something the Rangers have not seen for years, even the 2014 Cup year.

    Pull the trigger on Panarin, and if Trouba can be gotten at a reasonable trade cost, then the Rangers are division contenders.

  • I really believe the ball is in Panarin’s hands IF, and that’s a big IF, he wants to come here the Rangers will put on the full court press. If Panarin truly wants the Big Apple JD and Gorton will make it happen. There’s too many whispers and rumors, from Dolan’s hints to Brooks’ articles and where there’s smoke there’s fire, that I think the Rangers want to be the big player in this one.

    So, IMO, Panarin will be a Ranger if he wants Manhattan!

    • Originally I thought FL for Panarin, but scoring is not the Panthers’ problem, it’s goals against. Bob is their target IMO and I do not think that FL can sign both Bob and Panarin without trading some of their scoring.

      So if Hoffman or Huberdeau or whomever become available then the Rangers should be asking their trade cost.

      • Huberdeau ain’t going anywhere IMO. He would be cost prohibitive too and his contract is NOT A killer. I really like the idea of Hoffman but he has one year before UFA status. So he’s basically Kreider ll… same age too… so it has to be one or the other I think.

        • If FL signs both, someone would have to go due to cap reasons. I agree that Huberdeau probably stays which means that Hoffman is a likely candidate.

          FL needs D so send them Shatty (retain 50%) and Pionk.

          BTW, if the Rangers do not re-sign Claesson but re-sign Pionk, then I fear their “concept” of a good D man will be their downfall, again. Consistently hearing that Karlsson is a Ranger target is terrifying.

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