Sunday Thoughts

It’s Sunday and we are 12 days away from the draft. So let’s jump into some musings, shall we?

1. I am a big fan of the strategy of taking on a short term contract with a big cap hit, like a Ryan Callahan or Corey Perry, in order to acquire more long term assets. For example, taking Callahan’s contract and Tampa’s 1st in exchange for their 2nd round pick. The idea isn’t that Callahan plays or has a big role, it’s to get that extra asset for cap space, which for the Rangers isn’t a big deal. You can always buy out the player too.

2. That said, I can’t imaging the Rangers are going to go that route as they look to accelerate the rebuild. They will want to use their cap space on free agents like Artemi Panarin, or perhaps they go for long term contracts on players like Pavel Buchnevich that are expensive now, but may become very cheap in the future. If I had my choice of long term contracts to avoid bridge deals or taking on a contract, I go with the former.

3. Speaking of long term contracts, obviously Buchnevich is my top candidate here. But I would not opposed to giving one to Tony DeAngelo. Maybe not a five year deal, which is what I’d want for Buchnevich, but a three year deal might be advantageous. It’s a bit risky because you’re taking the risk that he keeps his head on straight, which is why three years makes sense. But he is so skilled that if he ever fixes his defensive zone game, a three year deal could walk him into a huge deal at 26, right before he’s a UFA.

4. There is a lot of chatter about offer sheets this year. There is always chatter about offer sheets every year, though. Teams in cap trouble always are targeted and always find a way to get their young players under contract. I doubt we will see an offer sheet this year, but the Rangers would be locked into a deal that pays out four 1st round picks as compensation. The Adam Fox deal locked up the Blueshirts’ 2nd and 3rd round picks next season with the conditions, so unless they get those picks back in a separate trade, an offer sheet is either going to be insanely expensive or not happening.

5. There’s also a lot of chatter about the Rangers moving around in the draft, specifically from the #20 spot. I would be shocked if the Rangers draft at that spot. I personally think they will move the pick in a trade for a young defenseman who can help now and in the future. I know Jacob Trouba has been my target for quite some time, but I’m sure there are players available that we don’t know about. My dream would be Hampus Lindholm from Anaheim.

6. With Jeff Skinner getting $9 million a year, Panarin is going to get $11 million a year on a seven year contract. At that contract, it’s either the Rangers or the Panthers. If it’s the Rangers, I don’t think they have the cap space to do any of the dead weight deals mentioned in point #1.

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  • 1) I agree if it’s Cally, but Perry is another 2 years and we may want more flexibility next summer to play in the free agent market;

    2 & 3) Yes to long term contracts for both Buch and DeAngelo, I don’t worry half as much as others about Tony D, he’s my type of player … and yeah, he’s an odd ball to say the least, but his teammates seem to like him and he’s always willing to defend them on the ice. I would give both 6 year deals … and NO, I don’t think Tony’s defensive game is bad at all. Sure it isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough that his other attributes far outweigh any perceived negative. It’s a gamble, but it’s the type of gamble I like — at the right price of course;

    4) Probably;

    5) There will be some very good players available at #20 — I would even consider a kid like Pavel Dorofeyev at that spot (or trading back a few spots) and he doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s Top 20 radar. Let’s face it, of the 17 picks after we take Kakko (or Hughes) at least 4,5,6 teams will make a mistake.

    6) No to Panarin at $11m … no no no. I have always believed that it’s a privilege to play in NYC and that a smart “elite” athlete will find a myriad of ways to make more money — besides, you get to live (with money) in NYC … what’s better than that? If the guy wants sunshine and no taxes, so be it — but he’ll also get no real fan base … and when the Rangers come to town and they sell out, more than half the fans will be Ranger fans. I’ve said it before, Panarin will never achieve his promise in a place like Florida and he certainly won’t get a legitimate shot at the Cup (my opinion).

    • Six years to ADA? Really? He’s an immature kid. We haven’t even seen him on the penalty kill — and it is nearly impossible to be a really valuable defenseman if you don’t play PK. So far he hasn’t been very effective on the PP. As for his teammates liking him, well, as far as I can see, on almost every team, everybody likes everybody – if just for show. Only when team chemistry totally collapses does one see otherwise.

      Mind you, I agree that he showed good development this season. I find Dave’s three year proposal reasonable. I certainly would prefer two years to one. But I want to see what a player does when he is not being sheltered before I bet the farm on him.

      AND, what will security do to a guy with ADA’s maturity issues. Probably something. Yes, it may help him grow up, but it also may exacerbate them. A three year contract lets us find out with far less risk.

      • Whatever Ray … I said at the right price. I’m not talking about breaking the bank here … and as far as sheltered minutes are concerned, they weren’t sheltered towards the end of the season. I would pay him LOW 2nd pairing money … as far as the PK is concerned I think he’s physical enough and defensively competent enough to handle some time on the PK. He doesn’t have to be your go to PK guy, but you want this kid on the PP and at even strength.

        He’s an engaging odd ball and yes, I think his teammates really like him — I look at a player’s interaction with teammates on the ice, on the bench and off the ice — not just when they score a goal. Also I think the “immaturity” issue is overblown, certainly if it involves any on ice issues … and if it’s off ice and a REAL issue, well the team would know best … but I don’t care if he likes some Philly teams or even ugh, Donald Trump. That has no bearing on whether he’s a good teammate and a good player.

    • 1) I have been saying for years that Cally is going to end up in Buffalo. If that does not happen I will be absolutely shocked.

      2) I’m in on Panarin but man that is a lot of green. He is a game changer – if he wants to come here we need to get him

      3) Definite No to LT deals this year. Let’s keep the rose colored glasses off for awhile. ADA – really? ADA needs to have a slid season front to back before he even sniffs a deal. Buch – I think he is going to break out this year with Kravtsov and Individual #2 coming in. I say wait on all these guys to see what they can do with another year of Quinn. There is a lot shaking out to be done. I hope Vesey goes.

      4) Someone is going to do it. Toronto is a likely target

      5) Please, Please don’t give up #20 for Trouba. Wait a year – please? Trading up is a wonderful idea though.

      6) See #2 above – but $11M? He is a special player though I would fall back to Duchene for Skinner’s $9M value.

      • Panarin all over Duchene … just say not to $9m for Douchene, that’s crazy … he’s good, but inconsistent compared to Panarin. Still $11m is a bit rich for my taste if it’s more than 5 years and if there’s a NMC or full NTC. If he were 2-3 years younger, another story.

      • The Rangers are going to be “cautious” participants this offseason. Lots of chatter, lots of rumors, but in the end, not overpaying for any player trade wise, nor FA wise.

        If Kaliyev is sitting there at 15, then the Rangers MUST trade up, giving #20 and a 2nd, to make that pick, IMO.

        • Cautious participants is a good approach – I would love to get up there to #13 or so.

          You guys have been touting this Kaliyev. Trying to catch up on what he’s got….

  • I really like the idea of Callahan coming back here… but I want more than just Tampa’s first rounder. Maybe expand the deal by sending Howden back to them plus their second rounder for their present first round pick plus Cirelli (and Callahan). I think Cirelli has more potential as a 2C than Howden.

    • Everybody was so high on Howden the first 15-20 games or so, then POOF … the kid hit a wall and struggled, when he came back from his injury he played pretty well. Not sure why everyone seems hell bent on trading this kid.

        • Honestly Mickey I’ll defend Lias at this stage as well. I think there’s something there, he isn’t a disaster just yet. It may very well be that his ceiling is more basement than a normal or cathedral ceiling, but I think at the least he can be a character guy in the bottom 6. I really don’t think the organization has had the opportunity to fully evaluate him, I want to see 25-30 games where he gets 14-15 minutes a night — and I want to see what his response is (over the summer) to what has gone on in the last couple of years. Let’s not forget the kid is just 20. I think his character will in the end prevail, just nowhere nearly as quickly as many would have liked.

          • I hear ya…He needs to dedicate his Summer to improve his skating and right now if we bring in a UFA Krav and Kakko…..There may not be a spot for him….He needs to hit it out of the park this Summer

          • He does, I would be happy if he settled in on the 4th line for a year … but a 4th line made up of guys who can play 10-11-12 even strength minutes a night with no problem … then add some PK time. Our PK was dreadful last year, it couldn’t get wore. 😉

          • Character, seriously, character? This sore loser who tossed his medal into the stands, the ultimate demeaning of effort.

            A good organization does not need that kind of time to evaluate players – at least most players. Playing the guy Lias Andersson was last year that kind of time makes the game into a joke and breaks the spirit of the real players.

            What he needs is what the Rangers said they wanted to give him and what Sather would have given him – a year to develop in Hartford rather than a sheltered role in NY playing limited minutes. But Gorton does not seem to understand the concept of signing guys like Pouliot, Grabner, Pirri and seems committed to being so thin at forward that you are forced to use kids who are not ready.

          • I hated seeing that…then he comes here and says he belongs here…. troubling

      • Not hell bent on trading him… Cirelli has much more potential, IMO, than Howden. I think Cirelli has 2C talent written all over him. Again, IMO, Cirelli has a higher ceiling and a higher floor.

        • I gotcha…. Im just saying the people who want to run Howden out of town dont say the thing about Lias…who Howden is better than

    • ElGato – did you just propose that Tampa trades their #1, Cirelli, and Callahan for Howden and our 2nd?

      No offense, but that is not going to happen. Cirelli is highly valued and they are not going to give up a #1 just to get rid of Cally.

      • Agreed, it would have to be Callahan and Cirelli for Howden, but I don’t think that’s the type of trade they’re looking for … more like Callahan and a 3rd rounder for Vinny Lettieri. Cally has just one year left.

        • They’re the ones in cap hell, maybe asking for their #1 was a bit much but I’m not doing them any favors by taking Callahan and a measly third rounder. Make it work for Cirelli or they can find another team to deal with.

          • For 1 year — assuming of course that we don’t sign Panarin, Duchene and Erik Karlsson, we have plenty of space to fit him in. Fine, how about their 2020 2nd rounder? 😉

        • Seriously I can’t believe people are even talking about Callahan coming back. He’s was done two years ago, playing the kids is what this team needs to do. I read dumb just dumb nonsense like sign Pararin at 11m for 7. He’s not a Superstar that’s McDavid money. I would Ext Buchnevich 5, ADA 3 keep Kreider and shed Stall, Smith or Shatty. Package Names,Strome or Vesey with previous mention defenseman. To free up roster spots for the kids. This team needs to find out what kids are here for the long haul, the next core. No FA no offer sheets no major trades unless for a Superstar. Evaluate the kids see what’s there. Develop the kids also continue to collect young skilled talented assets.

  • Kevin Hayes is three years older than Pavel Buchnevich. Both played their 22 and 23 year old seasons with the Rangers. Buch had already played one year in the NHL. Let’s compare the two years.

    Both scored 81 points in two seasons. Buch had 27 PP points to Kevin’s 11. Looking at ice time, Hayes played 27 minutes more, BUT Hayes spent 36 of his minutes on the PK, while Buch dazzled on the PK for 24 SECONDS.

    The reason struggling don’t improve so often is grasping at straws. One straw that we are all well aware of is over-valued free agents. But another straw is thinking that players are good because we want them to be and because they are better than some of the dreck around them. Buchnevich is a bottom six forward. You trade him, you don’t give him a long term contract. Well, you trade him if you can find a general manager somewhere who reads BSB and will over compensate you.

    • Did Hayes ever play on the 4th line with a cement head? The quality of the ice time is more important than the ice time itself.

      • Probably. For the record, not counting lines used for less than three minutes, Buch played with McLeod for 51 minutes and of course, Buch and Tanner Glass never dressed in the same game. Buch’s most common linemates were Zib and Kreider. Of course, considering how little scoring that line produced at ES, I suppose you could regard that duo as boat anchors.

        In his first two years, Hayes didn’t get to play with first liners.

        The correct step now is to make a qualifying offer to Buchnevich, BUT I fear that not making a qualifying is actually a better course of action than what the Rangers will actually do. JFTR, not qualifying Ryan Spooner last year would have turned out better than what the Rangers actually did.

        • Jeebus, Ray, we got Strome for Spooner and the right move wouldve been not to qualify?

          That would’ve been stupid in that moment of time, really stupid in retrospect.

          He wasn’t blocking anybody on the farm, he was an asset that some dumb GM(2of then actually) who thought he could catch fire again for the 1 season instead of staying the plug he always was every other season.

        • Hayes played on the 3rd line his first year … and I don’t think anyone who watched the games would seriously argue that Hayes’ first two years were played on a much much better team. Also looking at numbers, Hayes scored at a .512 clip through age 23, Buch who had to adjust to a NA style of game scored at a .564 clip. Also you neglect to factor in the type of shape Buch came in when he first got here along with the injuries he suffered — in that regard I will say Hayes was durable only missing 6 games total through the age of 23. Lastly, Buch scores more goals …

          So here’s my question to you, would you have signed Kevin Hayes to a long term contract after a couple of years instead of being put in a position as we were before the deadline? Hayes would have come cheap if we had been quick to act — we could have either kept him or we could have been able to trade him for MORE than what we got — and we got a lot.

          • Signing Hayes to my parameters was a no brainer.

            Lock in value early, pay over the odds on cost certainty in order to maximize returns whe you decide to deal them.

          • I answered this yesterday, but my answer apparently got trashed by the site. I cannot honestly answer the Hayes question because I cannot unknow what I know now.

            I know less about the nitty-gritty of hockey than most everyone here I suspect, but I do know what it takes to succeed. It takes talent, determination, and some intelligence and coaching (allowing your determination to properly exploit your talent). Talent is a lot of things, from speed to the ability to move big bodies out of the way. Hockey scouts are pretty good at assessing that. Amateurs tend to focus too much on aspects of talent they understand and ignore those they don’t. Some of us are clearly better than others. [What would you make of a player who skates like the wind, has great hands, is strong, and has no awareness of where the other skaters are?]

            Determination is harder to measure. The first thing one must understand about it is what it is not; it is not the desire to be good and to win. It involves playing through injuries, not taking shifts off, and doing things that you need to do that you are not equipped for (think of little guys MSL and Zuc fighting along the boards).

            But the real problem with determination is not seeing if it is there – it is seeing if it will be there when it is not now. So many of these guys have been big fish in little ponds that they have succeeded without determination. So they are not determined. Pavel Buchnevich lacks determination now. This is a guy who, not too long after his first season injury, simply could not compete for a spot in the lineup with Tanner Glass of all people. Will the light come on? I don’t know. I do know that a long term contract makes it less likely than a bridge deal does. Who knows? Maybe Kevin Hayes would not be the player he is today if the Rangers had given him a long term contract.

            Would Zuccarello have become the player he is if Tortorella had believed in him?

      • I like you, but this is just dishonest. Who cares how many games they played? You get the same number of points on the bench that you do on the disabled list. I gave time on ice comparisons. Buchnevich played more minutes per game than Hayes did in their first two years – basically 15 minutes to 13. So Buch did not play enough to test his stamina, but did get a greater opportunity to score per game. Ignoring PK time, as I said, Buchnevich spent a tiny bit more time on the ice than did Hayes. It is one thing to bring up the number of games before I mention the ice time – it is quite another to do it afterward.

        It is true that the Rangers scored 30 more goals in the two seasons during the earlier period. It is fair to give Buch an extra 4.5 points to equalize the stats. If you consider the PP effect, the comparison is still a joke. As for line mates, Hayes essentially never got to play in the top six.

        When your position on an issue leads to using improper arguments, maybe you should rethink your position.

  • When did Butch earn a 5 year contract? He’s the same enigmatic streaky player he was a season ago who scored less points than a season ago. Let him play a full season where he doesn’t need to be scratched to prove a point before you lock him up long term.

    • You would be streaky too if every time you made a little mistake you got bumped down to the 3rd or 4th line and got to play with top flight cement heads like Tanner Glass or McLeod.

      • Two different coaches with fundamentally different approaches to the game treated him the same way. It’s not rocket science to figure out the common denominator here. It’s the player not the coach.

        • Nobody is suggesting there weren’t issues, but Buch clearly responded to THIS coach. He played a lot harder on the puck than under the gum chewer.

          • Ok so he responded and scored LESS points than the prior season. So tell me again why we are handing him a 5 year contract?

          • Um, yeah he scored 5 points less because he played 10 less games … and yet scored 7 more goals than the prior year. Sheesh, are you frickin’ kidding me with that comment? lol

          • I’m still waiting for the argument that a 40 point player needs a 5 year contract……..

          • The argument is that over the course of a full season he would have gotten 48 points — and that he’s literally ready to burst out with consistent ice time in a Top 6 role … that’s the argument … and when he does he will make you pay for your lack of faith in him, or we’ll have to trade him because we didn’t lock him down at the right time — just like Hayes, just like Stepan …

            This is the way of the NEW NHL when it comes to dealing with the salary cap. Players come into the league younger and go out younger. Gone are the days when most teams had half their roster at 30 years old or older and the young kids had such a hard time breaking into the lineup. The FO has to evaluate, make a decision and stand by it. If you don’t believe in the player, move him … if you do, try to lock him down for as long as you can (up to age 29/30) and as cheap as you can. Signing 29/30 year olds to long term contracts is a DEAD END Spozo. Now gives us a kiss and tell me you understand. 😉

  • You should only be doing bridge deals if a player has an abysmal season.

    Any player who is showing the right progression should get a frontloaded deal that locks in at least until age 28.

    Why? The frontload takes care of any inflationary concerns for the agent, makes the cash/cap comparison attractive to trading partners(if you have to deal) and the player (hopefully) thinks he’s a valued part of the team.

    • If the player stops progressing, you deal him to the Ottawa’s of the league. The only risk management makes is paying upfront for services, something MSG is sitting on piles of.

      Team building like you’re the Islanders gets you Islanders like results.

      Spending stupid money on mercenaries has worked once for the Rangers. Leverage the CBA till it bleeds using the money you have.

  • 1) No way.
    2) Bridge for Buch, 100%, IMO.
    3) Bridge for ADA, 100%, IMO.
    4) No offer sheets, those are for media and fan discussion only. No teams do it.
    5) #20 is either in a trade for Trouba or they use it to trade up to get a player like Kailiyev or they stand pat and make the 20th pick. There’s no sure plan for this pick at all. Outside conditions will determine what they do with it.
    6) Max deal for Panarin, no matter who signs him. It’s up to the Rangers to want to do that or not.

    Buch and ADA are “potential” good, long-term players, but they are still in the “show me” stages of their careers. 2 year bridge for each and then the Rangers cold negotiate extensions during their 2nd years if they are doing well. No reason to give it to them now without any long-term proof.

    • … and two years from now you’ll kick yourself in the arse because 90% of the time these types of players cost MORE, 10% of the time they cost less. 😉

      • Not at all.

        So give them 5/6 year deals that you end up regretting? As opposed to let them EARN their contracts, and then you will NOT REGRET that you gave them fair market value, whatever it is at that time? It’s good business.

        Putting DeAngelo in McD’s category is 100% wrong, ADA is too combustible. Very talented but combustible.

        And if Buch puts up 60 pts this year, like I think that he can, then you gladly pay him.

        Stepan, a much more dependable player, signed to a long-term deal and traded because they didn’t want to pay the balance of his contract.

        Oh how Ranger fans forget.

        • We are in almost total agreement, and you might say total agreement. I would do a Callahan deal IF the Rangers won’t have better use for the cap space. Of course, if the Rangers are all in on Panarin, then the if becomes a moot point.

          • To be honest, I do not know if the Rangers are all in on Panarin.

            I know they want him. I know he wants them. But there’s a lot of chatter that the Rangers won’t do a 7 year, $11M per deal that will get it done.

            So FL, who has nothing to lose, has an opportunity to land both Panarin and Bob. They need to pt fans in their seats, and making a bold move like this would certainly help them achieve this goal.

          • So they spend $20m between Bob and the Breadman, which totally blows all their cap space … they still have to find a way to sign 3 more forwards and 2 defenseman — and their d’ is nothing to write home about. Plus they have bad contracts they need to get rid of … and when Barkov and a few others hit UFA. they’re screwed. Plus it’s Florida. lol

          • I agree with this, the media keeps saying that FL has the cap space to sign both and I don’t see it, without having to trade a high priced player.

            But here’s the thing, FL has to do SOMETHING bold, because that franchise is in deep trouble. That owner will not continue to fund losses year after year. They have to sell tix at some point, and the only way to do that there is to WIN.

        • If we would have signed Stepan at the right time he would have cost at least 1.5m less per season … @ $5M he would have been so easy to trade, especially with a front loaded contract.

          • If the Queen had b-lls then she would be King.

            You think the answer to curing all diseases is to sign players before they should get their money.

            I will bet that Philly will regret the Hayes’ contract 6 months after he signs it, whatever it turns out to be. I have zero problem giving a fair contract to a known asset.

        • Stepan got traded because an asset of value was about to turn into a stranded asset than you couldn’t give away if you wanted to.

          ADA, even if you max out his contract, barely breaks age 30 at the end of that.

          Frontload & bonus the 2st seasons and he’ll make an extra $800k-$1mm a year in future value of money, while bridging him doesn’t help short term and costs you more if he pans out.

          • Still it’s easier to trade the same player at $5m then at $6.5m … but yeah, all the nonsense clauses were about to activate. I shouldn’t say nonsense clauses, they’re good clauses for the most part even if sometimes they lock a player in where they aren’t wanted. There’s a lot to be said about being somewhere you’re valued.

          • ok, but that’s a contract the Rangers gave to him. So trading him makes the admission that the Rangers were WRONG to give him that contract.

  • Would you all believe there is actually a game tonight? NHL slowly destroying what used to be the best sport ever

  • Lucic is a player the Oilers are desperate to unload.
    The Rangers offer up Marc Staal and their 1st. Round 20th.pick for Lucic and Edmontons’ 7th. overall pick.

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