With Panarin seemingly off the table, should the Rangers stand pat at free agency?

It looks like Artemi Panarin is heading to Brooklyn, which is a little rough because it’s the Islanders getting a point per game winger and not the Rangers. That said when you separate the Islanders from this scenario, I’m not overly upset about the Rangers losing out on Panarin. And one tweet sums up why:

The right free agent (Panarin) at the wrong time is still the wrong free agent. There are so many other holes in the roster that need addressing, that Panarin’s contract may actually hinder Jeff Gorton’s ability to fix them. Cap flexibility is a must in the cap era, and it is an aspect that many general managers are struggling with. Gorton, once he took full (keyword) control from Glen Sather around the 2016 draft.

Matt Duchene, the only other big name free agent on the market, is likely headed to Nashville on an $8 million per year contract. So the Rangers aren’t going after him. Joe Pavelski looks to be headed to Dallas at $7 million over three years, so that’s another big name, albeit not as big as Duchene, off the market.

With the defensive nightmare, something that cannot be totally fixed at the moment, and the hole(s) at center, giving the kids more time to develop without the pressures of making the playoffs is a good thing. It may not be what we as fans want to hear, especially with all the hype coming out of prospect camp. As good as these kids may be, the ones that will have an impact next season are not centers. They’d need a major step forward from someone already on the roster. As for the defense, well you know the issues there.

It looks like the only free agents that will be available for the Rangers will be the ones that will only get one or two years on affordable contracts. This bodes well for the rebuild, as it ensures the Blueshirts are not committed to the wrong players when they actually need their cap space. Perhaps the right strategy is just avoiding the market altogether.

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    • His edgework in a dump like Barclays is for naught, probably destroys his groin before they make it to Belmont.

      • Lol. After/if Islanders overpay for a highly skilled winger after refusing to pay Tavares — and then continue to play a defensive style of game, I’m sure everything will go fine…

      • Isles can have him… in fact, I hope they lay out $12MM+ and keep us from making a big mistake. Panarin is a good player, no doubt. But I have not felt this team is in need of a contract like this at all (really no matter who it is). The NYI are about to lose their captain again, and most likely their goalie who made it all work for them last season. Of course they’re gonna go hard for a big name… they HAVE to!

        IMHO, I think JG putting numbers out there was too push other teams higher and into a bad place with this deal. They’re gonna hate a $12MM deal like this in about 3-4 seasons.

        I think the NYR swing for a big free agent in about 2 summers. And I bet the need isn’t going to even be a winger by that time.

        • There really isn’t a good free agent class coming up …. but no matter, we should continue to follow this course, make trades now and at the deadline, then parlay the draft picks and either trade for a player, move up or just keep drafting. Now that the scouting staff has picks to work with they seem to be doing a good job.

    • I think the Defense is the larger issue but now that we added Trouba and Shattenkirk will definitely play closer to a typical Kevin Shattenkirk Type season. It takes a whole year to fully come back from that knee injury and surgery he had. I think the back end will be greatly improved. Hopefully signing this kid Adam Fox will end being a coup.
      I’d like to get out from Staal’s contract. I almost with the Rangers would use a healthy scratch on him until he hopefully requested a trade. His contract is hurting the Rangers back end. He takes a spot from a younger player and his cap hit sucks for his production or lack there of.

  • This is fine. The price tag is too high. The window is too early. His best years on this contract probably won’t be our best years out of the rebuild and vice versa. Sit back and wait for someone needling a cap dump And be there to help them out of something good. It’s not the end of the world.

    Depth wins cups, not one $12 mill player

    • Andy

      Oh so true, and give the Fishsticks a year, or two, they will have buyers remorse. The only thing that bothers me is that Trotz is a very good coach, and with good players, he could raise Cain. Me, I’m OK with the continuation of the rebuild. Maybe another year, at most two, and then the crap hits the fan, we will rule!!!!!!!!!!

      • my biggest concern now is Dolan gets involved after be shunned by Durant and pushes managements hand…let’s pray that is not case…

  • I’m too sleepy to make sense, but whatever … let him do what he wants, Lou has gone over to the dark side and now you have to wonder if anyone will ever sign a team friendly deal on the Island.

  • We still need a stud. We have good kids but no veteran stud to take the pressure off of them. Panarin might not be the savior, but it could have made us contenders.

    Still have a disaster on the blue line with Shatty , Staal and Smith. Panarin would not be able to fix that.

    Why aren’t we making moves? Not worried about free agent signings, but moving Names and Vesey? What is Gorton doing? Fox and Trouba need support! Move a defenseman. Move a forward.

    • I suspect they are waiting to see who does what after the signings are announced. There is no way we keep the 3S’s this season. At least one goes, hope that one is Shatty…………….Or Staal, oh well Smith as too, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Walt good news is no buyouts on the 3 S’s. Smith probably goes to Hartford for small cap relief, but a spot is opened up . I think you’re correct. Once the free agency frenzy settles down in the next few days we will see some pieces moved out. Hard to believe with half his salary retained that Shatty can’t be moved. But he’s still here so all we can assume is it’s not doable. May have to wait until the trade deadline in February. But lower cap hit definitely hurt.

        • Andy

          I was so against his signing in the first place, and now we can’t even give him away, how sad is that?

          We have but some 4 hours til the silly season, as some have called it, to begin. There are going to be some very sorry teams in a few years. Panarian going to the Fishsticks will get them in deep doo doo when the Barzel kid is due for a new contract. Will they be able to resign Lee? Bob to Florida, they will regret that in two years as well, he can’t perform under pressure. See a pattern developing here? Bottom line, it’s not the right time, and the right amount, and number of years in term to go nuts, so we continue with the rebuild, and smile all day long!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • We don’t need any salary cap relief now … and at least with Smith you get a d’man who can provide some grit on the 4th line. I think he’s more useful than Staal to be honest … and Shattenkirk allows us to keep Fox down on the farm for 50 games so next draft we have a 1st, 2nd and a 3rd, like we should.

          • ok seeing Ron Hainsey is getting paid $3.5 mill in Ottawa(Per Pierre LeBrun)..and we can’t move Shatty at $3.3 mill? It’s hard to believe

          • Andy

            You just proved my point, the man sucks, and can’t play a lick of defense!!!!!!

    • I’m not sure that even Panarin would make the Rangers legitimate contenders this year, still too many issues on defense. but I am pretty sure that moves are going to be made, just not the obvious ones that everyone is expecting. Did you expect Mika for Brass? Or Trouba for Hayes? There are still two months until training camp even starts, and the GM’s will be talking to one another.

  • Panarin latest – The Athletic is reporting that the Blue Jackets came up with a last ditch offer to retain his services. The term is eight years and it’s for $12 million a year. Columbus is the only team that can offer an eighth year and the $12 million would be second only to Connor McDavid. Everything is a rumor until it gets done

    • Don’t kid yourself folks, there is nothing free about free agency. Teams play a huge price not just in dollars but in cap space when they sign the big fish. Take the Maplelaffs for example. They just had to have John Tavares and Patrick Marlowe. Now they are scrambling to get Mariner under the cap. They will have to gut their whole team to get there.

      The fishsticks landed the Breadman. But they couldn’t sign their star goalie and likely lose their captain Lee. When the puck drops next fall, they will not be an improved team.

      Stay the course Mr.Gorton you are doing just fine.

  • Larry Brooks

    1m1 minute ago
    Rangers have not been eliminated by Panarin—at least have not been told as much—but at this point he has higher offers. Remains to be seen whether JD ups bid…If Panarin wanted to stay in Columbus, likely would have been done by midnight for 8th year.

  • Absolutely. Stay the course, man. Let the FAs go where they may – we navigate our own waters and there’s nothing like watching an exciting young team with a year under their belts, play together – and knowing Quinn, we’ll get some snarl and some help before training camp opens. I’m not sweating those cross-town dudes – hopefully Pan doesn’t get the Tavares treatment down the road. We already improved our team from a year ago and we will continue – they’ll be top notch free agents coming up in the next year or two anyways, when we can really use them, so go NYR! My only thing was hoping Zucc would sign with Dallas so we could nab another 1 – but it’s cool, we add another pick regardless.

  • When Panarin does the math, how does he NOT end up in Florida? Isles could be Metro division favorites if they add him and Borovsky..

    Anyone see where Kessel was finally traded this weekend?

    • That brings up a good point. The Cat’s are rumoured to be willing pony up 10 millions a season for Bob. That’s a hell of a price for a netminder whos best years are behind him. I like that Gorton is staying cool until this free agency feeding frenzy is over.

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