With the roster mostly set and the offseason moves seemingly coming to a close, pending a pair of loose ends, we have hit the dog days of August. Not much is going on right now in the hockey world. Yet, interestingly enough, there is still a ton of action on social media about the Rangers. That’s how big the hype train is on this team.
With the hype train comes pressure. Pressure on old players, pressure on new players, pressure on rookies. In an attempt at fun, let’s label the pressure on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the least amount of pressure and 10 being the most amount of pressure, and assign some players on the roster with their appropriate pressure number.
Disclaimer: I am not expecting the Rangers to be overly good this year. They will be fun. They will likely not be as bad as last year. But are the playoff good? Probably not – they need to gain 20 points from last year’s performance, and I don’t think they did. Also worth noting this is a satirical post, making fun of ourselves and some unrealistic expectations. I can’t believe I need to point this out, but hey, I do.
Panarin signed his mega deal in the offseason, the big prize of free agency. The 27 year old winger is a bonafide elite 1LW, and will have the expectations of continuing his point per game career pace. New York is tough with a big contract, because some fans expect Gretzky numbers. If Panarin isn’t Gretzky, he failed, right?
Kreider is either going to get traded or sign an extension. If he signs the extension, then it’s going to be in the $7 million range and the expectations of him actually hitting 30 goals will be there. He’s never hit 30 goals, with a pair of near misses in 2016-2017 and 2018-2019. But with $7 million comes 30 goals or bust. Doesn’t matter what else he does on the ice. He will be lit ablaze if he doesn’t go from 28 goals to 30 goals. After all, 28 goals is only worth $5 million, but 30 goals is worth $7 million. Those are some expensive goals.
Pressure: 7. Pressure if he gets traded: -10
Fresh off his two year bridge deal, Buchnevich is looking to take another next step in his career. He put up 21 goals last season and has great chemistry with Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. But he’s Russian, so he’s lazy – right? Anything short of 30 goals, even if he winds up on the third line, is a bust and he must be traded. If you’re on the Rangers you better be a 30 goal scorer or a puncher. There is no room for in between players.
The golden child. The savior. The next one. He’s already pegged as the Calder winner. He’s already going to put up 100 points in his rookie season. Why even bother dressing anyone else? Let him do it himself, he’s capable.
Pressure: 4 – come on guys, he’s a rookie.
There are no other prospects in the system outside of Kakko.
Who? He’s not Kakko. Oh you mean the 2C?
Bust. Ugh. Awful.
The future 1C. Better than that guy who DJs most of the time and just plays hockey part time.
Grandpa. Worst goalie ever since he hasn’t won a Cup.
Pressure: 12 – ugh please just win a Cup for him. Please.
Who the hell is this Shesterkin guy?
Pressure until he is traded: 4. Pressure after he is traded: 8."The pressure scale - who from the Rangers is facing the most pressure this season?",