Musings

Wednesday Rangers thoughts

While we wait for the Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux contracts to be signed, there is very little else to do in the hockey world. August is a dead month really. But I do have some thoughts.

1. As it stands right now, the Rangers have $1 million in cap space with Lemieux and DeAngelo unsigned. It also accounts for 14 forwards and 6 defensemen on the roster. When the Rangers waive Matt Beleskey and one of Boo Nieves or Greg McKegg, that number jumps to $2.7 million or so. More than enough money to sign both RFAs. I don’t think holdouts are going to happen.

2. I mentioned this a few times, but the Rangers have a very easy October schedule, playing three games in the first two weeks of the season. With the way cap space is accrued, I would not be surprised to see the Rangers go with a 12F/6D/2G roster in those first two weeks to accrue some additional cap space. This will help at the deadline, but also when dealing with injuries. Cap space calculations are tricky, especially in season.

3. Another outlet has ranked the Rangers as the best prospect system in the league, and this time it’s a biggie. Elite Prospects is one of the better sites out there, and JD Burke is a great prospect writer. Still waiting on Corey Pronman’s rankings for The Athletic, but I expect that to be another top-three finish for the Rangers as well.

4. One thing to note about prospect rankings is that it is all subjective and extremely volatile. Prospects graduate out of prospecthood often, which impacts rankings. The Rangers still have a ton of high ceiling guys that haven’t played in the NHL yet, and thus are prospects. However kids like Brett Howden, Lias Andersson, and Filip Chytil have played enough NHL games that they miss the threshold. But that doesn’t mean they have reached their ceiling. They still have a ton of growth left in them as well.

5. The Chris Kreider situation has taken a back seat for now. It’s August, after all. I don’t think his situation is connected to the RFA deals, but I do think the club wanted to wait until they had the big players lined up for this season, plus the Kevin Shattenkirk buyout. Assuming an $84 million cap, the Rangers have $19.6 million in cap space with 7F/6D/2G signed. That number fluctuates based on ELCs moving up and down. Assuming Smith is in Ottawa and the Rangers have at least two additional ELCs on the roster, that moves it to 8F/6D/2G with $22.6 million in cap space. Kreider at $7 million is doable without putting the Rangers in a crunch next season. The years after – that’s tough to gauge.

6. The left defense is a bit of a train wreck this season. But right defense is actually pretty solid. Jacob Trouba-Tony DeAngelo-Adam Fox is great offensively with minimal defensive liabilities. Sure DeAngelo is a little rough in his own end, but as one of the best transition defensemen in the game, he makes up for it. That’s half the job done, need to work on the other half.

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9 Comments

  1. The prospect pool is really solid and should only improve as long as we don’t trade away our 1st or 2nd next year in particular.

    As for Kreider, it’s really about term. in my view 7 years should be a non starter. 4 years max and even then I may be a bit leary. Also if Kakko and Kravtsov turn out as planned they are going to get paid big time on the expiry of their ELC deals 3 years from now. We don’t need a Marner or Laine situation a few years from now when we are entering our golden era as a team. Cap flexibility is going to be very important. We have buyout penalties for the next 4 years and we can’t afford anymore of those. Cap increase has routinely been disappointing so although we can count on some cap increase it’s hard to bank on that being meaningful.

    On ADA I gotta say he was not such a defensive liability last year. Aside from the offense his Defensive positioning was noticeably much better. I know +/- is somewhat arbitrary as stats go, but this team was -45 and ADA was +6. He’s never been plus before. He really upped his game on all levels and deserves credit even on the D side of his game. It’s not his strength but it’s also not nearly the weakness it was when he first arrived.

    1. If your thinking four years Max for CK , that will be a non-starter for him.

      He is going to be 29 years old and looking for his big PayDay. He has Elite Speed and Elite Net Front Presence, and at his size ans stregth will continue to be for the next 3-4 years at minimum.

      Im not for signing him to 7 years either, but if we can get him at 6 years for under $7M with a team friendly (movable) deal on the back end i think we take it. Will it be overpayment for the last year or two?? Probably, but not egregious enough to call it a Stall like Disaster.

      1. I would pass at 6 years. Given his age and the cost it’s not worth it. Even with a movable deal. We should have learned by now that these deals with think are movable today may not be so movable when we want out. I.E Kevin Shattenkirk at 50% salary retained. No takers. Anything more than 4 years and I would trade him. I get he wants a longer term deal and can’t blame him. But that should not be in the cards for us. It’s an unfortunate part of the way the sport is going under the hard cap. But you can’t keep aging guys on long term contracts anymore and stay competitive, no matter how you feel about the player.

  2. With the prospect pool as it is, Andy makes a good point regarding contracts for our young players (in about 3 years). It would be great if they all succeed, but paying for that success could present a problem. Yes, some bigger contracts come off the books, but we could be in a Toronto situation if we are not careful.

    That said, do we NOT re-sign Krieder in preparation for the future contract issues? Tough call. CK should have a good year now that the offense is deeper. If we are in the playoff hunt near the trade deadline, maybe we keep CK and hope for the best. Maybe we look to package him with another contract to gain relief. Not sure.

    Let’s also note that these rankings are only as good as our players become. Sure they have potential, but rarely all realize their full potential. Hoping for many exciting seasons to come.

  3. ADA and Lemieux are both important to this team this year. ADA has improved his defensive play and was plus Defensive player on a miserable defensive team. He needs to be on that right side second pairing.
    Lemieux is the only ‘pain in the butt to play against player’ we have up front. We need that physical presence.
    Both need to be signed. Period

    As far as CK goes, I am well aware we can fit him under the Cap this year. But since the day we signed two VERY expensive players I feel what CK will want and what he’ll get from another team in dollars and years makes his long term future with us very dubious. With Cap concerns 2020/2021 and onward (increasing salaries and buy-out obligations) CK is much more valuable to this team as a tradable asset than a $7mm per for 7 years winger.

    Over the next near future lots of the youngsters most of us feel will pan out to be very good to excellent players will need to get paid. I have faith JD will not allow our situation to turn into what Toronto is going through right now. They just had to sign Tavares, so they could get that pic of him as a kid in his Maple Leaf pj’s into their media guide.

    2020 draft is the best NHL draft in years. It wouldn’t hurt us at all, to have two first round picks.

  4. Ok so tell me why if we are in a rebuild you would want to sign a 29 year old inconsistent Kreider? What am I missing here? He would want 7 years at 7mil minimum! Is that something a rebuilding team should do?

    1. I agree Johnny, I do not think signing CK is a wise move.
      I hope he has a fantastic year and we get a haul for him before or at the trade deadline.

  5. I know trade proposals are useless and mostly bad but If Gorton thinks it’s worth taking a shot on Puljujarvi of Edmonton (I would) how about sending Edmonton Kreider and a prospect for Puljujarvi, Sam Gagner (they would need cap help) and a 2nd round pick.

    Gagner has 1 year to go and could be waived and sent to Hartford. If we send send a decent prospect to the Oilers we might be able to get a first round pick.
    .

  6. 4. to the extent that other teams have recent prospect graduates that are contributing more at the nhl level than brett, lias, and filip, this should be taken into account. prospect pool is still a bright spot so not to be a debbie downer but prospects are obviously just one part of the picture.

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