State of the Rangers
On 3 years ago

To sell or not to sell; That is the question

By Dave
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As the season stretches through December, focus will shift to the trade deadline and what the Rangers will do. There are decent assets on the Blueshirts that could fetch another haul, and Chris Kreider is the “consolation” prize for a team that misses out on Taylor Hall. The question, though, is whether or not the Rangers should sell.

As of the writing of this post, which does not include last night’s results, the Rangers sit in fourth in the wild card race, four points behind Carolina and sport a 15-11-3 record. That’s essentially a game over .500. There’s a lot of talk about playoffs, but the recent 6-3-1 run has clouded the underlying numbers that the Rangers haven’t really been that good recently. Alex Georgiev is that door in the water in Titanic, and all of the Rangers are just clinging on for dear life. Two people can fit on it, but that’s it.

While the run is certainly fun to watch, I’m bracing for the bottom to fall out. If and when it does (sorry, Georgiev isn’t going to sport a .960 SV% for the rest of the season), then we should see teams like Tampa, Toronto, and possibly Columbus pass them. At best it puts them fifth from the bottom. At worst fourth from the bottom, and ahead of Ottawa, New Jersey, and Detroit.

David Quinn and Jeff Gorton are on record stating they don’t want to sell at the deadline. After all, last year when the Rangers dealt Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello, the Rangers were deflated and were atrocious to end the year. It’s demoralizing when your team sells at the deadline, and I certainly understand where they are coming from.

On the flip side, the Rangers have at least two UFAs that will fetch something decent at the deadline in Kreider and Jesper Fast. They also have Ryan Strome as a key RFA. All three will be due raises, but at the very least Kreider and Fast are also part of the leadership core and have been here for quite some time. Strome’s 6-20-26 line right now is also tantalizing for other teams.

Assuming the Rangers deal from just UFAs, the return ranges from a pair of good picks to a pick and a prospect for Kreider, and a mid-high pick for Fast. Is that enough to have the same demoralizing effect on the team as the last two years? We know they won’t be buyers, so the only other option is to stand pat and not move anyone. Is that worth missing out on more assets? How long does this impact players? Does it even matter right now?

Tough questions to answer. But perhaps the most important question has nothing to do with the deadline, and more with the players themselves. Are Kreider and Fast viewed by management as members of the leadership core to help the Rangers turn the corner?

If the answer is yes, then don’t expect them to be moved. If the answer is no, then, well, so long.

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  • Depends on your definition of "sell."

    Is trading CK, a pending FA who the Rangers don't want to pay $40M, selling? Is trading Fast, another player who they probably will not want to pay, selling?

    I think the return dictates whether they are truly selling or not. If the Rangers get NHL ready players in return for whomever they end up trading, that play this year for them, then I do not consider that "selling." I would if the goal is to load up on picks and prospects.

    So, to be determined, I guess.

    • Sell...This build is not only about short term, but for our future...I know us Ranger fans are anal......and have not even sniffed a cup since 1994, but JD stated this is about building a GILBRALTER rock solid foundation not just from the NHL, but from all tiers of Ranger affiliates......So with all due respect here....if the opportunity to obtain young talent and or draft picks....I am all for it.....Even if it means moving Kreider......and others not named out prized prospects.....I know many are concerned that we will waste Panarin and by the time we are ready to contend, he will be trending downwards, but I don't think this will be the case.....

      • It will be interesting to see what the Rangers would want in return.

        If this were REALLY a long-term rebuild, then Panarin and Trouba are not here. And neither is any other vet over 27 years of age.

        But I think that they are shooting for the playoffs. But no way do they "rent" anyone to attain that goal. Those days are over.

    • Jesper Fast will most likely stay. JG will be play musical chairs to try and build this team.

      It's a continuing of a sell off since the letter came out. They might end up with a NHL player or two but regardless it's a sell off. That's called targeting for a specific need which is a fine strategy.

      Besides what NHL player's would this team get in return for Kreider, Smith etc? Again it might be strategy if they plan to get role players to fill out the bottom 6 but I think we can expect prospects and draft picks this post deadline.

      Is it some kind of moral win if this season's sell off go towards NHL ready player's?

      • I don't know about Fast, only because if he wants $3M+ per, I don't know that the Rangers give it to him.

        I think that CK is valuable and he could bring back a good prospect that is NHL ready. Even more so if the team trading for him can lock him up long-term.

  • The Rangers probably already know what Fast and Kreider will sign for. IF it works for their budget, they stay. IF not, they go. Too bad options don't apply to Lundqvist.

    • Aka Kreider is gone because coming from reports, Rangers haven't even tried to sit down with his camp. Elliot and a lot of other talking heads have exposed that along with Brooks. It's a real shame that Colorado already scoff at the idea of wasting a 1st rd pick on Kreider. I feel like that kind of stained future negotiations where teams will follow and not give up much for him. So now it feels like the only offers that will be presented are a really late 1st rd type of package or something along lines for a Josh Andersson.

  • Agree with your points here, but it’s a little different this year having brought in Panarin and Trouba. They bring long term stability. I would trade Kreider. I can’t see us signing him to a long term deal. And no point in having him walk for nothing. I’m fine with more draft picks but maybe it’s time for something bigger. Toronto has too many high priced forwards and something will have to give. Do they take a run at someone like Nylander? Kreider, Georgiev, plus? I think we’re at a point in the rebuild to do a trade like that. As for Fast, I’d try and keep him. Strome is an RFA who can be traded at the draft if we feel like that is the best move. He’ll need a contract and probably have higher value in February, but they can wait.

    • Andy who's we and so with us are you a member of the Rangers organization. It would be a good idea if the Rangers kept Strome . The Rangers are getting close some games great the next night what happen . They proved on any given night they can play with anyone . Not that far out of the playoff s picture what do they have. 33 or 34 points the rangers are headed in rightbdirection

  • If they “sell” it won’t be like the past two years. Kreider just doesn’t merit a long term contract for over 6mil/year. And Fast, unless he signs for under 2mil/year won’t fit into their cap either. What they should be looking to add is a few more forwards like Lemieux rather than a few more finesse players. Since most of their D-core outside of Trouba (or Smith if he plays D) don’t play heavy they need to have at least 3 big, tough forwards. Kreids could be that type of player but he just doesn’t show it enough and Fast’s role should be filled by a Patrick Maroon type player in my opinion. They run the risk of fielding too many finesse type players in their lineup and the better teams will intimidate them physically, especially if they make the playoffs. You need a good mix. Maybe they get a little creative and trade for some of these kind of players that are young and controllable $wise. Perhaps they can combine a Hajek with a Fast or a Howden/Andersson with a Fast and bring back some heavy body’s that are greasy goal players?

  • Keep Fast, versatile defensive, and all out hustle. Not to mention cheaper. Kreider looks average this year, does his disappearing act, and hasn't contributed much with his 6 goals, and yet the Rangers have 15 wins. He is getting older and, I believe, is not worth a long-term contract at what he will be asking. Definitely time to cut the cords and get a decent draft pick or prospect while we can. We're not going to win the cup this year anyway.

  • Strome needs to be moved IMO. 26 points in 30 games is a Panarin aided aberration. I’m just hoping that JG is not looking at Strome as a cost-effective asset contractually. He is merely fools gold IMHO and may bring back something of value in a trade.
    .

    • I disagree. I think Strome’s game is strong night in and night out...and not just when he plays with Panarin. He’s versatile and produces...and he’s only 26. If Howden was putting up Strome’s line every game Ranger fans would be ecstatic. Strome’s a keeper. DQ loves him almost as much as Howden and they will lock him up for 4 years/4-4.5 season.

      • Strome’s on pace to finish with about 68-75 points if he stays healthy. These days numbers like that usually equate to a salary north of $6.5 million annually. If he scores 70 points, he’ll likely want more than 4 years for his term. That’s a risky play in my opinion. While Strome has been a fine Ranger, he’s likely at his peak right now, and it’s not a smart move to pay premium dollars for a player’s declining years. Remember that Kevin Hayes got 7 years at $7 million per without ever having broken 60 points. Strome is headed towards that financial neighborhood, unfortunately, for NYR.

        I’d rather trade Strome and use the $$ to bridge-deal Tony DeAngelo, who can then be flipped as well if necessary.

        • Good points. I don’t really value him in the 6.5-7mil neighborhood. I’m hoping after bouncing around a few organizations he appreciates the Rangers taking a flyer on him (helping him rejuvenate his career), and signs with them for less.

      • Strome is wooden log, not top 6 and will ask, thx to 🍞 as top 6, they had to get rid of him 3 weeks ago, he is a bad skater, soft and chocker, he is trending last 3 week down, and by trade deadline....

      • The problem is Strome, is that he is scoring points, but if you watch closely, he misses on a lot of opportunities that he is given to score goals.

        He's been set up a lot by Panarin and Strome either whiffs or shoots wide, as opposed to burying opportunities.

        He's a "nice" player, but not worthy of the $5M per that would be required to sign him long-term. I would rather Kakko or Krav play in that top 6 role, at their ELC $$.

  • I'm a big fan of Kreider, but what has he done lately for us? This season he has been AWOL more than ever, his scoring is lacking, and he wants a pay raise? I think not!!!!!!!

    Would I trade him, yes I would for the right return, but I'd never give him a 5 to 7 year contract @ $6 mil or more. He has a huge frame on him, but doesn't use it the way he could, and plays Houdini more times than not. I'll miss him, as stated before I'm a fan, but I'm also a realist...............

    Fast will sign a very reasonable contract, and should be signed for three years or so. His return wouldn't be that great, but his influence on the kids is enormous. He is a role model, never takes a shift off, and is liked by the locker room.

    Strome has been a decent player for us. He is versatile, and works well with Panarian, and can fill many roles. He is a player I'd keep, but can be traded for a reasonable return, so if someone makes an offer that we can't refuse, we shouldn't refuse!!

    All of the above will be dictated by where we are in the standings, and as much as I hate saying this, Georgiev may also be on the block, and he may be packaged for a nice pick, and player. Decisions will be made, tough as they may be, when the time is right, let's just hope they are the right ones!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Good post, Walt. When Kreider is locked in few players are as dynamic. They problem is he’s locked in every fifth game or so it seems! This is a guy who’s playing for a contract next year. He should be playing like his pants are on fire every game. They way his season is going he’s going to score u see 20 goals this season. Not good enough. He leaves us Rangers fans craving more out of him.

    • Lately? He has been primarily a 20-21 goal scorer for more than half of his career. Sorry dude but he's been overrated since his first NHL season. I remember when my varsity coach called him the Dwight Howard of the NHL back in 2014 lol.

      • How’s that Hayes Jets jersey fitting you? Did your coach have anything to say about gutless overpaid centers? How’s that Hayes Flyer jersey fitting you?

    • Sigh, CK is a real conundrum. There is NO ONE in the entire Ranger organization that has CK's combination of size, speed, and skill. No one. If playing "the right way" he is a complete beast.

      Ah, but therein lies the "rub", right? How often does that type of play come out? 50%? 25%? This year? I say 10%. He's playing like "dead man walking." Like a player that knows he's a goner, like Zuc last year at this time of the season.

      So, it's very disheartening that a player, playing for a UFA contract, whether here or wherever, is playing like this so far. Is it worth 6/7 years at $6/7M per? Or, maybe more?

      I would give him a 5 year, $35M "take it or leave it" offer. CK has the physique to play a very solid 4 years, which would be most of the contract. But based on the way he's playing now, if I were the Rangers, I would be lighting up the phone lines and get the biggest haul that I could, and move on.

      That's not what I would prefer, but that's what CK is offering, by the way he's playing. It's a shame. He should be our Landeskog or a more consistent Evander Kane.

  • I want a line form of Kreider Strome and Fast now till February to see if they r worth a raise or should be traded for draft picks and cap space

    • Strome is not dynamic. Enough to play with Kreids, and Fast is not offensive weapon.... It's going to be Krylovs rubble The Swan, the Crowfish and the Pike

  • The Rangers will need cap room to re-sign ADA and Lemieux this summer. Re-upping UFA Kred and Fast are luxuries the Rangers can't afford. RFA Strome should be offered a 1 yr show me deal, this will give their other young centers another year in the pros to develop.

  • Kreider has sure been playing like he's expecting to get traded. He's been my favorite player since he was drafted. But playing like this is not worth a long-term deal with big money. He's in a contract year and probably more invisible than he's been in the last 4 seasons or so. He's off the top line, so he should also be eating up these 2nd/3rd pair d-men. I thought he'd be pushing 30+ goals this season for sure and make it very hard to trade him.

    But that's not happening. He's the definition of inconsistency this year. He's invisible for 3-4 games at a time, and looks like he's back to being unsure how to use his size and speed. I did not want to trade him before. But unfortunately, his game this season says he should be moved. I don't think he would be in the top-6 for much longer here. He is what he is now, and will only regress from here.

    But please, please, PLEASE bring back some grit. There's way too much soft skill on this roster. We get by sometimes during the season on a random Tues night and things like that. But put this team in a Playoff series against an aggressive, heavy team with skill, and they will run us out of the building. And probably injure a player or two...

    • Yep this team lacks push-back and grit. That’s why I was 100% in favor of trading Kevin “grit-less” Hayes especially for that $$$$! This is probably the reason we’re seeing so much of Brendon Smith as a forward this season. Even Kreider turns his back more than he engages opponents, by the way I hope he’s gone by the deadline. I’m hoping guys with size like Barron and Miller can gives us some of that grit next year.