Players

Lias Andersson will not join the Rangers for this year’s playoffs camp

Will remain in Sweden, fuels more trade rumors

Despite there being a thawing in the relationship between the NY Rangers and Lias Andersson, Andersson will not be joining the Rangers for this year’s playoffs camp. Andersson will remain in Sweden when NHL’s Phase 3, which includes training camps for teams, begins in July. As per usual, I have some thoughts.

1. This does not mean that the relationship isn’t thawing. John Davidson, who has been spear-heading this along with David Quinn, respects his decision to stay home. Lias insists he still wants to be a Ranger. If we are to take Lias’ and JD’s words at face value, then there is more at play here than just a simple invite to camp.

2. It’s important to restate that Lias left not because of just one thing, but multiple things. His own father said he was going to force him to go home to manage his emotional issues, and stated multiple times it had nothing to do with playing in the AHL. There was the foot injury. The overly publicized ice time came into focus. He was a kid that had no support system –the Rangers have a notoriously bad history in setting up support systems for their prospects– in New York or Hartford. This is a lot to handle, and his mental health does come first. He’s not a “head case,” he’s just a kid transitioning to being an adult. Picture yourself at 20 years old, going to live alone in a different country. You’d struggle too.

3. Andersson has been playing well in Sweden, getting his game back together while also learning how to manage his emotions. This is a critical step in coming back to the Rangers and competing for a spot, possibly as soon as the 2020-2021 season. This is a rebuild, and taking the long haul approach is just as important as creating a winning environment now. With Lias, it’s about getting him ready to get back to North America and compete for a spot.

4. The Rangers very clearly rushed Andersson. The numbers suggest he actually could have been a decent fourth liner, and we’ve documented numerous times that Andersson has, at the very least, performed at a Brett Howden level despite playing with far more inferior players. Given how bad Howden has been for two seasons, maybe next season is when Lias cracks the roster. Especially given how Ryan Strome might price himself out of New York.

5. There are also unfair expectations from the fans. He’s a 7th overall pick. Great! The problem is that outside of the top-six in that draft, there were no “guarantees.” The Rangers gambled on Filip Chytil as well, but luckily hit there. The rest of the top-ten is a hot mess from 2017. Yes, that includes Casey Middlestadt, who struggled mightily this season before being sent back to the AHL.

6. All that said, Andersson is likely going to get a fresh start somewhere in a trade this offseason. I can’t imagine the Rangers continuing down this road. Jesse Puljujarvi, disgruntled in Edmonton, is always the rumored target. Both Andersson and Puljujarvi have played well since returning home to their respective countries. I don’t think that is a straight-up trade, but the framework is certainly there.

7. Going to reiterate this – there is fault on both sides. It is natural for us to put blame on Lias Andersson for not joining the Rangers for the push for the playoffs, but let’s take a step back and realize there is more to this than any of us know.

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  • I’ve supported the kid 100% through all this … but honestly this is truly disappointing — despite the fact I’ve been saying what’s the point of him coming back if Quinn doesn’t change his attitude towards him. This feels like a betrayal, whether it is or isn’t.

    • This is very disappointing. Blame does lie with Lias as well, mostly in the sense that he’s a 21 year old kid who clearly hasn’t necessarily matured emotionally yet.

      That said, I have yet to figure out what Howden did that gives him such a leg up on Lias.

      • -Better skater which allows him to get to point A to point B.

        -Better stick which gives him more time to make a defence play.

        -Better faceoff man

        -Coachable

        -Can actually win board battles

        Can be at least trusted to go out on the PK alone.

        Dave the list may be by default but there’s still more to add why Howden>Andersson

        • I’ve been saying this forever . There is a reason why people are bloggers and not coaches. Lias simply struggled to get down the ice… how on earth can one say he deserves a slot over howden … who can get skate for a bigger player?

          Twitter loves their narratives dont they? Omg he needs mental assistance, ok so get it. doesn’t mean he has the skills.

      • Blame is 100% on the rangers for drafting him. Was supposed to be mature and ready for the NHL, turned out to be the farthest thing from it. This wasn’t a gamble on skill, it’s hard to project how a player develops years down the road, but when you blow it on a guy who was literally expected by management to step in almost immediately to help fix the problems at Center, that’s just plain awful. Not even really worth talking at that point about who is more to blame for facing to mitigate the damage of the bad pick – but I put it increasingly on Lias at this point. Of course JD is saying nice things, it’s his job not to have a tantrum about the way Lias is behaving.

  • In this situation, the blame clearly sits at the feet of Lias. JD has bent over backwards trying to repair this relationship, but the kid wants things all his way. It is time to get what you can from this guy and utilize his spot on the roster with a player who wants to be here.

    • “It is time to get what you can from this guy and utilize his spot on the roster with a player who wants to be here.”

      How about utilize his spot with a player who actually brings championship qualities? High motor player, good on the forecheck, Swiss Army knife throughout the lineup, safe 3 zone play with/without the puck, pk specialist, etc.

  • Can we please stop blaming the Rangers for this kids lack of intestinal fortitude!
    Whatever happened to earning your way onto a roster? What does this say about Lias’ character and commitment to the team? What player in their right mind would pass up on a chance of playing In the NHL playoffs , on an original 6 team ?
    This is nuts! His trade value as a number 7 overall pick can’t get much worse.
    Sadly, the kid who was drafted because of his intense competitive nature has completely fallen off the map!

    • I think the people who play to much EA NHL were his biggest fan. After the medal tossing, it was clear that he would go down this route.

  • I agree. He is a kid. I put the blame for this situation on the Rangers organization. The handling of this kid was anything but organized.

    • Amen Walt. Good riddance to this unproven, unimpressive, immature, 21 year old cry baby who can’t play himself into the lineup. Enough with the excuses, trade time!

  • It would seem that he has guaranteed that he will be traded somewhere. Hopefully a fresh start, a healed foot and some counseling will allow him to find out if he can make in the NHL.

    I wish him luck wherever he lands.

  • this kid never plays in a Ranger jersey again, and for good reason! It’s never a good idea to put a quitter on the team, never!

  • The only thing I have to say is that I’m glad we can finally put this story to rest. It’s over, he’s gone, that’s it.

  • You talking to me?

    You taking to me?

    Koookoooo

    Koookoooo

    Lias is a bust, a mental bust…
    Toss him like the medal he tossed and move on baby!!!!

  • I said from almost day 1 that he didn’t have the skills to play in the NHL. But I always thought his strength was the mental part of the game until this season. Not only has he proven that he isn’t an NHL player, he also has proven to be a mentally and emotionally weak and immature , entitled kid.

    Total Bust! At this point, he is worth less than a bag of pucks. I bet there will still be people blaming Howden for this bust of a pick. Sad!

  • No matter who the blame falls on, this is another wasted top 10 pick.

    But here is what we know:

    1) The Rangers thought they were drafting a future Captain in Lias. His silver medal throwing incident proved it to them, or, at least, that’s how the Rangers took that show of emotion.
    2) The Rangers themselves admitted that Lias’ skating was suspect. Which begs the immediate question of how a team could draft a player at 7 overall that has suspect skating abilities.
    3) There was NOT a great group of players to choose from at 7, which David mentioned above, but even drafting Chytil at 7 would have been a better choice. Middlstat is not lighting it up either. Suzuki looks like the best of the group drafted around 7.
    4) That being said, Lias never got a real chance. He totally outplayed Coach fave Howden, who is about as bad a hockey player as there is in the NHL, last offseason, but still did not get a real chance to play here. Resulting in the hissy fit that puts us where we are now.
    5) Declining to come over now, basically ends his Ranger career with no opportunity to trade him.
    6) Another wasted top 10 pick for the Rangers. Brutal.

      • Bro, you are so biased, lol. Howden sucks. He cannot possess the puck for 5 seconds without losing it, flubbing it, whatever.

        Lias totally outplayed him last preseason.

  • “Lias will not join the Rangers…”. So what!! No big deal. The kid had no impact on the Rangers season and would’ve had no impact in the post season. Clearly he has an attitude problem. A good solid sensible young hockey player would relish the chance to play for the Rangers in the post season. He would go out and play like a man possessed and at least try to make the roster. At this point management should Use him as trade bait. He could be a solid throw in for a good player.

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