Offseason

Where do the Rangers go from here?

After yesterday’s surprising win, the Rangers’ 2021 season has come to an end. On the ice, the season went as expected. The Blueshirts were up and down all season, putting in streaks of greatness and streaks of frustration. At the beginning of the season, that’s what we here expected. Others may have expected playoffs, but many things needed to go right. Off the ice drama extended throughout the season, and most likely played a role in the Rangers falling short. But with a bright future and a new front office, the question is: Where do the Rangers go from here?

The front office shakeup left us with more questions than answers. Most answers will come in some time, and before we know where the Rangers are going, we will need to understand Chris Drury’s master plan.

Exit interviews

Figuring out where the Rangers go from here will be a direct result of how these exit interviews go. For those who weren’t around in 2013, the exit interviews were the direct reason why John Tortorella was fired and Alain Vigneault was brought in. The message with Tortorella had grown tired and the players were sick of it. Does the same fate await David Quinn?

But don’t make the mistake of thinking the exit interviews won’t impact the players too. Drury was instrumental in bringing in Quinn, so unless there’s another mutiny, Quinn will likely stay. That means, as Drury and Jim Dolan have alluded to, roster changes.  Both want will to go with the skill. There is a balance to be had.

Skill and will balance

I also wouldn’t make the mistake that Dolan is interfering the way he does with the Knicks. At least, not yet. I don’t think there’s enough evidence to support that. Personally, I think Dolan was looking for an excuse to get Drury in as GM and found it, then used the media to control the messaging out. They’ve done that in the past, as recently as January.

The skill and will balance likely won’t come at the expense of the core future of the team. It will come at the expense of those who are deemed expendable. One thing to keep in mind: All three of Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Strome, and Filip Chytil play the same style of game. That makes the Rangers predictable down the middle. Given the glut of high skill wingers, center is a position I think Drury focuses on. However that is just my guess.

Food for thought: Both Jack Eichel and Elias Pettersson play that same style down the middle. Aleksander Barkov, though, does not.

Analytics

To keep those who are concerned about the future calm, let’s remember how excited Steve Valiquette has been on the broadcasts. It’s clear he and Drury are friends, and it’s clear that Drury will take the Rangers in a different direction. Given the front office construct, the one area for Drury to improve the Rangers significantly is analytics.

Currently, the analytics group with the Rangers is just four people, headed up by Jim Sullivan. They are a voice in the room, but not one that is overly relied upon. No analytics group that had a true voice would have dressed Anthony Bitetto, Jack Johnson, and Libor Hajek on the same blue line all season. That’s all the evidence we need, to be frank. You can agree with the players themselves, but from an analytics perspective, no group would have suggested that.

I’m going to go full Q for a moment. Given the friendship and excitement from Vally, and that this is an area for improvement for the Rangers, I would not be the least bit surprised if Vally’s Clear Sight Analytics –currently used by a few NHL teams– gets “hired” by the Rangers. Jeff Gorton wasn’t a big analytics guy, and it looks like Drury is. So for those concerned about the “will” players, know that Drury is looking at the numbers.

Tying it together

So where do the Rangers go from here? I think it is safe to assume the Rangers will shake things up in the front office first, before addressing roster issues. It lays the foundation for Drury to leave his mark. But I do not believe the roster will have significant turnover. Not yet, at least.

The foundation does matter. And that is where the Rangers go from here. It will be business as usual until Drury makes his mark behind the scenes.

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  • Analytics are helpful and they have their role. But they don’t measure commitment level. Don’t measure grittiness either. We’ll see how they bridge the gap. Hiring Valiqette would be a great starting point

        • Yeah, when Steve talks analytics, I actually listen. If I were running a team I would be listening some to Valley — would be happy to see him actually get a role with the team.

  • The signing of Bitetto and JJ was the front office attempt of bringing in some veteran Blue liners in on the cheap. This was a result of being up against the cap.

    This Ranger club leads the league in dead cap space which will start to drop off this summer. However, Shesterkin, Buch and Lindgren will be looking for significant salary increases. They have room to sign them, the question is what will Drury do with the remaining cap space.

    I believe when the Rangers play the heavy teams, they are intimated by the physical play. They need to neutralize the players that are taking liberties on their players and bring in some muscle. That would the move that Drury should first look at.

    • Except most vets looking for a deal in the flat cap era came just as cheap. JG screwed up giving a K to JJ, we all know it — the guy needed to retire last year.

  • My 2 cents:

    #1. Veteran NHL coach will be named. Not Torts. Bylsma and Drury worked together in the US program. Just sayin.
    #2. Several prospects/younger players will be traded.
    #3. Rangers will be “all in” if Eichel is available.
    #4. Morgan will help anchor a very good 4th line, along with feistier players.
    #5. Vet LH D man will be brought in to play regularly, probably for the 3rd pair.

    • Which young players are you thinking get moved? My opinion is that Lafreniere, Kakko and Kratsov should be off limits. On defense I think Lundkvist should be off limits as well. In the right deal I would consider moving Miller, but it has to be worth it.

      I think players like Goodrow or Coleman would be of interest if that’s the direction they want to go on the 4th line. I also agree that a veteran will be brought in defense. Short term deal most likely.

      • Lafren is definitely off limits, but, and if the Rangers are getting anyone that’s anyone, at least one of Chytil, Kakko, or Krav is going.

        On D, IMO, Miller, Nils, and Schneider are off limits, with Jones and Robertson in play.

        They can’t keep them all, and Dolan made it pretty clear that HIS team is not going to be fielded with all under 25 year olds.

        • Yeah true. Trading from defense is going to be the way to go. Only six spots on the blue line so someone is going to be moved. Who they see as untouchable and moveable will be interesting.

          • I mean, come on, Dolan just FIRED the guys who are preaching patience. So, if they end up staying the course, then it would be “WTF did you fire JD and JG for?”

            It’s not happening. A big deal coming and other changes. They are committed to that, without looking like complete fools back tracking.

            So here’s a question for the fans who say “they’re always right.” With Dolan, who is the boss BTW, firing JD and JG, is he “right?” because he’s the boss? And if so, all of you who defended JD and JG, because they have NHL experience, are now wrong.

            See how ridiculous that sounds? So, just because they are who they are, does not automatically make them “right.” And while Dolan is not a “hockey guy” he is the boss, and authority seems to play big time on this site.

            You can’t have it both ways.

          • They’re all right …….. and wrong. JG and JD could have filled out this team on the margins better …. and Dolan could have considered some of the circumstances we faced and acknowledged that they were rather screwy.

          • While Dolan is the boss, he has NEVER been right when screwing around with the Knicks in a sport he actually watches.

        • Chytil is going to be thrown in there. Apples and oranges with Krav, Laffy and Kakko. No GM in their right mind would settle for Chytil instead Krav, Laffy and Kakko

          • Nah Lafren is head and shoulders over Krav and Kakko, not even close.

            Lafren is a Ranger career lifer.

          • I agree Lafrenire isn’t going anywhere. I do like what i’ve seen from Kakko and Kratzsov and would like to see them stick around. You can see the skill those two have as well.

          • I agree. I hope that Buch is a career Ranger also.
            He has improved so much (improved player of the year, imo) and has so much talent, plus, he plays with an edge (and can drop the gloves too, when it comes to that).

        • Bro, I would drive Chytil to JFK myself. Kid has tons of natural talent but is a dope in terms of hockey sense. Three seasons, zero growth. Bye

          • You know if you’re unhappy with his growth then just say he hasn’t grown as much as would like, but to say ZERO growth is just senseless hyperbole.

    • I agree with your suggestion Richter and I have just the players that Drury should go after in the off season.

      LD Jamie Oleksiak
      6 7 Free agent plays a physical game and has become a solid NHL defencemen.

      Winger Wayne Simmonds another Free agent that goes hard to the net and doesn’t put up with any crap.

      Ryan Reaves may be available from Vegas as I can’t see them protecting him in the expansion draft as bruiser Kolesar has filled his role. Ryan has one year left on his 1.7 million contract.

      Resign Smitty. He can patrol the Blueline until the kids are ready for prime time.

      I dont dislike Bylsma as the Rangers next coach, but my preference would still be Gallant as the new Rangers bench boss.

      • I like like all your suggestions Bloomer, but maybe Simmonds is a bit long in the tooth.

        I would love Gallant.

      • Before they would sign off on Gallant, there has to be an explanation of just why he was let go in Vegas. It was never clearly explained what the reasons were…and George McPhee has proven to be a very capable team Executive,and would not just axe a guy for the thrill of it. I would want to know everything about the situation before I’d hire the guy.

        • Exactly right. Not to mention Fla. let him go too. Why ? Something gets upper level management and ownership mad enough to say “Get out !! “.

          • In Florida they didn’t even give him a lift to the airport , they made him get a taxi . He must have had some pics with higher up and a goat or some sort .

        • It could be as simple as disagreement on concept.

          Rutherford quit in Pitts because of that reason. Doesn’t make him a bad GM.

          • I made no judgments one way or the other on Gallant. All I said was that he was let go, after hearing that the players loved him and after having success…especially in Vegas. There needs to be a clear explanation why, for the Rangers to decide whether or not to hire him. Just because hes arguably the flavor of the month, doesn’t mean hes the guy.

        • Can you imagine Rocky having Oleksiak, Lindgren and a budding Miller all on the left side of your Blue line. The other team will pay when they dump and chase, and crash the net.

          • yeah i don’t see yoo many players at the NHL level quaking in their boots at a guy who shaves his eyebrows coming after them down low.

        • Ha! I popped it up the day JD was fired along with Coleman and Goodrow. If the space allows it, I would sign all 3 without hesitation

      • I’m with you, Bloomer, on Oleksiak. I’d be very excited to get him, was just talking with my brother about bringing him in.

        I’d be OK with bringing in Simmonds on a short deal, but I think his best years are behind him. Reaves is a good choice for the enforcer role, though I can’t stand him. That’d take some time to warm up to.

        I think we need a Scheifele or Barkov type guy brought in to anchor the center, though.

      • I don’t think we need more defensemen. We have Lindgren and Trouba to keep teams honest and Schneider in the pipeline. Another veteran d-man will just get in the way of Nils, Miller and/or Jones. Three hard nose D’s and three high quality skill guys is a nice combination. Package Jones, Robertson and Reunanen.

        We should be looking for a good middle 6 center and a couple of gritty fourth liners. I am in the re-sign Mika camp. The guy has been great for us – a Ratelle-like center (classy and uber-talented). You can’t hold this crazy season and Covid against him.

    • Dan Blysma supose to be a quiet disciplinarian, who had issues with Crosby…which led to his firing……….

    • a good fourth line is very necessary and anchored by barron with another big skilled forward would do wonders. also with a small sample size i liked what i saw with J Richards and Barron. need a least one good face-off guy. (horvat?)

    • I’m really surprised at how many Ranger fans do not like JE….JE plays on a mishandled crappy team with a coach, who was fired…….Have to to figure Kakko, Kravstov, Robertson, Jones, or even Buch, plus picks will be part of the deal….Not saying all of the above will go, but expect to lose talented players…..even if we do not get JE, and go after lets say a Barkov, or other talented players, we will lose players……Drury has work to do…4th line, another grizzly veteran D man…..Team has to also work on basic fundamentals….and this is where I do not want a Torts, Babcock, or even a Blysma….These guys will be riding the vets ..Rather give Martin, Knobber, or Gallant the reigns…….still need more development…….

      • It’s the contract and injury situation with Eichel that I don’t like. Last 4 years of his deal are all protected by a no movement clause. He’s a good player, but he’s never played playoff hockey either.

      • Good luck trying to attract a good coach after trading away what we’ve been told, is the future. Kakko isn’t going anywhere. He’s big now, and he’s only gonna get bigger. No, he doesn’t play a tough game, but he’s shown he can be hard along the boards and has started to go to the net. Something that most of the rest of this team doesn’t do.
        Kravtsov…maybe…Buch too….only because they’ll have to include an established played. But any deal will most assuredly include Chytil…right now, IMO..the type of soft game that Drury is going to get rid of.

      • No one dislikes him as a Player and I haven’t seen anyone who suggests he isn’t better than at least Strome. The issue is cap dollars, a herniated disc and the cost in good young talent. It would be a bold move, but at what cost?

          • He’s not generational like a McDavid, but he’s still a franchise defining player. Again though, I wouldn’t trade fore him, too many question marks about his attitude and his neck, plus the cost would be too high — those assets (or some of them) could be better spent elsewhere.

        • Ive watched Eichel since he came into the league. He is a high-end talent just a half step below McDavid. He is clearly beaten down mentally by the shit show that is the Sabres, but provided his neck issues are addressed (that is why teams have medical staffs to evaluate such things), he would be a great fit (imagine him or Mika playing with Panarin every shift). I would love to see him and Mika be 1 and 1A.

    • Eichel would be off the charts dumb. He hasn’t won so is not a proven competitor. He is a low hitter, so is more in line with the high skill little else kind of player the Rangers supposedly have too much of.

      Yes, you need an elite forward or two, but the Rangers already have Panarin. As for Lafreniere, either he either projects as an elite forward (and you don’t need another) or he should not be untradeable.

      Personally, I would not trade Chityl for Eichel and a first.

      • I listed what I think that the RANGERS will do. Me?

        1) Get Gallant. Or even Bylsma, for that matter. I like Julien too.
        2) Get that vet LH D man. Olek would be fine.
        3) Check in on lesser centers than Jack, like Lindholm or even Monahan, to bolster the 3rd line.
        4) Trade Strome and elevate Chytil to 2C.
        5) Get a solid 4th line C like Cizekas to center Morgan, Gaut, and Blackwell. or even Cuylle, who is a monster in Hartford.

        To me, just having a real NHL coach makes this team better, I have said that many times. But they still need certain tweaks to become a real NHl playoff team.

        • Monahan — not a 3rd line Center, but a good 2C. Can’t see him being happy with that and Calgary will not let him go cheap.

          • Depends on who Calgary gets in return. I’ve heard his name dangled many times.

          • Yeah, but they want something pretty good in return … we hear Eichel’s name dangled around all the time as well, and Johnny Hockey, etc.

      • “Personally, I would not trade Chityl for Eichel and a first.”

        did Corky from Life Goes On write this?

    • I don’t think Morgan plays center in the NHL, as his skating is suspect.

      But nothing wrong with that because he looks very good on the wing. He’s a player for sure and he will be here for a while, I think.

        • Me? I would NOT make a big splash. I would:

          Trade Strome

          Make Chytil the 2C

          Trade for Monahan from Calgary and make him the 3C

          I would get a solid NHL vet with some muscle for 4C to center Morgan and Gayt/Blackwell

          I would get a LH D man like Oleksiak, or someone similar

          Put Nils into the lineup next year

          Maybe check in on a guy like Martinook

          and end up with:

          Lafren-Zib-Buch
          Panarin-Chytil-Kakko
          Kreider-Monahan-Krav
          Barron-NHL Vet-Martinook/Gaut/Blackwell

          Miller-Trouba
          Lindgren-Fox
          Oleksiak-Lindqvist

          Or, something like that.

    • Agree about avoiding Eichel and focusing on a different type of Center. Listen, Rooney played well, but he isn’t the “type” of Center i want on the 4th line. Where’s Joel Otto when you need him? lol

  • Eichel is not the answer at center. need a guy in the middle that can be a pain to play against and win faceoffs.

  • I don’t know how Quinn survives, after Drury commented that the players don’t seem to know their roles when they hit the ice. Add to that the countless times they came out,seemingly, unprepared and lathargic..and that adds up to a direct line to the coach.
    Unless Drury is going to bring in the “north-south” guys that Quinn has been looking for..to give him one last shot to show what he can do with his kind of team.
    But again, you fire the GM, the Team President; and the new boss questions whether the coach has conveyed his vision to the players strong enough…just how does that add up to keeping the guy and moving forward successfully? I just don’t see it.

  • Have read lots of comments. Rangers played in a tough division with lines changing constantly due to Panarin out and Laffy/Miller new to the league, plus Zib with Covid. Quinn may get a 15-20 game reprieve next year due to that. Will see. Future looks bright. Would love to keep Chytil even if it’s on RW., but that would force out Kappo or Kravs so hard decision if that would be the case. Strome would have to be part of a center upgrade based on his salary.

      • Unless something dumb happens I think that we are going to get that chance. The Rangers can easily have 3 offensive lines with all the players they have, so I think that Kravtsov is going to play with some talented line mates no matter what. They just need to beef up the 4th line.

    • Would love to see Kravs play center. He has some experience (World Championships) and seems comfortable anywhere

  • Right, like Morgan Barron … doesn’t make a difference where guys that play for you get drafted, it’s a question of how many guys can you introduce over the course of time that come out of a particular draft year. 2 to 3 a year is good, more is real gravy.

  • Yes Drury has a connection to DQ and helped bring him here. He also has eyes and saw how the Rangers had no system at all, played countless games with no effort or intensity (you don’t have to be big or a grinder to play with intensity) and was on the bench when the Rangers played much better hockey and were not uptight when DQ was out with Covid.

    DQ in game adjustments – NONE.
    DQ game to game adjustments vs. the same opponent – NONE.
    DQ player deployment giving #AHLHowden and feel good story Blackwell more playing time than Laf, Kakko, Krav, etc., POOR.

    The Rangers were easy to play against because they were out coached on a nightly basis.

    The mandate is that the rebuild is over, that means time for a real NHL coach. Drury may be loyal, but he is a winner and knows what must be done.

    If DQ stays, I will be very worried about Drury’s decision making process.

    Lets Go Rangers!

  • New established coach coming in. Good point Z Stromer Chytl all same player. 1 if not 2 will not be on roster next year. Eichel same player as the others- my bet is on Dylan Larkin. To me the 3rd line is most interesting. How will Drury look at the 3rd line – as a defensive line a scoring line? Laffy and Panarin #1 & 2 LW – where does Kreider fit in? Can’t trade him b/c of contract, is he worth putting on 3rd line as a shut down winger? Does Drury believe 3rd line is another scoring line if so that that settles RW. RW same as C – Buchy Kakko Kratsov same player 3 top 6. If 3rd line another scoring line than all 3 RW’s stay and only 1 current C gets traded if not and Drury sees 3rd line as a defensive shutdown than 2 current C gets traded and so does one of Buchy Kakko kravtsov. *** Side note: IMHO don’t discount Gauthier getting a fresh start under a new coach. Has the attributes team is looking for size speed skill. Barron will eventually take over 4th line C. 4th line LW will be the grit and will. Depending on what happens with the 3rd line and the expansion draft maybe Gauthier or gulp Howden as RW 4th line. Defense top 4 should be the same. A LD vet will be brought in to play with Nils. The LD will need to be big and nasty stay at home – I’m think part of that grit and will component. Drury will have the use of the first round draft pick either or both of Chytl Strome and 1 or 2 of Robertson Schneider Jones Nils maybe Miller in big trades. ***If Rangers do trade for a C the other team will ask for Chytl. Stromer would be included in a larger package as there is not much value might get a 2nd or 3rd for him straight up. Z is in last year and will likely command a big extension. So Chytl most likely the C to be traded for another C and has the most trade value out of the three. Some wild cards – could Drury trade Z for a haul and use those assets in a package to bring in an Eichel or a Barkov and still have dry powder to trade for yet another center? Once again where does Kreider fit in can Drury get Kreider to waive his NTC and move him say to Colorado???? Maybe straight up swap of LW’s with another team.

  • From what Dolan has said, I believe that Drury has no choice but to bring in the bruisers in the off season. The Rangers have a great core of scorers but they are neutralized when the going gets tough. The top two lines need a big player on the wing that can play the hard physical game, protect Panarin and Zibanejad but that will require trading some talent. Distribute good talent on a viable forth line as well and that might solve the problem.
    As for Quinn; he’s friendly with Drury so expect him to start next season, but if the Rangers start out on the wrong end he will probably be let go or maybe Dolan will make the move before then.

  • I would counsel against making any BIG moves. The tweaks required are at the margins, not the core. We need bigger heavier players for the 4th line and specifically one or two guys that can go toe to toe with anyone. Get rid of (or just marginalize) guys like Blackwell, PDG and Rooney for starters. They should be depth “black aces” at best so to speak. Also given the flat cap and the number of short term deals offered, we could do 1 or 2 year deals with these guys and slightly overpay to entice them. Point is we need some protection, that’s been shown this year — that’s what guys who play 8-11 minutes a night should be, bangers and guys who can fight if necessary — and not all middleweights. You just can’t have guys like Blackwell playing on the 2nd line … and although individually Blackwell might look great on a 4th line, he doesn’t serve the “role” necessary for us to be a complete Team — I think this is what Drury is implying about players knowing their roles. 4th line has to be heavy, that’s what has worked for teams like the Islanders (except they don’t have the same level of talent as we do on the top 2 lines).

    Guys I could consider trading would be Lundkvist or Jones or Miller … but of course not all of them, and two of them only if it nets something really good. Otherwise I would look to do a one for one deal for a good prospect (Center of course), maybe sweeten it with a decent draft pick, we have a good number of them and after years of drafting so much quality, we can afford a year with limited draft picks. I would look for another vet d’man with loads of snarl, who can actually play of course, 3rd pairing. Again, on the margins.

    I would also look at making a deal for our 3rd protected slot on D and expose Hajek — like STL sends us Dunne for a late rounder, we protect him and trade him back for a mid rounder, something of that nature.

    I would stay away from Eichel, the cost is too high and his health may be an issue. I think that fact alone should depress his value (if it doesn’t, it should). If trading Lundkvist and one of Miller or Jones plus a 1st rounder (Top 5 or 10 protected) and say Gauthier does the trick, sure I consider taking the gamble, but I’m not trading Laffy, Kakko, Kravs … don’t want to trade Chytil, would consider trading Strome (the cap numbers have to work for both teams here). Leave Chytil (who will still be on the cheap side) to man the 3rd line.

    Lastly, resign Buch — he’s one of the 2 most complete players on this team. As with all contracts offered, front loaded as much as possible, and with limited NTCs (if any are offered at all).

    • I have ALWAYS said I want to do a one plus sweetener for one trade that involves a young center prospect — preferably from LA but there are a few others that look interesting (like a Jarvis from Carolina as one example).

      • Guess so … we have a surplus of d’man prospects, LA and a few other teams have Centers. Identify and send one of Lundkvist or Jones and then sweeten with a draft pick if you have to, we’ve drafted a lot over the course of the last few years as opposed to the “win the SC at all cost years”, we can afford to lose a few.

        Unfortunately this may not be the direction they go in NOW with Drury’s hire and Dolan’s expectations.

  • 4th line better be a bruiser line because outside of a 2nd or 3rd line center, team relatively the same except for aquiring experienced 5th or 6th D. Back to me thinking the system is broken leading to Quinn getting fired

  • “I think Dolan was looking for an excuse to get Drury in as GM and found it”

    I think Sather didn’t have as much influence with JD and JG as he would have liked as used everything these past few weeks to whisper in Dolan’s ear to get rid of them and put in Drury.

  • As you mention, 1) Drury appeared to be a commodity which could not be lost; and 2) analytics now become a priority.

  • You talk about JD like he was a super goalie he wasn’t and Gorton like he was the architect of the Bruins guess again. Maybe we can make another move like when they signed Marcel Dione was he 70. Leave the decision making to those who get paid or fired if it doesn’t work.

  • Analytics in a vacuum without context of the cap, expansion and injuries is a galaxy brain derp.

    Bitetto played in order to have him qualify for expansion draft. After he qualified he hardly played unless some other D had a really bad game or injuries forced the issue.

    Johnson was signed because they needed a plan B in case Hajek hadn’t recovered from surgery.

    Hajek played because he was the least worst option and has time on his side.

    In case y’all haven’t noticed, (much like getting players with grit & skill) getting above replacement level D on the cheap isn’t easy.

    • I’m curious, as your posts are heady – what’s your take on the efficacy of analytics?

      • Analytics at the NHL level are marginal, but the margins do matter to get a better seeding. Cap management matters much more at the NHL level.

        What matters most is using data to determine who to draft and coaching those players up. The higher the conversion rate, the easier you can trade for players to fill roster gaps.

        • Interesting that you’d grade capology over analytics. I have no opinion – it’s just interesting!!

  • I doubt it will happen but moving kreider would be huge. The top 6 doesn’t need much adjusting except for center. The second top 6 center spot needs an upgrade. Strome plays well, would fit great on Boston or on Colorado as a kadri replacement. But with Mika it doesn’t work.

    Need a more complete player for the money. Laf Mika buch panarin kakko and a new C would make us formidable. Barkov over eichel for sure, maybe horvat, maybe danault as the 3c and chytil as the 2..?.. many combinations to consider but bottom line is the top 6 needs these kids playing more limited as well as a more experienced and north south center.

    Chytil might get moved in a trade which would require 2 more centers. Which is fine since the kings acquired both Mike richards and Jeff carter to fill in behind Anze.

    I’d keep Rooney for the 4th line, add in barron and a real heavyweight like Matt Martin or Ross Johnston, Ryan reaves or heck even Zack kassian.

    Jamie Oleksiak isn’t an option as Dallas will def keep him… but he’s still #1 on my list of targets nonetheless. Imagine having truba barron Rooney Martin and Oleksiak. Possibly Schneider and cuylle as well. Mixed in with Laf, kakko, Panarin, Mika, Kratsov and a new 2C… plus our dman like fox. That’s a formidable team for sure.

    Sorry my thoughts are scatterbuck in text.

  • The Rangers have talent,no doubt. They,as a team,are missing at least two coachable aspects of a winning team. They have the lowest winning Face Off % at 44%. Chytl is the worst at 42%. While you don’t have to win a fo,getting beat cleanly has been a disaster. Someone has to teach that better, although I think Chytl will be a goner. He holds the puck too long,has little vision,and is soft.
    The second, finishing a check. Many Rangers avoid it like the plague. I watched Miller, who has talent, use his stick much to often and the get beat off the boards. Too bad Rooney and Blackwell aren’t bangers,because they always hustle and finish their checks.
    Giving up the blueline also bothers me, but that is a philosophy,not a weakness.
    I think a Bennett and an Oleksiak would be enough to complete this team if Barron is ready. Guys like Jones,Hasek,Reunenen,are placeholders or trade bait. Smith should be resigned at a reasonable price. Cap space still has to be managed and decision made during the next season. Especially about Strome. A few youngsters will be getting raises after the next season.

  • I tend to think that Quinn is not going to be canned in the off season. I think that he might have a pretty short leash next season, but unless Drury hears a lot of negatives from the outgoing players I think Quinn is likely to remain. I’d like a change at some point, but I do not see it happening right away.

  • Laffy/Nugent Hopkins/Chytil/Buch
    Panarin/Strome/Chytil/Kravs
    Foligno/Bonino/Kappo
    Kreider/Howden/Barron/Goat/Blackwell/Jumbo

    trouba/Miller
    fox/Lindgren
    Lundqvist/Edlar
    Smith/Scheider

    Everyone I listed are all free agents. Not a single trade is needed. I agree that trades are going to happen. We have too much depth at defense and players are going to get moved for a statement. Whether we like the move or not, I know it is coming. I pray it is Mika. I think everyone else is way more knowledgeable about these things then I am and so I assume you are right. It will be Strome or Chytil. I have been watching long enough that I know Ratelle’s don’t win cups. But I don’t think Sather or Dolan know this. Or if they do they look at a different aspect and that is selling tickets. Cause playoff hockey is boring hockey. I really don’t like Eichel. I think he has been the leader on that team for however long now and what has transpired there is a direct reflection on him. And his 10 million cap hit just hand cuffs this franchise again. Winners find a way to be winners. And that roster this year severely underachieved and I hold him directly responsible.Why else would they be willing to move a player of that caliber? You build teams around those players.

    Coaching…I don’t know anyone other then the ones referenced on here. Bylsma is garbage if he couldn’t do it with that roster that Sullivan won 2 cups with, then no thanks. Gallant is a big maybe with his dismissal from Vegas. That’s why I go with the default in that the Cup win has to be in their resume. If they have never won, I don’t want them. Whether that is a guy like Justin Williams who finally has retired. Or a guy like Messier. I could see a guy like Williams working out unlike Messier. I truthly would rely on the more deft minds in this scenario and I know I am speaking out of my butt. I do know coaches make a difference. I never used to think so but Trotz is a clearest example. Last to first in 1 year with the same roster minus arguably 1 of the best centers in the league. Problem is for far better minds than mine.

    • You need to adjust your meds. Mika isn’t going anywhere….as for the rest..the team actually looks softer than the one they have now. You lost me completely with the Bonino and Kappo pairing. Go get some rest.

      • Mickey just stop posting if Mika is gone this summer. I will take that wager. I can almost guarantee he will be traded. He is at his highest trade value, doesn’t have the grit to be a cup winner, and he had every shot in the world to lead this team this season and he flopped flat on his face. And Dolan wants a big change. I am almost certain this pacifist is gone.

        I will make some simple points…..

        Between Panarin, Kreider, and Trouba you have a guaranteed cap hit of 26.1 million. Everyone here has a NMC. The going rate for a player of Mika’s numbers is probably in the range of 10 million for 7 years. Agreed? So that is 36.1 Million in a non moveable cap hit for the next 4 years minimum.

        The cap is going to be flat for the next 3 as stipulated by the recent CBA this past off season. That flat cap is 81.5 million.

        Since you are so deft….I will do the math for others. It leaves you roughly 41 million to fill out an additional 19 roster spots minimum. Most rosters like to have 25 players instead of 23. You have a number 1 overall pick coming off the ELC in 2 years. And a number 2 overall pick coming off in 1 year.

        So we are going to have 6 players on the roster? Whether you like Mika or you don’t…Gorton has basically sealed his fate and the fate of this team with these contracts. Or Drury trades Mika and gives himself some much needed cap flexibility. He is the highest valued asset we have with the least amount of growth ability. All the others are or still have much higher ceilings.

        Nothing besides emotional attachment keeps Mika here. There is no logical reason to do so. And with a owner like Dolan now paying close attention, you think it doesn’t happen?

        If will state it again…if he was putting up Crosby numbers, or Ovi numbers, or McDavid numbers …I am all for keeping him at the price he is going to ask for. He is not anywhere as near as fast as McDavid. He doesn’t have the accuracy of Ovi with his shot, and he can’t out muscle/think crosby.

        So you need to take your meds or maybe just get your head out of the sand and look around.

        • Right..the new, untested Rookie GM/President is gonna get rid of a fan favorite who actually produces, just because you don’t care for him. You think the guy is an idiot? Hate to break this to you but…… HES GOING NOWHERE!! Learn to Deal with it!
          Buchnevich. Chytil and maybe Kravtsov…along with a Jones or a Robertson(maybe even Lundqvist) and picks, will be the chips they use to get what they’re looking for.
          You think the team doesn’t realize that hes not a perfect answer to their needs? But you go out an get yourself a REAL bona fide #1 center..he becomes a very attractive 1A or #2 pivot. The idea is to make the team stronger…not weaker. Keeping him and adding another piece does that. And really, you spend most of your posts railing at the guy…and then you want to get rid of him—just what would you expect them to get for him if he sucks so badly?
          As I said, go lie down, take your meds and stop spitting out nonsense that will never come true. It just makes you sound stupid, quite frankly.

      • don’t be so sure about soft Mika not being moved; you have an irate owner who just sh*t-canned one of the most beloved Rangers of all time (JD) because the forwards are mostly a bunch of heartless floaters–you don’t think the poster boy for Charmin softness, Zibanejad, isn’t ripe to be jettisoned in a trade pkg, along with fancy shaved eyebrows Miller, for players that check the boxes for grit and will?

        • “fancy shaved eyebrows?” The old adage, “you give people enough rope…..” seems to apply here.

    • Oh amazingly I did. Maybe you should look over that history a little more closely. He was coaching in Pitt up until 13-14. Guess when the Pens next won a cup? 1 year later with sullivan 15-16. So yeah… you going to apologize or just be a ass to every post I make? You know where he was last coaching? Sabres 15-16 and 16-17. I am so tired out this crap. Do your own homework why do you always have to fact check me. You must have beem a trump supporter…. believe what is told on twitter never do your own research.

  • Was debating this with a buddy …would you make this trade?: Miller, Chytil (or Kravtsov,) Strome, Jones(or Robertson)plus #1this year,#2 next year for….. Eichel , a vet on an expiring contract and a 3rd round pick next year

    • never… but Sather would… and will. He’s the one pulling the strings and we all know how it will end…

  • “Both want will to go with the skill. There is a balance to be had.”

    wtf does this mean? god I hate half-literate bloggers

  • I don’t really care about DQ going our staying tbh. It just makes me sad cos I know Buch, Kravtsov, Chytil, probably Jones or even Nils will be gone because Darth Sather will package them along with our 2021 1st and 2022 1st or whatever overpayment for Eichel, his broken neck and his 10M$ per year. I am pretty sure we’ll throw a lot of assets away and that will come back to haunt us sooner rather than later.

  • fire Quinn. under no circumstances bring back Torts. Knoblauch deserves longer shot.
    Be smart. Accept must replace vets with youth to keep talent fresh and cheap which is nec in a hard cap league. Going there adds depth, more bodies for possible injury reserve.
    Accordingly, NO sale of bluest blue chip elcs esp for vets like Eichel in foolish win now moves.
    We do NOT have SURPLUS of such bluest blue chip elcs, only enuf right now for our internal needs. Continue to draft well, and in a year or two there will THEN be a surplus for a splurge.
    PERSONNEL: big deal w/SEA incl Zib, Buch + Strome for 2022, 2023 and 2024 1sts, each conditional to top 8 protected. Move excess vets for additional lesser picks. Kraken take Kinkaid in this scenario.

    Lines:
    Krav as a C. Not just any line, this one:
    Kakko-Krav-Panarin
    next line:
    LaF-Chytil-Gauthier
    sign Danault, but only if he goes 1-2 yr term, then we give hum 7.25 per
    in order to add Robertson and toughness to LD w/o giving away jones, play Jones as reserve D and also 3RW
    Kreider-Danault-Jones
    4th line open, leaning atm Barron-Blackwell-Gettinger

    D
    LD RD
    Lindgren Fox
    KAM Trouba
    Robertson Nils L

    acquire rfa Zadorov [plays either side] for depth and tufness as needed

    G is shesty backed by best option

  • I think the next Ranger coach should be either Chris Knobloch or Jacques Martin .I think Chris did a good job and Jacques Martin did a great job with our defense so I think hire Chris Knobloch if he doesn’t work out then hire Jacques Martin and and keep David Oliver as assistant coach and hire another assistant coach

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