Each year, the New York Rangers throws a benefit for the Garden of Dreams Foundation which allows the players and fans to interact in a mock casino setting. All of the proceeds go to the Garden of Dreams, so the steep price tag goes for a great cause. After buying the ticket as a generous birthday gift to myself, I only hoped it would live up to my expectations. Fun fact: it did.
A lot of the experience is exactly what you’d expect – upon arrival, you’re handed a cup with a voucher for chips, introduced to items for auction, introduced to the team, introduced to the bar, and sent off on your own way. You’re given the option to mingle with the team, alumni, NYR staff, and MSG staff, as well as fellow fans. The players set up at table games – some dealing, some playing – and are extremely approachable for photos and conversation.
Since it would be unfair to give you a detailed minute by minute breakdown of the night – things do get hazy when you’re drinking wine — instead I’ll just give out random awards to pieces of the night with some wonderful iphone photography sprinkled in.
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It’s sad to see Callahan go, but St. Louis is a special talent
The Ryan Callahan saga finally drew to a close yesterday in dramatic fashion. Boomer Esiason’s report from two weeks ago proved true as the Blueshirts dealt their captain, a 2015 first-round pick and a conditional 2014 second-round pick to the Lightning for Martin St. Louis. Despite plenty of rumors, the move came as quite a shock. It seemed like Callahan was inching closer to an extension with New York and that Tampa Bay was intent on hanging onto St. Louis until the offseason, but the deal quickly became a reality on Wednesday. There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s get to it.
- Even though we started discussing this possibility a long time ago, it was impossible to prepare for a Callahan trade. It will be very difficult to see him in another uniform. Callahan’s contract demands were much too high, but he was the heart and soul of this team for years and beloved by Rangers fans. It’s a real shame it had to come to this.
- That said, St. Louis and Callahan are on different levels as players. Callahan has exhibited more skill than many give him credit for, but he’s still really a second-line winger (and maybe a third-liner before long). St. Louis, on the other hand, is one of the elite players in the world, even as a 38-year-old. He led the league in scoring last season and is having another great year. Since Callahan entered the league, he has put up 254 points, while St. Louis has notched 622. It’s no contest. So despite how great Callahan was, you can’t help but be happy with the acquisition of St. Louis.
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AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
The Rangers showed some guts last night, scoring a pair of third period short handed goals to force overtime in a game where they definitely came out a little flat following the Ryan Callahan trade. The pair of non-penalty shot goals given up were due to blown coverages though, and those are things the Rangers have avoided during their January/February run.
Jonathan Bernier stopped 35 Ranger shots, and before everyone throws the backup moniker at him, let’s remember he has a .925 SV% this year. The Rangers didn’t play poorly, but they had a few lapses that cost them the game. They also took four penalties (one penalty shot), which didn’t help matters for a team that needed two points. The Rangers are still oh-for-March.
On to the goals (no pictures today, sorry about that):
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Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images
The Rangers were shocked this afternoon when news of the Ryan Callahan trade spread. The Ranges landed the better player in the deal in Martin St. Louis, but the shock of a captain-for-captain trade from two teams that are likely headed to the playoffs certainly hit the Rangers hard. Toronto is in town tonight, and they are three points ahead of the Rangers in the wildcard chase (Rangers are in third in the Atlantic though) with a game in hand. A win in regulation moves the Rangers closer to that playoff goal.
The Leafs mostly rotate between an aggressive 1-2-2 forecheck and a passive 1-2-2. However, they’ll also mix in a 2-1-2 forecheck on occasion depending on game situation. In the defensive zone, the Leafs generally play a collapsing box +1, which will leave the point men open for opportunities. Their powerplay (umbrella) is fairly standard. On the kill, the Leafs will rotate between PK strategies depending on opposition setup.
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The Rangers upgraded on Justin Falk as their 7D as the deadline expired, nabbing Raphael Diaz from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 2015 5th round pick. Diaz has a line of 1-11-12 in split time with Montreal and Vancouver this season, and would be a solid fill in on the bottom pair in case of injury. This is a depth move for the Rangers.
It should be noted that Diaz has better #fancystats than both John Moore and Kevin Klein.
J.T. Miller was sent back to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL today, likely to make room for the returning Mats Zuccarello. Miller was called up as an injury replacement for Zucc, notching a goal and an assist and averaging 12:30 in ice time in his three games.
After months of negotiations, the Rangers could not strike a deal with their captain Ryan Callahan. Today, hours before the trade deadline, they sent their captain to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Martin St. Louis. The Rangers will also send a 1st round pick in 2015 and a 2nd round pick in 2014 (becomes a 1st if the Rangers make it to the conference finals) to Tampa. Confirmation came from Renaud Lavoie, and terms from Bob McKenzie.
If Cally re-signs in Tampa Bay, the Rangers will get Tampa’s 2nd rounder in 2015 and Tampa will get the Rangers 7th rounder in 2015.
Yesterday was one of the more active day-before-deadline days we’ve seen in a while, as several significant moves went down. Roberto Luongo went to Florida, Andrew MacDonald went to Philadelphia, and Anaheim made a few moves that left a few people wondering why they essentially swapped Dustin Penner for Stephane Robidas. There were also four goalies moved yesterday. You can read the whole breakdown here.
Meanwhile, the Rangers were very quiet as they looked to hammer out a deal with Ryan Callahan. Nothing happened yesterday or last night, so he will either be re-signed (my guess) or traded if a deal cannot be worked out.
Use this as your open thread for the trade deadline. We will be updating this post with deals as they go down, with most recent deals on top. Moves the Rangers make will be bolded.
Final update: Matt Moulson (Sabres) has been traded to the Minnesota Wild along with Cody McCormick for Torrey Mitchell and draft picks. Reto Berra from Calgary to Colorado for a draft pick. Thomas Vanek from the Isles to Montreal for Stephen Collberg and a 2014 2nd round pick. David Legwand from Nashville to Detroit. Jaroslav Halak goes from Buffalo to Washington for Michal Neuvirth and a 2014 5th round pick.
3:10pm: Rangers acquire defenseman Raphael Diaz from Vancouver for a 2015 5th round pick.
2:45pm: Boston sends a 3rd rounder to Philly for Andrej Meszaros.
2:25pm: Tim Thomas has been traded from the Florida Panthers to the Dallas Stars for Dan Ellis. Nick Schultz goes from Edmonton to Columbus for a 5th round pick in 2014.
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For those of you without Twitter, today was a very eventful day as the trade deadline approaches tomorrow. The Rangers were quiet, with all focus on Ryan Callahan’s situation, but in a day where nothing much was expected, everything happened. None were on par with the St. Louis/Buffalo deal on Friday though.
The biggest trade was announced at 4:45pm EST, when Roberto Luongo went back to Florida for
Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias. The full list of trades is below (or here if you prefer), and will be updated as things break on Twitter. Any moves the Rangers make will be bolded, and newer trades will be after the jump.
- The Florida Panthers Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias to Vancouver for Roberto Luongo, with Vancouver eating some salary, and Steven Anthony.
- The Philadelphia Flyers traded Matt Mangene, a 2014 3rd round pick, and a 2015 2nd round pick for defenseman Andrew MacDonald of the Islanders.
- The Montreal Canadiens sent a 2014 5th round pick to Florida for Mike Weaver.
- Dustin Penner was sent from the Anaheim Ducks to the Washington Capitals for a 2014 4th round pick.
- That 2014 4th round pick Anaheim acquired was used to acquire Stephane Robidas from the Dallas Stars. The pick can move to a 2014 3rd round pick if the Ducks make it to the Conference Finals.
- Anaheim also sent Viktor Fasth to Edmonton for a 2014 5th round pick and a 2015 3rd round pick.
- Edmonton then sent Ilya Bryzgalov to the Minnesota Wild for a 2014 4th round pick.
- The Ottawa Senators sent Jeff Costello to Vancouver for Patrick Cullen.
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There is a lot of interested in trading for Ryan Kesler, and for good reason. Kesler is a top line center who is usually good for about 60 points per season when he isn’t hurt. He plays a solid two-way, three-zone game, and would give the Rangers a lot of options in their top-six. In a vacuum, dealing for Kesler is a very shrewd move that would cement the Rangers place as a true contender in the Eastern Conference.
The problem is the cost. The Canucks are rumored to want a “young center that is 20-25 years old, a top prospect, and a third round pick.” You can’t blame them for wanting this much, as Kesler is locked up for another two seasons at $5 million per year. For the Rangers, that would mean dealing Derek Stepan, a top forward prospect (Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast), and the pick.
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