“I’ve had a lot of requests for Brian’s services,” Sather said. “I’m not anxious to trade him. I think he’s a good player, he’s a great team guy and I think he has still an upside to go to. He’s one of those guys you may regret trading if you do trade him so I’m not anxious to do anything with him at this time.” Read more »
Though the skills competition isn’t really a fair way to determine the winner of a hockey game, success in the shootout has granted some teams entry to the postseason and – as Rangers fans know all too well – denied others.
Thanks in large part to Henrik Lundqvist’s heroics, New York has traditionally been a solid shootout club. The Blueshirts went 4-4 in the event last season and are 53-40 overall since its inception in 2005.
Last season, coach John Tortorella relied heavily on Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash in the shootout and it’s likely that new coach Alain Vigneault will do the same. It also seems like a no-brainer that Vigneault will deploy one of New York’s most deadly shootout weapons – Mats Zuccarello – now that the Norwegian is back for a full season. So who could Vigneault turn to in Callahan’s absence to start the season and in the event of future slumps/injuries? Let’s take a look at how New York’s forwards did in the skills competition last year: Read more »
Ever since Jordan Staal turned down a 10-year, $60 million contract extension from Pittsburgh last June, leading to a blockbuster draft day trade to the Hurricanes, Rangers fans have been panicked about Marc Staal’s desire to join his three brothers in Carolina.
Marc himself has never given us any reason to believe he’s anything but thrilled to be playing in New York, but it’s of course not a giant leap to think the four Staal brothers have discussed playing together.
With Marc set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2015, many nervous Rangers fans have suggested that GM Glen Sather phone Carolina GM Jim Rutherford and see what he can get for Marc now, well in advance of the end of Marc’s contract, before his trade value depreciates.
There are a couple of problems with this:
Like it or not, advanced statistics are here to stay and are only going to continue growing in popularity.
There’s overwhelming evidence that basic metrics for puck possession are far more indicative of long-term team and individual success than the number of goals scored on a yearly basis.
Dave has done a great job of introducing us all to some of these new #fancystats, but if you want to learn more, than I encourage you to check out Rob Vollman’s brilliant new book, Hockey Abstract.
With 12 NHL forwards already under contract and Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello still to re-sign, it’s been difficult to figure out where youngsters like Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast might fit in next season. Injuries to Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan could loosen the rotation for the first few weeks of the season, but there will still be a glut of forwards fighting for playing time.
Miller and Kreider are presumed to be the two prospects most likely to secure top-12 roles given that both already have some NHL experience and have had at least a little success. However, recent comments by both players could indicate that this might not really be the case. Read more »
After turning heads at the Rangers’ post-draft Prospect Development Camp, 18-year-old Sergey Tolchinsky attended Carolina’s camp last week and put on another show.
The Soo Greyhound was one of the highest-rated prospects by independent scouting services to go undrafted in June, but since then he’s made a lot of teams look foolish. Now, it appears that Tolchinsky has both the Rangers and Hurricanes – the only two teams with which he’s eligible to sign – competing for his services.
Whether the Rangers re-sign Mats Zuccarello or not, they’re going to be right up against the salary cap ceiling when the 2013-2014 season opens. Things are tight financially for New York right now, but 12 months from now the situation will be very different.
According to CapGeek, the Rangers have barely over $27 million in cap payroll committed to 2014-2015, more than $37 million below the current $64.3 million salary cap. A chunk of that will go toward Derek Stepan’s new contract, potentially one for Zuccarello and likely a contract extension for Henrik Lundqvist over the coming weeks. But even factoring in those deals, the Blueshirts should have a ton of money to work with heading into next offseason. Lundqvist’s substantial cap hit will largely be negated by the certain Brad Richards buyout, and there are also whispers that league executives expect the cap ceiling to begin steadily climbing up, perhaps as high as $80 million within the next few years.
Faced with precious little cap space and a host of key players to re-sign, the Penguins did a marvelous job of keeping a successful core intact. Pittsburgh opened the offseason by inking Evgeni Malkin to a long-term deal and also managed to retain key UFAs Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz below market value. It seemed like Pittsburgh would be unable to meet Kris Letang’s contract extension demands and that he might be dealt over draft weekend as Jordan Staal was last year, but the Penguins managed to keep their high-scoring defender happy with an eight-year, $58 million extension.
Pittsburgh lost trade deadline acquisitions Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Morrow as free agents and also allowed pest Matt Cooke to exit, while trading depth forward Tyler Kennedy to San Jose. But amidst all that, the Penguins were able to bring back Rob Scuderi, a defender they regretted letting leave in the first place. Pittsburgh has no room to operate under the salary cap so another trade might be coming and the Penguins are still planning to rely on Marc-Andre Fleury in goal next season, so it’s hard to classify them as a ‘better’ team. However, the Penguins kept an extremely talented roster together for the most part and should again be a Cup favorite heading into 2013-2014.
The decision to keep Brad Richards for another season left the New York Rangers without much wiggle room under the salary cap. Sure, New York is currently $14 million under the $64.3 million cap ceiling, but much of that will go toward retaining restricted free agents: Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello and Justin Falk.
According to Dave’s projections, we can expect McDonagh’s new cap hit to come in around $4 million to $4.5 million and Stepan’s to be between $3.5 million and $4 million. It’s probably a safe guess that Hagelin, Zuccarello and Falk will eat up a minimum of another $4 million. So even on the low side of things, the Rangers will need at least $11.5 million to keep their team intact. Read more »
The 2013 draft is now in the books and the Rangers have added five more youngsters to their prospect system. Let’s take a look at where all the prospects stand heading into the offseason.
On the cusp
After bursting onto the scene during the 2012 playoffs, Kreider struggled out of the gate with the CT Whale to start the 2013 season. He joined the Rangers following the lockout, but never earned major minutes under coach John Tortorella and was frequently sent back and forth from New York to Connecticut. Still the crown jewel of the Rangers’ system, Kreider should be handed a much bigger offensive role next season under Alain Vigneault.
Miller’s quick climb up the ladder to New York was extremely impressive and though his 2012-2013 season was cut short by a wrist injury, he should also have a job to lose in September under Vigneault. Miller’s game is very much a work in progress – he was guilty of some horrible defensive mistakes and didn’t contribute much offensively, but Miller looked like he belonged in the NHL. He’s proven to be a very quick study all along and will be expected to continue his growth as a Ranger next season. Read more »