Per Arizona Sports, the Shane Doan saga is over. The veteran winger will remain in Phoenix on a four year, $21.5 million contract ($5.375 million per year). This ends the two month debate over where Doan would wind up, which included two missed deadlines and an ownership drama that rivaled most soap operas. Doan is remaining where he belongs. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they miss out on some great depth on their top-nine wingers.
Category: Around the League
For those of you somewhat new to Blue Seat Blogs, for the last couple of years we have
branded awarded certain GMs around the league as the “worst GM in hockey” for their risky trades, unspectacular drafts or financially unsound signings. Keep in mind we base these nominations on moves made (or not made) within the last year or so.
Two seasons ago the trophy went to Darryl Sutter (formerly of the Flames) for being the worst GM in hockey. Sutter at the time had crippled Calgary’s farm system, handed out more no-movement clauses than anyone in the league and had recently traded franchise cornerstone Phaneuf without receiving a single prospect or draft pick in return. He didn’t last too much longer after that.
Last summer there were too many GMs to pick from, so we offered up multiple candidates including Chuck Fletcher (Minny), Paul Holmgren (PHI), Dale Tallon (FLA), and Greg Sherman (COL). We polled our readers and the award eventually went to Sherman. If you are interested in the logic behind some of these picks, please read last summer’s post.
On to the nominations…
Last week, the Rangers national TV schedule was made, and the Rangers will play 12 US televised games (on NBCSN and NBC). That’s about 15% of the schedule on the Doc Emerick show with no replays, so take it as you will.
Note: We are not including the 4 CBC games, as CBC is not broadcasted in the US.
The following games will be nationally televised:
The Rangers leaped from the ranks of the “status quo” to being one of the most improved teams in the league with the acquisition of Rick Nash, but how have their Eastern Conference competitors fared this offseason?
Here’s a look at which teams have improved, which teams appear weaker and which seem about the same as they were in 2011-2012.
Carolina – The Hurricanes made perhaps the two biggest “name” additions of the offseason, bringing in Jordan Staal and Alex Semin to compliment Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner on what should be a much-improved offensive attack. Giving up Brandon Sutter and letting Bryan Allen go could make for a tough time on the other side of the rink, where Carolina has struggled recently. Still, this team is undoubtedly trending upwards.
Buffalo – The Sabres sent inconsistent center Derek Roy to Dallas for the underrated Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy. Buffalo’s real success this offseason came in June, when the team drafted Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Grigensons in the first round. Grigorenko could make an impact right away and the Sabres suddenly have a few near NHL ready prospects worth talking about.
Do you think the NHL will be locked out this season?
No, I don’t think the NHL will be locked out for an entire season. I think the worst case scenario is we might lose a few games, but I highly doubt we have another 04-05 on our hands. The current CBA doesn’t need a complete overhaul as it did 8 years ago. It just needs some refining due to the new economic realities in this country. Deep down I know both sides understand this despite the rhetoric.
The league’s proposal (cut the players’ share of hockey related revenue, cap contract lengths at five-years, end salary arbitration and require 10-years of experience before players are eligible to be a UFA) was extremely aggressive. With that said, the proposal was a perfect world scenario for the owners. This is just a negotiating tactic. The reality is the league and the union need to hash out how hockey related revenue is defined and come up with a new % split of said revenue. Everything else is just noise.
Fear not Blue Seats Blogs faithful, there will be hockey this winter.
What do you think of Bettman and Ed Snider of all people crying poverty and being the faces of CBA negotiation?
Despite enduring a wretched summer, the Philadelphia Flyers manage to inconvenience the Rangers. On top of all their bad news the Flyers have had this off season came the recent announcement that veteran defenseman Andreas Lilja would miss at least the start of the next season, assuming it starts on time.
How does this affect the Rangers? Now, more than ever the Flyers will be looking to add defensive help to their roster. Ideally the Flyers are looking for an impact player, something that the Rangers aren’t desperate for, but the Flyers – given the scarcity of talent available – might have to be content with adding depth and a veteran to plug a whole, short term. In short, the Flyers are likely to compete with the Rangers for any and every viable blueliner over the next few weeks and months.
The Rangers top four is set, and ideally Mike Sauer and Anton Stralman will round out the blueline giving the Rangers enviable depth. However, with Mike Del Zotto’s contract situation, Sauer’s ongoing health concerns, injuries to kids like Dylan McIlrath and the lack of trust John Tortorella appears to have with Stu Bickel, competition promises to be minimal right now on the blueline come camp time.
On the draft…
My excitement over the selection of Cristoval “Boo” Nieves in the second round of the June draft has been growing steadily. Nieves has always been a great passer and skater; the reports that he was fully engaged and very physical at prospect development camp have only boosted his stock. Nieves is going to the perfect place for his development, the University of Michigan.
Here’s why you can’t really trust what you hear about European prospects. Calle Andersson, the Rangers’ fourth-round selection, has been called both a sublime skater and an awful skater by multiple credible scouting outlets. So which is it? I can’t say, I don’t get to watch much Swedish Elite League hockey, and neither do most scouting services. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Ranger fans around the globe can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Nashville Predators decided to match the Philadelphia Flyers’ ridiculous offer sheet of 14 years and $110 million. The compensation heading back to the Predators, had they not matched, would have been four first round picks. There were rumors of the Predators trying to work out a deal with the Flyers, where Philly would keep their first round picks, but give up players from their roster in exchange for Weber. These talks did not materialize.
The prospect of having the Rangers forwards and defensemen diving in front of that howitzer that is Weber’s slap shot six times a year was definitely a scary thought. Luckily (and expectedly) the Predators matched, and Weber remains in the Western Conference for at least the next year.
It should come as no surprise, but Glen Sather fleeced a rival general manager yet again.
After months of speculation and negotiations, Sather’s patience finally paid off this afternoon as the Rangers completed a trade for Rick Nash. Derek Stepan wasn’t involved in the deal, neither were Michael Del Zotto, Chris Kreider or Ryan McDonagh.
The Atlantic division could have been about to change significantly for the Rangers and without them making a single move. The stark reality however is that the division’s order of power won’t change. The Philadelphia Flyers spectacularly went out and got All Star defenseman Shea Weber’s signature on a $110m, 14 year contract with a bold offer sheet. The Predators now has seven days to match the offer, something they are likely to do.
Nashville has what appears to be a straight forward decision to make. Weber is the face of their franchise (despite the presence of elite goaltender Pekka Rinne), an absolute game changing defenseman and a player who may not even have hit his absolute prime yet. Nashville has a large amount of cap space and still need to make the cap floor, something that matching the Flyers offer will help them hit.
In the end, Nashville will likely have to match. However, as Suit noted on Twitter, it’s not just the offer in totality that will be difficult for them to swallow. The front loading is the real issue. Despite their recent success, they are still a small market team and not yet producing the revenue it takes to hand out deals of this nature.