This post is complete speculation and is not intended to infer that the Rangers have seriously considered Jagr or that any negotiations are underway.
In the wee hours of Thursday morning, Penguins GM Ray Shero was able to snatch Jerome Iginla out from under the Boston Bruins. This acquisition made the Pens incredibly formidable on paper, and took the top RW available off the market. For this post, however, I want to focus on another right winger, who could have a serious impact on the playoff races this season. I think the Rangers should bring (back) Jaromir Jagr.
I know that there will be quite a few questions about the recently re-signed Mats Zuccarello, since they will have ostensibly have been brought in for the same purpose. However, I don’t believe (with all due respect to Zucc) that the Rangers should let his arrival impede a possible pursuit of Jagr. While Zuccarello is a nice little player, he has something of a spotty track record of NHL success. Nothing should be guaranteed to him, and anything that will improve the current squad should be considered. Read more »
Per Steve Zipay, the Rangers are reportedly one of the top two teams contending for NCAA free agent Connor Allen out of UMass. In his 99 game NCAA career (through his junior year), the 6’1, 203 lb defenseman has a scoring line of 14-25-39. Allen, a native of Chicago is rumored to be down to the Rangers and Predators as his final two teams.
The Rangers, who are thin on defensive prospects, could really use Allen to help shore up the depth in the AHL. If the Rangers are to sign him, his contract would likely begin next season, with the Rangers signing him to an ATO for the remainder of this season.
(Scott Levy/NHLI/Getty Images)
Acting GM Jeff Gorton is on record as saying the Rangers plan to be aggressive on the trade market to try to improve the club by the April 3rd trade deadline. Marian Gaborik is obviously the biggest name being floated in rumors, but it’s difficult to find a good fit and it’s probably more likely than not that Gabby finishes the season with the Blueshirts. That said, it’s common knowledge that New York would like to add a top-four defenseman and a top-nine forward to help replenish the depth that was lost during the offseason and has crippled the team all season.
With so many teams still in playoff contention in this lockout-shortened season, trade prices appear to be sky high, even for rentals. So who could New York offer in trade packages over the coming weeks outside of Gaborik?
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This past Tuesday I briefly spoke about the rumors surrounding Marian Gaborik and his apparent position on the trading block. As I said in the post, Gaborik’s skill set fits any system. Should he not be traded, I’d be perfectly fine with it. However, if we could land someone who fits the key ingredients to the Rangers team template (e.g., balance, skating ability, effort), then I’d be willing to move him.
In case you missed that post during the Blue Seat Blogs blackout of 2013, I humbly suggest you read it. Do it now. I’ll wait.
Whether or not you believe the “sources” to these rumors is your own judgment call. Personally, I think Kreider’s recall could determine Gaborik’s fate, if of course there’s a team interested in Marian that isn’t on his NTC. Why pay a guy $7.5M to be a 30 goal scorer on some nights (and a ghost on other nights) when you can pay Kreider $1.3M to be our coveted power forward in training?
Over the next few weeks, if Chris impresses offensively and isn’t a defensive liability, the loss of Gaborik may be worth it from a roster perspective and a cap perspective. If you still don’t buy the rumors, for the sake of the exercise, let’s see what kind of trades involving Gaborik may actually work.
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Per Katie Strang, the Rangers have shown significant interest in two NCAA players who are leaving their respective schools to turn pro. The first is defenseman Andrej Sustr out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Sustr is one big dude, standing at 6’8″ (!!!) and 210 lbs, Sustr has begun fielding offers. UNO is done for the year, and it’s expected he will sign soon. This season, Sustr had a line of 9-16-25 in 39 games. Through his NCAA career, Sustr put together a line of 15-36-51 in 111 games.
Strang reports that as many as 25 teams are interested in Sustr, but it is believed the Rangers may have a slight advantage given that he attended Rangers development camp in 2011 (Sustr also attended prospect camps for Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay).
The second player the Rangers are looking at is defenseman Danny Dekeyser, whose Western Michigan squad was just eliminated from the CCHA playoffs, but could still get a bid to the Frozen Four. This season, the 6’3″ 185 lb junior put together a line of 2-13-15 in 35 games, and has a college career line of 12-37-49 in 118 games.
Strang believes that Dekeyser may join the Red Wings because he’s from Michigan, played with the son of Detroit’s assistant general manager and played for Jeff Blashill, the head coach of Detroit’s AHL affiliate, as a freshman.
Mike Ribiero? Interesting to say the least.
It’s long been rumored that the Rangers were talking to the Florida Panthers regarding Stephen Weiss, and Katie Strang confirmed that yesterday. Weiss is now out for the season, having undergone wrist surgery. While that path has closed, it appears that E.J. Hradek has mentioned that the Rangers are in on the Caps’ Mike Ribiero. There is no link to this other than the NHL Wiki page, as this was said on NHL Live.
Both Weiss and Ribiero are scoring centers who are not very reliable defensively (-15.5 and -11.3 RCorsi, respectively). The Rangers appear to be set down the middle with Brad Richards, Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle, and Jeff Halpern, so this rumor is a bit confusing. But when you dive deeper, it’s not all that surprising to see this.
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AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Larry Brooks spoke with Glen Sather yesterday prior to the Rangers 4-3 loss to Winnipeg, and the Rangers GM said that he is looking into re-signing Mats Zuccarello once his KHL season ends:
“I’m definitely interested in talking to Zuke,” Sather said before the Rangers’ 4-3 loss to the Jets last night. “I’ve always liked him as a player. We’ll see what happens.”
It’s worth noting that the Rangers own Zuccarello’s NHL rights, as they tendered a qualifying offer to him way back in June. That offer came after Zuccarello send goodbye to the Rangers in favor of the KHL. It’s also worth noting that Zuccarello’s KHL deal has an NHL out-clasue should the miniature Norwegian decide to return to the Rangers.
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Former All Star Alfredsson would be a nice fit in NY – depending on cost
The Rangers need to get more offense and Chris Kreider needs serious minutes; not just as an injury fill-in. Those two issues, the inconsistent play of J.T. Miller, and the underwhelming performances of Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik are why the Rangers may want to consider speaking to Ottawa about veteran winger Daniel Alfredsson. After all, we all know the Rangers like a Swedish element to their team.
Alfredsson isn’t the same player he was but is still an effective complimentary player, has an expiring contract, and with Ottawa beset with injury – should the Rangers be able to mount some consistency toward a Cup run – there seem many reasons why Alfredsson makes sense for the Rangers. This of course is assuming the Sens will be sellers at the deadline, which may not be the case.
He doesn’t need to worry about tarnishing his career with Ottawa. This could be a pure rental and he could go back to Ottawa and finish his career there next year. Alfredsson, as the Senators greatest player, will get to decide his fate. He may want a cup run and with New York he could have one. With Karlsson and Spezza off-ice long term the Senators captain knows there’s little to no chance a cup run is happening in the Canadian capital.
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Great teammate, too many years.
There is nothing more dangerous in sports than a superstar in his early 30’s coming up for free agency. At age 31 or 32, he still shows all the skills that made him a star in his prime and makes GM’s salivate at the thought of that “one final piece”. But we know those skills are fading. If we are really honest with ourselves, we know the fall will come within the first three or four years of that mega-deal. The Yankees are currently paying for it with Alex Rodriguez, and are considering it with Robinson Cano. The Rangers, of course, took the plunge in July 2011, to the tune of nine years, $60 million for Brad Richards. Read more »
Dan Boyle – still a good point man.
Early yesterday, it was noted that the San Jose Sharks are open to dealing a defenseman as long as they get a forward in return. Dan Boyle’s name immediately popped up, and the Rangers were a team already linked to the Sharks due to this defensive surplus. In a previous post, I discussed the potential defensemen the Rangers may target, and specifically focused on Douglass Murray. In the original post, Boyle wasn’t up for consideration because his contract is not expiring after this season.
Before we get into why Boyle likely won’t be destined for Broadway, let’s acknowledge that Boyle would be a welcomed addition to the Rangers. He’s a big body who is defensively capable and, most importantly, is a guy with a ton of powerplay experience who can quarterback the fledging unit. If the Rangers are truly looking for a point man, then Boyle is their guy. The fact that he actually hits people and plays decent defense is a bonus.
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