Update: 3:45pm: Larry Brooks is now reporting that a deal has been reached. Organizations can use their first compliance buyout by Sunday, and the Rangers will use this on Redden.
Original Post: Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers are attempting to use their first compliance buyout on Wade Redden prior to the start of the season. The Rangers would still retain the $5.6 million cap hit for this season –which would make the NHL happy– while releasing Redden from his obligation to the Rangers, which pleases the union.
Redden, if released from his obligation to the Rangers, would have no problem finding a job as a bottom pairing defenseman for a fraction of his salary.
A return to All Star form by Marc Staal would be huge for the Rangers
While everyone in the media who’ve analysed the Rangers point to Henrik Lundqvist in net and Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash and Brad Richards up front as the critical components for a successful season, people have somewhat forgotten about the defense. Even when people have talked Rangers defense it’s invariably been about the now resolved Michael Del Zotto contract situation. Of course, rightly so, all the aforementioned names will be critical to the Rangers season, but people need to remember just how good a certain Marc Staal was not so long ago.
People assume Marian Gaborik will benefit from the lockout and of course he has and will. Healthy, refreshed and with more offensive help, Gaborik should be in line for a strong season again. But perhaps no Ranger will have benefited from the extra time off more than Marc Staal. Staal is a workhorse who didn’t look himself when he returned from his long layoff last year. With the extra rest Staal could get back to being a dominant defensive presence for the Rangers.
Read more »
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
With the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding yesterday the NHL lockout officially ended, and teams are now free to pursue business as usual. Teams are now finally allowed to sign free agents (restricted or unrestricted), make trades, make call ups, and perform other duties required for the start of the season.
For Glen Sather and the Rangers, there isn’t much to do to get this team ready for the season. Their top 12 forwards are already set, as are their top six defensemen and two goaltenders. That said, there are a few moves we can expect the Rangers to make in the coming days, some obvious, some not so obvious. Let’s get into the moves we should expect the Rangers to announce
1. Sign Michael Del Zotto
Read more »
Big decision looming for MDZ
Michael Del Zotto needs to be very conscious of how the next few days play out. How the young blueliner deals with the contract situation and the start of the upcoming abbreviated season is – to an extent – a crossroad in his young Rangers career.
The Rangers fan base can be an unforgiving one. When the crowd turns on you, the Garden can be a tough place to play (see: Malik, Marek; Rozsival, Michal). Negativity surrounding a player can certainly affect their performance, as these former Rangers would attest to. Del Zotto is in danger of coming across as greedy or unrealistic in the eyes of many, especially when the focus should be on getting up to speed as quickly as possible.
Read more »
So long Wade.
One day after we discussed how Wade Redden might need to be an emergency call up if the injuries mount, Larry Brooks noted that the Rangers will ask Redden to sit the season out:
It appears Wade Redden will sit out the season at home at the Rangers’ request in order to ensure he does not get hurt and thus jeopardize the planned postseason compliance buyout of the final year of his contract.
To elaborate on what Brooks is saying, the new CBA allows teams to have two amnesty buyouts between the end of the 2013-2014 season and the start of the 2014-2015 seasons. However, buyouts in the NHL –amnesty or regular– cannot occur if a player is injured. The Rangers actually ran into this problem once before with Chris Drury, when his knee almost prevented his buyout.
Redden has one more year after this season on his contract that will pay him $5 million ($6.5 million cap hit). With the new CBA, Redden’s cap hit would be $5.6 million if he plays in the AHL. Naturally, that’s a lot of dead weight on the cap, and the Rangers will absolutely buy him out.
Read more »
Is Del Zotto ready to cash in?
Most players head to Europe during the lockout to keep in game shape. Clearly this is also a concern for Michael Del Zotto who, without an NHL contract, is taking more risk than most as he headed to Switzerland. However, there is another side to this, and that is Del Zotto making the Rangers management team realise how much the young defenseman is worth as the NHL tries to get back on the ice.
Make no mistake, the Ranger need Del Zotto on the ice when (if) the league resumes. He’s their best offensive blueliner (depending on your opinion of Ryan McDonagh’s current offensive level) who playes 21 minutes per game at a young age. Throw in the fact that the Rangers are without significant organisational depth at the position and that Del Zotto still has significant upside, and he becomes an important part of the Rangers present and future. Both the Rangers and Del Zotto know his core role going forward. What hasn’t been agreed yet is how much each side is willing to value that role with the organisation in terms of dollars.
Read more »
When Matt Gilroy re-signed with the Rangers organization (currently spending his time with the Connecticut Whale), it was presumed that if/when the NHL season begins, Gilroy will be back with the NHL club. It’s not as simple as calling him up, but that actually plays into the Rangers’ favor.
Gilroy is currently inked to an AHL contract, meaning that he would have to sign an NHL deal with the Rangers before he can skate with the club post-lockout. While that’s a bit of a bump in the road in that Gilroy can’t be immediately called up, it does help the Rangers since Gilroy would need to pass through waivers. It’s semantics, but the end result is still Gilroy with the Rangers, filling a role of bottom-pairing and/or depth defenseman.
Barring injuries, and assuming that Anton Stralman doesn’t regress, that leaves Gilroy, Stu Bickel, and Steve Eminger fighting for the sixth, seventh, and eight defensemen roles.
Read more »
First off, apologies for the blog being down yesterday. There was a major GoDaddy outage, and we were affected by it. Naturally, during two months of no Ranger news, the day we have an outage is the day the Rangers make a move.
The organization decided that they want a third year of Steve Eminger, and re-signed him to a one year, $750,000 deal. Eminger, a right-handed shot, was seeing top-four minutes for a good portion of the season last year before suffering a separated shoulder. The injury cost him 21 games, and then an ankle injury cost him 12 more regular season and seven playoff games.
In 107 career games for the Rangers, Eminger has four goals, seven assists, and 50 PIMs. He’s not being paid to score, he’s being paid to be serviceable in his own end and provide solid depth defense. Looking at his GVT and DGVT numbers from last year, he did just that. His 1.2 GVT and 1.5 DGVT in 42 games average out to a 2.34 GVT and a 2.92 DGVT over 82 games. Using handy-dandy PVT, having Eminger as a depth defenseman gave the Rangers an extra point in the standings.
Read more »
The last thing that the Rangers as an organization need to do is to get RFA Michael Del Zotto under contract. When we last wrote about this, Larry Brooks was on record saying that the Rangers offered MDZ a multi-year deal in the $2.5 million range. Del Zotto was rumored to be looking for more, but no concrete numbers were provided. The logical assumption is that Del Zotto’s number is far enough off the Rangers offer to create a stalemate in negotiations. Obviously, this is just rumor and there is no concrete evidence to support this.
Basing analysis off this assumption, let’s say that the Del Zotto camp wants $3.5 million on a multi-year deal. It’s not that unheard of, nor is he that far off market value. After all, Del Zotto was in the top-20 in defensive scoring, top-15 in plus/minus (I know…), and top-10 in GVT. That makes MDZ one of the top offensive defensemen in the league. And although he does have some shortcomings (inconsistent defensive play), his stats make him a premier RFA.
Read more »
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.
Read more »