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yave1964

Rangers primer- Rags to riches

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FINAL RECORD 2017-18 34-39-9 last in their division 20 points out of a playoff spot.

 

  Look we all knew it was coming, the Rangers have been living on the razors edge always a postseason contender but not really passing the eye test, something has been missing. Lundqvist has kept the team in contention and an assorted cast of overpriced free agents mixed with decent homegrown talent always looks like they could have a 100 point season or the wheels could come off. This year finally was the later.

  The Rangers gpoink ot off for what to them seems the usual sluggish start, going 3-7-2 to begin the year before clawing their way back into respectability, after besting the 'Yotes on January 6th they were 22-14-5 good for 49 points at the halfway point and right in the thick of the race. they were on pace for 98 points and looked like they were right in it again.

  Then the wheels completely fell off, they lost 16 of their next 21 games to fall from the race, they then began to part off the team selling Nash to Boston for a package, trading fan favorite McDonough and JT Miller to the Bolts in a trade that likely helped both teams, Nick Holden was traded to Beantown,  Brendan Smith who was signed to a long term deal was shipped to Hartford to get rid of him, Grabner was donated for a pick to the Devils. General Mananger Gorton and team President Glen Sather took out an add apologizing to the fans. Shattenkirk was off to a poor start and then got injured missing nearly half the year. An ugly, ugly season. This wasn't like Montreal where a Carey Price injury could be blamed, Lundqvist played 63 games he remained healthy but is clearly in decline.

  Not all was bad news. Slava Namestnikov and the package of prosects including former first round winger Brett howden defenseman Hajek give hope for the future, Ryan Spooner, part of the return for Nash played wonderfully with the Rangers middle six. Zuccarello had a solid year, Zibenajad had 27 goals and Hayes had 25.

 

TOP PROSPECTS 

They are truly loaded with NHL forward prospects, Lias Andersson is considered a real deal top six prospect but I am higher on Filip Chytil who went a round later but who looks like a five year vet calmly surveying the ice with the puck he may be the answer to the much needed 1C or 2C very soon. Howden Steven fogarty Boo Nieves and Vinnie Letteri round out a ready now bunch of forwards ready to step in now that so many aging vets have been moved out. Hajek and Neal poink will both be in the mix on the blueline and are considered ready or nearly so to shine. I like John Gilmour on the back end as well. Very deep bunch of kids.

 

FREE AGENTS  None really, Pavelec is a goner and soon forgotten, nobody else ranks mentioning.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS

 

WILL THE RANGERS FINALLY BUILD WITH YOUTH INSTEAD OF OVERPAYING FOR AGING VETERANS?

  They seem to never learn, they are always in the mix for the shiny toys on July first and tend to overspend and over term as well, Nash, Shatty, I could make a list but you know who they are. For two decades it seems, since Slats took over the team he tends to sign the top free agent every year and chemistry or fit be damned.

  I would preach patience here, lots of kids who I like, I mean a LOT. Throw them in with Hayes, Kreider, Zibenajad, Spooner and Zuccarello as well as young vets Fast, Buchnevich and Vesey and the last thing they need to do is go sign the shiny free agent forward.

  Defense, maybe, Smith was a wretchedly bad signing, Shatty I think will have 50 point seasons and more or less justify his deal but they need help on the back end. I could see trading a prospect forward for a top four blueliner. That is it.

 

SHOULD THEY MAKE A RUN AT ILYA KOVALCHUK? 

 Did you see my last comment about the latest greatest shiny object? I like Kovalchuk, in his last year with the Devils he played more ice time than any forward by over a minute and a half, all situations, but he is an aging vet looking for one last payday. They just jettisoned Nash. They don't need another.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE KING? 

 Lets face it, the King is not dead but he is on life support. He was benched for a six game stretch last year due to ineffectiveness, his numbers are in clear decline, his glove hand once his strength is now a glaring weakness and he has 3 years at 8.5 million a year. I think they would like to move him but nobody in their right mind would take him unless the Rangers atea large portion of his salary. They do have a couple of nearly ready goalie prospects so they may decide it is in their best interest to pay Lundqvist to go play for someone else.

 

So IMHO they need to go full rebuild, unlike other original six teams such as the Wings and Habs who are lacking in prospects the Rangers actually have a deep and ready now farm so it could be relatively painless and quicker than most. If they sign Kovie and Mike Green to four or five year deals it is a sign they aren't serious and that Slats Sather is still in charge.

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Posted (edited)

First of all, @yave1964, thank you for these write-ups.  I'm truly enjoying them quite a lot.

 

My problem (well, one of) with the Rangers is that I do not believe they have a first line center.  I know people seem to like Zibenajad--I'm not one of them--but he's a 2C.  They don't have strong enough wingers to compensate.  If they had top-echelon wingers, Zibenajad might be enough to dish them the puck, etc.  But they don't and he's exposed.  

 

I agree with full-rebuild.  I'm not sure they have anyone they can slot at 1C.  Maybe if they go with Veleno or Hayton in the draft, but that's not immediate help.   I love the acquisition of Namestnikov, but I think I like him on the wing.  I don't think "shiny" is the way to go, either, so maybe draft a centerman and let Zib hold the fort until he's ready.   If they do come up with a 1C and can slide Zib down, they might be back to contending. 

 

My problem with going center with their #9 pick is that I really would like to see them grab a defenseman.  If Bouchard or Dobson are still there (especially Bouchard) they need to think about it.

 

I'm not a fan of Shatty.  He'd be fine if they had a top flight guy who could take care of their own end.  They don't, and Shatty certainly isn't it.   He was an incredibly overrated "ooh, shiny!" when they signed him.  

 

And, of course, they need to start thinking goalie.  No one in their system says "ooh, yeah!" to me.  I'm not even sure when they last drafted a goalie.   

 

Quote

 If they sign Kovie and Mike Green to four or five year deals it is a sign they aren't serious and that Slats Sather is still in charge.

 

To me, that is so accurate.   

 

This team isn't a tweak away, IMO, though a 1C might help tremendously.   They'll need to do something unheard of at MSG and be a little patient.

Edited by ruxpin

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1 minute ago, ruxpin said:

First of all, @yave1964, thank you for these write-ups.  I'm truly enjoying them quite a lot.

 

My problem (well, one of) with the Rangers is that I do not believe they have a first line center.  I know people seem to like Zibenajad--I'm not one of them--but he's a 2C.  They don't have strong enough wingers to compensate.  If they had top-echelon wingers, Zibenajad might be enough to dish them the puck, etc.  But they don't and he's exposed.  

 

I agree with full-rebuild.  I'm not sure they have anyone they can slot at 1C.  Maybe if they go with Veleno or Hayton in the draft, but that's not immediate help.   I love the acquisition of Namestnikov, but I think I like him on the wing.  I don't think "shiny" is the way to go, either, so maybe draft a centerman and let Zib hold the fort until he's ready.   If they do come up with a 1C and can slide Zib down, they might be back to contending.     

Chytil and Andersson are both centers and possibly their future number one and two at the position. Guys like Z and Hayes are really wingers trapped in centers bodies out of default, they are probably holding down the fort until the kids are ready. I agree with Zibenajad, a 2C is the max of his ability but it was a good trade, younger and cheaper than Brassard so it made sense at the time. I see him as a Kadri type, if you are counting on him to lead the team you are in deep doodoo but in the right role he could be quite useful.

  Thanks for reading them, I was tied up early in the summer and finally getting some spare time.

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PS, I had to save the above and then edit because my browser was trying to crap out.  I think it's my browser and not the site.

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Just now, yave1964 said:

I agree with Zibenajad, a 2C is the max of his ability but it was a good trade, younger and cheaper than Brassard so it made sense at the time. I see him as a Kadri type, if you are counting on him to lead the team you are in deep doodoo but in the right role he could be quite useful.

 

Yeah, I agree with all of that.  And the comparison to Kadri is apt, I think.

The fact I agree about Brassard, though, really only says how little I think of him. 

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1 hour ago, ruxpin said:

And, of course, they need to start thinking goalie.  No one in their system says "ooh, yeah!" to me.  I'm not even sure when they last drafted a goalie.

 

you are right ... not much to sink your teeth into when it comes to the Rangers drafting a goalie.

           

2016  6  174  Tyler Wall Canada  G

2015  7  184  Adam Huska Slovakia  G

2014  4  118  Igor Shestyorkin (Shesterkin) Russia  G

2014  2    59  Brandon Halverson United States  G

2013  6  170  Mackenzie Skapski Canada  G

 

Out of that list of names only Shestyorkin is making any noise.  Playing in Russia with the KHL he was putting up ridiculous numbers during the 2016-17 season. He finishes that season with a 1.64 goals-against-average and a .937 save percentage. He remains under contract in the KHL until after the 2018-2019 season giving him more time to develop.

 

https://thehockeywriters.com/rangers-prospect-shesterkin-lundqvist/

 

In addition to his time with SKA, Shesterkin’s team captured a silver medal at the 2015 World Junior Championship, back-to-back bronze medals at the IIHF World Championship in 2016 and 2017, and most recently won an Olympic gold medal in defeating the German team at the 2018 Winter Games with the Olympic Athletes of Russia (OAR). He is viewed as one of the best young goaltenders outside of the NHL.

Shesterkin Dominating the KHL

The Russian goaltender has outstanding numbers over the past two seasons for SKA, with a combined 47 wins, only 8 losses and 10 ties in 67 games played. He has a 1.67 goals-against average (GAA) and .935 saves percentage (SV%) with 15 shutouts over that span. Last year for SKA, Shesterkin filled in for injured Mikko Koskinen and recorded a 1.84 GAA and a .940 SV% in five playoff games, helping his team win the KHL Gagarin Cup. His team is dominating the league again this year, looking to repeat as KHL champions. Shesterkin was also named to the KHL All-Star Game in both

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.

 

So is he the heir apparent to The King ?

 

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      Yeah, I agree with all of that.  And the comparison to Kadri is apt, I think. The fact I agree about Brassard, though, really only says how little I think of him. 
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      you are right ... not much to sink your teeth into when it comes to the Rangers drafting a goalie.             2016  6  174  Tyler Wall Canada  G 2015  7  184  Adam Huska Slovakia  G 2014  4  118  Igor Shestyorkin (Shesterkin) Russia  G 2014  2    59  Brandon Halverson United States  G 2013  6  170  Mackenzie Skapski Canada  G   Out of that list of names only Shestyorkin is making any noise.  Playing in Russia with the KHL he was putting up ridiculous numbers during the 2016-17 season. He finishes that season with a 1.64 goals-against-average and a .937 save percentage. He remains under contract in the KHL until after the 2018-2019 season giving him more time to develop.   https://thehockeywriters.com/rangers-prospect-shesterkin-lundqvist/   In addition to his time with SKA, Shesterkin’s team captured a silver medal at the 2015 World Junior Championship, back-to-back bronze medals at the IIHF World Championship in 2016 and 2017, and most recently won an Olympic gold medal in defeating the German team at the 2018 Winter Games with the Olympic Athletes of Russia (OAR). He is viewed as one of the best young goaltenders outside of the NHL. Shesterkin Dominating the KHL The Russian goaltender has outstanding numbers over the past two seasons for SKA, with a combined 47 wins, only 8 losses and 10 ties in 67 games played. He has a 1.67 goals-against average (GAA) and .935 saves percentage (SV%) with 15 shutouts over that span. Last year for SKA, Shesterkin filled in for injured Mikko Koskinen and recorded a 1.84 GAA and a .940 SV% in five playoff games, helping his team win the KHL Gagarin Cup. His team is dominating the league again this year, looking to repeat as KHL champions. Shesterkin was also named to the KHL All-Star Game in both Hidden Content Give reaction or reply to this topic to see the hidden content. and Hidden Content Give reaction or reply to this topic to see the hidden content. .   So is he the heir apparent to The King ?  

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