There haven’t been many like this team

110

I started thinking about this a little while back. I don’t remember seeing many Rangers teams like the current one, a team that has earned the hearts of its fans by the way it carries itself on the ice. Oh, there have been good teams, probably better teams than this.

But, as you know by now, this team is kind of special because of the way it plays, the identity (Tortorella-ism) it has created, and what it is accomplishing all the while pouring all the cement for a solid foundation for the future. This team hasn’t won jack yet, hasn’t clinched a playoff spot — and it remains possible that it won’t (doubt it, though). But this team’s legacy isn’t tied into what it wins or if it makes the playoffs. It will all be about what this team is, and what it will be down the road.

Anyway, there have been a few other Rangers teams that kind of had the spirit and the togethereness that this one has. Here are some which I have covered that immediately come to mind, and I’d like to hear if you have others, or if you disagree with any of these:

1978-79: The first team I covered — I did some home games as a youngster in the business — was loaded with characters, and I don’t think it worked nearly as hard as this team does in practice or in the weight room (if there even was a weight room). But it was pretty tough, had key lesser guys like Lucien Deblois and Dean Talafous, Eddie Johnstone and Mario Marois, and had guys like the Maloney boys, Walt Tkaczuk and Steve Vickers, who would fit on this team. And one of my all-time favorites, J.D. It piled up 91 points (pre-OT, pre-shootout) and, of course, went to the finals.

1981-82: Herb Brooks’ Smurfs. Mike Rogers (one of those rare scorers who came to New York and continued to score) along with Mark Pavelich, Reijo Ruotsalainen, Mikko Leinonen and Mike Allison, and leftovers Anders Hedberg, Don Maloney, Johnstone.  All of those Brooks teams had the misfortune of coming along during the Islanders dynasty. But they lost the first playoff game in Philly, then won 7-4, 4-3 and 7-5, and took the Isles to six.

1989-90: This was the one that reminds me the most of this one, because it was digging out of the rubble after Neil Smith took over from Phil Esposito. But it played a much more passive, less aggressive style under Roger Neilson. It had some veterans, and added more (Bernie Nicholls and Mike Gartner) but also had a young Brian Leetch, a young Mike Richter, young Tony Granato, Tomas Sandstrom, Troy Mallette (and an old Lindy Ruff) and it was tough as hell with Mallette, Kris King, Randy Moller, Chris Nilan and Rudy Poeschek. Unbelievably, it was the  first Rangers team  since 1941-42 to win a regular-season title.

1993-94: I don’t think I even have to say anything about that team, other than, when you look down the roster and see the thoroughbreds, the all-for-one, tough and willing … well, you know what happened.

———–

And two that didn’t quite measure up:

1996-97: Yeah, I know, it had the Gretzky-Messier reunion, and it still had Leetch and Graves and Richter and Beukeboom and Tikkanen, plus Samuelsson and Verbeek and all those guys. But until it made that black-and-blue run to the conference final, I thought that team terribly underachieved.

2005-06 and ’06-07: The first two teams after the lockout were also the first teams to make the playoffs after eight non-playoff years. I thought the fans kind of fell in love with those Jaromir Jagr/Brendan Shanahan teams, and there were some inspiring performances, but I didn’t think it ever was really threatening to win a championship, and it wasn’t really building anything. And then it went out and threw a King’s ransom at a pair of B-list free agents

——————–

AP photo, above … Ryan Callahan hopes to return tomorrow.

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110 Comments

  1. onecupin71yearsandcounting on

    I think the fans would rather see a team of young players grow every night, instead of a hodgepodge of aging vets and young players where the expectation is to win or try to win is the theme.
    The expectations of this team is to go as far as they can go..which is a dangerous to the rest of the NHL teams.. In the playoffs this team may be dangerous.Once they’re on a roll, look out.

  2. I don’t go nearly that far with the team. In fact, anything before 1990- I was still rooting for Dynamo Moscow. But agree with any other comparison. The clue is- they are building their foundation while doing all this. That’s why the management needs to be very careful with any trade moves. Standing pat for now, or making small moves, may prove to be the best move.

  3. Early 90s the organization I think had more pure talent in the players they built around and the ones they traded, but I hope this is an era where management finally gets it and realizes that teams that grow together have a good chance at winning. I think they’re building a team that will be deeper than most other teams in the conference with what might be an absolute air tight defense and hard working scorers.

    I think a trip to the conference finals is this year’s absolute ceiling and even then that would take some favorable matchups. Next year the most important thing is showing that this year is the rule not the exception. 2 years from now if the core guys are kept intact and new players like Kreider and possibly McIlrath are making contributions then that might be their year to make a serious run.

    In 2 years the balance of power will also have shifted in the conference. The Pens will already have trouble with keeping a lot of experienced players outside of their core due to the high amount of cap they have invested in Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, et al plus their high finishes and trading of picks and prospects at every deadline will come back to haunt them. The Flyers can’t keep their current team together for that much longer and Pronger’s contract could hurt them if he starts to show his age by then. The Caps could still be strong if their young D and one of their goalies pans out but already they look very ordinary when their big guns arent firing at the same time.

    Overall, in 2-3 years I hope we can look back at this year and say this was where something special started.

  4. Verbeek was gone by the time we signed Gretzky for the 1996-97 season. And that may have been the problem, because in 1995-96 he came off an All-Star 40+ goal year (we got him in a trade with the Whalers in 1995). Much ado was made about him going to Dallas because they didn’t have state income tax and therefore he would make more money there. Not resigning him was a BIG mistake.

    If the Rangers had Gretzky and Verbeek we could have beaten the Flyers that year. (The top 4 wingers were Tikkanen, Robitaille, Graves, and Russ Courtnall).

  5. Unless they start trading away some young talent to make a run, CTB. Even with seemingly deep farm system it’s just too early to say who will turn out to be a stud, and who will be just a third liner. Give them some time. We need to trust Gordie Clark and Torts. The team can be successful the way it is. In a couple of years, when they are truly ready to make a run- add a couple of important players. That way they can assure many years of success, not just one and done. If you ask me- I don’t want one Cup followed by ten years of misery.

  6. Love this team. I think I love them the way I would love my first born son. Misty eyed whenever they do something that makes me proud. Which is pretty much every game. Usually the 3rd period.

  7. Which brings me to point out that Neil Smith failed to ever acquire a legitimate finisher for Gretzky, which he could have had if he traded Kovalev for Selanne or Shanahan in 1996).

  8. ^because some GMs back then that Kovalev would be a breakout Russian superstar. Instead he turned out to be a defensive liability that compiled a 1000+ point NHL career by showing up ~50% of the time.

  9. Blueshirt in Paris on

    Ilb,

    I don’t mind them trading prospects they have evaluated as being lower on the depth chart, as you said you need to trust Gordie. But agree it should not be for a in and out type of player. It would have to be for a top player that has at least a 4 years left to contribute at a top level. These types of players don’t come around often so to close your door on them now because you might not really need them in 2 years, well they might not be available in 2 years.

    I’m talking about a Richards, Parise, Weber type of player. Someone that will be around a while and there isn’t really a question on whether they would contribute.

    The biggest ‘problem’ I see with this team is that there is nobody to take over for Henrik. How long can he keep playing at this level? 4 years? 5? He has seen his share of shots, work and traffic…so realistically how much does he have left? Either way, Henrik longevity is your window of opportunity.

  10. I’d say Henrik will still be a force for 5-6 years, Blueshirt. I doubt Parise or Weber will become available.

  11. I think that our window of contention begins as soon as Drury’s contract is off the books, and his cap space can be spent on performing talent at ANY position.

  12. They’ll buy him out, DJK. That will give them $3.3M extra cap space next year and $5.33 year after.

  13. Hawkeye(Guardian of cheap iowa grain alchohol and corn) on

    hell yea djk!! sather killed us with that signing. we shouldve gotten briere instead. i cant believe how bad drury has become in the last 2 seasons. i really cant see him scoring even 1 goal this year. when he is gone, the kids will be older, better and we can add a top player with the money.

  14. ilb, I think when you add in the projected growth of some of the guys here now like Dubi/AA/Stepan/Staal/McD/Sauer, including Del Zotto, you might not need major contributions from the next crop of guys right away just complimentary scoring. At best Kreider in 2 years would only be in his 2nd NHL season but considering Stepan might hit 20 goals this year as a rookie a 20-25 goal year from Kreider isn’t out of the question when he supposedly has the better raw tools (size and speed). Add in the distinct chance that they’ll have at least 4 other guys that can chip in anywhere from 20-30 goals a year in Dubi, Cally, AA, Stepan, Gaborik then they’d have a good top 9 without relying too much on one player or one line to shoulder the load. Chicago had a very deep scoring team last year with obviously some stand out talent at the top but they also played in a much stronger conference.

  15. Blueshirt in Paris on

    The old…if Gretzky can be traded….

    I’m not saying they will, I’m saying if they are or others around their caliber are, we should be in the discussion and ready to give up prospects that out staff have deemed ‘expendable’. Not hold on to them for a few years just to see where the wind up. Projections are made by the staff and I agree, we need to trust them.

    I agree about Henrik, no need to hit the panic button now…but still need to keep that in mind in regards to when we need to start making our ‘move’. I’d say 2013-14 is going to be the key season.

    DJK, that window might open this summer to a certain extent.

  16. I don’t think we should put Gaborik into 20 goal category yet. This could be his off year, but when (not if) he starts going, he will be our top scorer for years.

  17. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Was there a hockey game in Raleigh yesterday? Somebody told me it was cancelled because SiDIVER Crosby wasn’t there?

  18. DJK- not only it isn’t painful, it makes total sense. You can add a lot of depth for $3.3M next year. The only reason not to do it would be the money. Well, that is the last thing this team should worry about.

  19. By the way, before we call Gaborik a total bust this year, we need to remember that he already leads this team in points per games played as well as goals scored per games played.

  20. I really thought the 06-07 team had a serious chance to compete until Shanahan got hurt in the collision with Knuble. He wasn’t the same after the injury and I think the team was just missing that little extra push to get them further than the conference semifinals.

    That and Renney sending out Nylander to take a defensive faceoff with almost no time left in the game so that 7.7 seconds could haunt us again. and for each second on the clock, Drury earned a million bucks a year for 5 years.

  21. over an 82 game season, Gaborik is on pace for 34 goals and 32 assists and has done so without playing with top players on his line or a PP QB.

  22. ilb, I think Gaborik will most likely be an effective player and I’d say he’s more of the 30 goal scorer than 20. He’ll most likely get 20 this year when he’s been rightfully bashed for not showing up enough. The linger issue with him is that you’ll always have to factor in the durability.

    Doodie, I think there was an icing call that led to the perpetuation of the legend/myth of Drury and that’s why Nylander was out there.

  23. I think we can say bye bye to Mr Drury this summer, and given the size of his cap hit that will only be via buyout, he also has an NMC so wont be rooming with Wade in Reddenville next year.

  24. White Pains Batman on

    Carp,

    How about the 1980-81 team that gooned it up the the Semis? They were pretty injured from what I read and put it all together when they finally got healthy. If they had a healthy JD, do they beat the Isles? They were TOUGH with Hospodar, Beck, Fotiu, Kotsy, etc.

    And 1985-86; I know that team had problems with Sator and was pretty dysfunctional, but there were some tough guys on that group too.

  25. What they do with Drury is really going to dictate how they approach the offseason. They are definately going to replace Eminger with a defenseman which should be rather easy to accomplish given the amount of above average d-men on the FA market this offseason.

    If Drury is traded or retires then Richards becomes an option but given Montreal and Toronto’s need for him as well, the contract he is eventually going to sign is probably going to be astronomical and something even Sather will look to avoid. Every sign points to a trade for that #1 center with Anisimov the likely expendable trade commodity

  26. oleo, I think St. Louis, Buffalo and maybe the Bruins (depending on what happens with Savard) could be in the hunt if Richards hits the market. And the Blues and Sabres could really open up the vault for him given their generous cap space. I think Montreal’s priority is going to be to replace Markov. They already have a lot of space tied up in Gomez, Camallerri, Plekanec and Gionta. Toronto could make a push but then there’s always the question of whether Richards would want to get involved in the circus they have going on up there. That team very much reminds me of the late 90’s Rangers, just throwing money around but not clear plan on building a team.

    As for trading options, I know we disagree on whether Stephen Weiss constitutes a number 1 center. And I’m inclined to believe that the premier set up guys simply aren’t available unless a cap issue forces a trade.

  27. CT Blueshirt

    Well it depends on what your definition of a #1 center is. I look at Stephen Weiss and see he is on pace for his 3rd consecutive 60 point season despite playing on a defensive oriented team with very few offensive weapons. I see a player who is the captain of his team and their leading scorer for the past 3 seasons (including this one) with a bargain contract.

    While he is certainly not in the class of Brad Richards, for the next two seasons I see no reason why Weiss would not put up 65-70 points with a cap hit of less than Avery and Boogaard combined.

  28. The Jagr teams brought back respectability to the Rangers, a fact which should not be underestimated. They started regularly beating the Devils, which in previous years was impossible. Sather still made bad decisions with free agents, but the Jagr teams were crucial to reigniting the fan base and stabilizing the team. Jagr was the first superstar who was able to set the ship right; not an easy task.

  29. ** Still have those 2 seats for sale for tomorrow’s game if anyone is interested or knows someone that might be:

    Section 303, row D, isle seats 9-10.

    $120/pair.

    Thanks.

    Steve at blacks4 dot com

  30. Weiss has a NMC and his reasonable cap hit would be all the more reason for Florida to keep him. I don’t think you could do Weiss for AA straight up and if AA turns into a 50 point player next year is trading him plus another asset worth it for a premium of 10-15 points?

  31. The idea that Gaborik needs a $7-8m center to be his playmaker and set him up to score goals is flawed. Gaborik is not the type of player who would benefit that much more from a playmaker. Gaborik is his most effective when he hogs the puck and uses his incredible speed to find open ice and let his shot go. We should find another veteran winger that can put up 30+ goals so we aren’t always relying on Gaby to score. If NYR stay the course with Stepan, Artie, and Boyle, they will be more than fine down the middle for years to come…

  32. CTBlueshirt

    his no movement clause is irrelevant b/c noone blocks a trade to the Rangers and while Florida might very well keep him that has nothing to do with my point that we should go after him since there are rumors of his availability.

    Weiss is a significant upgrade from the Anisimov we have this season. I am pretty sure Anisimov will eventually develop into a 55-60 point player 2-3 years down the road but I dont think that kind of projection is worth hindering our team this season and next by waiting for him to develop.

  33. Carp, you’d be happy to know that I stopped by Walter’s yesterday on my home from picking my mother up at LaGuardia. A few dogs, curly fries and a thick shake. Then promptly fell asleep for basically the entire All Star Game when I got home.

  34. Carp,

    Any reaction to Brooks’s piece about the returning players? Any thoughts on what can actually happen to Drury, who seems the most obvious player to sit? Can you have a Captain watching from the sky?

  35. Disagree on that assessment, ole. It surely worth waiting, considering they are not contending this year, and most likely the next one. And can you say with a 100% confidence that AA will not develop into 80-85 point player? I sure can’t.
    Also, why are we even talking Weiss when there is no indication Florida is trading him. We can talk Backstrom instead. Is he available? Of course not. Ryan Getzlaf anyone?

  36. CT, I am so totally jealous.

    Chris, haven’t read it yet. But, yes, you can have a captain watching from the sky. And I think if the coach sees 12 better forwards, the captain will be watching from the sky.

  37. wicky(grating CCBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    morning ILB and all!

    I think that the rangers will give drury an extension for 5 mil per for two more years and re sign todd white for 2 more years at 3 mil per (kidding of course, just thought I would type ILB’s worst nightmare).

    Letting verbeek go was one of the 3 worst moves the rangers have made in the past 20 years!

  38. If Gaborik could pot 40 with Prospal centering him, adding an elite center won’t get him that many more goals. Does anyone realistically think he can score 60? Why drop 7 million plus on, at most, an extra 20 goals? Stepan (barring a sophomore slump) will be more than enough to center a healthy Gaborik.

    They need help on the blue line and at left wing. The only quality options we have at LW are Dubinsky and Wolski (no disrespect intended to Prust or Avery, but nobody will confuse them with Luc Robitaille any time soon). On the blue line, it would bolster our corps to add a veteran guy who can play heavy minutes, especially one with some playoff experience, but it’s not necessary. Maybe you let Eminger go (despite how good he has been for us) to bring in that guy. Some suggestions that won’t break the bank: Brent Sopel, Brad Lukowich (who also has the 2004 Lightning connection), Hal Gill, Andreas Lilja, Roman Hamrlik, and Craig Rivet.

    Other than that, we just have to rely on the growth of our youth. Buy out Drury, and then spend the savings resigning our RFAs.

  39. NYR_FAN

    I completely agree that Gaborik doesn’t need a “setup man” however every linemate he has had this season other than Dubinsky has hindered his offensive abilites. If you look at his contemporaries they all have defenseman that can run a PP and linemates that contribute 50+ points.

    I am 100% convinced that Gaborik would have 85 points again if Del Zotto had contributed like last season, Prospal were not injured and Gaborik didnt hurt his shoulder.

  40. ilb2001 – If the Rangers do buy out Drury at seasons end? Drury’s cap hit goes from $7,050,000 for next season, down to $2,361,750 over the next two seasons.

  41. oleo, even just looking to next year I think AA is a 50 point player. He has a good shot of hitting about 40 points this year, which would be about a 15 point improvement from the year before. Now obviously a player’s progression is usually not linear, but his pre-NHL career suggests that he’s capable of making decent sized jumps in production on a year to year to basis. And again, I don’t think Florida does AA for Weiss straight up so then you have to consider what other assets you’re giving up to get him.

  42. Doodie- they will have enough money ($9.6M) to resign their RFAs. I don’t think any of their UFAs are coming back, that includes Eminger. He will most likely demand more money than he is making now and will be playing 6-7 position. He’s been solid, but he will become redundant. Solid veteran will be more helpful. $3.3M from Drury’s buy out will give them some flexibility. Agree on what you said, in general.

  43. the problem is Gaborik is much easier to stop when you don’t have to worry about one of his linemates burning you on their own. Its so apparent on the PP. Teams have a gameplan against him and when the Rangers have no other real threat it makes stopping him so much easier.

    It has nothing to do with getting him the puck, its all about getting him space which Prospal was very good at doing.

  44. Jonathan- if they buy him, his cap hit goes down to $3.7M next season and $1.67 the season after.

  45. Jonathan, buyouts are calculated off of the actual salary not the cap hit. Hence why so many teams tacked on the dummy years at low salaries for the mega length deals.

  46. oleo, my point is, how many more goals will Brad Richards make for Gaborik compared to Prospal? He scored 40 with Prospal. Do you really think Richards will push him above 60? And even if you think so, are those 20 extra goals worth tying up all of our remaining cap space? We need to keep flexibility for when more of our youth comes up for free agency.

    And let’s not forget our disturbing history of signing aging veterans to massive contracts and then suddenly forget how to play hockey.

    Let the kids play. That’s how all of the teams that have won Cups since the lockout have done it.

  47. CTBlueshirt

    my argument is Anisimov is not good enough now to be a top 2 center on a Stanley Cup winning team and probably wont be next year either. I dont think his ceiling his good enough where it makes sense to hinder the team now.

    If the plan is to sign Richards in the offseason and keep Anisimov with either Boyle or Stepan shifting to wing i’m perfectly OK with that I just don’t believe we can sign him for anything less than 7.5 mil for 5 years and thats the max I am willing to go.

  48. In fact, this is a first time in many years that we can suggest that the kids they have now will probably blossom even more in our system than if they go elsewhere. There is something to say about Torts’ desire to create “identity” and togetherness. As well as them all growing up together. Patience, we waited for so long. No reason to screw it up now.

  49. The good news may be that they won’t have enough money to sign Richards. And we surely don’t need to lock up another 30+ player for 5 years at $7.5M.

  50. Doodie

    It’s a trickle down effect. Let’s say this is our lines for next season

    Wolski-Richards-Gaborik
    Dubinsky-Stepan-Zuccarello
    Boyle-Anisimov-Callahan
    Avery-Christensen-Prust

    not only is our top line much more productive but the 2nd and 3rd line stands to be much more productive due to Richards taking the spot of Prust. It pushes Dubinsky down to the 2nd line, makes Wolski a 60+ point player again. You can argue we’ll have 9 20+ goal scorers. Not to mention it makes our PP more dangerous.

  51. Unless Drury is off the books completely (is traded or retires) I don’t think we’ll have enough $ to add a $7m/year player and sign all of our RFAs this offseason…

  52. how much worse is that than

    Wolski-Stepan-Gaborik
    Dubinsky-Boyle-Zuccarello
    Avery-Anisimov-Callahan
    Prust-Christensen/Newbury/other Whale-Fedotenko/Whale/rookie?

    Do you really think adding Richards ads more then 20-30 goals throughout the entire lineup? Not to mention it gives our younger guys like Stepan and Boyle to really take the next steps in their career, and for much less money than we will be paying Richards.

  53. Adding Richards sure kills our cap for many years. I’d be happy with that lineup, Doodie. The clue to it is that each young player will be one year younger, Wolski will be playing out his last contract year. If they feel by the end of next season the team can make a real run, they can use our D prospects and picks to bring someone to tip them over….It’s just a bit premature this year, folks.

  54. I think that’s a lot worse yes.

    And yes I believe you have just taken away 20 goals from the lineup especially since Boyle is a 30-35 point player tops and has no business being on the 2nd line of a playoff team. It’s a huge difference.

  55. Between Frolov, Prospal, Fedotenko, and Eminger, the team has about 7 million coming off the books. Buying out Drury will free up about another 3.25. That’s in addition to the about 2.75 million already available, making about 12 million free for next year. During the summer, Redden’s salary comes back on the books for 6.5 million. Most, but not all, of that is offset by the 10% allowance. Assuming (VERY conservatively) that the cap only rises to 60 million, we will have to subtract Redden’s 500k from the remaining cap space, leaving us at 11.5 million to resign Sauer, Gilroy, Dubinsky, Callahan, Anisimov and Boyle (less their current salaries, which would add another about 7.75 for an operating budget of about 19.25 million). Figure Dubinsky and Callahan get about 3.5 each, Gilroy, Sauer, and Anisimov all get 1.5 each (maybe Gilroy gets 2) and Boyle gets 2.5-3. That’s about 13-13.5 million, leaving an operating budget of about 5.75 million for the rest of the summer.

    Now, I assumed a conservative cap increase. More likely it will climb by a couple million, giving us the remaining cap space needed to bring in Richards, but then we will be scraping the cap ceiling during the season, which is very dangerous territory to be in.

  56. I admit that I often do not see eye to eye with the conclusions reched by others in this blog, but I do occasionally opine about the past.

    In – my – opinion………………..

    I believe that Renney mishandled this entire team from beginning to end, during his tenure here, and I also believe that he caused a lot of unnecessary disruption of the play of a number of the veterans by his blatant overuse of the vets, and the mishandling of the youngsters on the team. I believe that he allowed the Jagr mystique to flourish, and in the end, resulted in the collapse of his lesser lines. He also showed no capability to manage from the bench being often out managed by opposing managers, both at home and away. He never should have been allowed to last as long as he did. He might well have ruined Callahan and Dubinski, if he’d continued. And can you image him ever having granted any ice time at all to speak of to Brian Boyle?

    Lord am I glad he’s gone west.

  57. Even if t doesn’t add 20 goals per season(debatable, since you can’t predict what they each can produce next year), that surely isn’t worth $7.5M per, long term contract, without any leverage to add other pieces to the line up.

  58. oleo, I don’t know, Boyle looks pretty legit to me. He’s on pace for 28 goals, basically creating almost all of them by himself. He was a first round pick in that really deep 2003 draft. There’s no reason why he should see too much of a drop off, especially if he plays with actual skill players instead of guys like Prust and Fedotenko.

  59. CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR

    FORWARDS
    Wojtek Wolski ($3.800m) / Derek Stepan ($0.875m) / Marian Gaborik ($7.500m)
    Brandon Dubinsky ($3.900m) / Artem Anisimov ($1.750m) / Ryan Callahan ($3.900m)
    Sean Avery ($1.937m) / Brian Boyle ($1.750m) / Brandon Prust ($0.800m)
    Derek Boogaard ($1.625m) / Erik Christensen ($0.925m) / Mats Zuccarello-Aasen ($1.750m)

    DEFENSEMEN
    Marc Staal ($3.975m) / Daniel Girardi ($3.325m)
    Ryan McDonagh ($1.300m) / Mike Sauer ($0.850m)
    Michael Del Zotto ($1.087m) / Matt Gilroy ($2.300m)

    GOALTENDERS
    Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875m) /Martin Biron ($0.875m)

    Buyouts
    Chris Drury ($3.333m)

    Cap Space
    $7.937

    That’s assuming a 5% increase in the cap. Dubi and Cally get around what Staal got and Boyle and AA get around what Dubi got as an RFA. Boogaard may retire if his concussion issues don’t clear up but you’d have to add back in whatever his replacement costs. This is also a roster of only 12 forwards, 6 D and 2 goalies. You can shave off a few hundred K here and there from a few of the RFA deals but it will be awfully tight to fit in Richards and have cap space should players get injured but not be eligible for LTIR.

  60. So Drury is still under contract until 2012-2013?

    If that’s the case and since I believe Doodie’s cap numbers, the Rangers are not taking a cap hit of $4 million for next year to buy Drury out. To save a mere $3 million? I dont think so.

    ilb – What made you become a Rangers fan?

  61. Doodie- Whites $2.375 comes off the books too. That is in your $2.75M currently available. However, he did chew up some cap space while he was here. Hence, removing all UFA’s will give them $9.6M.

  62. Oh, and Im not saying we will not buy Drury out because it’s not the right thing to do. I just feel that the Rangers organization views Drury differently than a lot of us fans. While we may feel he is not a leader, they may feel he is. And Im sure he’s not a clubhouse cancer like NYR Sean Avery is purported to be.

  63. oleo, I was giving you that Richards adds 20-30 goals. But does he add 40? I don’t think so. The team is already on pace for 233 goals this year, which would have been 13th in the league (6th in the conference) last year. This, with their constant injuries and frequently depleted and inexperienced lineup.

    Now imagine that they are a year more experienced and (cross your fingers) healthier than this year. That alone will be worth 20 goals. That puts them at 253 goals. Do you think adding Richards puts them at more than 283? For reference, 283 would have made them 2nd in the league last year.

    It’s about diminishing marginal returns. They can only score so many goals, and one player will not increase that number by more than 30, and certainly not over the long term as he ages.

  64. Tiki, if he’s watching from the press box when the healthy players come back, they will buy him out to save the 3.3 million, if for nothing else than to keep the possibility of making a move open and available to them.

  65. That’s another thing, Doodie. Drury wont be watching from the press box when healthy players return. That may be the best thing for the team going forward, but I can’t foresee us press boxing Drury. I just feel that we fans view him a lot differently than the NYR. A word that I really can’t stand to use, but the NYR may view Drury as having some sort of intangible that helps the team. Of course, we fans know that Drury provides nothing positive to the team both on and off the ice.

  66. It’s by no means certain that Gaborik will be able to click so well with a rusty Prospal. The better a player he plays with, the better chance he and that player will have at scoring opportunities. We shouldn’t expect Prospal to suddenly revive Gabby; he’s simply older, more brittle, and not an elite talent.

    Which is really just the devil’s advocate position on getting an elite center.

  67. Tiki, no, it is by no means certain that Drury is Prucha’d when there are enough other healthy players. I intimated as much in my guest blog a couple of days ago. However, Tortorella has had no problem sticking him on the 4th line and even pushing him over to wing to accomodate Newbury. If he feels that there is another player that contribute more than Drury, I fully believe Torts will sit Drury to get the better player into the lineup. If that happens, expect Drury to be bought out.

  68. Good afternoon all! This cap/math talk is making me thirsty……

    how loud do you think the crowd will be tomorrow when Cally returns to the ice? I’m thinking pretty noisy……

  69. If Drury actually cared about the NYR franchise, he would request a trade or go to CT. He has contributed nothing this season. Literally, except for some assists. He is doing the team harm by clogging up precious cap space and taking away minutes from a young guy who deserves it more…

  70. I dunno mama, there’s a lot of Pens fans at MSG these days. They came during the Great Eastern Migration from Western Pa circa 2006. I’m sure they’ll be a reverse western migration circa whenever the Pens become a middle of the pack team.

  71. Hey ilb2001 & Doodie (By the way great post the other day in relief of Carp!)… It’s my understanding that a players cap hit is the average salary over the course of their contract. Thus Drury’s cap hit is & was $7,050,000 for each season. If bought out in the final year of his contract, $7,050,000 would be multiplied by .67 (2/3) to equal $4,723,500. The $4,723,500 would then be spread over the next two seasons… Which would leave a $2,361,750 cap hit for the next two seasons. Are you saying my math is wrong or that I somehow misinterpreted the NHL rule?

  72. wicky(grating CCBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    I think some are jumping the gun a bit on assuming both mdz and gilroy will be back as well as EC. It also would not shock me in the least to see feds back on a similar contract next year. IMHO he has earned it!

  73. Joanathan, it’s based off the remaining value of the contract, the actual salary paid and not the cap hit. His salary for next year is $5M. So you take 2/3 of that as your cap hit, thus $3.33M subtract that from his cap hit of $7.05M and you get the savings on his cap hit. Then there’s a cap hit of $1.67M for the next season.

  74. wicky(grating CCBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    If drury cares, he will naslund if he feels his skills are severely diminished….if not I agree with ILB!

  75. I have 2 tickets for tomorrow nights game. (Pitt)

    I am in CT and will probably not be going due to the weather.

    Section 427 Row E Seats 15&16

    Face Value: $37/ticket

    If anyone wants to purchase these, contact me at bobbycinct at yahoo dot com.

    We will conduct transaction over paypal and split the overnight/next day shipping costs.

    Let’s go Rangers!

  76. There’s definitely a possibility that Gilroy doesn’t return because of the qualifying offer they have to make him at $2.31M

    IMO that would be overpaying a little for a guy that while still possessing upside hasn’t completely proven a ton in the NHL. Even if you pro-rate his production over a full 82 games this year he’s still bringing in about 20 points. If they worked out something where he took another 2 years at less than $2M per than I could get on board with that.

  77. It’s actually a bit more complex, CTB:
    1. Calculate the buy out amount: players salary multiplied by 2/3:
    $5M by 2/3=$3.333M
    2. Divide that amount by double length of players contract:

    $3.33M :2=$1.667M
    3. Calculate cap savings for each remaining contract year- players salary for that year minus buy out amount:
    $5M-$1.667M=$3.333M
    4. Calculate the remaining cap hit for each year-players cap hit minus savings:
    $7.05M-$3.33M=$3.72M
    $1.67 remains the cap hit for 2012-2013 year

  78. and what if Drury doesn’t care?

    anyway…the first two teams after the lockout were great! Jagr for president!

    Speaking of Jagr… i was watching KHL game last night Avangard vs. Metallurg and Jagr was flying, creating all kind of chances. He has 46 points (17 goals) and 45 games. Just thought ill throw this info in :)

  79. Yeah I know it’s more complex, but I broke it down to what the Rangers will have to pay against the cap, $3.33M for 11/12 and $1.67M for 12/13.

    The important distinction that throws people off is using the actual salary as the reference amount and not the cap hit.

  80. At practice, Torts has Callahan with Step and Wolski and moved MZA down with Boyle and Prust…

  81. Dubi is skating? I guess skating doesn’t have the impact stress of running on the leg, but wouldn’t the high amounts of torque with the stopping/starting/turning of skating still put stress on the leg?

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