Guest blogger Authorben: A plan for the off-season

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Editor’s Note: Before we get to Authorben’s excellent essay on the Rangers’ summer, voting for Sally’s Third Sometimes-annual Paul Mara Playoff Beard Competition begins today at http://zetterburger.com.

So stop by and vote. Or else.

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By Authorben

It was quite a season for the 2011 – 2012 New York Rangers.

It opened with an extended European vacation and a long road trip across North America and back. It brought us a wonderful Winter Classic win against the dreaded Orange Crud. It included 51 regular-season wins. It totaled up to 109 points.

It tantalized us with two game sevens and 20 play-on games in all.

And then…

It ended in devilish disappointment.

Not only for the players, coaches and management. But for us, the fans.

We wanted more. We wanted nirvana. We wanted the Cup. But alas, the memories of ’94 will have to do — for now.

The Broadway Boys had a remarkable run. However, there’s much to be done in order for them to hoist the Holy Grail once again.

So without further adieu, here are seven key questions to think about during the off-season. Perhaps the answers could help lead the Rangers to the top of the mountain.

Highway 61 revisited? — Not only is the title of a legendary Bob Dylan album — it also happens to be Rick Nash’s uniform number. Will the Rangers turn to Columbus again, to try and pry the prototypical power forward to Broadway?  And if so, who will go the other way? The differences between Nash and Blue Jackets management seem to be irreconcilable at this point. And now with Marian Gaborik on the shelf with a bum shoulder until at least November, the glaring need for more goals glares even brighter.

How many zeroes for Zach? At the stroke of midnight on July 1, Devils forward Zach Parise becomes the most sought-after player on the market. The Captain of his team. A player in his prime who may lift Lord Stanley’s Cup in the next two weeks. And he wouldn’t cost the Rangers a single, solitary asset from their roster. I know he’s a tremendous talent and would seem to fit ideally into the Torts style of play. But is he really worth all the dough and all the years that Mr. Sather would have to throw his way?

Plus, think about this — what would it tell you about the Captain of a team playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, if he were to leave that team — the only team he’s ever played for in the NHL, to sign with that team’s arch rival? Would it be just for the money, or because he really wants to be a Ranger?

Not only that, does it matter that Captain Zach wouldn’t even get a letter on his jersey? The Rangers room is already being run by Captain Callahan, as well as Brad Richards, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. How would Parise ultimately react to that? And we don’t have to look any further than Bruce Driver, Bobby Holik and Scott Gomez to see how New Jersey claim jumpers have done at MSG. Any of youse skeptical about J.P.’s son skating on Broadway?

Who are the Ultimately Fantastic Additions (UFAs)?

The Rangers core is young and strong. But reinforcements are needed to reach the promised land. And they may need to come from outside the organization. Aside from Captain Zach, here’s a list of UFAs (their ages included) for you to ponder:

Paul Gaustad, 30 — The big center would be an ideal fit on the fourth line, a monster on faceoffs and would certainly help add to the growl and grit. Players like this don’t come on the market too often.

Jiri Hudler, 28 — A 25 goal, 50-point left wing raised in the Detroit Red Wings system couldn’t be bad.

Jason Garrison, 27 — Scored 16 goals on the Panther D-line last year – and has a blistering shot from the point.

Dennis Wideman, 29 — Close to 50 points on the Caps blue line this season – a wicked shot from the point. Joins the rush. Would be a lot cheaper than the next guy on the list.

Ryan Suter, 27 — This do-it-all D man who would be a tremendous addition to the team. But the cost would be great.

Other UFAs for your consideration:

Chris Kelly, 31 — Solid 3rd line center — a Cup champion with the Bruins — a jack of all trades. Perhaps the Rangers look this way, if Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov or Brian Boyle are part of a deal for Rick Nash.

Zenon Konopka, 31 — Yes, that Zenon Konopka. Holy Cooke, how good is he on faceoffs? Has the hate you want in the play-ons, too.

Johan Hedberg, 39 — Perhaps the Rangers give the veteran they call Moose a shot if Marty Biron, a UFA himself, bolts Broadway for bigger bucks. Hedberg would be a solid backup to The King.

Is signing Prust a must? — Whattaya think? Brandon Prust is unquestionably one of the “glue” guys, a great teammate and superb penalty killer. Plus, the coach loves him.

What’ll be on tap at the draft? — The Rangers are slated to make the 28th selection in the first round of this season’s NHL Entry Draft. Can Gordie Clarke and company pull a rabbit out of their hats with a pick that low? Or will the team trade the pick as part of a package deal for Nash or another goal-getter?

How will they solve the D-lemma? — The Rangers top 4 D-man are pretty much set and one of the best groups in the entire league. But what about the third pair? Who gets the 5 and 6 spots? Tim Erixon will be given a chance to make the team. Perhaps Dylan McIlrath makes it — if he’s not part of a package deal. Did Anton Stralman show enough to get another look? Was Stu Bickel’s willingness enough to get an encore?
Steve Eminger? The unfortunate uncertainty of the Michael Sauer concussion situation throws a bit of a wrench into this one.

Can the Rangers perform a balancing act? — The Devils rolled four lines. The Rangers did not. The Devils advanced to the Finals. The Rangers did not. They need scoring depth throughout the lineup to help take over close games. Think about it — Games 5 and 6 in the ECF were there for the taking. The Devils were on the ropes at 3-3 in Game 5 and 2-2 in Game 6 — “bent over,” as the coach said. But the Rangers didn’t have enough to put the hammer down. That must change. Derek Stepan must step it up. Brandon Dubinsky — if he’s still around — must rebound. Same goes for Brian Boyle. Chris Kreider will certainly help in this area. By the way, the Amazing Kreider Man has already played 14 more career play-on games and has 4 more career play-on goals than Rick Nash. Just sayin’.

Been a long time since the Rangers went this far through the gauntlet.

Now, its not just a matter of making the postseason for this franchise. Its a matter of getting to the next level, with players who will add both the requisite talent and heightened sense of desperation that are necessary to win the Stanley Cup. Going from where they were a season ago to where they are now was surely a quantum leap. But to go from where they are now, to where they want to go, is certainly going to be much tougher.

Hope you all enjoy the journey.

About Author

244 Comments

  1. It would be nice to have Parise but I can’t see him joining the Devils rival. I think he’ll consider Detroit or Minn. but end up re-signing in NJ. RADULOV!!lol

  2. bull dog line on

    answer to your Parise questions.
    yes he is worth all the dough that the Rangers will toss at him. what would it say about him if he signed with the rangers? nothing! he would be just like every professional althlete, in every professional sport. take the most money you can get.
    also found it interesting you did not mention Anisimov as someone who needed to step up. is that because you don’t think he needs to step up? or because you think he can’t step up, or maybe you think he will be gone?

  3. Another sad story about Boogie. Sounds a bit like the Rangers doctors and the Wild doctor acted somewhat irresponsibly prescribing medication that he was addicted to in the past without even seeing him in person and without collaborating with one another.

  4. bull dog line on

    also I saw 1 poster yesterday who had the Rangers getting Parise, Nash, and Iginla. question to that guy, do you remember the early 2000’s? and who would be left on the team to play with these guys?

  5. We should just get Parise, Nash, Iginla, and Radulov. Keep Gaborik and Richards. And play Hank. 7 man team.

    Richards can center for everyone.

  6. Carp, what is the max salary someone can pay Justin Schultz? Is there a max salary or is it what ever the market will bare? Since he is an UFA a team can pay him $5m/yr for all we know, right?

    What do you realistically see him making?

  7. The Schultz max is 900,000 I believe so it just depends where he wants to go.

  8. Interesting. So the intangibles really do play a HUGE role as to where he signs.

  9. So, here’s my current thinking. MDZ is slow, Girardi doesn’t hit the net from the point, Staal may never regain form and he turns it over, and McD may not become a top 3 NHL defenseman. I’m sick of them, what have they done for us?

    Trade Staal, McD, Girardi, and MDZ. Make sure to get Weber and Nash.

  10. Radulov is an excellent idea. I also remember a certain a**hole who many thought was a locker room cancer, lazy, un-coachable, offensive dynamo…

    …54 goals, 123 points, and a prima donna attitude were fine by me in 2006.

  11. Good morning, boneheads!

    Good overview, Ben. Thanks!
    Again, Zach will sign where the most lucrative contract is offered, plus where he has the best chance to win. Not buying for a second the notion that he will not sign with arch-rival.

    I read yesterday’s post with laughs. I think what Torts said has been taken way out of context. When he said they needed to be careful not to overlook certain players to add the offense, I’m sure he meant people who may not be adapt to playing team defense. That he can fix. He didn’t mean locker room cancer. Togetherness is the main asset of this team, you do not change that.

    And people who are trading everyone need to remember two things:

    1. After the season they had, you do not overhaul the team. You add pieces that fit.
    2. There is a good reason professionals make those decisions, not us.

  12. Good call, Lev. On the tanning and on just getting everybody. Why not? Why not grab Semin while we are at it. I think we need MORE enigmatic players.

  13. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Morning ‘heads

    Hudler might help. That probably might cost Feds his spot though. Dont know if we would be overpaid as much as gaustad though. Rangers gotta retain pruster.

  14. Authorben nice write up.

    Parise will not sign here. He may well meet to help drive up the price for Detroit. And give people here hope and the ability to say see i told you it’s not about honor. But in the end there’s zero chance he signs here. Guess we’ll see soon enough.

    I hear the point on Torts comments but I also think there’s something to be said for not splitting hairs. His core point was we need offense and should be open minded so I don’t read in a distinction on the type of player he is or isn’t open minded about. I’m glad he trusts the culture built within the team to deal with personality issues.

  15. Matty"AwesomeYear!!"Boy on

    Was watching Prust’s break up day interview. It’s an interesting watch. He basically did everything short of just looking into the camera with tears in his eyes and saying, “GLen, I know you’re a jerk, but please sign me. I love this team. I love my situation. I’ll even take less money.”‘

    Knowing Sather he will view this and try to pinch him down. At some point one of them will break and hopefully he will sign.

    With any other GM, this would be done, July 1. I hope he doesn’t mess this one up.

    Torts called him “heart and soul”. Is there anything else that can be said????

  16. Matty"AwesomeYear!!"Boy on

    Matteau, interesting point on that. THey made THE KREiDER feel welcome. Perhaps they feel they could do the same to an underachieving, partying, death-to-the-locker room, type player, too.

  17. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    AuthorBen…I enjoyed your guest spot.

    We are one entire line, and one defensive pair away from having the depth to be the best team in the NHL. When the Boyle-Feds-Prust line is our 4th line, we are there, when they are our third line we are not.

    Nash is a good fit…Parise is GREAT, but not as good a fit.

    Schultz is a good fit…..what is the story with these young Swedes ? any potential to make the team?

    I can’t wait to see McIlrath….I wonder if he is as strong and tough as we have heard from time to time….did someone once say he can be another Hatcher ? We need that !

  18. Lol Matty half the Rangers love to party. But they’re smart and responsible enough to do it within bounds. I think Torts is right to feel confident in the culture taking care of any outliers.

  19. Wholy COW!!! The garden is on fire ….

    NY Scanner ?@NYScanner
    Manhattan: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza Box 0690 FDNY Using all hands at Madison Square Garden for a Fire in the generator room.

  20. Vitaly- As of this year max salary for ELC is $925K. 21 yr old or younger signs 3 year deal, 22-2, and over 23-1 yr deal. The signing bonus is capped at 10% of salary. The player can also earn performance bonuses at 2 different levels ( team paid, and league paid). Altogether, the max EL player can earn is close to $2M, give or take. That is much more restrictive than was allowed by previous CBA, and it will, most likely, become even more restrictive with the next one.

  21. czechthemout!!!! on

    Gaustad is good at what he does but anything more than 2 mil for him is too much. I would rather have Oscar Lindberg. He is great on faceoffs and is fast with good passing skill. He is just not a great finisher yet.

    Radulov is a tremendous talent. He is also a bit of a strange puppy. I would give him 3 mil one year with incentives that can add another 1mil. Mostly team based incentives. I believe he would still be an rfa which would give us some protection.

    Suter is good, real good. McD is better and cheaper. I would not pay Suter 7 mil. Plus Suter doesn’t solve the pp qb issue.

    Hudler is interesting. May not cost a lot but may also stand in the way of other young players from making the team like Thomas and Fast.

    No to Chris Kelly.

    Yes to Rick Nash depending on price. And yes to Bobby Ryan also based on price.

    No to Semin.

  22. All the NYR bias aside … does the fact that J.Schultz played with Stepan & McD and the fact that they’re playing for NYR have a role in his decision? Does the fact that K.Kreider & C.Hagelin have been given the opportunity to step right in and contribute play a role? Does the fact that NYR made it to ECF and have a gaping need of a PP QB play a role? Or has he already made up his mind where he wants to play and is just waiting to sign with that team??

    All interesting questions that should be answered in a month’s time or so.

  23. Gaustad made $2.3M, and as an UFA at 30, will be looking to get paid. Someone will overpay him (Kopecky anyone?)

  24. Vitaly: You would think, given all of what you wrote and the fact that his salary is pre-set, we’d be in great shape. We can more or less promise him Stralman’s spot and still have one open for Erixon or Bickel or whoever.

  25. czechthemout!!!! — Actually, Suter is a powerplay quarterback. He had 25 points on the man advantage this year — one more than our leader, Brichards. Hudler is another talented player but consider who he gets to play with on Detriot — plus the guy only had like 18 blocked shots and less than 50 hits, can’t see him fitting in here for the amount he’s going to make (I would assume near $3.5 to $4 mil).
    Not many people have mentioned Kings’ Jarret Stoll (UFA) — though he’ll cash somewhere this summer, he is awesome in the faceoff dot and plays with an edge.

  26. u guys know how much i like gaustad. i would give him a max talbot type deal where the more years and keep the money down. 5 years 12.5

  27. czechthemout!!!! on

    Ilb

    Exactly. Gaustad is not worth 3 million a year. While he is a good faceoff man and can drop the gloves, he is slow and is not a finisher at all.

  28. 5 years for Gaustad will make those people who think richards contract is bad run through walls. he will be looking for a nice pay day and some team will over pay for him.

  29. 2.5 per year he made 2.3 last year. he could easily be a much better upgrade then mitchell and his faceoff percentage is one of the uppwer echelon in league. kills penalties and plays well in the right role. for christ sake we pay rupp 1.5

  30. 5 years, $12.5MM would probably be bad for both the player and the team. Sooo … pass hard.

  31. I would rather play Gaustad $3M per for about 3 years. I will take the higher cap hit.

    If Gaustad gets too pricey then we sign only Zenon Konopoka. I would take both but I think one is a necessity for us.

  32. i knew i could count on you manny for the gaustad love. he would be more vital if prust gets paid elsewhere. prust will prob want what boyle gets paid 1.7

  33. but he’s great in the locker room! so… we can bring Radulov in and his “cancerous” (such a bull-carcillo) attitude to our locker room and Rupp will cure it! That’s how great THE GREAT RUPP IS!

  34. I think the NYR would be fine to just nab Schultz and Radulov. They are still a strong team, and this will allow for a trade later in the season. Weber becomes much more plausible at that point (assuming he isn’t signed by then).

    I think less will be more with the NYR this offseason.

  35. Mister D

    like what? like he won’t pay for his drinks at Hank’s bar? again, we have THE GREAT RUPP! He will fix it all!

  36. Matty"AwesomeYear!!"Boy on

    When I think of Radulov, I hate to be this way, but I think of Kovalev. High talent, erratic, but could finish nicely. He has more power forward to him than Kovie, but, damn, MVP in the KHL? That’s impressive.

    Kovalev was certainly better when the great leadership of Messier was in the locker room. I guess one could say we have many good leaders on this team. I am expecting Richards is a good leader. Callie. And there’s a lot of good character shown by many players.

    The real key to these erratic talents is the playoffs, not the regular season. What happens when the pressure is on? Will he perform? Was he acting like a jerk because he never liked Nashville? Or, is he just a jerk, anyway?

    We have such good chemistry in the room right now. Is it worth it to upset it? These are risks a GM gets paid the big bucks to take. Good luck, Glen.

  37. True Blue Mike (At least most of you can remember 1994) on

    Vitaly and ilb, the max Schultz can get is 875k because of the year he was drafted. Plus all those bonuses ilb found in the CBA.

  38. “like what? like he won’t pay for his drinks at Hank’s bar? again, we have THE GREAT RUPP! He will fix it all!”

    Anything from “he’s actually a dog, Torts will hate him and it’ll be like having Wolski right back on the cap” to “he’s just another talented guy with flaws and it will drive me insane reading about how every game he doesn’t score a goal is proof he doesn’t care”. I’d just rather avoid it altogether; we’re probably good enough where the risk-reward of a talented enigma isn’t worth it.

  39. Radulov would be a good fit for this team. He’s got kind of a nasty streak and a style that is more reminiscent of the North American game than most Russians. But if I’m overpaying for a player, it would be Bobby Ryan. They’d probably cost about the same and Ryan hasn’t screwed his team by bolting to the KHL. With Radulov, you’ve always got to wonder whether he’ll get fed up and leave. He does that one more time and no NHL team is going to want him.

  40. Penguins acquire the rights to Tomas vokoun in exchange for a 7th rd draft pick.

    Vokoun a ufa no way signs with Pitt before July 1st when he could see if someone pays him to be a starter perhaps Toronto.

    Why waste a draft pick I don’t get it

  41. TSNBobMcKenzie profile

    TSNBobMcKenzie PIT acquires right to Tomas Vokoun from WSH for 7th rd pick. Which suggests Vokoun’s new contract in PIT is likely done or will be shortly.

    interesting….

  42. Eric, sounds like Pittsburgh has a deal ready with him.

    This deal is just like the Radulov would be. A low draft pick for the rights.

  43. “They’d probably cost about the same …”

    Think so? The articles about him being a potential trade target gave me the impression Nashville was looking to move on and salvage $0.50 on the dollar at best.

    Either way, I’ll make the big play for Ryan.

  44. Matty"AwesomeYear!!"Boy on

    TBM, I am trying to not get excited watching the JS highlights. First few shots, I am thinking…hmmmm….Ok, so the slapper is not that strong, nor is the wrister.

    I realize he is shown against much weaker talent than the NHL, but….

    I’ll take him!!!!

  45. You know it, Manny. Beach day followed by some pasta with non-kosher sauce. good day!

  46. TSNBobMcKenzie Vokoun gets $2M per year on the two year deal. 41 seconds ago · reply · retweet · favorite
    TSNBobMcKenzie profile

    TSNBobMcKenzie Vokoun has agreed to terms on a two year deal with PIT.

    not a bad backup… certainly an upgrade over Johnson

  47. Vokoun signs 2 yr deal in Pitt. Guess he didn’t think he could start. Will probably play 25 games behind fleury

  48. czechthemout!!!! on

    Tbm

    Like I said, Schultz will be the pp qb if he signs here. We are the most attractive option for him.

    We have a spot ready made for his assets and talent. We are a young talented team with a coach who is not afraid to play young players. And we will be in contention for the Stanley Cup for at least the next five seasons.

    Not a single team the is mentioned as a possible landing spot for him can make that claim. And I haven’t even talked about how attractive it is to play in NY and for the Rangers. That’s just gravy.

  49. Wait…Vokoun got a raise!? How did that happen?

    He is an upgrade between the pipes over Johnson but he is a downgrade in DiPietro knock outs.

  50. czechthemout!!!! on

    Cory

    I am aware of his power play points. The is, Suter basically just feeds the puck over to Weber for his bomb. That’s how their entire power play works. Weber is the key there, not Suter. That’s not to take anything away from him. He is a very good defenseman but is not great and we should have to pay him elite dollars. He would be the highest paid dman on the team but not the best. McD is a better player already than Suter.

    However, if they can somehow pry Weber out of Nashville, that would be great!

  51. Also, this is a dream situation for Vokoun who obviously will go anywhere if there is a chance to get his name on the Cup.

  52. PP Quarter Back = Brad Richards.

    Bomb From the Point = Jason Garrison

    Those positions don’t necessarily have to be filled by the same person.

  53. Gaustaad is a nice player, but agree with the comments that someone will overpay him and I hope it’s not us.

    Jiri Hudler is 5’9 under 178. No thanks.

  54. True Blue Mike (At least most of you can remember 1994) on

    Orr, thats exactly what I keep thinking. The whole gilroy thing. However Schultz is younger so maybe he has more upside? I hope

  55. Tru Blue- it isn’t the year of drafting that determines the salary, it’s the year of signing the contract.

  56. Suter is good but my concern is he will be a classic case of having to live up to a contract paying more than he’s worth.

  57. Suter again? He will earn $6M per, where would he play on this team? Left side is Staal, McD and MDZ. Even if MDZ isn’t here next year, are we giving McD or Staal 3-rd pair minutes? Or do you think they will play a $6M Suter as a third pair? They need R handed shot, not L handed. Doubt they are interested…..

  58. I’m not doubting the kid has talent, but everyone needs to lower their expectations. Reminds me of when NYR signed MZA. Everyone was arguing over whether he’ll play first line or second line, and they were sooo sure of themselves. Where did he end up? The AHL. Prust sayin’! And I don’t care aboot the comparisons Fat Boy McKenzie makes. People are expecting a little too much from a college kid.

  59. I believe if they can sign this kid, it’s a home run, unless, like Orr said, we expect him to take the PP over right away. Girardi, retain Stralman, resign Bickel to play #7. They are good to go. Let the kid develop.

  60. czechthemout!!!! on

    Comparing Gilroy to Schultz is like comparing apples to oranges. The only thing Gilroy has in common with Schultz is that they both played college hockey.

    And Kreider wasn’t one of the Rangers best forwards in the playoffs. Oh wait, he was!!

  61. Iib I agree on the money side of it, too much. Good point about him being left shooting but if MDZ is traded then it doesn’t apply.

  62. Mike- you’re actually right about the year of drafting, my bad.

    Matteau- even if MDZ isn’t here, who is playing third pair minutes on the L: McDonagh, Staal or Suter? It just doesn’t make sense.

  63. I agree with ORR. I just don’t see anyone that isn’t an established veteran coming in and taking over the PP immediately let alone making the team immediately. Torts is not going to give people positions based on potential. He will hand out ice time based on performance.

    Also, Brad Richards is the PP quarterback until further notice. He just needs someone with a huge shot, ahem, Jason Garrison.

  64. Comparing forwards to d-men is like comparing apples to oranges.

    Expecting a kid who’s never played a second in the NHL to be the PP Q,. I mean, really??

    I’d be surprised if he even signs here. This team has a young group of defense, and a few prospects like McIlbust & Erixon. Wouldn’t he want to just sign with a team that has less depth on defense??

  65. For whatever reason a higher percentage of NHL defenseman are left shooting. Many of them make the transition to the right side. Though some can’t pivot right and so have to stay on the left- I remember Phil Esposito once saying that as a strange but true fact about Bobby Orr.

  66. Oh also, I meant to say, and ilb reminded me, someone is obviously going to get injured on our Defense over the course of the year. Depth should never be something we fear because we need as many hands on deck as we can afford.

    Does Erixon make the team?

  67. “Depth should never be something we fear because we need as many hands on deck as we can afford.”

    From a management standpoint, absolutely. But if you’re a guy like Stralman, don’t you see that as a sign you could easily be sitting healthy for half of the year? Chasing Schultz and possibly other FA defensemen, Erixon (and McIlrath) as 1st round picks in CT, Sauer a wild card, Bickel (if he resigns) a Torts guy … just seems like its a bad place for a veteran who knows 4 defense positions are locked in with Staal/Girardi/McD/MDZ. If Stralman does come back, and I’d bet hard against it, it would be a late signing if nothing else panned out.

  68. That is true, the doctor. I was just looking at it from a fan’s point of view (specifically mine). If we have too many guys I guess we could try and move a guy like Strahlman. Someone has to be interested in him. He did score a bunch of goals in the Playoffs. Specifically PP goals.

  69. I am not sure hhow many starts Fleury had, but I am sure the Pens have realized that the Rangers strategy of having a very solid backup starting 15-20 games is important to keep your goalie fresh. I thinkFleury was just exhausted and burnt out down the stretch for them and it killed them. Vokoun is a great backup, wish we had made that move. nothing against Biron but Vokoun is a better choice.

  70. And can someone please explain to me what Gaustad brings to the table that Boyle does not? Because if we are spending millions on our bottome six here then we should slot Boyle in as a fourth line cernter and PK guy along with Prust and eithe Rupp/Feds and spend that money on a third line center who can truly score.

  71. ‘heads, you are realizing you are about to give up half of the team’s core for one guy, Nash, or give another Richards-like contract to Parise? Both options are nuts! Sign Radulov for one year, I say. With this locker room, he’s not going to screw around.

  72. I don’t think the back up should be paid $2M per year. Also, it’s hard to say that Vokoun is a better option when Biron gave you 12-6-2 record.

  73. Strallman is hungry for $$$, will go to KHL. Feds, on the other hand, should stay for another year but that’s it for him.

  74. True Blue Mike (At least most of you can remember 1994) on

    Honestly I won’t be upset if the Rangers don’t do much this offseason. Sign a solid 4th line player. Add a depth defenseman and let the team fill in with organizational players. The only thing I would like to see them do is add Justin Schultz if possible. I don’t however, believe the hype around him. He will be a solid defensemen in this league but to think he will step right in and be our best offensive defensemen is a stretch.

  75. czechthemout!!!! on

    Erixon will make the team. Mcilrath is at least two years away. Bickel is #7.

    Plenty of room for schultz.

  76. This is from espn.com’s article on the 1993 Kings. It sorta makes you like Slats:

    Kings Play-by-play guy Miller: “One of the bigger moments in that playoff run happened in Game 5 against Vancouver when Gary Shuchuk scored the game winner in double overtime at the old Pacific Coliseum. It was the longest game in Kings history. Shuchuk was actually injured in the third period. He was hit by Canucks defenseman Gerald Diduck and was woozy and went to the dressing room and it didn’t look like he would come back. He not only ended up coming back but scored the biggest goal of his career. It reminded me of that time when one of (former Oilers coach) Glen Sather’s players was knocked silly and didn’t know who he was and Sather said, “Good, tell him he’s Wayne Gretzky.”

  77. You guys DO remember that Radulov was suspended by his coach for partying until 3AM the night before a playoff game, right? And his team won the game while he was benched? You want him on our team why, exactly?

  78. I had no idea Stralman was an RFA. I stand corrected. And hope someone offer sheets him at the 4 1st round pick level.

    (And, yes, I’m kidding.)

  79. DJK because we can’t score goals, he has a high talent ceiling and if it doesn’t cost much it’s worth a shot. Torts said don’t rule anyone out, he is confident the team culture could handle him.

  80. Carp – can we get a poll going over there ———> regarding Radulov? I think most of us are in the GET OUT OF MY TOWN category on this clown.

  81. That sounds good, Carp. I mean, if you can get into trouble in Nashville, I think you could find something that suits your fancy here in the big apple. Right? We have a Planet Hollywood as well.

  82. Matteau: So we get someone who can score goals and has a high talent ceiling that isn’t an irresponsible Europansy?

    What do you think AA is gonna do with him if we got him?

    After the Frolov debacle I’m not so quick to welcome another Europansy to the team that’d be expected to score goals, even on a 1 year deal.

  83. Blogmama, great link!! I myself, am active in recovery 4+ years, due to an addiction to prescription pain pills from knee surgery I had back in 2007. Also have a younger brother who has been on and off those darn pills for 10+ years and is currently in the hospital due to his drug use… It’s really sad how recklessly these prescriptions are handed out, without out any warning of how addicting pain pills are, from doctors. Thankfully the DEA is cracking down on pain management doctors… Still really sad to hear someone lose their life in that kind of way

    On a much brighter note, great job on the write up Authorben!!!

  84. czechthemout!!!! on

    Tbm

    Becoming the Rangers best offensive dman is not much of a challenge. It’s not as if he has letang or Weber in front of him.

  85. I dont think Stralman is hungry for money. I think it’s a matter of his family preferring to live in Sweden than the US and him wanting to be closer to them.

    Radulov stays out one night partying and suddenly he’s the ant-Christ.he made a mistake. he paid for it. let it go. The Kings gave carter another chance, they gave richards another chance, rangers signed redden after his cocain addiction ( i dont even know how true this is/was), rangers signed boogaard knowing he was an addict….

  86. And we had Avery of all people on our team.

    And Brashear who destroyed Betts and then was signed in a matter of weeks.

  87. Manny I think you’re right, most are against. Poll would certainly confirm this, especially if it’s simply a thumbs up or down on Radulov. Here’s the real question:

    “With the Rangers offensive challenges and now Gaborik’s injury, if the Rangers can at little cost sign a 26 year old highly skilled player with substantial upside but with past serious disciplinary issues, should they do it?”

  88. Well, I definitely don’t think you make any type of additional move just because of Gaborik’s injury. That’s fruitless, especially with the lockout coming up.

  89. Carp thats a fair point on not making a move bc of Gabby but it is an additional factor to take into account. Even when he comes back it may take a while to get comfortable. I had same surgery playing in college.

    Meanwhile do you really think a lockout is likely, is that the view out there? I’ve been assuming they’d figure out a way not to shoot themselves in the foot again but admittedly haven’t been following the issues closely.

  90. the best thing for the ranger may be to have the season start after thanksgiving. more rest for gabby bring in another scorer and you dont have to worry about playing without gabby for two months and getting off to a slow start.

  91. cant score with gabby 41 goals how the hell we going to score without him. we need someone to compliment gabby not take his place

  92. Yes, I think there’s a better than 50/50 shot there will be a lockout that at least pushes back training camp and the start of the season. Do I think they’re dumb enough to slap the fans around and significantly shorten or even cancel the season? Yes, I do.

  93. Amen, eric. Vibin’ for the second time today. So sick of hearing this junk about getting rid of the NHL’s 3rd best goal scorer!

  94. also, eric, for those who buy the excuse that the Rangers were worn out (I definitely do not), a shorter season should benefit them in the playoffs. right?

  95. @AdamRotter@ Buzz: Russian Teams Are Hot For Alexander Radulov

    *************

    Please sign in the KHL. Please.

  96. Why can’t the NHL have a lockout in 2014 so the players can go play in the Olympics? Can’t they delay this BS so that the fans have something to watch?

  97. Matty"AwesomeYear!!"Boy on

    I think the NHL and the players would be absolutely stupid to have a lockout.

    I think I will go crazy if there is a lockout.

  98. Matty"AwesomeYear!!"Boy on

    I think the Pen’s made a good move locking up Voukoun. I would guess that Boston might have considered grabbing him. They are weakened some, the B’s are, by losing Thomas.

    The latter loves the limelight so much that he found a way to get talked about even during the Cup Finals. Nice going, Timmy!

  99. I think Fleury is gonna get traded.

    As far as Radulov goes, if he can be had for a 1st round pick (preferably this year’s #28), Sather has to do it. We need secondary scoring. But we also need more than one player. This is value. This is like the Avery deal: Enigmatic player with a low price tag. If Sather gets him for nothing more than picks/prospects, then it’s a no-brainer.

    Personally, I would deal Anisimov straight up for Radulov.

  100. No way Fleury gets traded. Also no way the Penguins ride Vokoun after last season (even though they were stupid enough to give him a raise).

  101. Sergei Fedorov is a great guy. Met him through a business partner one summer, and not even knowing me he invited me to skate with him and some guys he skated with a couple of times a week to get in shape before heading off to Columbus for the season. He carried a case of beer in his bag for the guys to have in the room after the skate, guys he barely knew, Hung out and talked hockey.

    By the way some of my impressions about Rick Nash, who Sergei played with at the time, were based on what Sergei said about him. Then again, Sergei being the kind of guy he is spoke well about everyone on that team and even the city of Columbus. :)

    Killed us with that goal against Hank in the playoffs but if anyone was going to score it I’m glad it was him.

  102. cw- they are trading for the rights to negotiate with him, not FOR him. It doesn’t mean he is signing, I hope you realize that. And you want to give up what for that?

  103. Like these guest blogs. No Radulov. No crazy Russians please. I used to like Kovalev, as big and strong and fast and skilled as he was, but I finally got tired of watching him doing Figure 8s out there most nights.

  104. It wont take Anisimov to get the rights. That’s way too much. It will take a pick, maybe two, + an AHLer maybe.

  105. Well you don’t want Anisimov mixing up with Radulov ever. Even if it’s a trade they might bump into each other at the airport, talk about their weird shag-esque haircuts and then start drinking. Then the NHL loses both players.

  106. could take more to get him if the Preds allow the Rangers (or another team) to negotiate a new contract first.

  107. There’s no question Radulov is a better player than Anisimov (although someone here was thoroughly convinced based on his talent evaluation that Zherdev is better than Radulov so…) but trading Anisimov just for the RIGHTS of Anisimov is a mistake.

  108. cw, I was thinking the same thing about Fleury … wonder if his embarrassing performance in the playoffs puts him on the block? wonder what they could get for him? Could they move way up in the draft?

  109. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Radulov is worth at best a prospect and a pick. I’d go with a mid -level prospect or 2 picks like a 2nd+5th or 3rd and 4th.

    No way you give anisimov up for him.

    Regarding the lockout, lets hope we only lose a month of the season.

  110. No, Carp. Don’t even go there. No way Fleury is moved. None! Who are they going to get? Luongo? Why would they trade a Vezina caliber goalie for having a bad playoff run behind one of the most porous and horrendous defenses ever invented.

  111. So they trade Fleury and then what? Vokoun is their starting goalie for 2 years? And then? They would be moving backward instead of forward no matter how bad Fleury was.

  112. extra 5+ goals? meaning AA is good for at least 25+ goals on the season?? Radulov is a superstar! AA is barely a third liner…

    and how did you figure that Radulov doesnt play defense? I know many dont like the +/- stat BUT in almost 100 less games Radulov’s +/- (29) is better than AA’s by 16

  113. I like this team. Radulov is a guy I might not like. I like not not liking anyone on the team.

  114. 20 goals? He score 26 goals and 58 points in his only full NHL season back in 07 playing pretty much by himself in Nashville. You can look it up yourself… it’s no secret.

    How many games have any of you seen him play? I’ve seen more than a few since i do follow the KHL… this kid is a complete player. As i said before, i’m indifferent… yes Radulov no Radulov… aside from some of his attitude issues it’s just unfair to label him in any way because he competes on the ice.

  115. CCCP, i wholeheartedly agree with you. Im pretty sure most people here havent seen Radulov play except in these playoffs. Theyve probably never watched a single KHL game. Yes Radulov no radulov it wont really matter to me but basically calling him just another average player like Anisimov, zherdev, and frolov is not very smart, especially when judging on the 2 or 3 games youve seen him play at his lowest.

  116. I don’t think there could be a more money hungry move than having the talent to play in the NHL and signing in the KHL. It’s all about taxes, salaries and taxes. Did I mention the lack of taxes?

  117. “Del Zotto and a 1st

    Minumum.”

    There must be something foul in the Nashville air!!

  118. I meant trade Anisimov for a SIGNED Radulov. I think a 7th rd pick for the rights to negotiate. I would give an 8th rd pick, but there is no such thing. Found that out the hard way.

    Fleury is gonna get trades because the Pens can’t hold on to all of their stars. Of the Top 6 Pens players, Fleury is the most expendable. Especially after trading for Vokoun.

  119. now eric manny and orr are vibin

    semin over radulov. PASS OVER RADULOV AND SEMIN

  120. The only problem I have with Radulov is the fact that a team that had serious aspirations of winning the cup decided to scratch him from two games. That says more than anything else. Not doubting his talent at all. He may have gotten away with that stuff in the KHL all the time. Who knows. However, he took advantage of the lack of agreement between the NHL and Russia and walked out on his Preds contract, then he goes out drinking during the playoffs. To me, it seems like he is dominated by a me-first attitude that won’t fly on the Rangers. Could they use his talent? No doubt. Will that stuff fly on this team. Nope. I think he is 10 ft pole material.

  121. fleury not getting traded especially at the draft when it is in pittsburgh.

    also just heard pens beat writer on xm nhl home ice

    said pens looking to move either michalek or martin to maybe free up rights to acquire suter rights before july 1st and sign him

  122. I would take the other Michalek, the Senators one, in a heartbeat. Despite his broken head.

  123. What makes you think I haven’t seen Radulov play? He’s had 140+ games in the NHL before bolting to the KHL, for what ever reason.

    Solid offensive player! So was Zherdev, Frolov, etc. That turned out well, didn’t it?

    Radulov is a superstar in the KHL. In the NHL, not so much.

  124. czechthemout!!!! on

    Radulov is a really good player who did not do the right thing by going to play in Russia. It was a rash decision made by an immature 22 year old kid. He does not play the typical easy west euro game but does have a lot of skill and takes the body a lot more than BR DS AA MG and others. I think he would be a really good but not great player for us. And I would certainly be willing to take a chance on him.

    And why is Frolov getting a rap here as being lazy? He wasn’t lazy. He was just too slow. He took the body if he was able. Again, he just didn’t get there because of his lack of speed. Just like rangers report favorite and lockeroom guru par excellance, Mike Rupp. Of course, Frolov didn’t take a stupid penalty all the time like Rupp does.

  125. How can the Pens take on more salary?!? They need to MOVE salary. This is why Jordan Staal was rumored to be on the market. Are the Pens gonna trade him knowing he is a good playoff performer, or move Fleury who was worse than Bryzgalov in the playoffs (which is hard to imagine, but true)?

    Suter isn’t going to Pitt. No way. No how.

  126. Even if the Pens can’t hold on to their stars, they wont trade Fleury. He’s one of the of the top goalies in the league. Unless you’re like the Nucks, and you have a Schneider , then you can afford to take a chance trading Fleury.

    I can’t see it happening. It’s a dumb move.

  127. I would take Semin over Radulov too! Much different player. Semin is a 40 goal scorer IN THE NHL!

    5-foort pole Semin.

    10-foot pole Radulov.

  128. The thing about Radulov, is that it is rolling the dice. What did Glen pay for Frolov? What did he pay for Avery? Zherdev was a disappointment, but he only cost Glen Fedor Tyutin. We had a dozen Tyutins laying around, and no scoring. What did Glen pay for Avery? Radulov is a wild card. Buy low, and hope for the best.

  129. hmmmm……Ya know Semin has played himself into a $3-$4mil per yr. contract…

    …could you imagine Radulov AND Semin?!?

  130. I am being such a *lazy* Jew today!

    Anyone else want to stereotype their ethnicity?

  131. Did I get myself banned? I was only ironically noting the fact that everyone is fine calling people “_____ Russians” like that’s a fine thing to do.

  132. I’m not Russian but I find the Russian stereotyping to be offensive and ignorant

  133. I agree Matteau! I mean….I am fine with making fun of “Europeans/Europansies” in general but let’s not get specific about countries!

  134. czechthemout!!!! on

    Manny

    Judisim is a religion and not an ethnic group. Hitler and the conmies tried to turn it into a race and or ethnic group.

    I am a Ukrainian. But my religion is Jewish.

  135. I know, Czech but I had to go for something like that to make my point! If I am not Jewish than I am just, “a bunch of places Jews come from or were shipped off to at some point.” That’s not as funny.

  136. “… especially when judging on the 2 or 3 games youve seen him play at his lowest.”

    But that’s the problem. If “his lowest” was just some terrible play during the playoffs, that’s fine. This was much bigger.

  137. we are three players away from the cup.

    weber, ryan, and gaustad. clear dubi in ryan deal and lord stanley here we come

  138. Last year at this time I was like 150% intent on the Rangers signing Brooks Laich. Figured I should throw that out there.

  139. Depends on what the cap ends up at, West. At the (seemingly pretend) $70MM, they can add any two guys they want. At a lower number, it would probably be an either/or with a dump somewhere needed.

  140. You can’t get Laich this offseason but we can get Knuble, The Doctor. Interested?

  141. bull dog line on

    wow CCCP,
    have not seen you this fired up in a while. you have convinced me on Radulov, but I would not trade Anisimov for his rights, and I am one of his biggest fans. now if they have a wink wink deal were he is already signed, and its going to cost Anisimov, then I would probably do it. only because CCCP has me convinced.

  142. JimboWoodside on

    According to Zipay in Waseka, Zucc has signed with Mettalurg in the KHL ————–>

  143. unfortunately or maybe fortunately our opinions mean nothing to Sather. He will sign who he thinks can help this club *SCORE GOALS*…and not another stiff who can barely cross 5 goals a season mark.

    Zucc has signed with Mettalurg? quick…somebody… take NYR_FAN off the ledge! :)

  144. bull dog line on

    well if that stiff can block shots he would fit right in on this team.
    you convinced me on Radulov because you have strong feelings on him, and he may make sense. the Nash trade price may be to high, and there are no guarantees Parise signs with the Rangers. Radulov has big skill, and may be the cheapest ( in all ways) to get.

  145. Can you imagine Suter, Weber, and Radulov all leaving Nashville this offseason?It’s a possibility… I wonder how that team will respond. Although to their credit theyve found a way every year.

  146. Anyone watch that Inside the Playoffs on NHL Network last night? It was pretty cool. One of the best parts is when you hear a mic’d up Shane Doan set up a play at the bench, and then on the next shift they go out and score a goal. I think the dman that got absolutely used was Shea Weber, but that is neither here nor there.

  147. Was busy doing some work related stuff (I know, priorities…). I’m confused now, so what did the blog decide? Are we signing Radulov, or not?

  148. I don’t know that Radulov is lazy. The off-ice stuff could be a worry. But I do not know that he is lazy. And I don’t believe he’s soft.

    so, for me, Radulov>Semin.

  149. Maybe Radulov just needs a Glatt riding shotgun to make him feel free again and kick his party boy ways. LOL

  150. I deal with a lot of Pitt guys and MAF is on the block. They want Paul Martin gone as well. I thought it was a great signing but not so much for Martin. Maybe a package.

  151. Maybe he needs Fedotenko to keep him in line? :)

    Looks like the Punters are going to make a big move to keep Garrison from becoming a UFA.

  152. It would be a shame to break up the bromance that Boyle and Prust have got going. Id like to bring Pruster back, but not if it will cost us financially in the future.

  153. Czechthemout!!! on

    Lev

    If Prust leaves and I hope he doesn’t, maybe Boyle can go into the lockeroom and see the Svengali of the room Mike Rupp. He will console him and also give him tips on his skating, shooting,passing,and faceoffs. I mean he has such a vast amount of experience in all facets of the game. Including but not limited to taking dumb penalties.

  154. Evening gang. I haven’t followed the conversation today since I was sleeping til noon then spent 3 hour in the ER.

    I now have a high appreciation for anyone who’s ever had a concussion and vertigo at that same time. It’s horrible and I just want to be put out of my misery.

    Anyways, I’m ready to see the Kings go up 3- zip tonight.

  155. Mickey, concussion? Were you out fighting John Scott again?

    AGrossRecord Mark Messier adds Rangers need to add depth scoring but everybody in organization should be proud of the season they just had. 2 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite
    AGrossRecord profile

    AGrossRecord Mark Messier says Marian Gaborik is “10 times the hockey player he was” before coming to the Rangers.

    prust saying.

  156. JimboWoodside on

    I think that Mess might have been justa little bit generous towards Gabby in that statement of his….?

  157. Matty"AwesomeYear!!"Boy on

    Read that tweet about what Mess said and All I can say is: Mess and Me –> Vibin’

    Been saying, despite what Torts and even Carps says, the team tired because of the lack of depth. Why that’s hard to admit and say is beyond me. Thank you, Mess. I mean, really, the lack of depth is part of an organization FINALLY building itself the right way. Were not there yet, but we are moving in the right direction. Nice to hear it!!Although Mess was very careful to say that Glen had done a “great job” in putting people in the right places……like Gord Clark, and other ‘advisors’ that real GM’s don’t need (and he stopped short in saying anything complimentary about his ability to make trades, draft, do anything real GM’s do)…the bottom line is that this organization took a big step this year. For the guys that Torts played, and played all the time to the tune of 20-30 minutes a game, it’s nothing negative being said about you guys. If you did tire, damn, it’s understandable. But the core, a bunch of mostly kids, learned what it takes. Tired or not, they will grow from this experience.

    Glen, listen to your advisors and don’t mess this up.

  158. tomb, I think what Messier was saying was that Gaborik is 10x the player Gaborik was before he came to the Rangers.

    I mean, Mess realizes he (Mess) is one of the top five or six all-timers … and he sure isn’t putting Gaborik in that group, let alone 10x what Messier was.

  159. Not to stir that poisonous pot again, but most of the Russian Sport media and Radulov’s KHL agent Yury Nikolaev today are talking (not speculating) as of a done deal for him to go to Moscow CSKA, which, btw, acquired his older brother Igor from St.Peterburg SKA in advance (as a bate?), for compensation of 260 mil. Rubles (about US $ 8.125mil.) to “Salavat Yulaev”’s rights. THANKS A LOT! SPASIBO! …if really happens.
    P.S But Slats was for real, jumped to this Radu jackwagon. Fact. Arghhh.

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