Guest blogger: Jared Sexton of RangersUnlimited.com … looking ahead to free agency

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A Look Ahead To Free Agency

By Jared Sexton at RangersUnlimited.com (Twitter: @NYRUnlimited)

Free agency kicks off on July 5, a little less than a month away. It’s a time of the year that’s been a bit of an adventure during the Sather administration.  It’s produced such blunders as Bobby Holik, Wade Redden, Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Ales Kotalik and Donald Brashear. Below I list five targets on which I feel the Rangers should lock in, and three players I feel they should avoid.

Players to Target:

1. Mark Streit
The Rangers’ need for a strong power-play defenseman needs no introduction. Streit definitely fits the calling, as he’s averaged 3.63 points per 60 minutes of 5 on 4 ice time in the past five seasons. A spot in the lineup could be opened up for Streit if Michael Del Zotto is traded for a scoring forward, and Marc Staal is moved to the right side to make better use of his one good eye. Of course, the problem is, Streit is going to get paid. He is the premier defenseman on the free agent market without competition, and he recently turned down $14.25 million over three seasons from the Islanders. To complicate matters, Streit is 35, so any contract he signs will be a 35+ contract. It would take at least a three year commitment to win Streit’s services, and I would be very hesitant to give him a fourth year.

2. Danny Briere
I’m operating under the assumption that Philadelphia will use an amnesty buyout on the final two seasons of Briere’s contract. Briere is another player who could help the Rangers’ hurting power play. Briere has averaged 4.04 points per 60 minutes of 5 on 4 ice time over the past five seasons. He is also one of the most established playoff performers in the league, with 50 goals and 59 assists in 108 career playoff games. I would figure Briere would project as a winger for the Rangers, while serving as some much needed insurance at center for Stepan and Brassard. Briere is also 35. It would likely take only a two-year commitment to secure his services.

3. Michael Ryder
Ryder is an alternate to Briere. He is another right-handed shooting forward with a history of success on the power play. Ryder has averaged 4.31 points per 60 minutes of 5 on 4 ice time over the past five seasons. Ryder, 33, is below Briere on my list, not because he’s an inferior player, but because he’ll likely command a great salary over a larger number of years. Ryder’s game isn’t pleasing to the eye, but his goal scoring record speaks for itself.

4. Raffi Torres
The downside to Torres goes without saying: he plays on the edge and the NHL will suspend him for just about anything at this point. His trouble with the law is well-documented, but his proficiency at scoring at even strength gets much less attention. Torres has averaged 1.82 points per 60 minutes of 5 on 5 ice time over his past five seasons. To put that into perspective, the Rangers had only four forwards exceed that even-strength scoring pace this season. I feel that Torres is extremely undervalued and the contract he receives on the open market will reflect that. San Jose acquired him at the deadline for a third round pick, which illustrates how he value is negatively skewed among NHL GMs. Torres would bring some sandpaper in the games in which he is not suspended.

5. Matt Hendricks
Hendricks would fill the role of fourth-line center and penalty killer while adding a bit of snarl to the bottom six. Hendricks, who will turn 32 in June, hasn’t been an offensive producer for a while. It’s been two seasons since Hendricks has scored as much as a point per four games. He is however, an excellent faceoff man, as he’s been over 53% in each of the past three seasons, including a 56.8% rate this year. Hendricks can also play wing if another center pushes Boyle down the depth chart.

Players to Avoid:

1. Bryan Bickell
Bickell raises a number of red flags for me. He has scored 7 goals so far in the playoffs, and players who go on these miracle playoff runs tend to get overpaid when they hit free agency. Joel Ward and Sean Bergenheim both got lucrative four year deals after big postseasons. I’m also always cautious about giving physical players long term contracts that will expire in their 30s. You just never how a physical player’s body is going to hold up.  The list of physical players who have signed long-term deals that have turned out poorly for the teams that signed them is long: Darius Kasparaitis, Darcy Tucker, Mark Parrish, Jay McKee, Mike Komisarek, Trent Hunter, Colin White, Mike Commodore, and Ethan Moreau among others.

2. Ryane Clowe
Clowe missed games this season with a shoulder injury and concussions, and when he played, he didn’t inspire confidence that his body was going to hold out much longer. Clowe will turn 31 before the season starts. The Rangers would have to forfeit their 2014 second-round pick if they re-sign Clowe, removing any desire I would otherwise have to re-sign the winger.

3. David Clarkson
David Clarkson is a hockey player that any team would love to have. Naturally, then, those teams that would love to have him are going to bid for him this summer, and he is going to get paid. Clarkson has to (and is willing to) grind for every point that he gets, and as for reasons described above, I don’t think paying for physical players on the free agent market works out well for teams too often.

 

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234 Comments

  1. Rangers need to stay the hell away from Torres. Rep he has makes any little thing he does a suspension, too risky.

  2. Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    The fishing must be good or the NYR would have a coach by now.

    The best free agents are the ones off the radar.. you get them cheap , like Stralman .

  3. Good morning, boneheads!

    Nice post, Jared. I’m sure there will be plenty of debates all day today. I mentioned Streit a few times before. If a deal can be worked out carefully, he should be high on their list. Will probably get overpaid, but they need a PP defenseman with his skills. Not sure they have to trade MDZ to accommodate him though.

    I don’t think Raffi Torres should be allowed to wear Rangers sweater. In fact, I don’t think he should be playing in the league.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, Jared. I don’t think the Blueshirts should be going for any of these players, except Clowe, who had a tangible impact on their game last season, when healthy. I would not be surprised if Sather pursued one or two. Too much personnel change is not going to help team chemistry, on top of the coaching change. If they are going to retain Lundquist after his contract year, they will need team chemistry next season. Mixing the pot will not achieve this. Remember the story of the three bears…?

  5. bull dog line on

    so you want an older Streit, and 4 players that are garbage, but want to stay away from 2 players(Clowe, and Bickell) that make sense for the Rangers. waste of a guest blog.

  6. gregm_oldsection403 on

    A nice well-written blog, but I don’t really agree with any of the players.

    Rangers can’t pay any big free agents this off season. There is no cap room for them, so any big money FA is off the table.

    FA with head injuries? Stay far away.

    Torres? No way.

    Thanks for writing it though, it gave me something to read about the Rangers!

  7. Cross Check Charlie on

    Matt Hendricks? Don’t the Rangers have enough players that can’t score?

    The problem with the other guys is that the stats are for the last 5 years. How about looking at the last year or two? These guys are older and they don’t produce like they did 4 or 5 years ago.

    Briere is injury waiting to happen and Torres is a suspension waiting to happen.

    If the Rangers are smart they don’t touch any of these guys.

  8. Really? Trade MDZ for Streit? How about keeping your youth and develop him into a better player than Streit ever was. If MDZ is set free watch him shine!

  9. Cross Check Charlie on

    John, really. I don’t understand the hatred for Del Zotto and don’t think his play was as bad as portrayed by some.

    He’s still young and the thought of trading him so that they can sign an over-the-hill vet is beyond me.

    The thing I find funny is that people will say how lousy he is, but think the Rangers will get a first line forward in return. Talk about contradiction!

  10. Be nice, bull dog, it’s just his opinion. Before we get into “he is too old” on Streit. Puck moving/ PP defensemen have a little longer shelf life because, generally, they’re not required to play against best players on opposing teams, and most don’t play very physical. Boyle, Markov, Streit, Visnovsky are still effective, to name a few.

  11. I agree with all the stay aways. I don’t like any of the ones you want to target thought, except Streit for a short contract, but that’s not going to happen. I don’t want any 35 oft injured or suspended players. Hendricks I might consider, but we already have him. His name is Boyle. That said, I think I’d rather have Hendricks than Pyatt or Haley or whoever they intent to put on the fourth line. If it’s a reasonable contract sure.

    On MDZ, why trade him? People forget, he’s 22 and was put in a situation with Torts that he was afraid to fail and it ruined his whole game. He’s one of those guys you’re going to have to let play and live with is errors every so often. You have a world class goalie, let him make saves. I’d fear trading MDZ because I could see him becoming a Norris Trophy candidate on another team in the right situation. He really can create if he’s left alone. Probably better than any of our D with the exception of maybe a healthy Staal.

    I could imagine a D of McD and Girardi. Stralman and MDZ and Moore and Staal. Really, those would be just about as good as any 3 pairs in the league if Staal is healthy. To me, the day that we lost Staal was the day we gave up our chance at a Cup.

    I think I’d rather play the kids, Krieder, Miller, Thomas and whoever and lets see how they do over the first 40 games of the season. If they can’t do it, then go make a trade. Stop wasting money on past their prime players who you KNOW won’t pan out. If you have a chance at the cup, there’s always an Iginila or Jagr or Pommenville out there to trade for at or before the deadline.

  12. Czechthemout!!! on

    Nice effort, totally disagree with everything you wrote though.

    Streit would be a nice one year stop gap dman to run the PP. That of course wont happen. He is not worth a 3 year ,15 mil committment.

    The other guys, I would not touch. Let the kids play! They have some good ones. Lindberg, Fast, and Miller need to play and get ready for the playoffs. Lindberg won the SEL playoff MVP. Fasth actually had better stats than him during the season but played less games. Miller is the real deal! Now that the lunatic coach is gone, Miller can try and be creative, make plays without worrying about being benched.

    I would also dump three of Powe,Boyle,Pyatt,Asham and replace them with Victor Stahlberg. Great skater! Can score some goals. Is a good penalty killer. He is only 27 and wont cost more than 2.5-3 million per year. Bickell will be resigned by the Hawks.

  13. Thanks for the article Jared, but I’m all for developing del Zotto. People forget the kid is only22 and may come out of his shell a little with a different coach this year.
    As for raffi Torres the only line he belongs on is the unemployment line.

  14. the reality is that streit at a reasonable price for reasonable years would be great for this team.

    also, bickell will never happen because after the playoff that he is having, he’s going to get a deal that will make brad richards jealous. no way stay away.

    clowe is another guy who would be good to get but it all will depend on what he’s asking. going more than a year for that guy with all of the recent concussions would be crazy

  15. Czechthemout!!! on

    Stevenj

    Agree on MDZ coming out of his shell. I think he can regain the form he showed in his rookie season. But a Norris candidate? Never going to happen. But Torts did a number on this kid, thats for sure.

  16. those free agents mentioned above have one thing in common and that is they all will sign bad contracts. I’m hoping Sather is smart enough and has learned from his past mistakes, stay away.

  17. DZ knows why the caged bird sings.

    Hey – you know how you can tell just how fantastic this Hawks team is? Because the Kings are an insanely good, big, tough, talented team with a great goalie, and the Hawks are about to give them the boot.

  18. I think MDZ will thrive under a coach that gives him a bit of love. His game came on thanks to Torts system of having him jump into the play regularly but the benchings and criticisms always seemed to dent his confidence a bit.

    Streit, Briere, Ryder or Clowe would be good for us if whoever it is stays healthy, doesnt want more than 2 years and doesnt get paid Brad Richards money. Bickell will be getting more than $3m per for 3 or 4 years i’d say, which is too much for a 3rd liner who’s main skill is to screen a goalkeeper.

  19. MDZ has mad skills and he’s shown flashes of it pretty often. His confidence was shattered by Torts “Not safe is death” philosophy. When he’s going, he’s hard to stop. And he doesn’t shy away from hitting and being hit either. But under Torts, if he made a mistake, he was done for the game. He got tentative, became afraid to do anything with the puck and gave it up. With the right coach, he could develop into an all star. We had another guy like that, Zubov. He used to make some glaring defensive mistakes, but he was so good offensively, that he made up for it. But I emphasize, the right coach is key.

    You just don’t trade away 22 year old defenseman with skills like his unless you are POSITIVE that he’s never gonna develop them. And I see a huge upside with that guy. Not everyone is McD who can just come in and do it, but McD also played college hockey so he had more of a higher level of training.

    PLEASE Glenn, don’t get seduced by the name, over the hill free agents. Give Hank whatever he wants and develop the kids. We really aren’t that far off if they develop as they should.

  20. Great write up, Sexy Jared! I agree and disagree in places but that doesn’t detract from the awesome work you did. Thanks!

    Also, I added the final after pics over at The 4th Sometimes-Annual, 2012-2013, Lockout Shortened, Paul Mara Playoff Beard Contest Website

    http://wp.me/p3tIgJ-1H

    I also approved some comments from people that had not previously posted. Sorry about the delay!

  21. Don’t agree with Bickell red flags…he’s the type of player they need…probably will be too expensive but worth exploring at the right price…if not Hendricks would be a good fit

  22. For once I agree with Czech. Del Zaster will be less of a Del Zaster and more of a Del Zotto under a new coach. Keep this kid. He could be a good Left Handed PP Point guy.

    Briere = 10 Meter Pole.

    Also, Horton will get totally overpaid. PASS

  23. Love the idea of Hendricks. I believe eric has been saying that for years now.

  24. On Clowe. It’s a hard one. However, this team has a luxury of having all his medical records. So, the decision has to be made based upon that. And, of course, his demands. But they do need a healthy Clowe.

  25. The Other Peter on

    Really hope Charlie Huddy rumor is nonsense. Need a real coach not another Sather puppet.

  26. Yergs, from what Carp has been telling us, that is their plan this offseason. Not to make any big signings and resign their own FAs.

  27. Stawlberg.

    I hope they get a coach like the one who made MDZ play well in his rookie year and 2011/12 rather than a coach like the one who ruined him in 2010/11 and this year.

  28. Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    For those who want Bickel , dubinski and a other former rangers back how about Tom Renney ?

  29. Gotta keep and develop MDZ…lots of talent there…

    Can’t understand anyone taking shots at Jared for sharing his thoughts…and guest blogging!

    Looks like the Quicks will soon be playing golf with the Moulsons!

  30. Stranger Nation on

    Every season the hopeful Ranger fan looks at the crop of FAs and puts their Fantasy GM hat on and plays “wouldn’t it be nice if…”

    We are in year 3 or 4 of a 5 year youth movement. Every Big money UFA has failed us. Please do not sign any of these players, save for Clowe if the money and years are amenable.

    IMHO
    #1 need – Right D with some PP skills, doesnt have to be a PP specialist, just have a decent shot, but more importantly, a strong skating crease clearer.

    #2 need – Left wing – 2 way player with more offensive upside than Hags who is prob more suited to 3rd line, but can play 2nd if need be. Presuming Kreider plays 1 of the two top six LW spots

    #3 need – 3rd Line Center – we could prob get away with a mix of Boyle/Miller with Step and Brass playing on first and second lines. Would prefer a more experienced, bigger player who can skate and bang.

    While we bemoan the offense, the defense’s inability to win battles and move puck, esp Girardi and MDZ, really hurt production.

  31. Thanks for spending the time putting together the list! I’d have simplified it a bit….pass on all of them.

  32. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Appreciate the guest post but I disagree with your line of thinking. If Clowe is healthy, and the ranger medical staff are on it, he must be signed. He wants to stay here and is willing to negotiate. As bad as MDZ was, a new coach that coddles him should help. That, and cuddling with MZA in their vacation villa should be enough for him to turn things around…

  33. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    JR – “I would offer my opportunity to coach the rangers in the near and distant present and future.”

  34. Doodie Machetto on

    Any tennis fans here? Anyone have a streaming video of the Nadal-Djokovic match?

  35. All five players on your target list are the players i would avoid, especially your top two.

    Streit has Wade Redden written all over it.. and he is much older than Redden was when we signed him. Briere is a hit away from turning into a brie cheese…and Torres is a criminal… no, thank you.

    Thanks for writing but i completely disagree with you.

  36. No offense we are all entitled to our opinions but I’d be irate over any of those signings. Special team stats and PP “specialist” titles is exactly why trash like Ales Kotalik Wade “best first pass in the NHL” Redden and Sandish Ozolinsh have worn a blue sweater.

    They need to be smart about any type of players that come in be it for skill or for size. Health being the key issue for both types of player.

  37. streit is too old, as are most of those cats. Clarkson, as much as it pains me to say it, is probably the best of the bunch but I think by now we must have a policy of “no devils FA’s.” I don’t think I could handle watching all that whining.

    Clowe = damaged, as are a lot of those guys. I otherwise love him, and we need somebody like him. Bickell might be the best bruiser available, and agree there may be a payday involved. But the cap is going down. So this might just be, if the owners can help themselves, the year where sensible deals are handed out.

    I wonder if Briere gets bought out. He is still pretty good, and miles better than dreary and blomez turned out. I would guess they try to do someting with the pronger deal to minimize the damage there. Remember Snyder has the ear of the Bettman, and minions in the NHL office and in the electric room of the Empire state bldg. He could pull it off.

  38. Why does Boston seem to grow competent defense like my lawn grows dandelions? I mean Hamilton played all year and come the post season they brought in three new guys and ended up scratching Dougie.

  39. oh and Clowe and Bickell if I had to choose from the list above. That sizable winger type is sorely missed in the post season.

  40. The common themes running through most of these posts is, Rangers are cap stressed, the pickings are slim and “let’s give our prospects a chance”.

    Excellent analysis but, what prospect will fill the bill as a PP QB, what prospect will fill the bill as the big, tough clear out D, what prospects have 25-30 goal scoring ability at the NHL level?

    Are these not the 3 greatest needs?

    The final question is when you have no moola to spend on major players someone must be very wise about picking up inexpensive marginal players.

    Did that happen this year and does such an individual exist in Rangerland based on past performance?

    BTW, do any of the forward prospects have any size and toughness?

    Last two questions rhetorical!

  41. It is hard to talk free agency without having an idea of how many players are bought out via amnesty. The more players that are bought out, the less financial leverage the players have.

    Frankly, I’d rather see the Rangers look for Anton Stralman types – players who are under the radar and would be impact-type players without much of a financial risk.

  42. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Common sense – I’d give Brassard the chance to QB the PP. He is patient with the puck, has soft hands, and can make the good pass. He also has one of the few decent slap shots on the team.

  43. Thank you Rob. Yeah, I am leaning towards 2. It is the most plain. I am not sure I need to have the giant crooked logo on the side of the hat when the logo is already dead center. I wish the left the extra logo off the hat.

  44. Too early to discuss FAs, need to know what the amnesty buyouts are going to be. Maybe if Hawks win the cup they say thanks Marion and cut him loose.

  45. Rob in Beantown on

    I don’t like the faux aging on hat 1 either. So I think hat 2 wins by default. But it’s pretty simple and classy in its own right.

  46. Edward, Brassard might be the PP QB, now fill in the blanks re: the rest of the needs and questions I noted.

    Thank you.

  47. Great job Jared. Truly slim pickings out there on the FA market this year.

    Briere: Intriguing, the price/length would have to be right.

    Clowe: I really want him on the Rangers next year, but given his health (or lack of) we would probably wind up regretting it.

    Torres: Interesting. But his next suspension will be a big one.

    Hendricks: Sounds a lot like Brian Boyle.

    Streit: There is a lot to like, but as you said, someone will give him too much and for too many years.

    I figure a new coach will probably bring in at least one or two new guys, but I can’t imagine it being big ticket item.

    With the Cap lowering and the Rangers having to pay some of their core, it’s just as well this is looking like a less than great FA season.

  48. NEW YORK—According to confused onlookers inside Penn Station, recently fired New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella is currently wandering around the major rail terminal yelling at complete strangers to clear the puck into the neutral zone. “C’mon! Cover the goddamn high slot and clear the zone!” said a disheveled and slightly off-balance Tortorella, who was reportedly screaming at an elderly couple about to board an Amtrak train to Boston. “Wake up and get the forecheck going right now! I don’t want to hear any excuses—just get out there and either crash the net or move the puck out to point and put some pucking shots on net!” At press time, eyewitnesses confirmed that Tortorella was shouting at travelers in the Grand Concourse to gather around him to talk about the team’s “pathetic penalty kill.”

    UPDATE: Reports just confirmed that Tortorella is shouting at a New Jersey Transit employee for missing a blatant cross-checking penalty on the boards.

    UPDATE: According to sources, Tortorella is now incoherently shrieking about “getting the third line off the ice” while frantically pacing around the Penn Station food court.

    http://tinyurl.com/l65ev3g

  49. Hi everyone, thanks for all the replies. I wasn’t expecting these options to be popular ones!

    On a few of the most stressed issues:

    I’m not down on Del Zotto, but I think they have a lot many defensemen with a similar skillset. If they were to trade him for a scoring forward who is controllable for a number of years, I think it would go a long way to balance out the lineup.

    Some one asked for more recent stats on these players. Over the last two seasons:
    Streit’s PPP/60: 3.96
    Briere’s PPP/60: 3.74
    Ryder’s PPP/60: 4.85
    Torres’ ESP/60: 1.93

    Some have commented that my list is focused on older players. It is. I think signing older players in free agency is more efficient than 27-31 year olds, because they require shorter commitment. Dallas got blasted for signing 40-somethings Jagr and Whitney last summer, and look like bandits now, in my opinion.

    I don’t see a reasonable comparison between Streit and Redden. Redden was given a 6 year deal after two terrible seasons, hoping he would re-find his game with a change of scenery. I’m advocating a 3 year deal for Streit while he’s near the top of his game.

    I’m not uninterested in Clarkson because he’s a Devil, I’m uninterested in him because I’m leery about how his body will hold up over the life of a 5 year contract.

    I’d love to have another Anton Stralman type free agent signing. Easier said tham done.

  50. lmgo, CCCP.

    I think he just threw a free orange juice at a kid wearing a No. 16 jersey, and told a kid in a No. 62 shirt that he stinks.

  51. On Hockey Central at Noon, Doug MacLean said that he was told Alain Vigneault is the top candidate for the Rangers head coaching job and that it could happen sooner rather than later.

    The Rangers have not yet interviewed Vigneault.

    Darren Millard joked that Vigneault should have on his business card that he got the job over Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky.

  52. Stranger Nation on

    Latest Report: Torts at FAO Shwarz riding the Lionel Pedaling Train while screaming at Security about too many kids on the floor…

  53. Stranger Nation on

    Doug MacLean said that he was told *Alain Vigneault is the top candidate for the Rangers head coaching job* and that it could happen sooner rather than later. The *Rangers have not yet interviewed Vigneault*

    Hmmm…something doesn’t make sense here. That or Slats, given his successful run of HCs has a 6th sense about these things…

  54. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Jared
    Thanks for the post. I personally do t want anyone taking a roster space that is a “powerplay specialist”. Big fat no to streit, that punk briere, and Ryder. I would actually consider Torres depending on the price (I know I’m in the minority on this) and Hendricks perhaps. The bottom six forwards I would really look at are lapierre (who would be my number one target if he makes it to 05 July) and Pouliot.

    The other list, clowe is a must re-sign as long as the health is ok. Clarkson is a definite no go and Bickell is in for a raise no doubt, would be worth while for a look, but will probably be out of the appropriate price range.

    As far as the mad bomber goes, I trade him by default. If it was up to me (and hank) I do an overhaul of the D corps this off season. I would only have Moore, mcdonut, and OPG from the starting playoff 6 left on the roster.

  55. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Nasty
    Deux

    Nannu
    Did you see my post to you towards the end of the last thread?

  56. Sioux-per-man on

    Tippet!!!

    If he can take a “Moneyball” salary capped team all the way to the Western Conference Finals, what can he do with an open checkbook, and an owner/GM that want to WIN?

  57. Sioux-per-man on

    I like Bickell and Clarkson.

    Grit that can score!

    Watch Bickell’s name will be on the cup at the end of the year.

  58. Sioux-per-man on

    Nice Job Jared!!!

    Now that hockey season is over for me/Rangers…..

    I say Blackhawks win in 7 over Boston.

    It should be a GREAT series.

    Then to the world SERIES of poker :)

  59. On guys like Clowe and Bickell and Clarkson….The problem with the big bangers is that by the time they are in their early 30s the wear and tear of that type of game usually means they are done. I’m not touching them after 30.

    On this need for a PP specialist type player….how many of these guys have we brought in and they failed? Gomez, Richards, Reddon, Kotalik, McCabe, Nash and the list goes on and on. It’s not about having a “specialist” but about someone who can come up with a scheme to utilize what we have. That was Torts biggest flaw in my opinion. He just couldn’t grasp the concept of a powerplay. I’m sorry, year after year the PP fails, it’s on the coach. Hopefully a new coach will have ideas. I say we have the talent to have a decent PP. Lets run with it.

    On brining in a top scorer….wrong!!! Again, year after year we bring in a guy who’s supposed to be a top scorer, and then they fail. It’s the system that rewards defense at the expense of offensive creativity that has killed our production. You realize that if you pro-rate Nash out to a full season he’s at around 40 goals. That’s pretty good scoring. Cally and Stepan (and probably one or two others I’m not thinking of) probably would have been in the high 20s. The Pens they aren’t, but if they let some of these talented kids play, and develop a PP, they have enough scoring from their forwards anyway.

    What they need IMO, is a Chara / Orpik big body to push people out of the crease. That’s number one. Who can do that now? Nobody on a consistant basis, and to ask McD or Girardi, or Staal even to do that is retarding their offensive potential. They also need someone on D who could move the puck, make that first pass. How many first passes did we see this year that just died in the neautral zone? Too many.

    And we need a couple of bigger third line forwards who are young enough to still play that game. Maybe Miller could be that guy. To me, that’s the hardest piece to find. And I don’t think the likes of Clowe and other over 30 types are the answer. They can’t do it night after night.

    Torts actually gave these players (and Renney before him) a sound defensive game, so now, if they get a coach with some offensive creativity they really have something here.

  60. Bickell, Horton, Clarkson will all be grossly overpaid in both years and dollars. A Healthy Clowe is better than all of those.

  61. Sioux-per-man on

    The Players aren’t going to change a whole lot for next year.

    The Coach and the “new” system, with have to do the trick.

    IF the new coach can get the power play & the penalty kill into the Top 10, the Rangers will be tough to beat.

  62. It’s not the location of the militia that matters Wicky but the size of the militia.

  63. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.

    The Rangers could well have a stake in the eastern finals between the Bruins and Penguins in which Pittsburgh faces elimination via a sweep with Game 4 set for Friday night in Boston.

    For if the Penguins fail to make this a competitive series, let alone mount an historic comeback achieved only four times in the history of professional sports, it is possible that Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero would dismiss coach Dan Bylsma.

    At which point the 2009 Stanley Cup winner would immediately vault to the top of the list of candidates for the vacant spot behind the Blueshirts’ bench…if, that is, Shero were to grant Rangers’ general manager Glen Sather permission to speak to Bylsma, who is under contract to the Penguins through the end of next season.

    The Rangers are expected to at least initially address the club’s coaching search at their organizational meetings that will commence Monday at Sather’s Western White House in La Quinta, CA.

    It is unknown whether Sather will conduct formal interviews with candidates during the week, though it would seem an appropriate time to conduct that business.

    The Blueshirts have received permission to speak with former Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault, fired by the Canucks after a second consecutive first-round playoff exit following Game 7 defeat in the 2011 Final; and AHL Marlies’ coach Dallas Eakins. They are expected to ask for permission to speak with Lindy Ruff, dismissed in February by the Sabres after 14-plus seasons in Buffalo.

    Dave Tippett, who remains under contract to the Coyotes through June 30, has made it clear that his first preference is to remain in Phoenix if ownership issues can be resolved. Mark Messier remains a candidate.

    Vigneault is believed to have the inside track on the job that calls for a coach who will maximize the team’s talent over the next year or two, not one who will grow on the job.

    But Bylsma’s potential availability would shake up the process. The 42-year-old, Michigan-born coach, led the Penguins to the Cup in 2009 after replacing Michel Therrien midway through that season. Pittsburgh then was upset in the 2010 second round before losing in the first round in both 2011 and 2012.

    Though few—if any—fingers are being pointed in Bylsma’s direction for the Penguins’ plight against the Bruins, GM Shero did sacrifice four draft selections and three prospects in order to acquire Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray leading up to the trade deadline in an effort to win the Cup, not merely win a pair of rounds.

    Bylsma, known as creative and a forthright communicator, has thrived with top-end talent. He is also accustomed to the spotlight that accompanies Sidney Crosby’s coach.

    Read more: Bylsma would become Rangers top coaching candidate, if fired by Penguins http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/nhlblog/bylsma_would_become_rangers_top_SGkkrpqomyN4fsFR70KHpN#ixzz2VYRYpd86

  64. Thanx, Jared, for the opinions. (I gained 10 lbs. on the Subway diet, not that there’s anything wrong with that)

  65. Hope Clowe gets a clean bill. Most dedicated athletes are prime at 30, 31, not over the hill.

  66. That’s interesting about Bylsma, but I really would be surprised if the Pens let him go. I think Skid loves the guy, and I’m sure he’s got a say in the matter. That said, I do wonder if he’s REALLY any better than Vigneault. Maybe he’s overrated. He won the cup when only coaching the team half a season, and he’s been favored to win and lost early in the playoffs. Vigneault almost won the cup and also had some disappointments. I’m not sure one would be better than the other, and I’m sure Vigneault would probably be a bit cheaper.

    I’m still not sure I’d make either my choice.

  67. czechthemout!!! on

    The bottom six on this team is a joke! It needs to change. Three of these guys have to go. Boyle, Pyatt, Asham, Powe. Stahlberg would be a player I target. Big, fast, and can score and hit. Think Palle of Boston only younger.

    JT Miller and Oscar Lindberg have to be in the lineup. Big fast physical forwards who are defensivly responsible and can score as well. I like tge idea of Boyle, Dorsett and Stahlberg on the fourth line.

    Mcilrath has to be in the lin eup too. Enough coddling! Tenth pick overall. Let him play the sixth spot. We need his brand of nasty on the back line.its veen four years. Enough!

  68. czechthemout!!! on

    Bylsma is one the best coaches in the game. We would be lucky if he became available. He has no goalie, that’s why he lost in the playoffs.

  69. czechthemout!!! on

    Manny

    Read my whole post. Not hating Boyle. Don’t have a problem with him on the fourth line as long as he is the one guy of the four scrubs that stays.

    Stahlberg, Boyle and Dorsett woukd be a good fourth line. I would love to get Bickell instead as well but he will be too expensive and if the Hawks win the Cup, not as hungry next seadon.

  70. The author of that article above about bylsma is the one the only Larry Brooks.

  71. CTBlueshirt on

    http://hkref.com/tiny/n8vRp

    List of rookie D since Lockout II, age 22 or younger that have managed to play at least 40 games in their rookie season with the big club. There’s only 50 of them in those 8 seasons. To me that says between 1 and 2 players per team over that span have shown they can cut it at the NHL level even half a season’s worth of games when they’re that young. Rangers if anything have been ahead of the curve with 3 players.

  72. What makes Bylsma such a great coach again?

    Oh…because Shero hired him with Mario’s blessing? That’s right…

  73. Briere? Really? What is this 2007? Respectfully disagree with all players listed. Stay the hell away from Torres too. I agree 100% with steveknj- we need a big crease-clearing defenseman ( I know they grew on trees.)

  74. Bylsma. C’mon, the media is finally getting it that a blind monkey could have “coached” the Pens to the Cup the year they won. I guess Sather was a great coach too with Messier, Gretzky, Lowe, Beukeboom, Graves, MacTavish, Anderson, and the like….

  75. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Did carp ever comment on the list as far as who he thought would or would not be worth signing in his opinion ?

  76. bull dog line on

    sign the guys who are as soft as can be. don’t sign the guys with physical presence. because we all know the Rangers had plenty of physical presence in the playoffs. I don’t usually comment on guest bloggers, because I know its just for fun and conversation, but this one is awful. made no sense. it is as if Jared had not watched a playoff game. if the Rangers signed Torres, the NHL would suspend him for 10 games just because.

  77. bull dog line on

    sign Hendricks, and keep Miller and Lindberg off the roster. brilliant.

  78. Rob in Beantown on

    It would be an amazing turn of events if the Penguins fired Bylsma and the Rangers were able to hire him. I always liked Bylsma and think it’s the Rangers’ best possible outcome, better than hiring Vigneault, Eakins, Ruff, Messier, etc. That said, I think the Penguins would be dumb to fire him, and who knows if they would even grant a division rival permission to talk to him.

  79. Jeff in South Dakota on

    Dallas Stars ?@DallasStars 6 Jun

    Had Sean Avery on our team. #ImGregoryCampbell
    Retweeted 766 times

  80. Resign everyone who has resigned. And then let those who have resigned resign. I say this with all due resignation. and except the inevitable from the inveterable.

    From the desk of Hy Phenation

  81. Rob in Beantown on

    Bylsma will get a job immediately. I don’t know who the Penguins will find who is better. Maybe they can hire Vigneault.

  82. @ bull dog line

    I don’t believe the Rangers lost in the playoffs because of a lack of physicality. I think they lost because Boston had the puck in the offensive zone a lot more and cashed in on their powerplays.

    I don’t think Hendricks would necessarily mean that Miller and Lindberg would be kept off the roster (as I said, Hendricks can play wing as well). It would ensure that they wouldn’t be forced into the lineup for lack of better options, as Miller was this season.

  83. coos lmao.

    Every time I see someone type “resign”, or talk about “there” lineup, etc. I picture an illiterate teen behind the keyboard.

  84. why does Pierre end every interview by telling the player to have fun?

    Is he trying to create some signature? If so he has failed miserably.

  85. bull dog line on

    Jared,
    I did not deserve a good response from you. still disagree with all you have said, but respect your opinion.

  86. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    I don’t understand all the drooling over Bylsma. The guy did win a cup in half a year, but with 2 of the best players in the league and an excellent roster. MAF played pretty well that year. He lost first round last year, and this year will in 3rd when both years everyone feared his team because they have the best roster in hockey. This year, they added a ‘good’ goalie in Vokoun, last year MAF was weak. So, less of an excuse this year, but not much leeway with either.

    I am not sold.

    I am more sold on a guy who can take a weak roster and get them places they shouldn’t have gone. Like Phoenix last year. Like the Rangers last year. That’s coaching.

    But, I was the first here, prior to this series, to suggest that Bylsma ‘could’ get the axe. if the team looks bad this round. I got hammered. I know his goalies are the worst of the final 4 or even 8 teams, but it may not be looked at as an excuse. Someone’s head will need to roll.

    It ain’t gonna be Cyndy or Mario.

  87. Jared,

    thanks for the post. I disagree with a lot of it, but I’ve been told I do that a lot.

    Sather signs everyone for at least two years, Powe, Asham, Pyatt will be back somewhere.

    if we re-sign the good guys, I want Clowe and Emminger back.

  88. Where I to be axed about your commint, Tomb, I would say Their, Their! I mean, Here, Here! No, I mean Hear, Hear!

  89. Bysie was nicknamed Disco Dan because he liked to dance in the locker room. Must have been celebrating his career high 17 points. Doesn’t necessarily make him a bad person.

  90. raise your hand, who is selfishly rooting for the Penguins to get more hockey this weekend?

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    besides me.

  91. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I absolutely think lack of physicality was why we lost in the playoffs.

    If we were more physical and won those battles in our zone, they would not have possessed the puck as much subsequently less zone time and less scoring

  92. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    no question they are trying to intimidate the Cyndy’s

  93. Hey look Boston pp is as bad as ours and they are a game away from the final…hhhmmmm?

  94. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Not that I thought he was awful, but if the B’s can neutralize Crosby AND Malkin like this, Nash fared adequately. Credit the B’s just a bit.

  95. I’m curious as to why you’d desire Bylsma Carp. What in his credentials do you admire?

  96. With team loaded with great players and the league and refs on their side, one would think the Pen()s and Bylsma should win the cup every year…but they don’t.

  97. Rob in Beantown on

    Zombie Nation is such a lame goal song. There are probably like 20 Dropkick Murphys songs that would make a better goal song for the Bruins than that lame stupid track

  98. I personally like the experience that Tippett would bring to the table. I think that he did great things with Phoenix. To me, you prove your coaching through what you are given to work with. Bylsma stepped in ***t when he got chosen to coach the Almighty Pens.

  99. If you can’t coach the current Pens to winning then something is rotten in Denmark.

  100. I’m curious as to why you’d desire Pär Mårts, Carp. What in his credentials do you admire?

  101. Rob in Beantown, I always thought Edgar Winter’s Frankenstein would make a great goal song.

  102. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    I agree with you, 1994.

    Well, if this score holds, it will be interesting to see what type of confidence Mario shows in his coach.

  103. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    None, CCCP. This is an impressive shut down. Can this team be beat?

    Think back to the first series, game 7. Almost out, too. Amazing.

  104. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Pyatt and CLowe might be able to match race Murray and win.

  105. Matty, that first series proves that BOS can be beat. TOR did much more to lose that seventh game than BOS did to win it. TOR was the only team to play to exploit BOS’s weaknesses – NYR and PIT have played right into their hands alongside underperforming. Not saying NYR or PIT would have beat them anyway.

  106. King with no Ring on

    Tennis is boring.

    The Bruins are trampling the Penguins again. The Penguins are out of sorts.

  107. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Interesting point, LLatona. It will most certainly be interesting to see them against what appears to be Chicago.

  108. *Statement from Pittsburgh Penguins Co-Owner and Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux*

    “Hockey is a game in which the Penguins are supposed to win, and it always should be. But what happened Saturday and Monday night in Pittsburgh, Wednesday and Friday night in Boston wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sweep like that.

    “The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of results are unacceptable and embarrassing to NBC. It failed.

    “We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the my profits and the safety of #87. We must make it clear that those kinds of opponents will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.

    “If the events relating to Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it.”

  109. CHI needs to use their speed to threaten BOS defenders with odd man rushes any time the puck comes to a CHI player in their own zone. TOR got plenty against BOS; haven’t seen so much of that this series or last from NYR.

  110. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    What stars really came out in these playoffs? Kopitar? Kane? Toews? Ovie? Not saying Nash was anywhere near great. He wasn’t. But at least on our team one could argue with the lack of offensive talent and balance, it’s easy to key on him.

    What’s Ovie, Kopitars, etc. excuse????

  111. King with no Ring on

    The Bruins are too good. They have trampled the Penguins the entire series.

  112. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Olga, gotta give Boston credit. THey are dominant. Sid is a pee wee in this series. Bettman will be quite upset.

  113. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    This is surreal. This team was so good regular season. Deadline deals seemed brilliant. Many picked them to win east, at least.

    Hockey is a great game.

  114. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Dan B. Your best chance to win a cup. These few years. May never have another shot at it.

  115. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Congratulations to a well coached, well drafted, skilled, big, smart team. Good luck to you guys.

    And, Boston sucks, BTW!!!

  116. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Chara is a dominant defensive player. Aside from the Cally miscue, he has been amazing. Such a force.

  117. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    unreal. 2 goals allowed in 4 games against the team that led the league in goals scored.

  118. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    No team more deserving in the east. Great defensive team. Good goalie. Very opportunistic. And they have a few monsters.

  119. Boston fans should be really proud of their team…

    I’d hate to see them win the cup but if they do my happiness for Jagr will be endless.

  120. Olga Folkyerself on

    Who’s baldy out there getting in the picture? I didn’t see him on the ice during the game.

  121. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    yes, CCCP. Would be nice for him. He has a role on this team, too.

  122. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Torts isn’t looking so bad, now, is he? Firing bad?????

    I guess George Karl is in the same boat, too.

  123. King with no Ring on

    Matty — — It was the Stepan miscue.

    — — — — — — — — — — —

    The Bruins are the most complete team in hockey. They waited until Game 7 of the first round to turn it on, so to speak.

    They are currently trampling the opposition.

  124. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    ooooohhhhhhh…..the talking heads on national saying Bylsma should be toast.

    Interesting.

  125. BY THE WAY GO BACK AND CHECK THE CUP PREDICTION THREAD ON JAN 19TH OR RIGHT BEFORE

    I WAS ONLY ONE WITH HAWKS BRUINS WIHT HAWKS WINNING IN GAME 7 ON A ROZIVAL OT GOAL

  126. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    This was some great coaching by Julien’s crew, too.

  127. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Eric, I don’t think so, either. I think Torts controls this team (Pen’s) better. The distractions and intimidation tactics of Boston worked like Philly did last year. Sorry. That’s coaching.

    However, it seems Carpy feels he’s the best of the bunch.

  128. King with no Ring on

    Bylsma was unable to make adjustments to help his team score goals against this excellent defensive team. That alone signifies he could not succeed against good defensive teams with the Rangers offensive ineptitude.

    Then you add the fact that Bylsma has premier talent.

  129. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Hey, one goal is more than Skid and Evelyn. Not too shabby.

  130. Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    Hank is better than Rusk ? Maybe ? Not in the playoffs..
    All you need is consistency..Tim Thomas, Mike Vernon
    trade hizzasss
    Hank may be a Penguin in 2014/15

  131. Matty "HopeNashIsMonsterInYear2"Boy on

    Hank is a good deal better than Rask. How many up close inside shots did he contend with? Save percentage is such BS. It’s the quality of the shots.

    Despite what people say about our ‘great defense’ there are ton’s of quality shots all the time on Hank. Other teams camp in front of our net.

    How about Rask? How many did he have tonight? 5? Remember, Chara is almost shut down on his side, so when he’s on the ice, the opposition has to go wide left. Not too hard to set up for that.

  132. King with no Ring on

    Lundqvist is like the little girl with the curl. When he is good, he is very good. When he is bad, he is horrid.

  133. Again…put Hank on Bahston, and he wins all day everyday.

    Hank has been carrying this vanilla Rangers franchise for 8 straight years now. Unfair to compare Hank on the Rangers vs Rask on a deep deep Bruins.

  134. Milbury and Jones are major league idiots throwing Bylsma under the bus. Jones has the nerve to say Bylsma cost Shero the Cup?

    Maybe, just maybe NBC jerks, the Bruins are the better team?

  135. King with no Ring on

    How many point shot goals did Lundqvist allow the Bruins with no screen in front of him?

    How many soft goals did he allow?

  136. Olga Folkyerself on

    Lundqvist for Hossa Handzus and Crawford. I’d even throw in Emory, Chicago won’t be needing him.

  137. King with no Ring on

    Olga — —

    Are you a fan of the Blackhawks?

    You can have Lundqvist if you are prepared to repeated playoff chokes.

  138. Lundquist shouldn’t be in the NHL. His whining to a CanadianGM resulted in
    our coach, a US citizen Getting canned. Take away Lundqvist’s green card.

  139. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Caps in 6.

    Iggy with the GWG for the Bruins. Just as you’d expect after Calgary traded him.

  140. Rob in Beantown on

    Ladies and gentleman your next coach of the New York Rangers Dan Bylsma!!

  141. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Penguins scored 2 goals in 4 games. That is the very definition of offensive.

  142. Someone needs take the fall for the failure of that Penguins team. To get swept and have the 2 best players in the world held scoreless is unacceptable. What is Mario to do?

  143. Stranger Nation on

    makes you wonder what could/would have happenned if Richards didnt play the whole series. Their 4th line killed us with Richie at pivot and Krug had a coming out party.

    Do Neal, Dupuis, Iginla, Morrow get to cash their PO checks? Take away time and space from Cindy and Malkinstein and those forwards seem very ordinary.

    No team back checks like Boston. Thoughts Pens D was too conservative after first 2 games, too much space in neutral zone for Bs.

  144. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    The bruins D stands up at the blueline, doesn’t collapse in front of their goalie, and no one does a sliding routine on the ice constantly…how to they keep people from scoring?

    It just doesn’t make any sense!!

  145. I am resigned to the fact that that Avery is so loved he will be re-signed, to the t-shirt -shooting crew

  146. Good post!

    I agree that Torres could be great. But he’s one dirty play away from being 86’d from the NHL. Bickell on the other hand is only 27 and would be a great 4th liner.

    Boyle is great for a 4th line center. If he had Bickell and Dorsett on his wings he would play like a 6’7″ 4th line center. When he play’s with Hags or Cally he plays like he’s allergic to physical contact.

    I really think that Moore makes MDZ tradeable. I also think if they resign Zucc, Hags might be expendable. On top of Zucc, Miller and Kreider should make the team out of camp. Then there are some wild cards like Thomas, Fast and Linberg. I like Hags and MDZ a lot but trading them and a prospect might be able to get them something really good in return.

    If they packaged MDZ and Hags with a prospect, I think they could get a great player or a really good player and a 1st round pick.

  147. we are doomed. I thought Pitts would beat Chicago for the Cup.

    This will be great.

    I still predict Chicago, but darn those Bruins are good.

  148. well= we try again to avoid the dreaded Carp
    and I’ll take another shot at it. I don’t believe that Rangers “don’t know how to play..it’s that they have never been taught how to control the puck. The gods only know what Tortorella tried to teach these guys in priactrices but whatever it was…it didn’t work. They simply cannot regularly hit the net. Oh sure now and then they get

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