The Bruins defeated the Leafs in tonight's game seven to advance to the second round of the playoffs where they will face Tampa Bay.
Rick Nash and Nick Holden of Boston will be up against Ryan McDonagh, JT Miller, Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan and Anton Stralman of Tampa Bay.
Nash played 11 regular season games for Boston and had 3 goals and 3 assists while missing time with a concussion.
James Dolan said recently that the Rangers need "strong leadership" in the locker room moving forward and noted that he didn't think the team had "great leadership" last season. (NY Post)
Dolan said that Ryan McDonagh was a really good player for the Rangers but that making him the captain may have added a burden to his game. (NY Post)
Jeff Gorton said that a captain "has to have great leadership ability, the ability to go out on the ice and perform at a level everyone wants to follow."
4/16/18 | Jeff Gorton said this past week that he expects the Rangers to have a "young look" this coming season and that while they won't close their mind to any idea, "we will have a younger team and that will be exciting."
Gorton said, "when you say rebuild you are usually talking about a young team and letting players play and giving them chances."
He noted that he doesn't expect a team of twenty 18-19-20 year-old players and that could might look to add some "character and leadership type players that might help us develop these young guys."
4/19/18 | James Dolan told Larry Brooks of the NY Post that the Rangers spoke with Henrik Lundqvist and offered to find a "good landing place" for him if he didn't want to go through the rebuild. (NY Post)
Lundqvist declined the offer and said that he wants to see it through, something that Dolan said he was happy to hear. (NY Post)
Dolan said that Lundqvist was able to keep the Rangers in the playoff race for a while this season and that having him "in place gives us a great foundation going forward." (NY Post)
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Mika Zibanejad said that he was happy with his start to the season and his end to the season but that overall he can't be pleased with his season because of how the Rangers as a team performed. (Hockey Sverige)
Zibanejad dealt with a concussion during the season, missing 9 games and said that when he returned he played more of a cautious game. (NY Post)
He said that while it took longer than expected, he started to become himself again and play on instinct, get into battles and play his game." (NY Post)
Tags: Mika Zibanejad
Henrik Lundqvist has been announced as the Rangers nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
The award is given to "the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Reports out of Russia indicate that former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov is interested in returning to the NHL. (Sports Express)
The Rangers are listed as one of five teams that Voynov is reportedly interested in joining. (Sports Express)
Larry Brooks tweets that there is "no evidence" that the Rangers have any interest in Voynov.
While speaking on the radio last week, Jeff Gorton was asked about the Rangers lack of toughness and said that he agreed with the assessment and that it was something that would be addressed.
Gorton said that the Rangers want to be a team that plays hard and that their was a "void" of toughness in the last few months.
He added that as the season went on "it became more and more clear and it's something that will be addressed."
Rangers assistant GM Chris Drury said that the organization's priorities moving forward are to add "young, competitive players with speed and skill and 'a premium on high character.'"
When Jeff Gorton and Glen Sather wrote a letter to the fans announcing that the team was intending to sell at the deadline, they said that their focus was going to be "adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character."
When Gorton and Sather met with the media following the release of the letter, Gorton said "we want fast players, character players, guys we can build our team around. That is what we will be looking for."
Tags: Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren
According to Igor Eronko, David Desharnais is likely heading to the KHL for next season. (Eronko)
Desharnais played last season for the Rangers on a one-year deal worth $1 million.
For the Rangers this past season, Desharnais had 6 goals and 22 assists in 71 games, a minus 22 rating 55 shots on goal, 98 shot attempts, 55.1% on faceoffs, 13:03 per game, 22 hits, 36 blocked shots, 26 takeaways and 26 giveaways.
He played 11:37 per game at even strength and 1:26 per game on the PP.
Tags: David Desharnais
4/22/18 | 10:04AM:Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe says that the rumor around the Rangers is that they are looking for a "fresh face instead of a retread." (Boston Globe)
He says that Sheldon Keefe of the AHL Marlies and Tim Hunter of Moose Jaw in the WHL are "widely considered the two favorites to make the jump from the junior ranks. (Boston Globe)
Hunter played 815 games in the NHL and was an assistant coach with Washington, San Jose and Toronto before becoming the head coach of Moose Jaw the last three seasons.
Filip Chytil is playing for the Czech Republic in the Carlson Hockey Games and scored on Sunday.
Tags: Filip Chytil
Pavel Buchnevich conducted an interview in Russia and said the following (Sports-Express):
- The line combinations at the end of the season seemed to be created in a "random way," like shuffling a deck of cards.
- He wanted to try playing center but didn't get the chance.
- He "did not feel anything" when Alain Vigneault was let go and he learned about it from "the news."
- The explanation from management about selling was that this was not a team that could win the cup and that it was time for a change.
- On his season, Buchnevich said that everything depends on his confidence and that it's easier to play when he doesn't have to fear that one mistake will cause a decrease in ice time. He said that he could play a few good games in a row, struggle in one and then find himself on the fourth line with minimal ice time.
Tags: Pavel Buchnevich
Tampa Bay defeated the Devils on Saturday to eliminate them in the first round of the playoffs.
In his time with New Jersey, Michael Grabner played 21 games, had 2 goals, 3 assists, 4 PIM, 36 shots on goal and an average of 14:39 per game.
Grabner played in the first two playoff games for the Devils, registering 2 shots on goal and an average of 10:35.
James Dolan said recently that he knows the Rangers still need to find "one great player who can make a difference." (NY Post)
Dolan said that the Rangers have identified some players that might become available and that if they do, they want to be in a "position where we're able to get them. (NY Post)
The Rangers have been mentioned as a possible team for Erik Karlsson.
Larry Brooks wrote in early April that there is no indication that Tavares would sign with the Rangers or that the Rangers have a plan to after him. (NY Post)
The Hurricanes have announced that head coach Bill Peters has resigned and they will begin their search for a new head coach.
Peters exercised an opt-out in his contract to leave the Flames.
Rangers owner James Dolan said that the organization's intention is not to bottom out but to go through this rebuilding process "the right way." (NY Post)
Dolan said that the Rangers now have a plan but need to "be smart" and "carry it out." (NY Post)
He added that it's his belief that the Rangers could compete for a playoff spot next and possibly get in as a 7th or 8th seed. (NY Post)
On the process as a whole, Dolan said that the Rangers are committed to winning the Stanley Cup and that "we're rebuilding but it doesn't have to take forever." (NY Post)
4/20/18 | 4:36PM: David Quinn of BU has been named Team USA's head coach for the 2019 World Junior Championship.
It's not known if this will take him out of the running for any potential NHL jobs.
4/19/18 | 3:51PM: Craig Custance spoke to an NHL source that said the college coaches are in play for the Rangers but added that their search is "very open." (The Athletic)
Rangers owner James Dolan described Alain Vigneault as a "great coach for a developed team" but said that the next coach the Rangers hire has to be a "developmental coach, I can't stress that enough." (NY Post)
He said that the Rangers next coach has to be one that will be able to help the young players the rangers have "get them to the next level." (NY Post)
Jeff Gorton was asked about about Vigneault's role in developing players and said, "I hear that too and heard it when he was coming out of Vancouver. I don't necessarily agree with that as a broad statement, that he doesn't develop young players. He has had success, Kreider and Skjei are a couple of guys that come to mind. We had Pionk and he had no problem playing him. It wasn't a huge issue for me. Our group, we just felt that maybe the guys who have been here could use a fresh start and a message from somebody else. It had more to do with that than anything."
4/12/18 | Larry Brooks noted back in March that Kevin Hayes, Vlad Namestnikov and Ryan Spooner are all arbitration eligible RFAs closing in on being unrestricted free agents. (NY Post)
Hayes and Spooner can become UFA following this season while Namestnikov, along with Jimmy Vesey, cane become UFA after the 19-20 season. (NY Post)
Brooks says that it's "extremely unlikely" that the Rangers bring back all three of them though he does note that Namestnikov and Spooner have seen a lot of time on the wing. (NY Post)
Jeff Gorton said last week that "fresh" was a good word to describe the kind of coach the Rangers are looking to hire.
He said that the Rangers are looking for someone with a "progressive mind," make changes on the fly, lead and develop young players.
The Rangers GM noted that lately in the NHL some coaches have had success in their second turns and that the Rangers will "look at anything that might work for us and get us to where we want to go as far as speed and character and getting back to that."
Gorton said that he didn't want to rule anyone out and that in his estimation the Rangers would speak to many different candidates and probably interview between 5 and 10 people.
4/18/18 | Elliotte Friedman was on the NHL Network on Monday and said that the feeling around the NHL is that "unless something happens,"Ilya Kovalchuk's top choice would be to join the Rangers.
Friedman noted that reports out of Russia last week suggested Kovalchuk and the Rangers were discussing a 2-3 year deal worth around $6 million per season.
Friedman added, "at this point in time, nobody is saying anything, nobody is confirming that. The belief is, as always, is that he wants to be a Ranger, and the Rangers certainly have some interest. He can't officially be signed to a contract until July 1st, but people can talk to him. So we've got a bit of time here and there, but the word we've all gotten is, assume Rangers until there's reason not to assume Rangers."
For more on Kovalchuk and the Rangers, click HERE.
8:30PM: In the NY Post, Adam Graves said that Amirante was an "integral" part of the "special energy"that occurs at MSG. (NY Post)
Graves said that Amirante's singing was "inspiring," set the tone before each game and brought with it the passion he had for the Rangers and MSG. (NY Post)
Mark Messier recalled, with tears in his eyes, when he spoke with Amirante before Game 7 in 1994 and how "focused and engaged he was to make sure he did his part for the team." (NYR)
The Calgary Flames announced today that Glen Gulutzan has been relieved of his coaching duties.
The Flames join the Rangers and Stars as teams looking for a new head coach.
The Flames have been linked to Carolina coach Bill Peters because of past experience he has with Flames GM Brad Treliving.
The Rangers are reportedly close to signing Swedish free agent forward Michael Lindqvist, according to Hockey Sverige.
Lindqvist, 23, is 5-10, 172 and had 20 goals and 14 assists in 33 games last season for Farjestad of the SHL.
Lindqvist's agent said that he would not confirm anything but did say that the list of potential teams has narrowed and a deal is close.
4/17/18 | In the Athletic, Rick Carpiniello writes that he hasn't heard anything about Carolina coach Bill Peters possibly being on the Rangers radar and that Sheldon Keefe of the AHL Marlies is not at the top of their list.
4/16/18 | On the NHL Network on Monday, Elliotte Friedman said that it's likely teams will start lining up interviews with head coaching candidates.
On the Rangers, Friedman said that he has heard mixed things about which direction the Rangers will go in with their next head coach.
JT Miller said that it wasn't a "secret" that he and Alain Vigneault were not a great fit together with the Rangers and said that there are "better fits for both of us." (NY Post)
Miller said that things were never personal with Vigneault and that the former Rangers coach taught him how to get through "all the crap and become a player in the league." (NY Post)
Miller added that he has nothing bad to say about the Rangers or anyone in the organization. (NY Post)
Tags: J.T. Miller
4/16/18 | McDonagh said on Monday that he wasn't surprised the Rangers got rid of Alain Vigneault and said that it made sense that if they are going in a different direction they "might as well start" with a new coach. (NY Post)
4/13/18 | Ryan McDonagh said earlier this week that he was not surprised the Rangers decided to move on from Alain Vigneault but said that he will bounce back. (RDS)
McDonagh, who was captain for four of Vigneault's five seasons in New York, said that he always "respected" Vigneault's "methods and philosophy" and said that he was organized, demanding and able to be tough when the team was struggling. (RDS)
Tags: Ryan McDonagh
The NHL has released their final rankings for the 2018 draft for North American and International skaters.
Rasmus Dahlin is ranked 1st on the International list and Andrei Svechnikov is ranked 1st on the North American list.
On the International list, Dahlin is followed by Adam Boqvist (D - Sweden), Vitali Kravtsov (RW - Russia), Martin Kaut ( RW - Czech), Adam Ginning (D - Sweden).
10:02PM: Lundqvist is expected to undergo PRP therapy and rest for three weeks before starting his normal offseason program. (NY Post)
Lundqvist's MRI revealed no structural damage to the knee. (NY Post)
6:47PM: On breakup day last week, Henrik Lundqvist revealed that he had been playing most of the season with a knee injury.
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
4/15/18 | Larry Brooks suggests that former Devils defenseman Scott Stevens would be a head coach that could teach the Rangers young players and also re-establish "a no-nonsense culture and hard-edged identity" for the team. (NY Post)
Brooks says that Stevens' history as captain of the Devils should not disqualify him as a candidate for the job and that this would be different than when the Rangers hired Bryan Trottier as head coach. (NY Post)
Stevens was a development coach with the Devils for three seasons before joining them as an assistant coach from 2012 to 2014.
He sat out the next two seasons before joining the Minnesota Wild for one-season in 2016-17.
4/15/18 | Larry Brooks writes that Grabner's " largely unproductive stint" with the Devils might make it more "feasible" for him to return to the Rangers. (NY Post)
Grabner, 31 next season, is likely going to double his current cap hit of $1.65 million, according to Brooks, but it's not clear if the Rangers would give the term he can likely command. (NY Post)
Tags: Michael Grabner
4/15/18 | Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers need Kovalchuk more than Kovalchuk needs the Rangers but that neither side can commit to anything until the Rangers have a head coach. (NY Post)
Kovalchuk can officially start talking with teams today but can not sign until July 1. (NY Post)
4/13/18 |5:09PM: Kovalchuk said in Russia today that he has not had any contact with any NHL teams but that teams have expressed interest. (Sports.Ru)
Tags: Ilya Kovalchuk
Lias Andersson had a goal, an assist and was named Best Player of the game in Sweden's exhibition win over Denmark. (NYR)
In the two exhibition games this week against Denmark, Andersson had a goal and two assists.
While speaking with the media earlier this week, Jeff Gorton said that he was disappointed with some of the players the Rangers had in the lineup after the trade deadline.
Gorton said, "there are certain players, and I won't name any of them, that I would be disappointed in and that I will talk to in our meetings tomorrow. The opportunity to play in NY and play for the Rangers is special and I expect that players would understand that and play that way and those are the players we want moving forward."
He said that he was looking forward to spending time with the players in their exit meetings and finding out how they felt their games were, especially after the deadline, and gain any insight into the season.
4/14/18 | Pavel Buchnevich has been named to Russia's roster for the World Championships. (Russia)
Vladislav Namestnikov has also been named to the team but is undergoing medical evaluation to determine whether he can play. (Russia)
4/10 | 7:23PM: Mats Zuccarello said that he will not play at the World Championships due to a knee injury that has bugged him all season. (Nettavisen)
Henrik Lundqvist said earlier today that he is also dealing with a knee injury and needs time to decide if he will be physically and/or mentally ready to play in the Worlds.
After returning from his injury, Chris Kreider said that he lost around 15 points and was feeling faster on the ice. (NY Post)
Kreider said that he plans to stay at his current weight and that it allows him get around the ice "a millisecond" sooner. (NY Post)
Kreider said that the slight increase in speed gives him a "huge advantage" on the ice. (NY Post)
Jeff Gorton was asked multiple times on Tuesday whether there was a timeline to have a coach by a certain point and said that they weren't putting dates on anything.
Gorton said "we will meet our best candidates, spend time with them and when we make the decision we will let you know."
He noted that it isn't necessary to have a coach for the NHL Draft but did say that it would be ideal to have someone hired by the time free agency happened so that potential players would know who they were playing for.
He said that the organization had been evaluating things since the deadline and "in the last week we had some real conversations with our group and basically made that decision in the last few days."
Gorton said that Vigneault was successful with the Ranges but "I think that after five-years, we think it's time for a change and the players need a new voice and the organization needs a new coach. That is the decision we made."
Kevin Shattenkirk met with the media during Rangers break up day on Tuesday and said the following (NYR):
- On the season, "it obviously a year that did not go well for me and then for our team. Just something you didn't envision happening September 15 last year. I'm very determined this summer to go back in amazing shape and be the hockey player that management and the fans expected to see."
- Did you get to show any of your game, "I think that I had bits and pieces of it but I don't think it was a true representation of the player that I am or player I want to be for this team. I think I hold myself to the highest standard of anyone when critiquing my game and who I am in the locker room and the rest of it. For me this was kind of a year where I didn't fulfill that role in my mind. That will definitely drive me to improve on that next season."
Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
The Boston Globe suggests that the Rangers might be a match for Ottawa when it comes to a possible Erik Karlsson trade. (Boston Globe)
They note that Ottawa only has one pick in the first three rounds this year while the Rangers have three in the first, two in the second and two in the third. (Boston Globe)
They note that Karlsson would fill the slot of a top-pair right shot defenseman, ahead of Kevin Shattenkirk, and that he could be an example for Lias Andersson to follow. (Boston Globe)
Rangers prospect Brett Howden scored the game winning goal for Moose Jaw last night in the WHL playoffs.
Howden has 10 points in 10 playoffs games this season and had 24 goals and 51 assists in 49 games during the regular season.
From the Rangers Prospect Report, "I think I can play well at both ends of the ice. I'm strong on faceoffs and I think I can read the play pretty well and (have) a good hockey IQ. … I do everything I can to help the team win. It doesn't matter to me what role I'm playing." - Rangers prospect Brett Howden's self-assessment of his style of play
Tags: Brett Howden
Larry Brooks listed the following Rangers in order of least likely to be traded (NY Post):
- Henrik Lundqvist
- Filip Chytil
- Chris Kreider
- Lias Andersson
- Brady Skjei
- Pavel Buchnevich
- Kevin Shattenkirk
- Mika Zibanejad
- Kevin Hayes
Brooks writes that in the event a "stud" player becomes available everyone could be on the table with the exception of Lundqvist and Chytil. (NY Post)
Mats Zuccarello spoke with the media on Tuesday about this past season and said (SNY):
- On the season, "it's been a tough season for everyone, fans, players. The whole team and organization, not going to the playoffs is always tough, I've never been in this position before. It was a tough season mentally, we lost a lot of good players and friends but at the end of the day it's over and focusing on next year and it's going to be hopefully a good summer, a long summer to rest up and get healthy and get back next year and with the mindset to make the playoffs. Everyone is disappointed right now and will take some time to rest and it will be good next year, I think."
- On the coaching change, "sad for sure but it's like with the players, it's a business, nothing you can do about it. I've been here with them for five-years and it's sad to see that stuff happen. Nothing you can control and just focus on the team next year coming into camp, new year, positive year, a lot of young guys and hopefully some new guys. It's going to be good."
- On how he is physically, "I just had something done with my knee. It's been struggling for a bit now this season, I will rest up for 3-4 weeks and will start working out and should be good."
Tags: Mats Zuccarello
Henrik Lundqvist met with the media at Rangers break up day on Tuesday and said (SNY):
- On emotions thinking about the future, "right now you think more about the season we just played and try to analyze it the right way. We all know that there are going to be changes over the summer. Part of me is a little excited about what is ahead, I hope we take some good steps in the right direction. Ever since they told us this is the plan, we always, every day coming to the rink and helping the young guys improve as much as they can in this little stretch but also over the summer to make sure they come well prepared for the fall. You don't know who is going to show up but whoever is going to be here, we are going to compete and be sure we have a better year and that is that."
Alexei Bereglazov's agent announced on twitter that the defenseman was placed on unconditional waivers with intention of having his contract terminated by the Rangers.
Bereglazov is returning to Russia and his agent says that "future plans" will be announced soon.
Henrik Lundqvist and others made posts on social media following the end of the season: