7/27/16 : Craig Custance says that the Rangers should be one of the teams in the running for Jimmy Vesey on August 15th and noted that his agent Peter Fish has a very strong relationship with Jeff Gorton. (ESPN Insider)
Fish says that he knows Gorton very well and has a lot of respect for him and added that whenever he has a free agent at any level Jeff is one of "the first people that I call." (ESPN Insider)
Fish also represented and remains close with Rangers director of player development Chris Drury. (ESPN Insider)
It's been reported that the Rangers plan to be all in for Vesey if/when he becomes a free agent on 8/15.
Other teams believed to be favorites for Vesey include the Sabres, Bruins, Maple Leafs and Blackhawks. (ESPN Insider)
Factors such as "the fit," city, coaching staff and future of the team are all things that Vesey will consider while making his choice.
McKeens ranked Sean Day as the best skater in the draft and noted that he was the best skater even while playing at a higher weight.
One scout said that he is a "natural skater" and can make an "end to end rush without seemingly having to even try." The scout said that it never seems like an effort for Day when he skates.
- A scout said that he wanted to like Day because everything about his game is "easy" and "natural" but there have been questions with his "character, sense and attitude."
- The scout pegged him a as second rounder because of his talent and said "physically he's a stud."
- There are times when Day plays "like he hasn't a care in the world" for several games but could then turn it on and "can crush several players in the defensive zone, make effective rushes and score an important goal in a big win."
- Day still has the chance to live up to the potential that comes with having "exceptional status" if he gets to the point where he is "playing with intensity and smarts more often than not."
- A scout said that the team that draft's day has to have a lot of patience but that he could end up being a "home run."
Future Considerations had Day ranked 91st overall and said:
- Day is a mobile and smooth skater who has "all the tools" to be a top prospect.
- He has the ability to protect the puck, a nice set of hands and the strength to get best defenders.
- He sometimes hangs too low in the offensive zone after a pinch and is slow getting back to his position.
- He can throw big checks but sometimes takes himself out of position to do so.
- He is a "crisp" passer
- Sometimes tries to do too much while skating the puck up the ice.
- Can be a little too "laid back" on defense when he should be "stronger on his man."
- He is the most "polarizing prospect" in the draft as some teams think he will figure things out when he matures while others wouldn't take him at all.
- "Is he going to being anything more than a big-bodied, smooth-skating, inconsistent and head-scratching player?"
- They list his potential as being a Top-Four, Two-Way defenseman.
Damien Cox writes that Day has first round talent and "terrific potential" but "more than a few teams" said that they wouldn't have picked Day "under any circumstances." (Sportsnet)
For more on Day, click HERE.
Tags: Sean Day
Jeff Gorton said that prior to the offseason one of the things the Rangers wanted to do was get younger without giving up a lot to do so.
He said that the perception of an "overhaul" is not entirely realistic in this salary cap world.
Gorton added that he isn't being mandated to "change 10 things" and that the Brassard/Zibanejad deal "is an opportunity to get better and that is why we took it."
It was said at the start of the offseason that Gorton did have a mandate to "overhaul" things.
Scott Arniel said that he spoke with Chris Kreider last season and described the 5 things that a "true" power forward needs to have in their game (NHL.com):
- Wall play
- Getting to the net
- Playing within the system
Arniel said that Kreider got away from those things last season but when he brings all of those facets into his game he is a "nightmare" for defensemen. (NHL.com)
Arniel said that Kreider understands those facets of the game and needs to find his consistency where driving to the net "becomes an automatic, where you're taking that hard, heavy route instead of the easy route." (NHL.com)
He added that if Kreider finds his consistency "we've got a whole other player." (NHL.com)
For a lot more on Kreider, click HERE.
Tags: Chris Kreider
4:21PM: Hrivik signed a TWO-WAY deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level. (Brooks)
2:03PM: The Rangers have announced that they have signed RFA forward Marek Hrivik.
Hrivik played in five games with the Rangers this past season with one assist, 3 shots on goal, 5 shot attempts, 10:43 per game, 6 hits, 1 blocked shot and 3 giveaways.
He played 68 games for the Wolf Pack last season with 12 goals and 29 assists and 18 PIM.
From the Rangers, "He established AHL career-highs in assists and points in 2015-16. Hrivik tied for the team lead in assists, ranked third in points, and tied for sixth in goals this past season. Hrivik tallied a point in 22 of his final 36 AHL games in 2015-16, recording 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in those contests."
Kevin Hayes was scratched in games 4 and 5 against the Penguins in the playoffs last spring and said that sitting out has "stuck" with him all summer. (NYR)
Hayes said that he is using how last season "unfolded" as motivation but added that he was able to turn the page on last season "pretty quickly." (NYR)
He added, "I'm excited to get the new year going. I actually can not wait to get training camp going." (NYR)
Adam Rotter: Well being scratched in the playoffs after being in the lineup for most of the season should stay with you and help motivate you. Hayes just didn't have "it" for almost all of last season and it didn't seem to matter who he was playing with or where. The hope is that it was a sophomore slump and that he will pick up this season where he left off as a rookie two-seasons ago.
Tags: Kevin Hayes
Jeff Beukeboom said that his working relationship with Alain Vigneault the past few years helped him while he interviewed to replace Ulf Samuelsson. (NYR)
He said that they talked strategy for a bit but Vigneault spent more time trying to learn about Beukeboom, his philosophies and teaching points as a coach. (NYR)
He said that the Rangers coaches have already had a conference call about changes to the systems they play or tweaks they may want to make. (NYR)
Adam Graves spoke about his former teammate Beukeboom and said, "he has worked so hard at his craft and has done a wonderful job with our young defensemen and we are reaping the benefits of his coaching abilities. If you ask any of the young defenders who have worked with him in Hartford they would say that he is a heck of a coach and I think he will be a great asset to the big time and very proud of him and happy for him and I know the guys will benefit from having him around." (MSG)
For more on Beukeboom, click HERE.
7/27/16 | 7:17PM: Renaud Lavoie says that it's "official" that Lapierre will be at Rangers training camp on a tryout.
7/26/16 | 4:36PM: According to Swiss journalist Nicola Berger, Maxim Lapierre may get a training camp tryout with the Rangers this season. (Hockey Sverige)
Lapierre, 31, spent part of last season in Sweden and Switzerland.
He played 35 games for the Penguins in 2014-15 after being acquired from St. Louis.
Lapierre played 3 years under Alain Vigneault from 2010-2013 with 14 goals and 16 assists in 149 games.
He has been a consistent penalty killer in his career averaging close to 90 seconds per game under Vigneault in Vancouver.
The 2014-15 Sports Forecaster wrote, "If he's grinning, he's winning. Lapierre is at his best when he's burrowing under an opponent's skin. That's when he'll pop in a surprise goal and bust out the smile. The former Canuck brought his toothy-brand of torment to help generate PP chances and ignite the Blues' explosive start .He's on board for another year."
Adam Rotter: If this comes to be it would just be more depth, specifically penalty killing depth, and speed for the Rangers in training camp. Lapierre would bring a certain edge though as an agitator if he were to make the team. Still, Lapierre would seem like a longshot to make the team out of training camp with all the other moves the Rangers have made in the bottom six this summer as well as young players in Hartford who may be close. If Lapierre has a good camp and is willing to start in the minors though he could be a nice depth player from time to time if/when injuries occur to certain players.
Chris Kreider spoke with the media about his new contract on Wednesday and said (NYR):
- It was nice to get things done without going to arbitration.
- 4 years is a nice vote of confidence. "It's the place I want to be." He has enjoyed his time here, the players he has played with, management and staff. "It has been nothing but positive and I am excited to be here for another four years."
- He has gone over last season and knows the kind of player he wants to be moving forward. "Just trying to have an impact on a nightly basis and going down my checklist and doing those things consistently and stuff that I can work on and continue to work on over the summer and then bring into the season."
- He wants to play a style that is "big, strong, fast, mean, imposing. Getting to the net and playing a power forward game and creating space....north/south."
- Consistency to him is playing the body and moving his feet through people, "that is what helps me the most and focusing on the other team's defense and making them turn."
- He doesn't evaluate the offseason for the team and is just worried about himself and his game.
- It's hard to see Brassard go but on paper Zibanejad looks like "an incredible player and he is a young player. I remember him from the World Juniors and when we have played Ottawa he has been a great player. Great trade for both teams."
- Being an imposing physical presence whether or not you have the puck, being physical, moving your feet through people are things he can do to be more consistent.
- He has moved past last season and in retrospect he thinks he may have spread himself too thin and got away from being the player that he knows that he is. "It's just getting back to that power forward game and I know what I do well and I know what I am good at and it's sticking with those things."
- On how he spread himself thin, "It comes with maturity and knowing the player that you are and the role you need to play. As opposed to maybe working on lateral mobility and carrying the puck through the neutral zone. I shouldn't be carrying the puck through the neutral zone, I should be in a corner and bearing down on a defenseman. If I am carrying the puck through the neutral zone I should be going straight to the net or straight at a defenseman. It's simplifying my game and relying on the physical attributes that I have and building off of those."
- He doesn't specific specific goals in mind but he has a "mission" to perform and put forth an effort every day that will allow the team to be successful.
- He has spent the majority of his time in the NY area and has gone to Boston for a couple of weekends.
- A lot of things got in his head last year that "shouldn't have" and he had great support from his teammates and coaches.
- His "underlying numbers" last season were good but pucks weren't going in. Then the pucks weren't going in got in his head and then "all the sudden you aren't playing well and pucks aren't going in."
- He was approaching next season the same way regardless of the contract he signed, "it's nice to have some security but at the same time my approach isn't going to change."
Tags: Chris Kreider
Chris Kreider said that "hopefully" he is just scratching the surface with his game. (NHL.com)
He said that his mindset is to get better "every single day" and that if you aren't improving as a player "there's no point in doing it." (NHL.com)
On the NHL Network recently, Scott Gomez asked Kreider about what he wanted to improve on and Kreider said "for me it's about getting to the net on a consistent basis" taking the body, creating space for himself and his teammates and "getting to that blue paint."
Craig Button said earlier in the offseason that Kreider may not have the finishing skills to be an elite scorer.
Dave Maloney has said that Kreider is a better player when he plays a simple game.
Kreider has said before that "when you think, you stink."
Adam Rotter: With the security of a new contract and the faith/trust the organization just put in for Kreider, the hope is that this will be the year that he does break out for 25-30 goals and is a consistent force night after night. Whether Kreider does turn into that scorer or stays where he is at around 20, he needs to be a consistent force every night. He can't have these stretches anymore where he just skates up and down the ice and seems lost. The Rangers have invested in Kreider as part of their future and hopefully he can reward them by doing more than just scratching the surface of his abilities.
Tags: Chris Kreider
On a conference call recently, Jeff Gorton said that pretty much every move the Rangers have made so far this offseason has had something to do with the penalty kill in mind.
He said that last season the Rangers PK was "not good" and that it's important to the organization to be in top part of the league in PK percentage.
Gorton continued, "it didn't happen this year and it says so in all the moves we made."
In addition to Josh Jooris, the Rangers have signed Michael Grabner, Nathan Gerbe and acquired Mika Zibanejad and Nick Holden.
Last season those players averaged the following on the PK per game:
- Grabner: 3:06
- Gerbe: 1:03
- Jooris: 1:33
- Zibanejad: 1:25
- Holden: 2:20
Jooris said that the organization feels like his speed will be a "great fit" in helping out the PK and that all of the Rangers signings so far have indicated they want to be strong on the PK. (NYR)
Adam Clendening said that he has been interested in joining the Rangers ever since he knew he wasn't going to return to the Oilers this season. (NYR)
He said that he knows the Rangers needed a player like him "who can move the puck from the back end and has a good shot." (NYR)
Clendening said that the Rangers were interested "right away" and figured it would be a good fit. (NYR)
He said that Alain Vigneault's style of play fits how he likes to play, making plays, joining the rush, moving the puck quickly, and anticipates it working out "pretty well." (NYR)
Asked to describe his game, Clendening said that he is a "good puck moving defenseman" who can be a PP QB, makes a good first post, plays with an edge and positions himself well in his own zone. (NYR)
Tags: Adam Clendening
Chris Kreider was on NHL Tonight on Monday night and spoke about his new contract:
- On his new deal, "It's really exciting to know that I will be back for a few more seasons with a good group of guys, really good coaching staff and really great management."
- On his workout routine, "I'm really lucky to have grown up in an area with great resources at my disposal up on the north short of Massachusetts with Mike Boyle and Ben Bruno and I was lucky enough to touch base with Ben Prentiss at the beginning of my pro career and I've been lucky to have great resources in my backyard."
- Scott Gomez asks about how the Rangers can be more consistent, "coming off a 100 point season, sometimes it's hard to criticize some of the things that you do over the course of the year but I definitely think we were inconsistent at times and our goalie bailed us out and we had a few individual performances that bailed us out, if you ask anyone I think they would say that. On a nightly basis I think it comes down to guys getting better over the summer and coming back with a chip on their shoulder."
- Gomez asks what Kreider wants to improve the most on, "for me it's about getting to the net on a consistent basis, taking the body first and foremost and creating space for me and my teammates and getting to that blue paint."
- On the Derick Brassard trade and bringing in Mika Zibanejad, "any time there is a trade like that it can be initially tough because Brass is such an amicable guy and well liked in our room, it's hard to see such a great guy go but he will have a ton of success in Ottawa and they are lucky to get a player like that. At the same token we are getting back a very capable and young player, strong fast, really well rounded considering that he is 22-23 years old. We have seen him a decent amount being in the East but he isn't in our division so I don't see him a ton but I think it's a great trade for both teams."
- On getting a deal done before arbitration, "Anytime you can avoid arbitration it's probably good for both parties, certainly a weight off my chest not having to go through that and giving me the opportunity to head home to Boston a little earlier in the weekend. All in all it was a good morning."
- Cooling thing you have done this summer is, "I had the opportunity to spend more time with my family than I normally would and we were able to go to Hawaii for about a week and a half and was able to do that and then go to a good friend and former teammate but now rival John Moore, he got married. To be able to do that over the course of a couple of weeks, that was a really good part of my summer."
Tags: Chris Kreider
Mats Zuccarello was on the ice in Norway yesterday and said that it was his first time on the ice since playing in the World Championships. (Dagsavien)
Zuccarello skated with Norwegian team Valerenga which is coached by his former national team coach Roy Johansen. (Dagsavien)
He said that this offseason he has taken vacations in Norway as well as other countries and "relaxed well." (Dagsavien)
On Facebook, Zuccarello said Had fun doing "strip penalties" during this seasons first skate here in Norway! Back to NY soon, and hopefully going all the way to the cup this time!."
Tags: Mats Zuccarello
The Rangers have signed defense prospect Sergey Zborovskiy to an entry level deal. (Lavoie)
His cap hit at the NHL level will be $633,000 and with one year remaining in junior his entry-level contract may "slide" for this coming season.
Zborovskiy, 19, was the 79th pick in the 2015 draft and his pick was acquired as part of the Cam Talbot trade.
He is listed by the Rangers at 6-3, 198 and has played the past two seasons for the Regina Pats.
Zborovskiy had 8 goals and 17 assists for Regina last season in the WHL.
There has been speculation about Shattenkrik and the Rangers throughout the offseason, though it's been reported that are "leery" of a potential contract extension.
Jeff Gordon says that the Blues were prepared to trade Shattenkirk at the draft for high picks and/or "top young forwards." (Post Dispatch)
Adam Rotter: As much as I like Shattenkrik and think he would be a good fit with the Rangers I don't see how the Rangers can acquire him. The Blues are in control and won't trade their top asset for cheap. Before you can even talk about locking him up with an extension, you need to acquire him and I don't think the Rangers can do that without gutting their team.
Right handed defensemen are extremely valuable in today's NHL and the Devils were able to net Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson because of that. Larsson is signed up longer-term than Shattenkirk is but Shattenkirk is a better offensive defenseman. It just seems to me that if the Rangers want to get Shattenkirk it will take a combination of multiple young pieces (Skjei, Kreider, Buchnevich, Miller, Hayes etc.) to make something happen and it's probably too much. The Rangers best chance at Shattenkirk will be on July 1, 2017 if he becomes a UFA, and even then the there will surely be cap questions.
Josh Jooris said that he is a player who brings "speed and energy" along with the ability to play anywhere in the lineup. (NYR)
He said that he likes to get in on the forecheck and "turn the game around" with an aggressive style of play. (NYR)
He said that he takes pride in killing penalties and is someone that "really focuses on the little things." (NYR)
Former Flames coach Bob Hartley said that Jooris "has a passion" and that he "competes like every game would be his last game." (Calgary Sun)
Adam Rotter: Speed and energy are certainly two things that the Rangers lacked far too often last season but there should be a lot of that, at least in the bottom six, with guys like Jooris, Nathan Gerbe and Michael Grabner. Jooris fills a need for the Rangers, and cheaply, and could use his speed and energy to turn into a fan favorite during the season.
Tags: Josh Jooris
As part of a look at the Rangers roster, Dan Rosen at NHL.com listed out the lines and defense pairs he thinks the Rangers could use this season:
- Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
- Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Pavel Buchnevich
- J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
- Nathan Gerbe, Josh Jooris, Michael Grabner
Ryan McDonagh - Brady Skjei
Marc Staal - Kevin Klein
Nick Holden - Dan Girardi
Adam Rotter: Pending that these are the forwards the Rangers go into the season with, 5 of the top 6 seems set with the only spot up for grabs really being Pavel Buchnevich vs JT Miller. The bottom six could also see Fast and Grabner switching spots, maybe Gerbe gets moved around and of course Oscar Lindberg becomes a factor when he returns from injury.
If I had to guess right now it would be Miller being on the second line and Buchnevich on the third line as part of a way to ease him in with less responsibility at 5 on 5 but also with a spot on the PP. I think this could be a relatively deep lineup with three lines that can score if Kevin Hayes can return to form. The fourth line, in any combination, should be fast and responsible defensively.
Dominic Moore says that in his opinion, Kreider is the most "explosive skater in the history of the NHL" (NHL.com)
Moore said that Kreider is a "game-changer" and can do "amazing things" because he is a "freak athlete." (NHL.com)
He added that guys like Kreider "don't grow on trees" and that he has become a "valuable player in the league." (NHL.com)
Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad said that Kreider is one of the "best-built" players in the NHL and plays the game at a high pace. (NHL.com)
Ekblad said that Kreider is "very difficult to play against. (NHL.com)
Tags: Chris Kreider
While speaking about Kevin Hayes on a conference call, Jeff Gorton said that he expects Hayes to come into this season with a chip on his shoulder and "play really well."
Gorton said that Hayes is a 6-5 center who has shown at times "how good he can be in this league."
He said that Hayes' second year was similar in some ways to a lot of players who have a good first year and struggle the next year to meet expectations.
Alain Vigneault said after the season that Hayes is part of the Rangers future but needs to step up.
It's been said that Hayes is someone who needs to engage more on a consistent basis.
Tags: Kevin Hayes
It's sad seeing good friends leave but I wish him all the best and I know he's gonna do great things in NYC @MikaZibanejad all the best- Erik Karlsson (@ErikKarlsson65) July 19, 2016
Shout out to @MikaZibanejad ... Great teammate and player. Best of luck in NY buddy.- Marc Methot (@MarcMethot3) July 19, 2016
Want to wish my linemate @MikaZibanejad the best in his move to NYR. Good player and even better person! I'll save the Insignia!- Bobby Ryan (@b_ryan9) July 19, 2016
Tags: Mika Zibanejad
On the NHL Network, Dave Reid spoke about the Rangers and said that their "big four on defense "have to find their game." (NHL)
Reid said that Nick Holden won't come in and be Keith Yandle and that Adam Clendening is a good 7th, 8th defenseman.
He said that the Rangers struggled in their own zone, they lacked speed defensively and need Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Kevin Klein and "even" Ryan McDonagh to "find their game" and "step up."
He said that Brady Skjei will present a real "interesting dynamic" and push some of the other defenders.
Reid said that if the Rangers can stay where they are they will be in a battle for one of the last playoff spots. He notes that it's a difficult situation for the Rangers with their position at the top of the salary cap.
For more on the Rangers defense, click HERE.
Jeff Gorton said recently that while the Rangers don't have Yandle anymore, Ryan McDonagh has been successful on the PP and as a puck mover.
He added, "McDonagh has a history of being a real good player in this league and I wouldn't expect anything else."
With Chris Kreider's cap hit of $4.625 million, General Fanager lists some of his salary cap comparables:
- Gustav Nyquist: 4 years at $4.75 million per year
- Kyle Palmieri: 5 years at $4.65 million per year
- Marcus Johansson: 3 years at $4.58 million
Johansson and Palmieri both signed this summer as well while Nyquist has two more years on his contract.
Last season Nyquist had 17 goals and 26 assists in 82 games, Johansson had 17 goals and 29 assists in 74 games and Palmieri had 30 goals and 27 assists.
Adam Rotter: I think this is the right kind of group for Kreider. These are all fair to potentially bargain type contracts if these guys all hit the next level that is expected of them. This contract was a big win for the Rangers and I think pretty accurately hits on where Kreider should be on a four-year deal.
Tags: Chris Kreider
With the two signings yesterday the Rangers have signed all of their RFAs except for Marek Hrivik.
The Rangers have 43 contracts out of their maximum of 50 signed.
Adam Rotter: It's hard to know for sure what will happen because a Derick Brassard for Mika Zibanejad trade can come out of nowhere but this could be it for the offseason for the Rangers. Their RFAs are signed, they have signed their UFA depth and the roster is pretty much filled out.
There is still a chance the Rangers could move Rick Nash, especially since they have some cap space now to retain some salary if they want, but more and more it seems like he will be back with the Rangers next season. Jimmy Vesey will surely still be a target come the middle of August and if the Rangers do sign him it could spark a trade of sorts as the Rangers forward group looks to be pretty deep already. The defense hasn't changed much, in some cases because it can't, but the biggest change for them may just be a full summer of rest.
With today's signings of Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, the Rangers have $4.35 million in cap space according to Cap Friendly.
That roster includes Tanner Glass and Adam Clendening but not Pavel Buchnevich or Brady Skjei.
With Buchnevich and Skjei but without Clendening and Glass, the Rangers have $4.05 million in cap space with 13 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goalies. (Cap Friendly)
General Fanager has the Rangers with $3.425 million in cap space but their roster does not include Pavel Buchnevich. It does include Adam Clendening.
The type of shadow roster that Larry Brooks has been using in the NY Post would give the Rangers $3.1 million in cap space.
Adam Rotter: Even with Kevin Hayes coming in slightly above what I expected, Jeff Gorton and his team have done a very good job this summer of navigating the flat salary cap. The Rangers should enter the season with flexibility to not only make moves but to carry a proper roster of 23 players if they want. There is no rule that says the Rangers have to spend every last dollar to the cap and while that has been the case the past few years, I think they will like having some flexibility this season.
The Rangers and Kevin Hayes have come to terms on a new contract, according to Aaron Ward.
The deal is for TWO-YEARS and worth $2.6 million per season, according to Ward.
He was scheduled to have an arbitration hearing next week.
Hayes will be paid $2.1 million this season, along with a $500,000 signing bonus and have a salary of $2.6 million for the 2017-18 season. (General Fanager)
Adam Rotter: This seems like a pretty fair deal for Hayes though it's slightly more than I thought he would get. I thought he would get in the $2.3 million $2.4 million range and not be as close in cap hit to JT Miller who is at $2.75 million. Still, it's another bridge deal where the Rangers can hopefully get some more certainty over the next two-years about the kind of player that Hayes will actually become.
Tags: Kevin Hayes
Chris Kreider and the Rangers have signed a FOUR-YEAR deal worth $4.625 million per season. (Aaron Ward)
The Rangers and Kreider were set for an arbitration hearing this morning.
His deal includes an 11-team no-trade list in the final two-years of the deal and will be paid out as (Ward):
- 16-17: $5 million
- 17-18: $5 million
- 18-19: $4.5 million
- 19-20: $4 million
Kreider reportedly insisted on a four-year deal. (Brooks)
The Rangers will buy out Kreider's first two years of unrestricted free agency with this deal.
The Rangers were reportedly offering Kreider around $4.75 million while Kreider was asking for $5.25 million on a long-term deal.
Kreider submitted a request of $4.75 million on a one-year deal for this season to the arbitrator.
Adam Rotter: This is a very good deal for the Rangers and still provides a lot of flexibility for the future. His cap hit is a pretty fair for the player that he currently is and has the ability to be a bargain if he gets better and more consistent. It's a deal that just works for both sides. The cap hit is relatively low which helps the Rangers and a four-year deal still allows Kreider to go UFA before he turns 30. It's a win/win deal for everyone involved.
The flexibility the deal provides comes in the form of extra salary cap space and it being a front loaded deal. Most people thought a longer-term deal for Kreider would eclipse $5 million but since it doesn't the Rangers now have more space. With it being a front loaded deal the Rangers will have paid more than half the contract after the second season and, like Derick Brassard, that helps make him a valuable and traceable asset if they decide to go down that road.
Tags: Chris Kreider
Brad Richards was on TSN1050 this morning and was asked if he had any regrets about his career.
Richards said that he didn't have any regrets but would have changed a few things including how he prepared to join the Rangers.
He said, "going to New York I would have prepared differently mentally and I didn't. I thought that I could handle it differently than it ended up...it's a tough place to come in as a free agent. It's not a regret but maybe I would have changed something or found a way to do something differently because that is the part of the career where I was really desperate and tried...I wanted it to be perfect and you hear so many guys that come in and it doesn't work and you are battling that the whole time and thinking that 'I want to be the one who makes it work' and I think I just put too much on me in that part of my career."
Richards continued, "It was great. One of the best parts of playing my career was playing in New York and there is nothing like it. If we would have won, we lost to LA, it would have been even more special."
Brian Leetch says that while he was roommates with Mark Messier on the road that Messier would often call Wayne Gretzky and the two would chat.
Leetch said that he would always joke with Messier about asking Wayne to come play in New York and Messier would smile and say "hey, you never know."
Today is the 20th anniversary of Gretzky signing with the Rangers on 7/21/1996.
While talking about the penalty kill, Michael Grabner said that he loves the idea of going on the ice and trying to "shut down and rattle the other team's top guys." (NYR)
Since joining the Islanders in 2010-11, Grabner has averaged the following on the PK per game:
- 2010-11: 1:32
- 2011-12: 1:41
- 2012-13: 2:19
- 2013-14: 2:03
- 2014-15: 1:16
- 2015-16: 3:06 (Toronto)
Grabner said that he didn't kill penalties much in the AHL but started killing penalties after joining the Islanders and added "I really love the penalty kill." (NYR)
He said that the momentum you can create on the PK can carry over to 5 on 5.(NYR)
Grabner added that the PK and special teams can be the difference between winning and losing. (NYR)
While shorthanded, Grabner has 12 goals and 98 shots on goal in his career. (HR)
Tags: Michael Grabner
On a conference call earlier this week, general manager Jeff Gorton said that he did not consider a buying out Dan Girardi's contract during the buyout period in June and that it didn't make sense for the organization.
Gorton said, "I know that Girardi is taking a beating in the media, but you are talking about a player who is 32, has had significant injury. We have seen some real good production out of him for many years. He did, by all accounts, not have the year that we wanted or he wanted."
Gorton added "I really believe, and the organization believes, that Dan Girardi will be better this season.
Girardi played 4 1/2 months with a crack in his knee cap, missing 5 games, and also missed time at the end of the year and playoffs with a concussion.
It had been reported in May that the Rangers were not going to buyout Girardi or even ask him to waive his no-move clause.
For a lot more on Girardi, click HERE.
Adam Rotter: There isn't another player who needed this long offseason more than Girardi. Who knows how many other injuries, along with his cracked kneed cap, he has been carrying around after all the hits, blocked shots and playoff games the past few years. That isn't to say that after this long break Girardi will return to being the player that he was, but if he can stay healthy and accepts a different role of sorts, he should still be able to play a nice role for the Rangers. Will that role equal his cap hit? No, but the Rangers need to find a way to get the best out of Girardi and if that means sitting every 4th game or so and playing on the third pair, that is what has to happen.
Tags: Dan Girardi
Former Rangers center Brad Richards has announced his retirement.
Richards signed a nine-year deal worth $60 million on July 2, 2011 and the Rangers used a compliance buyout on him to remove him from their salary cap following the 2014 Stanley Cup.
Richards would still be under contract to the Rangers for FOUR-MORE seasons if they did not use their second compliance buyout on him.
As part of the buyout, the Rangers paid Richards $3.05 million the past two seasons, will pay him $5.05 million this coming season and then $1.05 million through 2025-26. (Cap Friendly)
Following his time with the Rangers Richards went to Chicago and won the Stanley Cup and played last season with Detroit.
The Rangers sent out a tweet saying "Congratulations to Brad Richards on a tremendous 15 year career, including some wonderful memories on Broadway!"
Adam Rotter: Richards wasn't the player he was supposed to be with the Rangers but his first and third years were pretty good, he scored some really big goals and helped the Rangers make two deep playoff runs. He was a big part of this run the Rangers have gone on the past few years and his impact as a leader is probably still felt in guys like Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider. It's strange to think that he still could have four-years left on his contract with the Rangers but that deal was signed with a short-term focus and a plan to deal with the last few years when it came to that. Luckily they were able to get out from their cap commitment to him and while I think he wanted to stay with the Rangers, getting bought out did lead to him winning a second Stanley Cup.
The Rangers have officially announced that Zibanejad will wear #93, following Keith Yandle and Petr Nedved
Tags: Mika Zibanejad
The Rangers and Chris Kreider are reportedly in "ongoing negotiations" regarding a 4 or 5 year deal that would avoid arbitration. (NY Post)
The Rangers are believed to be offering "in the neighborhood" of $4.75 million per season while Kreider is asking for $5.25 million per season. (NY Post)
A four-year deal would buy out Kreider's first two-years as a UFA while a five-year deal would buy out his first three-years as a UFA. (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: I think that anything at $5 million or under is fair for Kreider if the Rangers are buying out UFA years. Presumably he will continue to improve in the way that Derick Brassard did after he signed his five-year deal worth $25 million. I still think that it's either long-term deal or trade for Kreider as a one-year deal doesn't entirely make sense as it just leads to doing this whole thing again next summer.
Tags: Chris Kreider , Chris Kreider Rumors
According to Aaron Ward, the Rangers and Chris Kreider have submitted the following numbers to the arbitrator for what they think Kreider should be paid next season.
- NYR: $3.2 million
- Kreider: $4.75 million
Kreider's hearing is on Friday and the two sides can strike a deal at any point up until the arbitrator has ruled, within 48 hours of the hearing.
Last season Kreider had a salary of $2.6 million.
Kreider is TWO-years away from becoming a UFA and for more on his potential future, click HERE.
Adam Rotter: Any time numbers are submitted to an arbitrator the team goes low and the player goes high. It's up to the teams or the arbitrator to find a spot in the middle to avoid the actual hearing. I don't think Kreider is worth $4.75 million at this point and I don't think he deserves to be even close to where Mats Zuccarello is at $4.5 on a one-year deal.
If it's a longer-term deal then it's probably similar to Kyle Palmieri's contract or the one Marcus Johansen signed today which bought out two-years of UFA time. We will see how things develop between now and the scheduled start of the hearing at 9AM on Friday and truthfully I wouldn't be surprised at a one-year deal, longer-term deal or even a trade. I think all options remain on the table for the Ranger and Kreider.
Tags: Chris Kreider , Chris Kreider Rumors
Speaking Monday on a conference call, Jeff Gorton said that he thinks newly acquired forward Mika Zibanejad is "just scratching the surface" at age 23 and noted his potential for upside.
Gorton said that it was a trade where the the Rangers got younger, faster and picked up a player who "plays well" in his own zone and is "trending" the right way.
He noted that Zibanejad kills penalties, has gotten better on draws and has improved each year in the NHL.
Gorton noted that Zibanejad is nearly 6-years younger than Derick Brassard and is a player who they think is heading into the "prime of his career."
He continued, "this is a trade that at the end of the day we thought would make us a better team."
Adam Rotter: It's a deal that makes sense for the Rangers in that they achieved one of their goals of getting younger, faster and another player who can play at both ends of the rink. It's a trade that seems like it should help the Rangers at even strength which was a struggle last season. Defense was a much bigger issue than offense and hopefully Zibanejad helps address that.
Zibanejad had two more points than Brassard did at even strength last season and if he can at least match Brassard point wise at even strength and hopefully play better defense than Brassard did than this is a win for the Rangers. Brassard will leave a hole on the PP but as Zibanejad develops, and maybe with Pavel Buchnevich, the Rangers can offset part of that loss.
Tags: Mika Zibanejad
On his twitter account, Mika Zibanejad posted a message to Ranger fans that said:
"To all the Ranger fans, I'm really excited to be part of this historic and first class organization. I can't wait for the opportunity to play in the blue sweater.
Ready for this new chapter. See you guys on the ice very soon.
Zibanejad also sent a message to Senators fans earlier today.
Tags: Mika Zibanegad
Shortly after the Derick Brassard/Mika Zibanejad trade was announced, Renaud Lavoie tweeted that the two sides started talking at the draft and that the "trade didn't happen before because of a $2M bonus Derick Brassard had to receive on July 15."
On TSN1200 yesterday, Dorion said that he first had a conversation with Jeff Gorton in April and then continued to talk around the draft but the price the Rangers were asking was too high.
Asked if the Rangers bonus payment of $2 million delayed the trade, Dorion joked that he was "stalling" the Rangers to get the price down and that the "money didn't have anything to do with it."
Dorion said on the NHL Network yesterday that the signing bonus, "might have played into a bit but the most was that Jeff asking price was significantly higher than what we wanted to pay."
He added though, "I'm not disappointed they paid the $2 million.
Larry Brooks reported on Tuesday that the Rangers agreed to pay the $2 million only if Ottawa would trade their 2018 2nd rounder and that once the Senators agreed to do so the trade was done. (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: Frankly, the $2 million means almost nothing to the Rangers but means a lot to the Senators who are usually on a budget of sorts. Since the money means nothing to the Rangers, they sat Wade Redden and his big salary in the minors for two seasons, it's nice that they were able to extract a second round pick out of the deal. I'm sure at a certain point the Rangers were asking for a first or more to pay out the bonus but a second round pick is a pretty nice get along with a player like Zibanejad.
Tags: Derick Brassard
Mika Zibanejad spoke with the media on a conference all at 11:30AM to discuss his trade to the Rangers:
- Are you just scratching the surface, "Yeah, I think so. The whole process as far as how my career has been going towards the right way and I feel like I haven't really got the break yet and I feel like there's a lot more to give, to get this chance with the Rangers and that moment in my career to be able to do that and hopefully it'll be a breakout year.
- Were you caught off guard, "I mean yeah. It wasn't anything I counted on. It wasn't anything I was waiting by my phone, to get that phone call. But I was kind of surprised and kind of shocked in the beginning but once that settled down and I realized that I was going to be part of the New York Rangers organization. I'm obviously thankful, I'm grateful for the five years here."
- On rumors about almost going for Rick Nash in 2012, "I mean I heard the rumors about it. I've been hearing rumors before about other trades. But I guess at that time I felt like it was close. I didn't know how close it was but I don't know, there's always room to go along and go around. And this trade wasn't really on the radar for me at least, I didn't hear anything about this. So it came as a shock and surprise but like I said before, I'm happy right now at the moment and I'm really excited to kick off the season."
- On leaving Ottawa after just building a house, "Well it's not convenient , I'll tell you that much. But it is what it is. I'm happy with the way things have been going and obviously would like to have stayed here for a longer time. But I'm glad this happened and am not too worried about it, I know that I'll figure it out and I'll be fine so I'm just looking forward to moving to New York now."
- Do you plan on staying with the Rangers for a long time, "Yeah I mean obviously you want to stay with the organization that you're playing for. Obviously I was hoping to play for a very long time with Ottawa, and that's changed now, and I'm just hoping to have a big impact for the Rangers year and just stay."
- On his game and where he needs to improve, "I'm a big guy. I feel like I can skate very good for a bigger guy. I feel like my shot is always getting improved every year. I feel like I'm a pretty good all-around solid and good player and I think obviously as a young player you can always improve different aspects of your game. I'll just keep working on the faceoffs and keep working on the little details that will help me and the team be successful. I feel like I'm solid all-around but I'm not happy just yet with what I have accomplished and where I am. So I'm just looking for every year that goes by to get a little bit better and make a bigger impact every year as well."
- On the roster, "I'm exicted. We've been playing New York three times or whatever it is every year and it's always a tough game. It's an Original Six team, the status of the team is very high anywhere you go and I think as far as the roster goes it looks very, very promising and very, very interesting. It's a team that goes for the Cup every year and is a big contender for it. So I'm really happy to be a part of it and hoping that I can add more to that as well. And some of the guys reached out yesterday after the trade and welcomed me and just texted me a little bit. And I had a conversation with some and I'm happy. I'm really excited to get this season started."
- How has your game improved, "More experience. You get more and more comfortable, you get into how things work around the league and how the game is going. And I think just working on the little things and working on the details I find all the time gets you in. I've been working hard this summer now to improve my game in different areas. I'm really, really looking forward to the season starting and am thrilled to get on with this new chapter that I've started and hoping I can get a little bit better every year. I'm not going to say it just comes with experience, it comes with the way you train, the way you do the different things to help your game I think. And that's what I'm trying to do."
- Do you know Henrik Lundqvist, "No. I spoke to him a couple of times, just said hi. But I haven't interacted with him too much or know him on a personal level I guess. So I guess I just know he's really, really good friend with Erik Karlsson, one of my closer friends in Ottawa and he had nothing but good things to say about him, so I'm excited."
- Do you feel you have something to prove, "Yes and no. I don't know how to say this in the best way but obviously you want to prove that they're going to miss, I guess. But I'm excited now that the team believes in me and thinks I can make an impact. I'm happy the way things went down and I'm happy with the team and think we have a really good chance to win in this city and with this team and I'm really looking forward to it. That's obviously the goal and coming to the Rangers, that's the mindset as well so I'm excited."
- On playing at MSG, "It's a great atmosphere. I think every season you look forward to be able to play at MSG and in front of that crowd. It's a great atmosphere and to be able to call that your home arena will be very special and probably take some time to get used to. But it was a hard rink to play at, but a fun one, and I'm just really looking forward to calling New York my home and MSG my home."
- On the presence the Rangers have in Sweden, "Yeah I think that being them being Original 6 a lot of my friends congratulated me on this trade and people that aren't even hockey-interested relate to hockey that way. They just hear the team Rangers and it has a status. And especially coming from Sweden as well, when Henrik has been here as long and had a great impact on the city and on the team, I think that helps a lot well to re-establish the name for the younger guys. So I mean it's a fun opportunity to be able to be part of this organization and a lot of people in my surroundings are happy for me and excited to watch me play."
- Are you motivated by the trade, "Yes and no. Cause it's not my goal and it's not like all my energy is going to prove Ottawa wrong that they didn't keep me but at the same time I want to prove the Rangers right that they went to the right guy as well. And I see that as a new chapter, I see it as a new chance to be able to prove myself to a new team and make a presence there. That's what traded guys want, I guess. More than to prove people wrong it's proving people right and to New York as well that I'm the right guy."
- On his memories of Ottawa, "Yeah I'm really, really thankful for all of the things that this organization has done for me. And obviously they gave me the chance to become an NHL player and come in this league and going through diverse things and all that. I have nothing bad to say about the organization or anything about the players. I have a lot of good friends and also the team. So sort of like I said, I'm just happy with those memories and I'm really, really happy and excited to create some new ones with the Rangers and get that whole process started."
Tags: Mika Zibanejad
I want to thank the NY Rangers for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love in one of the best cities in the world. Being a Ranger was special to me, it's a first class organization in every way. I want to wish management, my coaches, teammates and especially the incredible fans all the best in the future. As for Ottawa, I'm coming home. I've always dreamed of one day playing for the Ottawa Senators and can't wait to get started. I'm looking forward to helping the Senators any way I can to get back into the playoffs and beyond.
Tags: Derick Brassard
Henrik Lundqvist said that Mika Zibanejad is an "exciting player" who is skilled and has a "really good shot." (Hockey Sverige)
He said that he hopes Zibanejad will "fit in well and thrive in New York" as it's a "lovely place to play hockey when you play well and deliver." (Hockey Sverige)
Lundqvist said that he has "all the potential to do it." (Hockey Sverige)
He said that he has met Zibanejad "a few times" but does not know him well. (Hockey Sverige)
Lundqvist said that Zibanejad is "strong," can play in front of the net and is "good at scoring goals." (Hockey Sverige)
In 10 games against Lundqvist in his career, Zibanejad has 2 goals, 4 assists, 25 shots on goal and an average of 15:57. (Hockey Ref)
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist , Mika Zibanejad
According to General Fanager, after yesterday's trade the Rangers have $10.65 million in cap space with a roster including 11 forwards (Tanner Glass but not Pavel Buchnevich) and 8 defensemen including Adam Clendening.
Cap Friendly has the Rangers with $11.575 million in cap space with the same roster as above but without Brady Skjei on defense.
The Rangers currently have 41 players signed out of their 50 contract maximum.
A Rangers roster with Glass in the minors, Buchnevich in the AHL and all 8 defensemen would have $10.675 million in cap space according to Cap Friendly.
The Rangers still need to sign Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider to new contracts.
Adam Rotter: The Rangers were in a good salary cap spot before the trade and are obviously in a better one after, saving $2.375 million this season. The Rangers are certainly not done trying to make moves but even if they don't, they should start the season with a pretty nice amount of salary cap space compared to where they have been the past few seasons.