Found March 18, 2014 on
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This is from November, 2010. Quick, find the current Ranger. Hint: Trick question.
When Suit wrote about the Rangers and their inability to find consistency, it struck a chord with me. I realized that despite management’s best efforts, this is a Rangers club that has had significant turnover year in and year out for quite some time. We know about the constant turnover from the teams mostly built through free agency from 2006-2010 while the farm was rebuilding. But once that core is in place, the turnover is supposed to stop.
But the problem is that the turnover hasn’t stopped. Just six skaters (Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Brian Boyle) remain from the 2010-2011 club. Another three (Brad Richards, Anton Stralman, Carl Hagelin) join them from the 2011-2012 club that went to the Stanley Cup Finals. Another three (Rick Nash, Derick Brassard, John Moore) played significant time with the Rangers during the lockout-shortened 2013 season.
All told, just 12 of 18 skaters were on the team last year. That number is cut in half when you go just two seasons prior.
The top teams in the league, the ones that compete for Lord Stanley year after year, have had their cores in place for years. Pittsburgh, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston have had the same core for as long as I can remember. St. Louis has had their core in place for at least three years. Even Washington has had the same players suit up from year to year.
But the Rangers are following a different path. The core that John Tortorella spoke about after the 2011-2012 season was gutted. Brandon Prust was too expensive. Management decided to go a different route with Ruslan Fedotenko and John Mitchell. Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov were sent to Columbus. Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay. Those are six players that were a core group under Tortorella.
But now Tortorella is gone, and the roster turnover appears to be commencing once again.
That’s not a shot at Alain Vigneault by any means. He needs the appropriate personnel to execute his more creative system. AV isn’t a coach that is going to play your Black-and-Blueshirts style. That’s okay.
Guys like Zuccarello, Stepan, Nash, Richards, and Martin St. Louis are guys that AV can use to generate offense. But that’s where the roster turnover rears its ugly head. Of those guys, Stepan is the only one who played regularly with the Rangers starting in 2010 (Zuccarello played 50 games over two seasons). All this leads to inconsistency.
The Rangers have a window to win, and it’s closing very fast. But what could be coming even faster is the next significant roster blow up. Just six forwards (five if you assume a Richards buyout) are signed for next year. Three are RFAs (Zuccarello, Kreider, Brassard), and only two are locks to be re-signed. The current group of prospects has only been playing with each other for one season. They didn’t grow up together like Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan. The chemistry there will take time as well.
This isn’t to say that I disagree with the decisions made to ship some of these guys out either. Prust priced himself out of New York. I’d still make that Dubi/Anisimov for Nash trade. The Marian Gaborik trade was a coup. I don’t like it, but the Cally trade had to be made from a business standpoint. But all these moves are risky moves that have had mixed results.
Regardless of where this team is headed this year and next, the new core of this team needs to be identified and locked up. The blue line is in good shape, but with just one forward signed beyond next season (again assuming a Richards buyout), the forwards are a big area for concern. That kind of turnover doesn’t bode well for successful teams.
BEST OF MAXIM
Lots of questions this offseason for Slats.
One of the major concerns for next year is the payroll. The Rangers have a lot of money tied into a few players, and about half of the roster will be hitting some form of free agency. Dan Girardi’s contract is done, so that hits the payroll. Martin St. Louis is on the payroll instead of Ryan Callahan, which actually saves a few...
Anton Stralman was absent from practice this morning as he was given a maintenance day after getting nicked up from blocking a shot during yesterday's 1-0 loss to the Sharks.
Raphael Diaz took his place alongside Marc Staal.
…wouldn't be a bad time for the Rangers to give Stralman a night off after struggling mightily since the Olympic break. I thought he was better...
The folks at MSG were kind enough to share a quick note about tonight’s new episode of Beginnings, featuring Derick Brassard. The episode airs tonight after the Rangers/Senators game finishes up.
On tonight’s all-new episode of “Beginnings” (11pm MSG), immediately following coverage of the Rangers-Senators game, forward Derick Brassard takes MSG’s cameras to Quebec, Canada...
For the second time this season, Rick Nash admitted he's not getting to the net often enough.
Back in early January, Nash went on a nine-goal in nine-game run after publicly acknowledging that he was spending too much time on the perimeter.
Rangers fans are now hoping for a repeat as he again reflected on his unwillingness to be aggressive on the offensive end after yesterday...
Derick Brassard broke an eight-game point-less drought with two goals and an assist
Boy, did I pick the wrong night to do a goal breakdown. Both teams played atrocious defense in this game, but at least the Rangers broke out of the offensive slump that saw them score just six goals in their last four games. Oh yeah, and Henrik Lundqvist became the team’s all-time winningest goaltender...
Well, it wasn’t pretty, but it was a night of both ending droughts and history for the New York Rangers. Derick Brassard, Rick Nash, Benoit Pouliot, and John Moore all snapped their respective scoring droughts to give the Blueshirts aContinue readingThe post The King Stands Alone as the Rangers Beat Ottawa 8-4 appeared first on NYR Center Ice.
The offensively challenged Rangers met the defensively inept Senators on Tuesday. Something had to give, and fortunately, it was the Rangers that came out on the right-end of the score. The win looks wonderful but there were several defensive breakdowns by New York in their own zone that resulted in many scoring changes for Ottawa, and if it wasnât for Henrik Lundqvist, who...
The Rangers were home for a matinee matchup yesterday against the Sharks, who came in battling the Ducks for top position in the Pacific Division. The Rangers were fresh off a win against Winnipeg which featured Carl Hagelin’s first career hat trick and Henrik Lundqvist’s 301st career win, which tied him with Mike Richter for the lead on the Rangers’ all time list.
Martin St. Louis (1 A, 2 PIM, +3) was supposed to help continued to struggle for the blue shirts, but managed to tally his third point in nine games as a Ranger. This is not the scoring boost that Rangers GM Glen Sather was hoping for when he moved Ryan Callahan to the Bolts for the veteran scoring monster. Cally, on the other hand, has four points in six games for Tampa.
One of the biggest regrets I’ve had in my six plus years of administering this blog was not getting Sean Avery voted into the All Star Game back in 2011.
While it was an amazing accomplishment that the “Vote for Avery” campaign was able to get him the 15th most votes for a forward ahead of players such as Henrik Zetterberg, Martin St. Louis, Rick Nash, the Sedin twins, Joe...
New York Rangers owner James Dolan has said that the trade of Ryan Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning, was predicated on the Callahan's money demands for a contract extension with the club. The comments were made during an interview on ESPN radio, in which Dolan talked about the trade in which the Rangers acquired Martin St.Louis, last seasons Art Ross Trophy winner, in...
Photo: Star Ledger
Just when you think the Rangers have righted the ship, a goalie like Antii Niemi steals one for the opposition, and the Rangers are again left without points. That comfy second-place cushion is gone, and the Rangers are barely in a playoff spot. The Flyers and Blue Jackets have two games in hand, and the Caps are breathing down the Blueshirts’ necks. The Rangers...
Pressure is mounting on Martin St. Louis and the New York Rangers.
The New York Rangers (36-29-4) visit the Ottawa Senators (28-26-13) at the Canadian Tire Centre starting at 7:30 p.m. For a preview, visit Yahoo! Sports.
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