Found July 16, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
Michael Del Zotto
New York Rangers
St. Louis Blues
For several off-seasons running, I’ve been creating these “master plans” that talk about the future rosters of the Rangers. The purpose of these posts is to really come full circle on all of the topics and rumors we’ve been covering over the course of the season. During prior offseasons, creating these plans was pretty easy for me as John Tortorella frequently talked about the Rangers “team concept”. Based on his vision, I just filled in the blanks.
With his team template in mind, these posts were generally unified by three main ingredients for success — roster balance, strong skating ability, and making an effort in all three zones. As trade deadlines and free agency periods came and went, my plans always revolved around the idea that the Rangers should stick to those three ingredients when evaluating their own team and what’s available on the marketplace.
This offseason is obviously different in that we don’t know what Alain Vigneault has in store for this team as far their identity goes. His systems from Vancouver may or may not be employed with this roster. Player’s responsibilities could change. And we probably won’t know anything until perhaps preseason when he’s had a closer look at players and prospects.
Of course having a plan and executing are two different things. No matter how AV wants this team to look and play like in the future, for now, the team is what it is. The decision to retain Brad Richards prevented this club from making any changes of significance. Although I disagreed with that decision, as I thought we could have made some upgrades in a few areas, at this point it’s spilled milk. What’s past is prologue. For now, I’d expect the Rangers to roll out essentially the same roster.
Other than the recent depth acquisitions, the only key difference I see with this lineup is perhaps the role of Brian Boyle. By signing Dominick Moore, Boyle at center becomes somewhat duplicative. If I were AV, I’d consider moving Boyle to left wing. Although he can win face-offs, I think we need more speed down the middle and more muscle along the boards. Last season we spent too much time in our own end zone. Moving Brian to the wing can help alleviate the issue of lost board battles.
Other than moving Boyle, I really don’t see AV making many wholesale changes at this point. Perhaps Life of Pyatt is traded for a pick before preseason if we are tight against the cap. However, other than that I think the team is pretty much set. Based on how the team adapts to AV’s philosophy and systems, ultimately will determine the long-range projection of this roster.
2014-15 Roster and beyond
Next offseason is where things could get interesting. My expectation is that Brad Richards will be bought out regardless of how he plays this season. There’s just too much risk involved in not using that last get-out-of-jail free card (aka the compliance buyout). As Dave wrote earlier this offseason, the underlying data suggests Richie has a shot at a bounce back season. But how will he play in 2016, 2018, 2020? I don’t want to find out.
Between the cap space saved from Richie’s buyout and the expectation that team salary caps could rise from $64M this season to over $70M next season, Glen Sather will have a lot of flexibility during a summer when many star players are expected be UFAs. Next year it wouldn’t surprise me to see Glen go after some big fish either via free agency or through a blockbuster trade in order to fill a few important holes on this roster.
Recently, I spoke at length about the need to acquire a coveted right-handed defensemen that we could re-configure our power play around. Although our current roster has a lot of money spent on defensemen, Ryan McDonagh (a lefty) is the only player I see as a long-term fixture for us. In my opinion, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, and even Michael Del Zotto are all expendable players and could be traded for must-have needs down the road. John Moore & Stralman likely get re-upped next summer so long as they build on the strong years they had last season.
I know some of you hate to hear it, but it’s conceivable Staal walks at the end of his contract to go play with his brothers in Carolina. Girardi too could walk for more money elsewhere next summer when he’s a free agent. Plus, none of us know how he’ll adapt to a new system that might be less reliant on shot-blocking. Then there’s Del Zotto, who although made some major improvements in his own end zone last year, didn’t take that step forward we all hoped he would. I think 2013-14 is a make a break year for him to prove he’s a true PP QB.
AV is a lot like Torts in that he makes many adjustments to his line combinations to a point where players need to be versatile. Point in case, Maxim Lapierre, a perennial 4th liner, spent a handful of games this past season on the Canucks top power play line. I could see a player like Derick Brassard really being a key cog for AV, as he has the potential to be a dynamic skill player who can go north/south or east/west depending on the game situation.
Cally, Stepan, and Nash are obviously core players and should be Rangers for a longtime. However, other than them and Brass, the rest of the offense feels like stopgap solutions for someone else. Boyle and Moore are stopgaps for Lindberg or Miller. MZA, if there’s even cap space to sign him, is a stopgap until Kreider is ready for full-time duty. Hagelin is an effective forechecker, but like Girardi, may not be as valuable in AV’s lead based trap system. Hags along with Girardi or MDZ could be packaged to yield that righty d-man I covet.
As for Lundqvist, he’s not going anywhere. Book it.
Also, in case you’re curious and want to check out my previous master plans, here’s my post from 2012, as well as 2011′s plan.
BEST OF MAXIM
Glen Sather should have plenty of financial flexibility next summer
Whether the Rangers re-sign Mats Zuccarello or not, they’re going to be right up against the salary cap ceiling when the 2013-2014 season opens. Things are tight financially for New York right now, but 12 months from now the situation will be very different.
According to CapGeek, the Rangers have barely over...
The Rangers haven’t been particularly active in free agency this summer, which isn’t overly surprising given the club’s salary cap situation. With a new coaching staff bringing a different system the team has focused on adding depth as opposed to making big changes to the roster. One move the Rangers did make, and one they’ve [...]
A year ago, the New York Rangers were feared by every other team in the N.H.L . Their style of play using body checks and young speed in front of Lundqvist allowed them to punish their opponents. If they didn’t bring the intensity at the start someone (Brandon Prust most likely) would drop the gloves and the Rangers game came back to life. After this dismal locked out season, the...
Last week, the Rangers officially agreed to a new six-year, $28.2 million contract extension with restricted free agent defenseman Ryan McDonagh, keeping the 24-year-old stud on Broadway likely through the prime years of his career. The deal, which makes McDonagh the fourth-highest paid player on the Rangers behind only Rick Nash, Henrik Lundqvist and Brad [...]
RANGERS ANNOUNCE 2013 PRESEASON SCHEDULE Blueshirts to play six road games in 11 days NEW YORK, July 16, 2013 – The New York Rangers have announced their 2013 preseason schedule today, which includes a total of six games, one of which will be held on neutral ice. The Rangers 2013 preseason schedule opens on [...]
When the Rangers traded Michal Rozsival to Phoenix in 2011, I – being one of the much-maligned Czech defenseman’s few supporters in Ranger circles – of course decided to keep tabs on him. So I ended up watching a fair number of Coyotes games, in the process familiarizing myself with much of their roster. While [...]
Forward usage chart
John Tortorella loved his matchups. One of the major points of his coaching style is giving tough minutes to those he could rely on defensively. If there is one area where he and new coach Alain Vigneault are similar, it is here. Both coaches are known for matchups and zone-starting, deploying the offensive players in the offensive zone draws and defensive players...
By Bob Crawford
Twenty-eight-year-old defenseman Danny Syvret, a veteran of eight seasons in pro hockey, came to the New York Ranger organization July 1, in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers for Kris Newbury. Syvret, who had spent much of the previous five seasons in the Philadelphia organization, had been through the process of being traded before, but is particularly enthused...
Offseason tournament bracket.
As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: Blue Line Station) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. The first match in the tournament pits the tournament favorite (Henrik Lundqvist) against the trade deadline acquisition that most people would like to forget, Olli Jokinen. Here’s...
Best Ranger bracket
As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Henrik Lundqvist won the first matchup against Olli Jokinen in a landslide. And yesterday we saw Martin Rucinsky (#9) upset Nigel Dawes (#8). Today’s matchup is #5 Anton Stralman vs. #12 Aaron...
The New York Rangers have released the team's pre-season schedule prior to the upcoming 2013-2014 season.
#NYR 2013 Preseason Schedule: 9/16 @ NJD 9/17 @ PHI 9/23 @ CAL 9/24 @ EDM 9/26 @ VAN 9/27 @ LAK (In Vegas)
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 16, 2013
Obviously, pre-season is pre-season but there's still a few interesting games...
The preseason schedule for the Rangers has been released:
9/16 @ New Jersey, 7PM
9/17 @ Philly, 7PM
9/23 @ Calgary, TBD
9/24 @ Edmonton, 9:30PM
9/26 @ Vancouver, 10PM
9/27 @ LA in Las Vegas, 10PM
With the final year of the renovation still in progress, the Rangers will be on the road for all six road games, and likely all of October when the season starts. Training camp will begin...
After John Tortorella signed up to be the Vancouver Canucks‘ head coach, a pattern started to emerge in recent signings.
Enter Ben Ferriero. Brandon DeFazio. and Mike Santorelli. Then we had the retention of Roberto Luongo. Going back farther we had players on the roster in 2012/13 Frank Corrado, Tom Sestito, Aaron Volpatti and Steve Pinizzotto.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When you hear a coach or a general manager talking about his team or one of his players as "going forward" you are tempted to ask if there is any other possible direction in which said team or player could go? But the one that kills you is "accountability" and its variation, "accountable." Take the...