Found June 10, 2013 on Blue Seat Blogs:
Rick Stewart/Getty Images With this summer’s free agent market perhaps the weakest in recent memory, and with the Rangers having multiple holes to fill, nothing would please the organization more than a prospect (or two) stepping up and forcing their way onto the 2013-14 roster. With the Rangers needing more of everything – scoring, depth, size, physical presence, face off ability, special teams upgrades – there are plenty of prospects close to making the jump. The problem for the Rangers is timing. They already have a slew of bottom six forwards who could be moved, and should they spend cap dollars on forwards in the offseason they are, to an extent, committed to inserting the new recruits into the line up regardless of how the rookies play pre-season. That said, players such as Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg and the usual suspects – Chris Kreider and JT Miller – are surely close to securing roster spots. Let’s consider the merits of the Swedish pair who so many Rangers fans are eagerly awaiting. Jesper Fast As sneak peaks go, the Rangers got the smallest of glimpses into what Fast brings when he played a solitary game in the AHL this past season. After finishing a strong season over in the SEL, Fast came over to the AHL and –prior to injury– played one game, scored a pretty goal, and was named the games’ third star. Fast’s addition would add more skating ability to the Rangers, and would give them added scoring ability. Where Fast starts and how he’s used will depend enormously on the new Rangers coach. It likely goes against the European rookie’s chances that a new coach will come in and probably be unfamiliar with the prospects in the system. Fast’s position is likely also linked to that of Ryane Clowe’s, Mats Zuccarello’s, and fellow prospects such as Kreider and Miller. If Clowe and Zuccarello are kept (and ideally both will) then Fast will surely start the year in Connecticut. Oscar Lindberg Lindberg’s chances of an immediate NHL start are better than Fast’s. First of all, Derek Stepan aside, over the past few seasons the Rangers have been underwhelming at center. Brad Richards is a legitimate buy-out candidate, Brian Boyle isn’t certain of his spot in the line-up or position on the ice (wing is an option for the big Boston native), and while the Rangers have Derick brassard causing all sorts of positive vibes, he too is yet to have a training camp with the Rangers. What this all amounts to is that beyond Stepan, the Rangers center position is in an absolute state of flux. Despite the absence of any North American experience, Lindberg has a reasonable chance at jumping ahead of the likes of JT Miller to start in New York. Coming off a sensational SEL campaign, Lindberg has dominated in a strong international men’s league. The level of competition faced is greater than that of the NCAA or CHL level. Lindberg helps address the face-off issues, is known as a strong two way player who can help the penalty kill, and he’s proven he can step up (in spectacular style) at playoff time. Lindberg should, unlike the North American prospects, come to training camp sure of himself and with an untainted reputation. Many people will look at Lindberg and assume he’s destined to begin next season in the AHL. He may well do so, but with a strong camp Lindberg may be a surprise starter in New York next season. Tweet

Michael Del Zotto is safe in New York, for now

Del Zotto needs to improve, and he will be given the time to do so. Michael Del Zotto is a whipping boy for many, and his underwhelming season hasn’t helped him convince certain groups of fans –and media– of his long-term future being in New York. That said, Del Zotto is here to stay for the foreseeable future.  Depending on how the offseason plays out, the Rangers are not...

Popal: Five Rangers That Need To Get Contract Extensions

1. Henrik Lundqvist – This is an obvious choice, he’s the King of New York. Rumor has been that Henrik Lundqvist’s words on break up day cost John Tortorella his job as Rangers head coach. What organization would sit quietly when their star goalie isn’t sure he wants to stay?! There are several memes on [...]

Stay or Go: Brian Boyle

When Dave and the staff here at Blue Seat Blogs first conjured up the concept of “Stay or Go” posts, they were originally meant to be for current roster players on the verge of free agency. Although Boyle isn’t a free agent this offseason — his deal is up next year — I think it’s worth discussing moving the big fella given our cap issues and some of our roster needs...

Should the Rangers Keep Ryane Clowe If The Price is Right?

Glen Miller: There’s no question that the Rangers will be interested in keeping Clowe this summer(or adding a player of a similar skill set) assuming their staff feels good about his health. I previewed the upcoming UFA class looking for possible alternatives to Clowe; guys who contribute offensively but bring size and/or physical play to [...]

Is Glen Sather Considering Stepping Down?

As if the New York Rangers' offseason hasn't been eventful enough with the surprise dismissal of John Tortorella as head coach, one more move could be on the horizon. And one the majority of the fan base has been clamoring for. According to ESPN Boston columnist Jimmy Murphy on his personal website Murphy's Law, President and GM Glen Sather is considering relinquishing...

Estimating the Derek Stepan contract using Claude Giroux’s current deal

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images The Rangers have a lot of work to do this offseason. In addition to addressing the glaring holes in the lineup, they need to do everything they can to re-sign their core RFAs (Ryan McDonagh, Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan). Of the three core RFAs, who are all about to receive their second NHL contracts, only Stepan is not eligible for arbitration. It’s unfortunate...

Estimating Ryan McDonagh’s next contract

Ryan McDonagh is going to be the trickiest RFA to sign.  When news broke yesterday of Roman Josi’s new contract with the Nashville Predators ($28 million over 7 years), focus immediately shifted to Ryan McDonagh. After all, McDonagh and Josi are very comparable players. They are both coming off their ELCs. They are both top-pairing defensemen. They are both arbitration eligible...

Twitter: Stars Interested in John Tortorella

… VERY interesting.  Not sure how I would see Torts fitting in with the Stars roster but I do know they want to get younger and having a guy like Torts come in wouldn’t be a bad idea. I know a lot of fans used to rant and rave over the Rangers never using young [...]

Moore to Have Intense Offseason Training

John Moore recently spoke to Blueshirts United about the taking advantage of the opportunity he has in New York... “It’s really refreshing going into the summer realizing that there’s a real opportunity here for me to grow my game. It’s going to make my approach to offseason training that much more intense. The onus falls on me to come in here and be in good shape, ready...

Gauging Ryan McDonagh’s RFA Market

Perhaps the most important task on the agenda of Glen Sather (or whomever may be calling the shots on Manhattan) this summer is extending the contract of shutdown defender Ryan McDonagh. We’ve already assessed the value of fellow RFA Derek Stepan and determined he is going to be expensive. McDonagh, given his performance through the [...]

Jan Levine: Rangers Coaching Search Finally Under Way...

The Rangers finally appear to realize that a coaching search is underway. While the team brass meet at the Western White House, otherwise known as GM Glen Sather's pad in La Quinta, information has filtered out about the "progress" on the search for a new coach. Of course, John Tortorella was fired almost two weeks ago, but why should that gap in time be a reason for...

Placing The Odds On The Rangers Coaching Candidates

from Andrew Gross of The Record, The Rangers begin their annual organization meeting today at GM Glen Sather's La Quinta, Calif., mansion and one of the main priorities is to find a coach to replace John Tortorella, who was fired on May 29. One candidate, Dallas Eakins of the Toronto (AHL) Marlies is presumed to be no longer available because he's on the verge of getting...

The Annual Why Grading Prospects Makes No Sense

In many ways this is the more frustrating time of the year when it comes to New York Ranger prospects as everyone and their mother comes out with some sort of grading system to try to rank the Ranger prospects. And every year at this time I wind up explaining how silly it is to try to grade prospects. It is silly because in all reality the only person who you can ever grade a prospect...

Stars Interested in Tortorella

Katie Strang at reports that the Dallas Stars have former Rangers head coach John Tortorella on their radar as they continue their search for a new head coach. Strang adds that the Stars have yet to seek permission from the Rangers to speak with Tortorella. ...wonder if Torts will place a call to Sean Avery to get some insight into what Dallas has to offer. lol...
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