Found September 26, 2013 on Blue Seat Blogs:
Vigneault will be looking long term, not just trying to cope in October While the vast majority of NHL teams have trimmed their rosters down in preparation for the season, the Rangers are still carrying a large, oversized squad as they continue to work out what they need to cope with a harsh start to their regular season. The results haven’t been positive (yet) but when has the Stanley Cup ever been awarded in September? The short of it is that Alain Vigneault is taking a long hard look at numerous players before cutting the roster down and it’s the right approach. With injuries to key players and with an extended road trip featuring multiple presumptive cup contenders it’s imperative the new coach knows what he has at his disposal not only now but in case of all eventualities moving forward. What it also allows however is long term planning for the Rangers. The Rangers stand to benefit from having greater insight into the likes of Conor Allen, Jesper Fast and into the less heralded prospects such as Tommy Hughes. Knowing the timetable for Oscar Lindberg’s readiness (which appears to be now by the way) or Marek Hrivik’s NHL ability should allow the club to plan beyond this season. Alain Vigneault is having to acclimatise himself with a new franchise, a new conference and is doing so to a deeper level than many may feel necessary in the short term. The Rangers will have some difficult decisions to make over the next twelve to eighteen months. With less than a handful of players committed to the club beyond the 2014/15 season the Rangers will be looking carefully at those they feel can be part of the long term plan. Will the likes of Mats Zuccarello feature beyond this year or will the new coach prefer a Kristo or Miller long term? With the upcoming NHL draft not generating much excitement from a talent or depth perspective early on, it is critical the Rangers staff get a good read on their own assets at every level of the organisation as quickly as possible. This includes first hand access to players beyond the core. When a team faces both significant change (player, system and staff) and significant unrest (like an enforced long road trip can bring) it presents a distinct challenge. Alain Vigneault is aware who he doesn’t have at his disposal and who his team has to face to begin the season. He is coping with absences. Making sure legitimate talent at his disposal stretches beyond the game day bench and into the Hartford Wolf Pack is just as important as figuring out who will line up with Rick Nash or who will fill in for Ryan Callahan. Alain Vigneault has almost certainly got his eye on the long term even as he settles into his new job. With a long contract and significant expectancy, Vigneault has been taken a look at as many players as he reasonably can for as long as he can. Asset management: it’s just as important to make sure a prospect has the calibre required for the long haul as it is to ensure Callahan’s health or his short term replacement. Known for his preparation, Vigneault and the Rangers decision makers will be planning ahead. This difficult preseason is just the start. Tweet

Decisions loom for Rangers’ Vigneault

The NHL’s presentation of Trading Places: Behind the Benches debuts Thursday night with Alain Vigneault’s Rangers hooking up with John Tortorella’s Canucks. But while this unique matchup will attract a disproportionate amount of attention across the continent the Blueshirts have way too much unfinished business to complete in this preseason to be concerned with proving a point...

Kristo among those sent to Hartford in today’s cuts

Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers have cut the following players, and sent them to the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack: Goalies: Cam Talbot Defensemen: Tommy Hughes, Aaron Johnson, Dylan McIlrath, Danny Syvret Forwards: Micheal Haley, Michael Kantor, Andrew Yogan, Danny Kristo While most of these were predictable (I got 8 of 9 correct), Kristo being sent to the AHL is a bit of a surprise....

Ryan Callahan cleared for contact

After Derek Stepan re-signed earlier today, the Rangers received another piece of great news tonight as Ryan Callahan was cleared for contact.  MSG reported the info during the first intermission of tonight’s game. Callahan has been skating alongside his teammates for weeks and being cleared was his last major obstacle.  Callahan should be in good condition, so he might not be...

Report: Derek Stepan and Rangers Agree To Two Year Deal

Various reports indicate both Stepan and Rangers are in agreement on a two-year deal. Final total expected to be in neighbourhood of $6.5M, — Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 26, 2013   … if true this would be a steal for the New York Rangers and the right move by Derek Stepan.  Lots of reports going […]

Miller, Staal, Allen with solid play in third preseason loss

Hasn’t missed a beat (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) The Rangers lost their third preseason game –and second straight– tonight in Edmonton, but it was not all negative. J.T. Miller and Connor Allen played extremely well tonight. Allen is leapfrogging kids on the depth chart very, very quickly. We all know about Miller’s potential, and the kid played will with Arron Asham and...

Glen Sather is setting a standard the rest of the NHL should follow

Sather always does things on his terms Remember when Ales Hemsky was considered an elite prospect? Remember the last time the Edmonton Oilers were considered a well run franchise? The answer to both questions is probably a long time ago. Despite multiple lottery draft picks the Oilers have been ‘on the cusp’ of being a playoff team for too long (although this year may finally...

Stepan, Rangers agree to 2-year deal

Derek Stepan is back in the fold with the New York Rangers, agreeing to a two-year contract that should have him back on the ice in time for the season opener. The deal is worth just north of $6 million, according to multiple reports. Negotiations had been tense in recent days as the sides worked on a deal to get the restricted free-agent forward signed and into training camp....

Vigneault's Rangers ready to face Tortorella's Canucks

The teams swapped coaches. By definition then the Rangers are hoping to infuse the best of Alain Vigneault’s Canucks while John Tortorella wants to infuse on the West Coast – aka the Wet Coast – what worked so well for him in New York. The teams’ identity makeovers intersect tonight when Tortorella’s Canucks host Vigneault’s Rangers at Rogers Arena a preseason game unusually...

Stepan, Rangers agree to 2-year contract

Derek Stepan is back in the fold with the New York Rangers, agreeing to a two-year contract that should have him back on the ice in time for the season opener. Negotiations had been tense in recent days as the sides worked on a deal to get the restricted free-agent forward signed and into training camp. A contract was finally worked out Thursday, one week before the Rangers start...

Rangers, Stepan agree to two-year deal

The stalemate between the Rangers and Derek Stepan has come to an end after talks between the club and its presumptive first-line center accelerated Thursday morning sources have told The Post. The parties agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth approximately $6.2 million. Stepan had been seeking $7 million while the Rangers had been offering approximately $6 million. Stepan...

Rangers, Derek Stepan close to two-year deal

The stalemate between the Rangers and Derek Stepan appears to be coming to an end with talks between the club and its presumptive first-line center having accelerated Thursday morning sources have told The Post. It is believed the parties are zeroing in on a two-year contract worth approximately $6.5 million. That would represent a split-the-difference agreement: Stepan had been...

Canucks shut out Rangers 5-0

Henrik Sedin scored two goals and the Vancouver Canucks blanked the New York Rangers 5-0 on Thursday night. New York's Alain Vigneault and Vancouver's John Tortorella coached against their former teams for the first time. They were replaced with each other after being fired following last spring's playoffs. Moments before the opening faceoff, the Canucks saluted Vigneault...

Metropolitan Division Preview: New York Rangers

  Ah, the Philadelphia Flyers’ old rivals from New York. I know the New York Rangers best from the Messier/Richter years. You might know them from their losing to the Flyers on the last day of the 2009-2010 season in a shootout and missing out on the playoffs. The Rangers are in an odd spot. Two years ago, they were in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils...

Brooks: Rangers, Stepan likely to reach a contract agreement shortly

The Maple Leafs re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Cody Franson earlier this morning, and the New York Post's Larry Brooks reports that the remaining marquee RFA on the market, Derek Stepan, may re-sign with the New York Rangers shortly: The stalemate between the Rangers and Derek Stepan appears to be coming to an end, with talks between the club and its presumptive...

Rangers, Stepan Agree On Two Year Contract by   Steven Ellis

The New York Rangers have reportedly agreed on a two-year deal with their number one center, Derek Stepan. Stepan was drafted in the second round, 51st overall, by the Rangers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.  Stepan scored a hat-trick in his first NHL game on October 9, 2010, against Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres, the first rookie in Rangers history to do so, en route to [...]
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