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Official: Kevin Klein Announced His Retirement

After ten NHL seasons and four with the New York Rangers, as suspected, right handed defenseman Kevin Klein has called it an NHL career. Klein came to the Rangers at the trade deadline of the 2013/14 season in exchange for Micheal Del Zotto. He skated in 224 regular season contests with the Rangers, scoring 22 goals and adding 50 assists. In the playoffs, he was a part of the Rangers’ 2013/14 run to the Stanley Cup Final and played in a total of 45 postseason games with the Blueshirts. In addition to his strong defensive play, Klein brought a physical edge that has often been lacking on the Rangers’ blueline in recent years. This helped make him a fan favorite, even in as a depth defenseman.

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What Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton Might Have in Common

OK, we all know now that Rangers’ Captain Ryan McDonagh was one of those defensemen prospects and ultimately ended up being the key part of that deal, while the Rangers would go on to sign UFA Marian Gaborik the day after the trade. Gainey got fleeced here, as Gomez would eventually be bought out by Montreal after one good season and a couple of terrible ones. This deal is largely considered to be the most lopsided one in the post salary cap NHL and a contender in the entire history of the NHL.

The Rangers and GM Jeff Gorton are hoping to have written a second act to this story, though. Just a few weeks ago, he completed a similar deal, this time with the Arizona Coyotes in another salary dump of a mid 50’s point center with a number of years left on a high dollar deal, with the return including a young former first-round drafted defenseman. In free agency, the Rangers acquired top offensive defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (4 years, $6.65M AAV) using the salary cap space they cleared by trading Derek Stepan (4 years, $6.5M AAV remaining). Along with Stepan, the Rangers sent backup goaltender Antti Raanta west in exchange for the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (Lias Andersson) along with a young offensive defenseman named Anthony DeAngelo.

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Rangers Round Table: Gorton’s Plans for the Summer of ‘17

This Rangers Round Table Slack Chat was our first attempt at adding a conversational approach to some of the impending issues facing the Rangers and Jeff Gorton as free agency approaches.

Below is a clip from that conversation:

Dave: As we know, teams are already talking to Unrestricted Free Agents. July 1st is creeping up quickly. What thoughts do we have on free agency for help at center, defense and a backup goalie? Ray, you want to take this?

Ray: Yeah. I just want to rain on Phil’s parade and say absolutely, positively stay away from Joe Thornton. He’s coming off a torn ACL and MCL and the worst [statistical] season of his career since the 1999-2000 season. Plus he’s looking for 3 years? HELL NO. Give me Nick Bonino.

Dave: Phil, are you going to take that?

Andrew: Have to agree with Ray on Thornton. I think you get more Marty St. Louis in Thornton than anything else, but not good Marty. We’re looking at a guy who had a stark drop in points and then suffered a big injury. St. Louis didn’t even suffer such a setback. I’d stay away.

Phil: Thornton is an ideal stop gap solution. Not a long-term one. Not even I want to give him three years.

Mike: Three years is probably too much for Thornton, but as a 2c/3c who can get offensive zone starts and play the power play, I think he can still be really productive.

Ray: How is he ideal? I think he’s far from ideal, especially for the Rangers’ up-tempo game.

Mike: His hands and vision will still be there, and favorable starts helps mitigate the skating.

Phil: He’s still a top-six center in this league, and all indications are that he’s expected to make a full recovery from the injury. A one- or two-year deal with an AAV of around $5.5M isn’t going to break anyone’s back IMO.

Also discussed during the chat were Kevin Shattenkirk, the Rangers’ performance at the Entry Draft, the impact of the Stepan trade, and more.

Feel free to read through and respond to any of the topics at hand.

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Confirmed: Vegas Will Select Oscar Lindberg in Expansion Draft

This is certainly not a worst case scenario for the New York Rangers concerning the expansion draft. While losing Oscar Lindberg isn’t great, they were going to part with some asset to Vegas. Better Lindberg than any of the other likely candidates. The Rangers hold on to Raanta, Fast and Grabner, all of whom have more trade value or current value to the team than Lindberg. Lindberg may have more upside down the road, but that’s an “if”. Assuming the Rangers didn’t have to part with any, or at least any significant, draft picks to make this happen, today’s a win and they can move on to the post Expansion Draft trade frenzy and free agency in reasonably good shape.

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NHLPA, Buyout Window and Klein to Define Rangers' Off Season

It is every hockey fan’s favorite time of year…

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OK, OK, hockey playing time is over and hockey management time is upon us. While each member of the Pittsburgh Penguins is now planning their “day with the Cup” (Barf.gif), General Managers and their supporting staff are crunching numbers, reviewing contracts and making contingencies based on where the upper, and for some poor teams’ fans, the lower limits of the 2017/18 Salary Cap will level off.

Leveled off is precisely where the Salary Cap will sit if the NHL Players’ Association decides not to invoke a rule called the “escalator” which artificially inflates the cap ceiling up to five percent higher than the players’ 50% share of Hockey Related Revenue (HRR) dictates. That even split of HRR would keep the cap at right around $73M per team according to league estimates, the number it was at last season. In 2016/17 the NHLPA did decide to use that escalator, or else the cap that year would have been just under $70M per team.

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Rangers to Buyout Dan Girardi

:tweet: @NYRangers OFFICIAL: #NYR will buy out the contract of defenseman Dan Girardi.

We all knew it was coming, although probably there was just an inkling of doubt. Dan Girardi, especially in the last couple of seasons, was a very polarizing figure. Still, he’s been a huge asset to the Rangers over the years, considering he was undrafted. If we get similar value from a Kevin Hayes, Jimmy Vesey or others, we’ll have to count our self lucky. A warrior to the end, even as his body failed him.

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Brooks - Kevin Klein Contemplates NHL Retirement

http://nypost.com/2017/06/13/rangers-kevin-klein-leaning-toward-retirement/ 

It seems that Kevin Klein has come to the same realization as the rest of us, his time as a serviceable NHL depth defenseman has likely come to an end. He’s had a solid career and he may have enough left in the tank to compete over seas. If he does retire, there will be plenty of spots open, particularly on the right side, for the Rangers come September.

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Interview with new Hartford Wolf Pack Coach Keith McCambridge

https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/mccambridge-on-move-to-head-coaching-role-with-hartford/c-289909196

The Hartford Wolf Pack had grown stale under Ken Gernander and when he was relieved of duty, many Rangers’ fans were relieved. It will take some time before new head coach Keith McCambridge has a stable of prospects with which to show whether he’s up for the job, but his responses in this interview seem promising. Now Jeff Gorton and Wolf Pack GM Chris Drury need to collaborate on what moves will be necessary to give McCambridge more assets to work with.