Ondrej Pavelic Leaves Game After 1st Period with Knee Injury

Ondrej Pavelic left tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames between the first and second period due to a reported knee injury and was replaced by Henrik Lundqvist. We’ll find out the severity of the injury and what roster moves might be coming tomorrow, most likely. The Rangers’ back up goaltender joins a long list of injured Rangers’ players that include Captain Ryan McDonagh, Chris Krieder, Pavel Buchnevich, Marc Staal, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jimmy Vesey.

Rangers Complete Minor Trade with Capitals

In a deal undoubtedly designed only for the Hartford Wolf Pack, the New York Rangers completed a late trade this afternoon with their Metropolitan Division rivals, the Washington Capitals:

Play Along with the Rangers' Rebuild

With the New York Rangers first asking upcoming Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) Rick Nash for his list of 12 teams he would accept a trade to thanks to his Modified No-Trade Clause (M-NTC) and then, in an unprecedented move, formally announcing that the team was fundamentally flawed and essentially giving up on the 2017/18 season, it is time for every true Rangers’ fan to put on their General Manager’s hat and try to figure out the best path through the maze and pitfalls of rebuilding an NHL team in the salary cap era.

It’s tempting to just start randomly dialing up rival GMs whose teams are still in the playoff hunt to see what they’d fork over for a resurgent Michael Grabner or a slightly used, but still serviceable Rick Nash and throw in 50% salary retention in for good measure to help your counterpart manage their own salary cap snafus. But put down your phone for a moment and think about the big picture before you start making decisions that might complicate things down the road.

Rangers Recall D John Gilmour

With Brendan Smith officially re-assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack, New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton has recalled defenseman John Gilmour from the Hartford Wolf Pack this morning:

Jeff Gorton, Glen Sather Pen Message to Fans Ahead of Deadline

In case you had any doubts left that the Rangers intend to among the busiest and most active teams at the looming trade deadline, you can safely bury them now.

Brendan Smith Placed on Waivers

It could be a busy morning in Rangers Town.

Not only did the Rangers re-call defenseman Neal Pionk earlier today, but according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, veteran defenseman Brendan Smith, who has struggled mightily all season since signing his long-term extension this summer, has been placed on waivers:

Smith, 29, is in the first year of a four-year, $17.4M extension but has routinely been a healthy scratch throughout this tumultous season.

We’ll have more on this as it’s available.

As Sellers, Rangers Must be Patient and Embrace the Rebuild

There’s no longer any minutiae about whether or not the New York Rangers are going to be sellers at this year’s trade deadline. Admittedly, I’m one of the last adopters of the approach since, with a drearily weak Eastern Conference and a position in the playoffs, it was too early to forfeit this year at any point before the emotionless loss to Toronto. The players have packed it in, shown little battle, and decimated any hope of title contention this year. But this year’s trade deadline should be the start of New York’s rebuild, not the denouement.

Through April, assuming their Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs), at the least, are traded off, this is a tank roster, and that should, ultimately, be the goal for the rest of the year. If that’s the case, then Jeff Gorton & Co. must understand that there won’t be an immediate return and embrace a full rebuild next year as well. Tearing it down means not contending until at least 2020, as no return of picks and prospects will immediately bring back the influx of NHL-ready talent this team needs.

Why Grabner and Nash Should be Welcomed Back After Trades

There are 22 days before the NHL’s February 26th trading deadline – a date that will be remembered as an integral moment for future renditions of the New York Rangers. Through an unfortunate combination of seemingly never-ending injuries and a roster ill-equipped for a viable run at the Stanley Cup, this version will unequivocally be sellers, possibly of a great magnitude.

This can no longer be a matter for debate. With three regulation wins in their last 18 games, a minus-five goal differential, and a parade of players finding themselves on a growing Injured Reserve (IR) list, the cost-benefit analysis to keeping valuable deadline commodities like Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, and even Ryan McDonagh, is well in the red. Their collective market appraisals and the pending trades they necessitate will surely benefit the Rangers’ long-term goal of building another Cup-contending squad. Certainly more so than any fool-hearted attempt—no matter how emotionally satisfying—to salvage this particular sinking ship. It’s a lesson they probably should have learned last summer, but one they should be thoroughly convinced of by now.

The only debate from this point on should be over what the returns for each expendable player ought to look like and what their potential returns to Broadway this July as Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) might cost. Because, in the case of Grabner and Nash, that’s a factor to all of this that the Rangers need to be accounting for right now as revealed by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

Rangers Formally Request Rick Nash's No-Trade List

It’s happening! Well, hopefully. The first steps certainly are, as according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the New York Rangers have formally requested Rick Nash’s no-trade list:

In Wake of Injuries, Rangers Recall F Vinni Lettieri

In speaking with the media following last night’s loss to Nashville, Alain Vigneault said he expected another callup, and another callup he got. Following the loss of two more of his roster regulars, the Rangers again re-called forward Vinni Lettieri from the Hartford Wolf Pack: