Rangers Must Use the Nuclear Option on Lundqvist

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Dave Rogers

Editor-in-Chief at Cleared for Contact
Writer, photographer and a lifelong New York Rangers hockey fan.
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That feeling you get when you’re about to write an article that’s going to turn the New York Rangers’ fans against you…

That writing has been on the wall for the past two seasons. Rangers’ captain Ryan McDonagh is simply not going to have a chance to call Henrik Lundqvist over to where Gary Bettman stands smirking to let the latest savior of the Rangers’ franchise be the first player since 1994 to skate around the ice with the Stanley Cup hoisted over his head. If Lundqvist remains with the Rangers to finish his elite career, it will likely be having never won the ultimate prize in hockey.

The 2-6-2 start to the 17/18 season is an exclamation point on that reality. If GM Jeff Gorton is brave and as good at his job as he seems to be, that leaves only two options moving forward. Convince Lundqvist to waive his No Movement Clause (NMC) and find a team willing to take on 50% or more of his remaining contract or to buyout the legendary goaltender’s contract at the conclusion of this season.

Move Hank to a Contender

There are plenty of teams around the league that might feel that Lundqvist would give their roster a significant boost in goal. Whether that is a reunion in Edmonton with former backup Cam Talbot, who has struggled to start the season, to Toronto where the team is winning despite sub-par numbers from Fredrik Andersen, or to any number of other teams with strong young rosters but issues in net (Dallas, Winnipeg or even Philadelphia). The point is, there would be no shortage of suitors and the return in picks and prospects for four years of Lundqvist’s services, even as a 35-year-old, at a $4.25M cap hit thanks to a 50% retention by the Rangers, would almost certainly create a bidding war.

Would the Stars be willing to part with Julius Honka—a player the Rangers nearly acquired in exchange for Cam Talbot a few years ago—or Miro Heiskanen as part of a Lundqvist deal, for example? Or how about the Oilers and Jesse Puljujärvi? Even if no prospects come back, a return similar to what the Rangers paid for Martin St. Louis, a first-round pick and a conditional second first-rounder should the team acquiring Lundqvist advance in the playoffs does not seem out of the question.

Buyout at the End of the Season

A less optimal solution would be a buyout of the final three seasons of Lundqvist’s contract after the chips fall where they may for the 2017/18 season. The only reason to go this route would be if Hank refuses to waive his NMC for a trade.

The cap charge for such a buyout would be approximately (from CapFriendly.com):

18/19 – $3.9M
19/20 – $4.4M
20/21 – $5.8M
21/22 – $1.9M
22/23 – $1.9M
23/24 – $1.9M

Due to his declining salary in the final three years of his contract, the actual buyout cost to the
Rangers would be about $1.9M per year for six years, or a total of about $11.3M total. This would let Hank sign on with a new team next season at a significantly reduced cap hit and allow him complete control of where he ends his NHL career.

For the Rangers, either method would spark a transition to a full rebuild. Many have claimed that a complete teardown of the team and living through the terrible seasons that would follow is simply impossible in New York. The Toronto Maple Leafs, though, have shown that even a big market’s fan base can be patient in that regard. Many Toronto fans called for a rebuild after years of futility. They certainly bought into the proverbial “Shanaplan”:

The difference of late is that the losing is part of what’s become known as “The Shanaplan.” Ever since Shanahan sold the MLSE board on the idea of a scorched-earth rebuild in January of 2015, management was upfront with fans and media that the roster wasn’t going to be pretty. Key veterans – led by top scorer Phil Kessel and captain Dion Phaneuf – were dealt away, and the focus shifted to a youth movement.

Rangers fans would likely get on board as well, considering how it has worked out so far for the Leafs. They can also look towards Edmonton, who landed Connor McDavid for their troubles while also putting together great depth alongside him. If the ultimate prize is what it takes to convince some fans, that is fair as well. Over the last decade, half of the ten Stanley Cup Championships have been captured by two teams that tore it all down and rebuilt through the draft with three wins by the Pittsburgh Penguins and two more by the Chicago Blackhawks. Sure, you can point to Arizona, Edmonton and even Washington as teams where the method of tanking for top prospects has yet to produce a championship. Except for Arizona, those teams have at least been in contention. It is clearly the best method for building a contender.

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Whether it is through trade or a buyout, the Rangers would have other difficult decisions to make. The easiest would be to move on from Rick Nash and Michael Grabner as rentals – both likely fetching more picks and prospects in return. More difficult would be two other Rangers’ fan favorites, captain Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello. These moves would fetch returns in line with what a trade of Lundqvist would see. Both players would be valuable to contenders and have modest contracts compared to their skill sets, each with a year left after this one on their current deals. Removing these players would be instrumental in ensuring that the team was bad enough to finish in a position to be at the top of the draft lottery this season and next. Either could also be UFA targets for the club when their current contracts end in two years and the Rangers are ready to start competing again.

Those remaining on the roster are young enough to see the transition through, becoming the veterans of the team’s core once they are ready to contend again. At the same time, the number of draft picks and prospects the team would horde from such moves would bring in plenty of young, cost-controlled talent, likely with some at the elite level required to be competitive in a salary capped league.

Do not confuse this as cynicism of Lundqvist’s career or even his abilities to this day. Despite a rocky start, the goaltender proved in last year’s playoffs that he is far from washed up. The team simply took their shots with him and need to move on if they hope to avoid a similar fate to Alain Vigneault’s last team, the Vancouver Canucks, who held on way too long and are now paying the price in a stalled rebuild attempt. If Rangers’ fans have hopes of arguably their greatest goaltender in franchise history winning a Stanley Cup before his storied career ends and if they also hope for the same for their beloved New York Rangers, moving on from Henrik Lundqvist is the only sensible path forward at this time. Given the current direction, the Rangers must choose between having Lundqvist retire Cupless, though a life-long Blueshirt, or give him a real chance to cap his Hall of Fame career with a championship, even though it would be with another club

Discussion
  1. BTW, I think the Rangers wins tomorrow, playing desperate. However, what a weird-ass irony it would be if Oscar is a contributor to another Vegas win. One in MSG that results in AV's firing.

    I could only hope that if that happens, lemons turn to lemonade as Gorton makes a small trade to bring him back.

    Don't get me wrong folks, no one player is a savior. Yet, every player (on our roster) in this NHL, is important. It is the cumulation of player loses and player signings that is likely one of the reasons we are playing this way and are in last place. We need to start building back pieces one by one. Thankfully, a couple of prospects are on board to fill some gaps in the next 2 years.





    Quote Originally Posted by Respecttheblue
    View Post

    I have a lot of patience with the players, maybe too much. But that's my flaw. Quite frankly I am bemused at how invisible some folk have been and collectively, and think it unlikely they all hit sudden statistical decline prematurely in their careers — so it's somethign else.

    But it appears the discussion may become OBE "overtaken by events"
    as it seems the next shoe is about to drop ... behind the bench.



    Patience with players is not a flaw. Call it, taking the long view. It is necessary to evaluate and assess the career trajectory of each individual. This is what a GOOD Manager in any business/organization does with their personnel.

    Too often, armchair observers provide declarative general statements and assessments of the team, followed by all-too-certain opinions about the high profile players, critical positions or underperformers of the moment. Not enough understanding of the career trajectory and unique circumstances behind each individual player, their role and the team. Particularly when it comes to assessing the little things that might get better with practice, or maturity, or even different coaching and personnel use. Tons of nuances really.

    Mgmt and coaching has let us down regarding internal evaluation. Some examples:

    How did the coach (and later mgmt) continue to undervalue Stralman as a lockdown RHD who was often perfect in his outlet passes and kept free pucks from floating around the slot line?

    How did mgmt and the coach undervalue a 26 y/o Hags who provided special speed, defense and forechecking. How about his 100% effort, energy, ability to close out games with the lead and his determination to win. Win puck battles, games and big playoff series. I remember watching Hags take the ice in warmups before a few playoff games and you knew if everyone came with his attitude we'd be unstoppable. I watched Hags (a ton) then become one of the biggest pieces in the Pens turn-around from bad to a Cup. It started with the speed of Kessel and Daley, but Sully and Hags were the tipping point. Sheary and Rust and the young fast kids then put them over the top. It wasn't Crosby and Malkin. Those who only watched a few of their playoff games, clearly missed what they did and why Hags not only filled a need, but made the rest of the team better,

    Put it on the coach to miss Lindberg's real value. Sure part was due to his hip injury, so AV had to look to a different C to do the PK and play a defensive role. But once Oscar found his footing the coach needed to make adjustments immediately, let alone by the playoffs. Instead we saw him keep Buch and Oscar on the bench during one loss, when Oscar might have been the best player forward on the ice. This is why Gorton couldn't pay a price to protect him. AV didn't value him enough, even if mgmt did.

    More poor internal personnel evals? The list is lengthy. G, Staal, Stepniak, Staal. Pirri was with the team for too long a stretch before AV realized he was one dimensional. There are so many others.

    Now we have sophomore Vesey, who is currently playing like a 4th liner, even though he looked good in the playoffs and in camp. Did he suddenly lose all his talent and skills? Good kid, serious and a hard worker. Might it be coaching and early deployment?

    Buch looks like a beast now, but he is on the 4th line because of one iffy game. Coach won't try McD and Skjei as an occasional top pair? Especially given the situation. Holden plays the right side. Coach is not seeing how consistently he struggles on that side in the D zone? I could go on.

    So, we need to address the roster, but as you said, events are overtaking things. Which is fine. If AV can't change things and gets canned, we will get different eyes and different methods deployed on this group... and maybe get a better read. Just let's not forget that some of these guys have not hit their prime or peak, and time is necessary (both in developing and assessing) to make good decisions.





    The coach is the far easier move — whether it's a scapegoat or a festering issue — as it buys management time to figure out the next round of UFA personnel decisions/trades — Nash, Grabs, and quite possibly McDonagh, just by virtue of his next contract being a big one that the team might not want to go long and deep for.


    Exactly. Buying time, at this point, is prudent. This is 3 years in a row of underperformance and the team wants to keep getting younger. Some big moves and decisions need to happen and we can't do what Ariz, Fla, Colo, Isles, Bos and Buff have done in recent years. Squandered a lot of good opportunities or made horrible decisions that impeded success or more future potential.





    In other news, the lowly Knicks just manhandled LeBron and the Cavs. Hardaway came out of his funk, and the 28th place Knicks played team ball and clamped down defensively. Not somethign they are known for. It's two different teams, two different sports —*and one of the teams is playing a couple of young recent first round draft picks. It's only two games for the Knicks, but I think the Rangers are capable of a similar turnaround in the new hands. I like AV's injection of offensive creativity back into this team, but I fear not all is right between him and a large portion of the room. Just a gut.


    As a fellow Knick fan, let's not mix us the mess or the sport. In hoops the star touches the ball or impacts almost every play all game. Tanking is key and you need 3 stars and good role players to win a ship. There is no parity. In contrast, on most nights McJesus touches the puck about 1 minute 50 seconds a game.

    Unfortunately both organizations have one thing in particular, in common.

    BTW, the knicks need a total tank and these wins are killing us.





    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomin
    View Post

    You write poetically, while I struggle to turn a phrase, let alone create a coherent thesis.

    When you wonder when it is time "to jump off" are you asking about the season or the squad?

    The season is simple. "It is starting to get late", just means there is plenty of time, if things begin to turnaround. It means it is time for the team to play with a sense of urgency. Improve their play, work harder and gain some confidence. Stop squandering points and start a series of runs beginning with winnable home games against zona, the habs and vegas.

    If AV can't turn this around by TGiving it will be his 3rd year in a row of underperformance and a change is in order. If the new coach doesn't improve the situation by around by early Jan, we become sellers. Any offers for Hank or Staal that do not carry much salary retention should be accepted w/o concern for the return. We encourage a bidding war for Nash and get more than a 1st round pick. Trade Holden and Desharnais. After that it gets harder. As I mentioned on previous threads, I'd look to trade McD for that young first line center (Toronto!) or a dynamic young scorer/playmaker like Ehlers. And I'd consider making the trade bigger (to make it more enticing) if we get another young piece back.

    That alone would be a substantial 1 year retool w/o gutting the core of young vets. It would put us so far below the cap that we could resign everyone, lock Marner up for 8 years and still have plenty of space to be the team ready to bail out an over-the-cap trading partner in the off season.

    You could make other tweaks such as trading Grabs, then resign him for 2 years and a small raise in the off season. He likes it here. Or consider hockey trades. How about Kreider for Rakell? Or Manson? Don't trade Zuc, he's got leadership, years left on his career and a bargain. Or trade Zuc for Manson? Trade both our firsts and a prospect or vet to move up to take a guy we believe could be a superstar? Sign the right free agent to good (not ridiculous) contract. Find a goalie to hold fort for Shesty's arrival in 2019.

    Just ideas, don't hate on any one move. Having all our picks and more, plus cap flexibility and more assets (choose your vet) to trade later gives us a great formula to "retool on the fly" in one year. We will be among the youngest and fastest teams in the league, a solid mix young vets and potential stars. A makeup that should far exceed what you see in zona.

    Now, if you are asking if it is time to "jump off" this squad, blowing the whole team up...

    I dunno. If mgmt sees key problems to the core young vets and wants to jettison guys like Miller and Kreids and Zuc on top of everyone over 30, then I guess. It just seems like a big leap and not the proper natural evolution of things.

    I'm a big believer in trying to get out in front of things (and problems), but sometimes it is better to let things develop. How else do we know if the real Miller or Kreids is the one we saw in last year's playoffs or the guy(s) we enjoyed in prior playoffs or the first half of last year?

    Being proactive or identifying young talent does not mean the team needs to be impatient with their evaluation or player development.



    In pro sports there is a fine line between good and mediocre. Or mediocre and not so good. A couple of key injuries or slumps can change one's fate suddenly. So might losing an edge in the league. That could emanate from coaching or a key missing piece or not enough impactful role players, mediocre goaltending or just fewer dominating players compared to the rest of the contending teams.

    If the team does not play well or turn things around then adding a piece, making a trade or changing the coach are the next logical steps. The next month should tell us a lot.



    Trajectory mattered then. The Cap arrived and we needed to shed the past-their-prime-players and all of Sather's old ways to shuttle in a youth movement. Torts needed to teach the young kids fundamentals and how to be a responsible player in the NHL.

    The current roster makeup makes trajectory less important. We have a young team already and we have a bit of a mish mash of talent spread throughout the lineup and organization. If we find we are not really competing this year, mgmt will be sellers and add more youth and potential at the expense of older vets. That will gives us plenty of upward trajectory to build from if we have the right coach, draft well and find a dynamic star forward.

    I think you are right. Mgmt will wait some more before being seller. Certainly before blowing the whole thing up. Two good performances and 3 points(hopefully 4) in the next two games would be a critical place to start. It would take a little pressure off mgmt and allow AV the month to get us on track.

    As for Shesty, stop wondering. His KHL contract ends after next season. Barring a war with Russia, the earliest he can arrive is 2019. I think he'll be here.



    I think we speaka da same language.

    I have a lot of patience with the players, maybe too much. But that's my flaw. Quite frankly I am bemused at how invisible some folk have been and collectively, and think it unlikely they all hit sudden statistical decline prematurely in their careers — so it's somethign else.

    But it appears the discussion may become OBE "overtaken by events"
    as it seems the next shoe is about to drop ... behind the bench.

    I'd agree with whichever writer, probably Brooks, that there's been an uneasy tension about the team since the season opener & something may be about to happen. The coach is the far easier move — whether it's a scapegoat or a festering issue — to make from the POV of management, as it buys management time to figure out the next round of UFA personnel decisions/trades — Nash, Grabs, and quite possibly McDonagh, just by virtue of his next contract being a big one that the team might not want to go long and deep for.

    In other news, the lowly Knicks just manhandled LeBron and the Cavs. Hardaway came out of his funk, and the 28th place Knicks played team ball and clamped down defensively. Not somethign they are known for. It's two different teams, two different sports —*and one of the teams is playing a couple of young recent first round draft picks. It's only two games for the Knicks, but I think the Rangers are capable of a similar turnaround in the new hands. I like AV's injection of offensive creativity back into this team, but I fear not all is right between him and a large portion of the room. Just a gut.





    I think we speaka da same language. I have a lot of patience, maybe too much. But it seems the next shoe is about to drop ... I'd agree with whichever writer, probably Brooks, that there's been an uneasy tension about the team & somethg may be nigh







    Quote Originally Posted by sg3
    View Post

    Ill just ignore the personal attack or whatever you are trying to say and stick with the topic.

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk



    All I'm saying is that you just seem to criticize others rather than offering your own opinion of what can be done. It's been obvious for some time that this team hasn't been good enough to win a cup, what do you suggest they do to get back on track? Stay status quo?
    I'm just a long time Ranger fan who roots for the team win or lose. I am not a professional journalist who spend weeks studying every minute detail. I was not aware that opinions of fans who have stuck with this team for more than 60 years were unacceptable because we didn't play or coach hockey or have our computers loaded with analytics.

    My comment was about fans of ALL NY teams who seem to call for massive firings and burning down the house unless a team wins a Championship every year. Currently you can hear that opinion on outlets like WFAN about both baseball, football and basketball teams and all three hockey teams. Even the Yankees who just played in their LCS are not immune and, in fact, dismissed their Manager.

    So I vote NO on dumping Hank, the second best Ranger goalie behind Giacomin IMO and the Head Coach after 10 games or so of an 82 game season

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk





    Quote Originally Posted by Rangers4Life
    View Post

    I see that you and Long Time Fan are alike, possibly brothers?



    Ill just ignore the personal attack or whatever you are trying to say and stick with the topic.

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk





    Quote Originally Posted by Respecttheblue
    View Post

    Tantalus may yet dangle his bunch of Playoff grapes. It’s very early yet, although mathematically starting to get late.

    That said, I often wonder internally (more so than publicly here) what the “jumping off point” the could or should be across a wide range of hypothetical scenarios. Not that I am ready to jump off. But I do wonder.



    You write poetically, while I struggle to turn a phrase, let alone create a coherent thesis.

    When you wonder when it is time "to jump off" are you asking about the season or the squad?

    The season is simple. "It is starting to get late", just means there is plenty of time, if things begin to turnaround. It means it is time for the team to play with a sense of urgency. Improve their play, work harder and gain some confidence. Stop squandering points and start a series of runs beginning with winnable home games against zona, the habs and vegas.

    If AV can't turn this around by TGiving it will be his 3rd year in a row of underperformance and a change is in order. If the new coach doesn't improve the situation by around by early Jan, we become sellers. Any offers for Hank or Staal that do not carry much salary retention should be accepted w/o concern for the return. We encourage a bidding war for Nash and get more than a 1st round pick. Trade Holden and Desharnais. After that it gets harder. As I mentioned on previous threads, I'd look to trade McD for that young first line center (Toronto!) or a dynamic young scorer/playmaker like Ehlers. And I'd consider making the trade bigger (to make it more enticing) if we get another young piece back.

    That alone would be a substantial 1 year retool w/o gutting the core of young vets. It would put us so far below the cap that we could resign everyone, lock Marner up for 8 years and still have plenty of space to be the team ready to bail out an over-the-cap trading partner in the off season.

    You could make other tweaks such as trading Grabs, then resign him for 2 years and a small raise in the off season. He likes it here. Or consider hockey trades. How about Kreider for Rakell? Or Manson? Don't trade Zuc, he's got leadership, years left on his career and a bargain. Or trade Zuc for Manson? Trade both our firsts and a prospect or vet to move up to take a guy we believe could be a superstar? Sign the right free agent to good (not ridiculous) contract. Find a goalie to hold fort for Shesty's arrival in 2019.

    Just ideas, don't hate on any one move. Having all our picks and more, plus cap flexibility and more assets (choose your vet) to trade later gives us a great formula to "retool on the fly" in one year. We will be among the youngest and fastest teams in the league, a solid mix young vets and potential stars. A makeup that should far exceed what you see in zona.

    Now, if you are asking if it is time to "jump off" this squad, blowing the whole team up...

    I dunno. If mgmt sees key problems to the core young vets and wants to jettison guys like Miller and Kreids and Zuc on top of everyone over 30, then I guess. It just seems like a big leap and not the proper natural evolution of things.

    I'm a big believer in trying to get out in front of things (and problems), but sometimes it is better to let things develop. How else do we know if the real Miller or Kreids is the one we saw in last year's playoffs or the guy(s) we enjoyed in prior playoffs or the first half of last year?

    Being proactive or identifying young talent does not mean the team needs to be impatient with their evaluation or player development.





    Remember when in Renney years the system was so bedraggled it was a fan hope just to be a playoff team?

    Now we have a team that “should” easily make the playoffs on paper, but which “appears” to be suddenly — or seemingly — I’m not sure which — knocking on mediocrity’s back door.


    In pro sports there is a fine line between good and mediocre. Or mediocre and not so good. A couple of key injuries or slumps can change one's fate suddenly. So might losing an edge in the league. That could emanate from coaching or a key missing piece or not enough impactful role players, mediocre goaltending or just fewer dominating players compared to the rest of the contending teams.

    If the team does not play well or turn things around then adding a piece, making a trade or changing the coach are the next logical steps. The next month should tell us a lot.





    Is it the trajectory that matters, or the relative position. Or is it a case of not having the generational talent? Or the generational goalie?

    I am pretty sure that whatever the case, management will wait much more patiently (, and/or change coach first) until closer to the deadline before pulling the plug/make trades of young prime age talent (Miller, Kreider, if that’s who we’re talking about when blowing up the team) for future high picks is concerned.

    After all the team might just have lost its way temporarily like they did in AVs first year before they rebounded dramatically. For me just way Too early to think about blowing a young developing core up. But I am thinking about Shestyorkin and how soon he will get here a lot more these days.


    Trajectory mattered then. The Cap arrived and we needed to shed the past-their-prime-players and all of Sather's old ways to shuttle in a youth movement. Torts needed to teach the young kids fundamentals and how to be a responsible player in the NHL.

    The current roster makeup makes trajectory less important. We have a young team already and we have a bit of a mish mash of talent spread throughout the lineup and organization. If we find we are not really competing this year, mgmt will be sellers and add more youth and potential at the expense of older vets. That will gives us plenty of upward trajectory to build from if we have the right coach, draft well and find a dynamic star forward.

    I think you are right. Mgmt will wait some more before being seller. Certainly before blowing the whole thing up. Two good performances and 3 points(hopefully 4) in the next two games would be a critical place to start. It would take a little pressure off mgmt and allow AV the month to get us on track.

    As for Shesty, stop wondering. His KHL contract ends after next season. Barring a war with Russia, the earliest he can arrive is 2019. I think he'll be here.





    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus
    View Post

    This isn't just about Hank. It's about the chance of this club, with any reasonable changes made, winning a cup in the next three seasons.

    I would put the odds of that at like 25 to 1. Tear it down and rebuild and I think you can get those odds for like 4-7 years out at 5 to 1 or so. Means two years of absolute pain, but the good news is, this can be year 1 if we move quickly.



    You make an interesting point.

    Tantalus may yet dangle his bunch of Playoff grapes. It’s very early yet, although mathematically starting to get late.

    That said, I often wonder internally (more so than publicly here) what the “jumping off point” the could or should be across a wide range of hypothetical scenarios. Not that I am ready to jump off. But I do wonder.

    Remember when in Renney years the system was so bedraggled it was a fan hope just to be a playoff team?

    Now we have a team that “should” easily make the playoffs on paper, but which “appears” to be suddenly — or seemingly — I’m not sure which — knocking on mediocrity’s back door.

    Is it the trajectory that matters, or the relative position. Or is it a case of not having the generational talent? Or the generational goalie?

    I am pretty sure that whatever the case, management will wait much more patiently (, and/or change coach first) until closer to the deadline before pulling the plug/make trades of young prime age talent (Miller, Kreider, if that’s who we’re talking about when blowing up the team) for future high picks is concerned.

    After all the team might just have lost its way temporarily like they did in AVs first year before they rebounded dramatically. For me just way Too early to think about blowing a young developing core up. But I am thinking about Shestyorkin and how soon he will get here a lot more these days.

    (I’m assuming more age/cap-conscious decisions like Nash discussions are separate topics.)
    10 games in, 7 points out of first. Don't think that warrants blowing the team up. That being said, if anybody is interested in Hank I think they should listen to what they have to offer. Same for Nash, and Staal. I'd like to see Hank, and Nash go to a team where they have a chance to win a cup. As for Staal, I'd just like to see him go. If he wins a cup, fine.
    BTW, just so I'm not misunderstood, if someone wants to give us a 1st for Hank and not too much salary is retained beyond this year, I'm all for it.

    Just not going to get off the hook that easy.





    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus
    View Post

    Hi Giacomin, first of all, I'm Dave and the author of the article. Mike is Future. No worries.

    I have played competitive organized sports, but I don't think that matters all that much to this conversation. You're not asking the players to throw games or the coaches to try to lose. You're simply gutting the team and replacing them with an inferior roster to the rest of the league. Then you're telling your coach to teach towards the system. Arizona is a perfect example of this. The roster is fatally flawed. In their case, it's a money issue. But still. They said on the broadcast last night, their coaching staff is teaching towards the system even if playing a more defensive style might win them more games. They're concerned with getting the team to play a certain way that will benefit them in the long run. So that's how you handle that.



    AJ = Dave, OK,catching on slowly. Thanks for the thoughtful comments to my response.

    The team clearly took the stance to compete this year, even while trimming a little age/salary, getting younger and adding an extra 1st to make up for some of the picks we traded. They stayed with a coach who has a known system, style, and proh sess. Once they chose this route, they now need to let things play out longer than 10 games to evaluate. It is too early to not trust the decisions they made and the plan they must have. How can the organization now take a radical sideturn this early in the season? Start an early firesale of our wanted players. Have AV change his system and who he is, to become a mentor of young flawed prospects?

    The season is not over yet. We started poorly in AV's first year and went to the finals. LA struggled significantly during their Cup years. The Pens were supposed to be out of it near xmas, two seasons ago, then won it all. It is so early that even Vegas, certain to be shopping forwards along with their glut of Dman, isn't making trades yet.

    There is time to maximize the future w/o trading off Zuc and McD for picks and prospects before November. As soon as we dump one of our best players it will be clear we gave up on the season already. And btw, it would also demonstrate mgmt fumbled the off season so abhorrently, as to now look incompetent. Two terrible messages to send.





    I don't think it would be easy to convince Hank to waive. He'll have to want to go to the team you're trading him to. Or at least want that over a buyout and losing the chance to win a Cup this season. The reason to trade first is the assets you get back. What you can't risk is Hank's pride and legacy in NY making it impossible to rebuild now with him, impossible to bench him if he still thinks he can play. Sure, him retiring at the end of the season is better than a buyout. And if he refuses a trade, you can discuss that option. But if you're going to rebuild, you can't risk having Hank on the roster and preventing you from losing enough games. It's poor asset management in that situation.


    Before we hit anything, your key premise is "the assets we get back in return." If this was the case, I'd agree with the whole paragraph. Here's the rub. The return would be minimal because of Hank's age and enormous salary for 4 more years, combined with his descending play. Your argument partly contends that Hank is a liability. There is little market demand for a liability.

    So, we need some luck and good timing. We need to wait for some demand, maybe a rash of injuries, a disillusioned GMs on the prowl for a netminder. That allows time for us to assess the roster better and maybe Hank goes on a run and increases his value. Also, time enables Hanks to see that the Rangers are going nowhere and he becomes more willing to consider waiving his NMC.





    I think you'll struggle to find someone outside of hockey employment as well versed in the CBA and salary cap as I am. I've studied both for a lot of years now. I can also predict certain things with some degree of accuracy. I can also look at trends. Show me cup winner since Detroit in 2008 that didn't benefit from at least one top 5 pick. At best, you can point to Boston, who traded Kessel (5th overall) and got Seguin (2nd overall) just prior to their Cup win. So generously, that's 2 of the last 10 that didn't tank for a Cup.


    I respect your opinions, assessments and good research. Yet, I'm not as convinced as you that the results 8 of the last 10 years is indicative of a formula we can follow with the same success. Three reasons jump out.

    1. The lottery makes it harder this year than last. Which was harder than the year prior. The rules keep making it more difficult to land a generational talent, simply by having the absolute worst record. And it would be difficult for this team to actually be in the bottom few overall, even with a firesale.

    2. You may not believe it, but our sample size is still too small to know if this is the real reason for those team's Cups. That tanking is a definite formula for surefire contention. There are teams that have selected high for a period of years and did not reach the finals.

    3. Once you get 4-5 picks in it can often be hard to tell if the better player is the one selected at 5 or 7 or 9. The Rangers were gonna take Keller 4th, he did not go till 7. Is he less of a talent? Many of the upcoming stars around the league were not taken in the top 5. Same for many of the Hall of Famers.





    I can't address what others said. I've been calling for a full rebuild since they lost to Tampa the year after going to the Final. It was clear they were on the other side of it. Had they rebuilt then, they'd be coming out of the other side of it now and be ready, next season probably, to start being competitive again. Instead, they got pounded by the Penguins, and lost in the second round last season. Last season was clearly an over reach, too. Their offense clicked in a way no one could have expected, even as their defensive game continued to diminish. It still wasn't close to being enough to compete for a Cup though.


    We disagree, I think the team underachieved in the second half and playoffs in the last two years. They should have beat Ottawa. Personnel moves (Boyle and G over Stralman, losing Hags, Clowe, Staal, Staal and even St Louis drained us of about 3 firsts and 5 seconds) didn't help, but this team should have been playing like they did in the first half. Whether I thought they were the 3-5th best team and you thought 8-10th best, they were still a long way from sucking. Besides, this draft was not top heavy.





    I enjoy the journey so long as I see light at the end of the tunnel. If I'm speeding towards a brick wall and there is a turnoff up ahead that takes me in the direction I want to go, I'm not going to enjoy the ride into the wall.


    There was a light at the end of the tunnel last year and so many of our top 9 disappeared while our D regressed even after adding a newcomer in Smith (who made an impact) and that a rookie sustained his level of play. Two guys AV had the least amount of time to influence. Players like Kreids, Miller and Step who've been good in the playoffs, sucked.

    A lot of that has to be on the coaching. Now AV has to turn around this ship, not Hank. AV should be the first to go, not Hank. Since he started the season here, AV deserves till Thanksgiving to fix things and accumulate some wins. If not, before we trade off our roster, change the coach.
    Hi Giacomin, first of all, I'm Dave and the author of the article. Mike is Future. No worries.






    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomin
    View Post

    Mike, this might be all over the place, hopefully there is message to take away. Here goes:

    It is hard to deal with any premises like we "must trade Hank now" and the whole "tank" talk or "tear down and start a total rebuild" fanspeak. Little of it is grounded in the reality of living life, playing sports, athletics or human nature. It is almost like some fans were never athletes or didn't play competitive team sports and only view the game using regressive analysis and data, forgetting basic realities. For instance, how does any fan expect to get any one individual, let alone a group of professionals to "tank", instead of working towards improving their game, their career, their circumstances and opportunities? How does one expect a coach or mgmt to quit so early in a season and send a quitter's message to everyone up and down an organization? It is not the real world. It may even seem like longterm thinking, but it is fraught with unpredictable variables that can set-off all kinds of random events and outcomes.



    I have played competitive organized sports, but I don't think that matters all that much to this conversation. You're not asking the players to throw games or the coaches to try to lose. You're simply gutting the team and replacing them with an inferior roster to the rest of the league. Then you're telling your coach to teach towards the system. Arizona is a perfect example of this. The roster is fatally flawed. In their case, it's a money issue. But still. They said on the broadcast last night, their coaching staff is teaching towards the system even if playing a more defensive style might win them more games. They're concerned with getting the team to play a certain way that will benefit them in the long run. So that's how you handle that.





    Mike, your article says there is only two options for Hank, at this point. That is a very narrow way of viewing the situation and possible futures. I can think of many different approaches and future outcomes. Even unusual occurrences like an injury to an aging Hank or retirement or other impactful things that can not be projected, add up to create other alternatives. You go on to say there will be no shortage of suitors, imply it will be easy to convince Hank to waive, etc. I disagree. Timing is a huge factor. At the moment there are likely few if any suitors and Hank is not necessarily waiving anything at this point to finish his career in Winnipeg or Edmonton.


    I don't think it would be easy to convince Hank to waive. He'll have to want to go to the team you're trading him to. Or at least want that over a buyout and losing the chance to win a Cup this season. The reason to trade first is the assets you get back. What you can't risk is Hank's pride and legacy in NY making it impossible to rebuild now with him, impossible to bench him if he still thinks he can play. Sure, him retiring at the end of the season is better than a buyout. And if he refuses a trade, you can discuss that option. But if you're going to rebuild, you can't risk having Hank on the roster and preventing you from losing enough games. It's poor asset management in that situation.





    In general, it is hard to get on board with this new common wisdom that fans (and thus mgmt and players) should/can just predict everything. The from our hubris, impose drastic solutions early with no thought of reality, rules, and certainly not nuance. And it is thoroughly UNNECESSARY.

    Why is it unnecessary? Because there are rules, NMCs, trading protocols, trade deadlines, human nature, things we can not predict and tons of other factors. yet, more importantly, this is why we play the games. Think about if there is a reason to request a tank, if we really suck? Not really. If we suck, we'll suck. It will be reflected in the record, once we have a much larger sample size. The trade deadline is late, many more games to play. Also, not every year comes a Mathews, McDavid or Crosby and even when it happens, the lottery decreases your chances significantly that even the worst record is likely not to pick one or two.


    I think you'll struggle to find someone outside of hockey employment as well versed in the CBA and salary cap as I am. I've studied both for a lot of years now. I can also predict certain things with some degree of accuracy. I can also look at trends. Show me cup winner since Detroit in 2008 that didn't benefit from at least one top 5 pick. At best, you can point to Boston, who traded Kessel (5th overall) and got Seguin (2nd overall) just prior to their Cup win. So generously, that's 2 of the last 10 that didn't tank for a Cup.





    Do I think we might suck enough to miss the playoffs. Certainly, but I don't fuckin know. yet. I predicted it. The time to take action (or call for action) was at the end of last season leading up to the expansion the 2017 draft. I started a thread called "In Chaos there is Opportunity", anticipating the expansion draft, the possible trades, trading Step, etc. After what resulted and by the end of that thread, I was pissed. I was very negative about the off season and projected that we would regress. Some of you guys told me to relax, the off season was hardly over. Yet, now in Oct some here are talking overhaul when it is too late to make an impact and too soon in the season to make a determination about our talent and team. Plus too soon to have other GMs ready to make impactful moves. It is not practical or pragmatic.


    I can't address what others said. I've been calling for a full rebuild since they lost to Tampa the year after going to the Final. It was clear they were on the other side of it. Had they rebuilt then, they'd be coming out of the other side of it now and be ready, next season probably, to start being competitive again. Instead, they got pounded by the Penguins, and lost in the second round last season. Last season was clearly an over reach, too. Their offense clicked in a way no one could have expected, even as their defensive game continued to diminish. It still wasn't close to being enough to compete for a Cup though.





    If we really want to trade Hank, things like timing, circumstances, approach and other criteria are critical. For instance, is Hank more likely to waive now or near the deadline when mgmt is telling him that the playoffs do not look realistic? Or if/when mgmt tells him we are rebuilding and he will have to endure it? Neither is happening this month or next.

    More concerns: Isn't it better to wait for a contender or two to emerge who lose their goalie or are desperately seeking a goalie because there original solution failed? Isn't it better to have a team or two inquire, rather than put out a message (that the media will eventually discover) that we'd be willing to trade Hank? If we overtly want to move Hank his value will be in even more question. As respecttheblue said, why "must" we trade Hank now anyway? We are one tenth of the way, we have an uncertain backup. Panic and desperation impede strategy and success.


    Of course if they are going to trade him, they'll have to wait for the right suiter. But they can start tearing other things down now.






    To all you guys... Isn't it better to be sellers at the deadline, when GMs are looking to add a key piece and are competing for talent? How about waiting to be sellers, so that we can get more info on this year, before we quit? I'm not saying don't make a hockey trade. But let's not sell Nash and others now, for the paltry picks some of you mentioned. Nash should command a first (or at least two #2s) if his play remains the same. If we aren't contenders we'll be sellers. Let's cross that bridge when we get there. Right now there is much more road to travel.



    That depends on the player and how much they have left under contract. If a team feels they're a goaltender away from being competitive but might not make the playoffs because of it, then they can use someone like Hank now. Similar for Nash or Grabner. McDonagh and MZA absolutely have more value right now than at the deadline, imo.






    Some folks need to enjoy the journey. You might be dead in 2022 anyway. The time to bitch about the trip has passed. The planning stage is over, you have embarked, your plans and travel mates are set. The time to regressively analyze the trip is down the road. We need to experience more before radically changing course on the fly. So does the rest of the league. A full tank is not a moderate adjustment, it is a drastic yet somewhat nebulous destruction of of the team.



    I enjoy the journey so long as I see light at the end of the tunnel. If I'm speeding towards a brick wall and there is a turnoff up ahead that takes me in the direction I want to go, I'm not going to enjoy the ride into the wall.






    Hey this is a discussion board, shouldn't we discuss it? Hell yeah, but let's get a little real. If we talk about trading Nash, let's make it grounded in the inevitable factor that it will be because mgmt does not see us contending and we are sellers and there will be buyers. If we are going to trade Hank we must have actual teams that WANT, NEED, HAVE CAP FOR Hank and he WILL ALSO WAIVE FOR. That does not even address the return, need for retention or who plays goal for the Rangers, this year or next. And he isn't leaving the Rangers in Oct or Nov. Or if we are looking like a playoff team.


    The issue is that if you stay the course, even if they rebound some, you can end up with a 10th place finish in the East. You look at last year, that's Tampa. They picked 14th in the draft. If you tear it down now, you're much more likely looking at a top 5 pick.





    Quote Originally Posted by sg3
    View Post

    Not convinced of anything after 10 games of an 82 game season

    Sorry if you want someone who wants to blow everything, discuss it with the fatfrancesa here or the real francesa who currently is ranting for the blowing up of all NY area teams that dare to not win a championship every season


    Except for hockey of which the real francesa knows or cares as much as quantum physics

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk



    This isn't about one season. It's really about the past three seasons. Hank is on a steady decline. Yes, he can still be "the guy" for stretches. His compete level is off the charts. But as the Rangers get further and further away from being able to play sound defensively, the reality that Hank simply can't save this team becomes more apparent.

    Again, that's last year and the year before.

    The shame of it is, that the last few years' team, with Hank from the Torts' years, maybe they get over the hump and the goal scoring and elite goaltending mitigate the pourous defense. And now they're not even scoring goals at a high enough clip. As I said in the article, the start to the season isn't the reason for what I wrote, it's the exclamation point.

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