According to Larry Brooks, the Rangers offseason plans are absolutely insane

Bobby Bevilacqua

derek stepan and chris kreider 11-23

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Last night, Larry Brooks posted a column full of updates about the Rangers and their plans for the future, throwing gasoline on the fire of trade rumors and setting up what could be a potential roller-coaster of an offseason.

First off, Brooks wrote that the Rangers do not plan to buy out Girardi and eat dead cap space, which is understandable to an extent. But they also have not asked him to waive his NMC, and don’t plan on doing it. The 32 year old defenseman has four years left on his contract with a $5.5 million cap hit.

You know where I stand on this deal, and if the Rangers plan on having Girardi penciled in as their top pairing, right side defenseman, then the team isn’t going to improve at all. I understand why you wouldn’t want dead cap space right now but there should be an effort made to try and infuse youth and new, more skilled players into the defense.

Brooks went on to talk about Keith Yandle, saying what mostly everyone has been fearing; it’s likely that he will walk because the team can’t afford him. Thankfully, the two sides have been talking so all hope is not lost, but Yandle is not planning on only negotiating with Jeff Gorton and would test the free agent market.

If Yandle walks and the rest of the defense stays the same, it will show that the organization hasn’t learned from their past mistakes, overvalues their gritty, blue-collar veteran defenseman, and it will be a complete waste of Antony Duclair and two first round picks. Also, it’s total neglect of the problems at hand without trying to solve a thing. The way @HockeyStatMiner said it on Twitter is perfect; Wondering how to keep Yandle while not considering a buyout or trade of Dan Girardi is like starving in a supermarket.

What really made the Rangers fan base explode was this – everyone not named Henrik Lundqvist, Brady Skjei and Pavel Buchnevich (and apparently Dan Girardi too). That means Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider and others are all AVAILABLE.

What?!?! If you won’t’ remotely consider cutting ties with Girardi but will put that list of players up on the available list, you deserve to be fired immediately. It also makes no sense. Not trading Henrik Lundqvist means that you plan on trying to win and contend for the cup. But trading your entire young core and some of this season’s best performers means that this is more than just a retool, it’s heading into rebuild mode.

Gorton and the Rangers need to choose one route – rebuild or retool. They seem to be stuck in the middle of the two choices which could lead to managerial mistakes and hasty trades that don’t make sense in the long run. Brooks also said that it’s extremely unlikely that the team goes after Stamkos, or that they try to trade for Kevin Shattenkirk, which makes this fire even more confusing.

The players that Gorton is seemingly willing to trade is also baffling. Ryan McDonagh has been a good defenseman while being dragged down by subpar defensive partners for most of the past few years, and his cap hit ($4.7 million) is an absolute steal. Derick Brassard is still young, improving each season, and also has a really affordable cap it ($5 million) for his production.

The Wild are supposedly very interested in acquiring Minnesota native Derek Stepan. Stepan scored a career high 22 goals this season and plays a tremendous all-around game, playing an important role on the power play, penalty kill, and in both zones at even strength. The Rangers tend to not win that often when he’s out of the lineup, so they would need to get a hell of a return for Step, a young and improving forward.

The Wild supposedly were in on Ryan Johansen, and offered 22 year old defenseman Jonas Brodin and a forward. Brodin is a left handed shot, right side defenseman, who has never scored more than 19 points in a season and is known for blocking shots. He also had a corsi for percentage of 44.5% this season, along with a -5.2 CF% rel and a -4.8 FF% rel. If the Rangers add another defenseman like this to their lineup, I may go insane.

The one bit of good news out of this entire article is that the Rangers will be in on pending free agent winger Jimmy Vesey when the Predators lose his rights on August 15th. Vesey was the 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner for the best NCAA hockey player and scored 24 goals and 46 points in 33 games with Harvard this season. Adding him to the prospect pool would be absolutely fantastic.

Posted on May 26, 2016, in Rangers Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. think about it like this, who is going to take Girardi? not a single team that he would go too that’s who. they are accepting that they are not going to be able to trade him and instead of buying him out they give him 1 year(hopefully demoted) to prove it was just a down year, although his best years are behind him. after next year trading him will be an easier option.

    when they say all of those players are available, you know that means they would only trade one of those players because someone has to go, it’s not like they would blow up the core. pointing to a top 6 forward being traded means they probably can’t trade Staal yet either. Staal is the one that needs to go, ever since his eye injury he has not been the same player, always shaky under pressure and a turnover machine.

    their goal should be to trade Staal so they can afford to keep Yandle, but if not Staal then someone else has to go. they will also sign their RFA’s. all the trade rumors about Nash and Shattenkirk are just that, rumors.


  2. Agree with previous comment about not wanting to eat Gerardi’s contract, trading Staal & keeping Yandle for close to same cap salary and contract duration
    I’d replace Staal with Skjei and pair him with Gerardi , replace Boyle with McIlrath and pair him with McIlrath , pair McDonagh with Klein & try to keep Raphael Diaz as the 7th defensemen ( this adds size, & youth as well as saves around 4 million in salary cap !

    My greater concern next year is more about the possible need to CHANGE RANGERS CORE LEADERSHIP ( see St Jose Sharks for methodology …. it may have cost them a year , and a good coach , but Thornton and Marleau ultimately transitioned leadership to Pavelski who is effective and works hard every night , while exhibiting a strong team first attitude with both younger & older players !) .

    It’s time to take the A’s away from Gerardi and M Staal . If they remain their role(s) should be mentoring younger players. This may be the reason why the article talks about finding the “right ” trade value for the younger core leaders

    It’s killing me to watch ex Rangers players get so deep into the playoffs ( Callahan , Stralman, Boyle in TB and Hagelin in Pittsburgh ) . All seemingly overpaid … All overachieving & playing WINNING hockey in the playoffs .

    I like the Rangers RFA youth movement & would prefer tweeking the lineup. I’d
    – keep RFA’s Miller , Kreider, Hayes, McIlrath, & Jensen
    – Bring up Skjei and Buchnevich
    – wouldnt sign UFA’s E. Staal , Dan Boyle or D Moore
    – consider reasonably resigning UFA’s Stalberg & Diaz ( if D- Ryan Graves and LW Marek Hrivik are not NHL ready )
    – demote or eat Tanner Glass the remainder of his contract ( much like last year when he started the year in the AHL )
    – find or trade for a reasonably priced Russian speaking linemate/ teammate for Buchnevich. Dallas, Chicago and Tampa have had recent success with this Russian pairing model .
    – trade MStaal’s for a mid to high draft choice , if Gerardi is not tradable for a draft choice
    – sign Yandle for close to equivalent salary cap & contract duration as MStaal or Gerardi )
    – Lundqvist, Ranta, Nash, Stepan, Brassard, Zuccarello, Fast, Lindberg , McDonagh and Klein are all signed for 2016/7 season
    Good luck to our new GM , we all seem to want to do his job !


  3. I like what both you us have to say . The only thing that I would like to be different in what Joe said is that we find a way to keep Yandle. Of course that’s easier said then done. I also totally agree with Mike. Writers go and throw lines out there like “they’re going to trade everyone except so n so”. You know they’re not going to trade Step or Brass or pretty much anyone from their younger core guys that are signed for years still. Zucc, Brass n Step all had great years right after getting their new contracts. That’s a great sign for us. I see why the Rangers don’t want to buy out Girardi now but I really hope they can pull off a trade for Staal then n move Girardi down. We gotta get Mclirath his first full season already n I think Brasy Skjei is gonna be a real good D man so I would love to see him play now. No matter which way any of us look at this team it still comes down to Staal n Girardi are killing us with those contracts. Who knows maybe we’ll see Girardi moved down n also be healthy n have a much better year. At least a year where he’s not throwing cross ice passes in our end right on a forwards stick from the other team.


  1. Pingback: Quick Hits: Derek Stepan trade value, AV’s comments on the team, and Beukeboom getting promoted? |

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