On Wednesday, the NHL Executive Committee revealed that they came up with a positive recommendation for a one team expansion in the 2017-18 season, which would be awarded to Las Vegas.
Bill Foley, the man at the forefront of the NHL expansion to Vegas, has already gotten a lease in the new T Mobile Arena as well as getting deposits on 14,000 season tickets. The next step is for Foley to sign the expansion contract and return it to the league along with the $500 million fee.
An expansion team also means an expansion draft, which would probably occur before the start of the Vegas team’s inaugural season. Initially, it was believed that teams would not have to protect players with a NTC or a NMC, but that may have changed. Read the rest of this entry
With the Stanley Cup Finals underway (Game 2 tonight on NBC), there isn’t a lot to talk about with the Rangers until the offseason rolls around. Apart from European and College free agents, not much action has happened and there are just rumors flying around right now.
Everything that can be said about the Rangers has been said. A week or so ago, Larry Brooks surprised everyone by saying that there’s almost nobody that is off limits in a trade, with Lundqvist, Buchnevich and Skjei being the only untouchables. But Alain VIgneault backed that statement, going even further when talking to reporters at a golf tournament in Canada yesterday. Read the rest of this entry
There’s been a recurring theme in a lot of my articles this offseason, as well as many articles from other Rangers blogs and writers; the team desperately needs to shed some cap space. There’s not a lot of room to maneuver and fix the problems they have, and the big contracts to ineffective players will hurt the Rangers both long and short term.
On top of that, the team finally needs to undergo a youth movement. In recent memory, the team has turned to veterans and experienced players to try and propel them to a championship, trading draft picks for rentals and forgoing an infusion of youthful talent in name of a “winning pedigree” among the players. Guys like Brad Richards, Rick Nash and Dan Boyle have all been counted on to play really big roles, and it hasn’t always worked.
But this year has shown one important thing; the young talent on this team is ready for a prominent role. Chris Kreider had another 20 goal season, JT Miller posted career highs in all offensive categories, Derek Stepan hit the 20 goal plateau for the first time, and Jesper Fast took a big step up offensively, recording 30 points. On defense, Dylan McIlrath impressed with his improved skating and his ability to handle tough NHL competition, and Brady Skjei blew people away with his performance in the playoffs despite playing just seven regular season games. Read the rest of this entry
For the New York Rangers, defense is and has been the name of the game. Whether it was the blue-collar hockey played under John Tortorella, or the faster, speed game employed by Alain Vigneault, defensemen have been crucial to the team’s performance and success.
That reflects in the team’s salary cap as well, where a large portion of the available money is spent towards creating potentially a top-three defense in the entire league. With players like Ryan McDonagh, Keith Yandle, Marc Staal and Dan Boyle populating the defensive core of the Rangers, they form a very versatile and effective group that can shutdown anybody in the league, as well as generate some offense too.
But having so many talented defenseman on one team means that they all get paid for their high level of talent. This also stretched into goaltending, as the Rangers have arguably the best goalie in the NHL in Henrik Lundqvist. On defense alone, the Rangers have $26.75 million invested in their seven defensemen, with Dan Girardi ($5.5) and Marc Staal ($5.7) making the most amount of money. Add in Henrik Lundqvist and the new backup, Antti Raanta, and the Rangers have $36 million going towards the back end. That’s more than half of the allotted salary cap, without spending a dime on the 12 forwards that play every game. Read the rest of this entry