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Trading Grabner before the expansion draft might be necessary

Bobby Bevilacqua

michael-grabner-full-body-9-29

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

Out of all of the new additions the Rangers added to their team this offseason, Michael Grabner has blown expectations out of the water. Along with defenseman Nick Holden, these two have helped provide offense and consistent two-way play on cheap, cap-friendly contracts.

When Grabner was signed to a two-year deal, it seemed like he would wind up being a fourth line player who is great at killing penalties and could chip in with some offense. The stories about how he scored 34 goals in his rookie season, 20 goals another year and then 16 goals in the 2012-13 lockout season popped up, as did the ones about how he was fast but couldn’t score on breakaways or finish his chances.

Fast forward to today, and Michael Grabner leads the team with 19 goals after being awarded a hat trick in the Jan. 7 win over the Blue Jackets. That was his second hat trick of the year, and he now has more goals than Evgeni Malkin, Joe Pavelski, Connor McDavid, James Neal, Phil Kessel and more. Read the rest of this entry

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Vegas expansion and expansion draft changes plans for Dan Girardi

Bobby Bevilacqua

dan girardi skating 12-6

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

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

Quick Hits: NHL Expansion, Patrick Kane off NHL cover, Rangers goalie prospects

Bobby Bevilacqua

Some interesting stories from around the league have come out in the past few days, including some news about the Rangers goalie prospects.

NHL Expansion takes another step forward

Gary Bettman

Gery Bettman has invited the ownership groups in Las Vegas and Quebec to enter Phase Two of the expansion process. Photo courtesy of Trevor Hogan/Associated Press.

As many people know, the NHL is looking to expand the amount of teams in the league for the first time since 2000, when the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets played their first games in franchise history.

While 16 separate groups/individuals were interested in creating a new team, only two cites had filed an application; Las Vegas and Quebec. Las Vegas has never had an NHL team before, while the small Quebec City was host to the Nordiques from 1979 to 1995, when they became the Colorado Avalanche. Read the rest of this entry