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Thread: 2014 Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers Thread

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    2014 Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers Thread

    I guess when your team has an awesome season, the tendency around here is to silently bask in the glory while the fans of other two local non-playoff teams discuss their woeful season and what could be this year.

    So Rangers fans, let's discuss our boys here and celebrate what was an unexpected successful season and look forward to another successful season!!

    Gone are:

    Brad Richards
    Brian Boyle
    Derek Dorsett
    Benoit Pouliot
    Anton Stralman

    Brad Richards: He and his horrific contract ($6.67M cap hit) and declining game are gone and gave the team much needed flexibility to sign their RFA's.

    Brian Boyle: I've said it here many times, I've never been a fan. Yes, he played well in the playoffs but that wasn't a reason to bring him back. He is the softest 6'7" 235 pounder I've ever seen. Addition by subtraction IMO. It was just time to move on from Brian Boyle.

    Derek Dorset: Another guy I'm glad to see go. He brings an element that numerous other guys can bring. Abrasiveness with little scoring. The thing is, he doesn't intimidate anyone and he doesn't win fights. And that's a big part of his game. I liked his energy but he was easily replaceable.

    Benoit Pouliot: Had a nice year with the Rangers but has one of the worst Corsi scores in the NHL when it comes to puck possession. The Rangers tried to re-sign him but he didn't care for their offer. I shed no tears when I learned that he had signed with the Oilers. Good luck to him. I think he had a good thing going with Brassard and Zuk and he's in for a rude awakening. No way the Rangers were giving Pouliot $4M. He's not worth $4M.

    Anton Stralman: The only guy of the 5 I will miss. He's a very solid player on both ends. He does have his defensive lapses but very few don't. He had a terrific Stanley Cup playoff run. But there was no way to keep him and stay competitive under the cap. I wish him well.



    Newcomers (of note):

    Lee Stempniak: Solid winger with speed. I think he's an upgrade over Pouliot or Dorsett in the talent department but with more age. Still a good one year signing.

    Tanner Glass: A puzzling signing. I'm guessing a replacement for Dorsett. He's an agitator and a better fighter but adds little else. Fortunately, I think Kevin Hayes will lead to the AHL for Glass.

    Matthew Lombari: A speed guy with some offensive skills. Good depth signing.

    Kevin Hayes: Surprising, pleasantly so, that he chose the Rangers. Played on the National Championship team with Kreider. #24 overall pick in 2010. Still only 22. There's been a wide range of reports on his size. From 6"2" 201 pounds to 6'5" 225 pounds. Either way, he's a big guy who can score and play responsibly defensively. Great signing and I expect him to be on the NHL roster opening day.

    Dan Boyle: Big time need. A power play quarterback on the blue line. I was so tired of seeing AV sending out Girardi on the PP. It will be so nice to see Boyle and McDonagh on the #1 PP unit! It's also nice to know that Boyle wanted to be here. He took less money to sign with the Blueshirts.

    I see the lines as:

    Nash - Stepan - St. Louis
    Zuccarello - Brassard - Hagelin
    Kreider - Miller - Hayes
    Lombardi - Moore - Stempniak

    McDonagh - Girardi
    Boyle - Staal
    Klein - Moore
    Last edited by Jordy; 08-21-2014 at 06:56 PM.

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    Hayes is a nice pickup. Kind of acts as a high pick that you haven't had in a while. Everyone seems to think he can come in and start from day 1 though. While you have the opening and the need, I'm not sure why it's such a foregone conclusion. It's still a big jump. Dominating in college playing next to Johnny Goudreau is different than playing men.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crasherino View Post
    Hayes is a nice pickup. Kind of acts as a high pick that you haven't had in a while. Everyone seems to think he can come in and start from day 1 though. While you have the opening and the need, I'm not sure why it's such a foregone conclusion. It's still a big jump. Dominating in college playing next to Johnny Goudreau is different than playing men.
    I realize it's not a given, just an expectation at this point. Kreider made the jump from college and came in for the playoffs and was one of the best players on the team. Then he fell victim to the wrath of Tortorella. He then excelled under AV. More an indictment of Tortorella than anything else and why the guy will probably never be a head coach in the NHL again.

    If Tortorella was the coach, Hayes wouldn't have much of a chance. But I think AV's style fits his game and vice versa. Unless he comes in and is no better a forward than Matt Gilroy was a defenseman, I expect Hayes to make the lineup. He gave up more money and better chances to make an NHL roster to be in NY so I hope that motivates him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordy View Post
    I realize it's not a given, just an expectation at this point. Kreider made the jump from college and came in for the playoffs and was one of the best players on the team. Then he fell victim to the wrath of Tortorella. He then excelled under AV. More an indictment of Tortorella than anything else and why the guy will probably never be a head coach in the NHL again.

    If Tortorella was the coach, Hayes wouldn't have much of a chance. But I think AV's style fits his game and vice versa. Unless he comes in and is no better a forward than Matt Gilroy was a defenseman, I expect Hayes to make the lineup. He gave up more money and better chances to make an NHL roster to be in NY so I hope that motivates him.
    Rangers were the perfect spot for him, IMO. There is an open spot waiting for him on the big club, there's a need for what he brings (grit/size) and the cupboard is generally bare in the system. He would have had a much harder path to the NHL if he stayed with Chicago.

    Projecting what he will do based on Kreider is a risky proposition. As you pointed out, Kreider was a fireball during the playoffs and then took a while to fully develop. I'm not sure you can blame that all on Torts. It takes a while to get used to the NHL.

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    And re the other signings, Boyle was a big pickup, for sure. Pretty much ensured the continuous high level play on the Blue line. Obviously he's a lot older than Stralman, but considering he won't have to draw the toughest assignments or lead the team in minutes, it was a no brainer.

    The other guys? Tanner Glass I think we agree on, but Lombardi and Stempniak are merely filling space on the bottom 6, IMO. And its a big step back from having Brassard as your #3 C to now having JT Miller. Maybe he's ready for it, but he's still an unknown. I had much the same opinion of Boyle as you did but there's no denying that he was a real force down the stretch. The Rangers 4th line was terrific in the playoffs - in that sense the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. As a rival fan, I'm not at all sorry to see them broken up.

    How much time does Nash get on the first line before Kreider replaces him?

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    Quote Originally Posted by crasherino View Post
    Rangers were the perfect spot for him, IMO. There is an open spot waiting for him on the big club, there's a need for what he brings (grit/size) and the cupboard is generally bare in the system. He would have had a much harder path to the NHL if he stayed with Chicago.

    Projecting what he will do based on Kreider is a risky proposition. As you pointed out, Kreider was a fireball during the playoffs and then took a while to fully develop. I'm not sure you can blame that all on Torts. It takes a while to get used to the NHL.
    It was Torts system that was the problem for Kreider IMO. AV's suits Kreider's game and I believe it also suits Hayes. Which was probably a big factor in his decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crasherino View Post
    And re the other signings, Boyle was a big pickup, for sure. Pretty much ensured the continuous high level play on the Blue line. Obviously he's a lot older than Stralman, but considering he won't have to draw the toughest assignments or lead the team in minutes, it was a no brainer.

    The other guys? Tanner Glass I think we agree on, but Lombardi and Stempniak are merely filling space on the bottom 6, IMO. And its a big step back from having Brassard as your #3 C to now having JT Miller. Maybe he's ready for it, but he's still an unknown. I had much the same opinion of Boyle as you did but there's no denying that he was a real force down the stretch. The Rangers 4th line was terrific in the playoffs - in that sense the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. As a rival fan, I'm not at all sorry to see them broken up.

    How much time does Nash get on the first line before Kreider replaces him?
    I'm not too worried about Brassard. Towards the end of the season and into the playoffs, his line was the de facto 2nd line anyway as Richards started to fade. Even if Dom Moore winds up in the 3rd spot, I won't miss Brad Richards. Nash needs to distribute the puck. He draws doubles all the time but he still tends to try to make a play on his own. Hopefully, with a finisher like St. Louis on his line, he will do that. If the two of them can work together, that line could be deadly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordy View Post
    I'm not too worried about Brassard. Towards the end of the season and into the playoffs, his line was the de facto 2nd line anyway as Richards started to fade. Even if Dom Moore winds up in the 3rd spot, I won't miss Brad Richards. Nash needs to distribute the puck. He draws doubles all the time but he still tends to try to make a play on his own. Hopefully, with a finisher like St. Louis on his line, he will do that. If the two of them can work together, that line could be deadly.
    Oh, I like Brassard - think he's a very good player and perfectly fine #2C. I think my point was because you had Richards (and I agree, he had to go - his contract was terrible), it pushed down Brassard to #3C. And while he's a solid #2C, he's a great #3C. Having JT Miller as the #3C is a big downgrade from Brassard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crasherino View Post
    Oh, I like Brassard - think he's a very good player and perfectly fine #2C. I think my point was because you had Richards (and I agree, he had to go - his contract was terrible), it pushed down Brassard to #3C. And while he's a solid #2C, he's a great #3C. Having JT Miller as the #3C is a big downgrade from Brassard.
    I look at it more as Miller replacing Richards or, possibly, Dominic Moore moving up to #3. I believe Lombardi has also played some center before. And, who knows, maybe one of their prospects will

    Richards became such a liablity as the season progressed that his leaving is more like addition by subtraction. Same with Boyle IMO, who usually has pedestrian regular seasons. Boyle was in a contract year so I wasn't surprised to see him turn it on in the playoffs.

    What I find especially odd here is that the only person I'm discussing the Rangers with is an Islander fan.

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    There's been talk of Hayes possibly being moved to center ice on the 3rd line with Miller and Hagelin on the wing. That would mean a 4th line of Stempniak - Moore - Lombardi. Of course, Miller and Hayes are wild cards since their spots are not guaranteed. We've got Fast, Lindberg and Kristo waiting in the wings and of course Glass will try and make a case for himself to make the team out of camp.

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