Category: new york rangers

What went wrong: New York Rangers 2017-2018

Making the playoffs 11 of the last 12 years to then come back and have the season the Rangers did, is difficult to swallow. While yes the Rangers placed 24th in the NHL and posted a 34-39-9 record and had their first below .500 record in 15 years. The last time the Rangers posted a below .500 average record was in 2003-2004. The Rangers ranked 22nd in goals for(228), 4th in goals against(263), 14th in power play percentage(21.2), 12th in penalty kill percentage(81.4) and while the Rangers did not have an overall terrible looking season a lot has changed for this organization.

The Rangers started off the season on the wrong side of the puck after dropping several games at the beginning of the year and being behind it was difficult for the Rangers to get any momentum going. While they did turn things around for a short period of time, around the trade deadline is when things fell apart for the team. That is when the Rangers decided to shift their outlook and change things up trading away captain Ryan McDonagh, JT Miller, Nick Holden, Rick Nash and Michael Grabner while acquiring two first-round picks, and several other later drafts picks. Whilst at the end of the season firing head coach Alian Vigneault and hiring Boston University storied coach David Quinn.

The Rangers have now three first-round draft picks, two seconds and two third-round picks. Amounting to 7 picks in the first three rounds, the first time the Rangers have had this much to play with in a long time, perhaps the first. Anyways with these picks came a different looking line up as the Rangers now have 4 prospect defenseman playing, a defenseman coming off an injury, with the front end looking a tad different after acquiring Ryan Spooner and Vladislav Namestikov. What went wrong for the Rangers though? A lot did…

What went wrong?

  1. Injuries: The Rangers dealt with injuries to Chris Kreider, Kevin Shattenkirk, Mika Zibanejad, Ryan McDonagh(when he was on the team) these four players are the Rangers top players and players that play a huge role in their team’s success. With Shattenkirk being injured it made the defense a tad unbalanced and shifted things a bit. Kreider being out really left that speedy left winger hole wide open as the Rangers had nobody to fill it and when Shattenkirk and McDonagh are out it is tough to be competitive with two top four d out.
  2. Coach Alain Vigneault was terrible at putting lines together and developing players. This was one of the reasons AV was fired, his relationship with the players was not great and he had a hard time getting to these guys and getting them to do the right things. He was known for his odd line swaps and matchings and being a coach who never gave players the right chances when they would mess up. With a team that was struggling put together with a bad coach, only bad things will happen.
  3. No depth. The Rangers really had no one to fill the void when their top players were out or not producing, Paul Carey, Jesper Fast, Peter Holland, David Desharnias are not players you can substitute for a lack of production from Pavel Buchnevich and Jimmy Vesey or no Kreider, or no Zibanejad. Without depth, this team had some trouble.
  4. The domino effect. When the tough got going, it only got worse. When the Rangers were basically out of the race and trade rumors came up it only got worse from there. And when it finally did happen things continued to get worse, then firing AV came up and Lundqvist was playing poorly it was just one big domino effect of a bad event after bad event. Luckily the offseason is here and things may get better.

Will things get better?

We’d sure hope so with the picks and prospects they have coming up. As Ranger fans are probably also screaming for a better season they can’t deal with being bad New York fans so the Rangers need to get better. They have their two first round picks in 2017 coming up next year who have displayed excellent play in World Juniors, the IIHF and their respected leagues overseas and with Hartford. Filip Chytil and Liass Andersson will probably be in the Rangers line up full-time next season so that is a plus as it helps balance out the top six. They also have picks 9, 26 and 28. With the #9 they will probably land Noah Dobson the 6’3 defenseman from the QMJHL who just played in the Memorial Cup, this is a maybe though anyways they will land a top end prospect. With 26, 28 they can either trade one of these picks or draft a potential top-9, top-6 forward.

They also have 24.9 million in cap space but have to sign 4 RFA forwards, 3 RFA defenseman and 1 UFA defenseman and these players are must sign, well at least 6/8 are. To say things will be a tad better in New York is understandable, much better, who knows. A new coach, new players, different lineup, aging goaltender. It will be difficult especially playing in the toughest division in hockey. Expecting a 5th place finish from the Rangers in the Metropolitan and possibly a wild card spot but would not be surprised if they miss the playoffs again next season.

New York Rangers news: AV fired, Ilya Kovalchuk to sign

As of Saturday at 11:00 p.m. (EST), Jeff Gorton released Alain Vigneault of his coaching duties. After being with the team for five years and posting a 223-147-37 record, winning a president trophy, and taking the team on four playoff runs, posting a 6-4 record in playoff matchups, and a 24-29 playoff record and taking the team to a Stanley Cup final as well.

AV is gone!

AV is a very old school coach, he excels when a veteran ship is embodied in the team and they have a solid foundation and core players. Which is why he excelled so much in years past but when the Rangers made some changes and their leadership was bleak and they were transitioning to a younger model, AV is not the best fit for this team now. Gorton made it clear he was going to evaluate AV at the end of the year, and throughout the wholoe year, there were mummers of AV being fired mid-way through the seaosn. Unfortunately, a new face would have to come in and deal with this young team, therefore they let AV ride out the year and see how he handled it. Well, after the embarassing 5-0 loss to the Flyers in the final game of the season, AV praised and congrulated his coaching staff and his efforts as a coach this season. Yet there was nothing to congrulate as the Rangers missed the playoffs, they posted a below .500 record and struggled to be compeititve the remiander of the season. It did not take Gorton long to evaluate AV after that, following the postgame interview Saturday afternoon, Gorton fired AV fours later.

Now the Rangers pursue a new coach, a young one, someone who can develop, mold and guide these young players, something AV lacked greatly and the main reason he was fired. AV did not do a great job developing players and or being a player-coach. He often criticized players for trying to be creative and or be offensive, AV had a defensive mindset as a coach and he wanted to see players commit to defense or they would not fly with him. He often slated some top performers on the team on the fourth or even third line. Well, the hunt is on now, as the Rangers will have three first-round picks, a list of players to come up this season and a roster that is relatively young. Well see what Gorton and Sather choose to do for a coach moving forward, I would not be surprised if it was a head coach of an NCAA Hockey team.

Quick news…

So Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to sign a 2-3 year deal with the Rangers soon. This came at 3:33 a.m. (est) and this is probably nothing new for some fans. Kovalchuk said he was going to come back to the NHL next season, but not many knew where, he did show interest in going to the Rangers or a Metropolitan team, but nothing was set. Well now something is “set” and Kovalchuk could be a Ranger for the next 2-3 years.

Kovalchuk last played in the NHL in 2012-2013, he is now 35-years-old but during his time in the NHL, he tallied 816 points in 816 games, 417 goals, and 399 assists. His best year came in 2005-2006 where he scored 52 goals and 46 assists in 78 games. He later tallied 83 points in 2011-2012, in 77 games, six years later he still had it. Well now six years later, let’s see what he can do…

New York Rangers play for nothing, the first time since 2003-04

The New York Rangers have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. For the first time in 15 years, the Rangers will be playing in a game that essentially means nothing. Now, this does not come of shock since many knew what was happening after the trade deadline occured, but this is a surreal moment for some Ranger fans as they now will not be watching hockey come mid-April for the first time in nearly 13 years. The Rangers were eliminated after the Devils won Tuesday night over the Hurricanes. Instead of talking about some of the bad news the Rangers have brought their fans this year, some of positives like…

Rangers bright spots…

Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil have been recalled and played last game vs Washington. Andersson buried his first NHL goal, marking him the youngest rookie in Rangers history to score his first goal with the club. Chytil recorded an assist for his first NHL point. Ryan Lindgren signed an entry-level contract with the Rangers and has been assigned to the Hartford Wolfpack. Alexander Georgiev seems to be the probable back up next season, and the other Russian goaltender they have Igor Shestyorkin seems to be getting the call to Hartford next season and making a run at the starting spot soon. Kevin Hayes looks to be a scorer all of sudden now. The Rangers centers will look a little like, Ryan Spooner, Lias Andersson, Vladislav Namestkiov over the next several years. Also, the Rangers may be fortunate enough to receive a top-10 pick and also possibly another big-time free agent this offseason.

Anyways, the Rangers will face the Washington Capitals in a meaningless game for them but a game that has a lot of playoff implications for the Capitals. The Capitals sit atop the Metropolitan division with 97 points, and a win tonight marks them one point closer to securing a sure playoff spot. Although Washington is in the playoffs right now they have not officially “clinched” a playoff spot. They come off a game in New York vs the Rangers, where they won 4-2, scoring four goals in the first period.

Quick recap of last game Rangers vs Washington (March 26)

The first period consisted of a quick Washington goal coming from TJ Oshie who was left all alone coming down the right-hand side to sneak one past Georgiev. The Capitals would then score another goal three minutes later, off a Matt Niskanen doorstep goal. Niskanen was left all alone in front with two Rangers forwards around the net, as the Rangers defense was nowhere to be found. The shots kept coming as the Capitals were awarded a power play and yes, it happened exactly how you thought, a one-time rifle shot from Alex Ovechkin from the top of the left circle for his 45th of the year. The first and final goal for Washington came off Evegny Kuznestov stick during a Rangers power play, a breakdown and Rangers blunder left them 4-0 after the first.

The Rangers would score one in the 2nd off Lias Andersson stick for his first as a Ranger and his NHL career, off a feed from Jimmy Vesey from behind the net. The third would open with a Rangers goal 4 minutes in off a wrist shot from in close by Mats Zuccarello for his 16th, giving thanks to Filip Chytil and Rob O’Gara as the helpers.

That would be the game, Rangers suffering 33 shots on net, taking three penalties, six giveaways and an extremely flat and slow start, left the Rangers out early, with very little chance of coming back.

Capitals shining stars

The Capitals offense is led by the one and only 32-year-old Russian gunslinger, Alex Ovechkin, who is nearing in on an 85 point season, but on the year has 45 goals, 38 assists, and 83 points. Ovechkin’s highest assist marker in 7 years, a player who is known to be a goal scorer and shoot the first guy is dishing the puck along with burying it from all cylinders of the ice. To supplement Ovi, his other Russian counterpart, Evgeny Kuznetsov is having a career year with 75 points in 73 games, tallying a career-high 24 goals. On the back end, the Capitals are enjoying the Norris like season from soon to be free agent John Carlson, who has tallied 64 points in 79 games, with 15 goals and 49 assists and four game-winning goals. Even with Braden Holtby posting 3.03 goals against in 50 games played and a .906 save percentage, the Capitals still have been a top ten NHL team all season.

Starters for tonight

This game comes just a day apart, the real difference we will see in tonight’s matchup are the goalies in net. Last game showed Alexander Georgiev for New York and Phillip Grubauer in net for Washington. But, tonight the Rangers are going back to Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist has started in four games since March 2, he has been sidelined due to rookie goaltender Georgiev seeing more time and getting situated with NHL play but the Rangers feel comfortable throwing in the cold goaltender against another cold goaltender. As Braden Holtby will be the other netminder, who has not seen regular time due to some lingering injuries. But Holtby has started in five games dating back to February 25.

This matchup is to be aired on NBCSN once again, and the Capitals-Rangers series may not have that same fire to it as it usually does, with the Rangers down and out and the Capitals clearly the better team, this matchup, game 77 of the 2017-2018 regular season will mark the first time in a long time a Rangers vs Capitals game technically means nothing.

Rangers look to snap Columbus’s 8-game win streak

What an up and down year this Rangers team has had thus far, they started out the season on a huge skid, if I remember correctly it took 10 or so games to collect their first win. They slowly started to play better after that, but after being hit with the injury bug, some top guys playing through injuries, the Rangers were faced with some unforeseen decisions. Well, the trade deadline came around and the Rangers started shipping everyone. And since then they have been playing some of their best hockey too! Even with top forward Rick Nash, JT Miller, Michael Grabner or top defenseman/captain Ryan McDonagh or top four defensemen Nick Holden the Rangers certainly look much worse on paper now, but when it comes to the win column, they are 5-2-3 in their last ten games.

Rangers Kreider-Zibanejad connection…

The Rangers have welcomed back Chris Kreider as of recently and with the emergence of the speedy, shifty forward the Rangers offense has had a nice “spark” to it. Since returning to the lineup February 23, Kreider has tallied 8 assists, 2 goals, 3 power play points and 21 shots on net. Plus since Kreider has joined the club again, Mika Zibanejad has enjoyed playing alongside the speedy winger, tallying 5 goals in his last 4 games and 8 points in 5 games. Zibanejad-Kreider duo has been something exciting to watch, and we probably all can recall the goal Zibanjad scored assisted by Kreider. For those that have not seen it, check this out, but before you do. Fair warning view discretion is advised.

Aside from these two, the Rangers probable back up goaltender Alexander Georgiev has been a really nice supplement to give Lundqvist some much needed time off. In his last 4 starts he has picked up 2 wins but has allowed at least 3 or more goals in the last four starts. The play of Georgiev has not been superb, but it has been enough to give the Rangers some life in games.

Some minor news also out of the Rangers organization is that prospect defenseman Ryan Lindgren who they received in a trade from Boston, is expected to sign soon. Also, Liass Andersson and Filip Chytil are expected to be brought up very soon. The Rangers first round draft picks of 2017, have been playing very well in Hartford, Chytil has 11-20-31 in 41 games this year and Andersson has 5-9-14 in 23 games played, and for Sweden’s league, he has 9-3-12 in 13 games.

Blue Jackets riding an 8-game win streak…

The Blue Jackets though are the story coming into tonight though they are 8-2-0 in their last ten on an 8-game win streak, coming off a huge overtime win vs the Bruins, and have been rolling ever since the trade deadline. The Blue Jackets depth on the forward end has been the biggest help here, along with Cam Atkinson and his 8 points in 8 games(4G-4A), plus the addition of Tomas Vanek has not hurt the Blue Jackets and he has tallied 3 goals, 4 assists in the recent 8-game run.

The Blue Jackets have made a case for the playoffs and with their recent win streak they now only sit tied with the Flyers for the three spot in the Metropolitan division. They were on the road Monday night vs Boston and now travel to New York to face off against the Rangers, and int heir last ten road games the Blue Jackets are 5-5, they definitely like home play better and have been unstoppable on home ice over the last month. The real key to the Blue Jackets success is there 32 goals in 8 games and during this 8-game streak, they have scored 4 or more goals in 6 of them.

This is going to be an interesting matchup the Blue Jackets and Rangers have faced off three times, making this the last time these two will meet. The season series belongs to the Blue Jackets. The home team has won each time here and the Blue Jackets last traveled to New York November 6, where they lost 5-3. The last matchup came November 17 though and a lot has changed for both clubs since then.

The expected starters are Sergei Bobrovsky who is riding a five-game win streak as of now with only 10 goals against on 153 shots (.935 SV %) and vs the Rangers Bob is 2-1-0 with a 1,67 GAA and .949 SV percentage. Rangers starter is Henrik Lundqvist who is coming off a loss vs Florida in his last start allowing three goals on 35 goals. He last lost three consecutive games while posting a 3.48 GAA and .909 SV percentage.

 

Rangers look to play spoiler hockey vs Pittsburgh

It is clear as day that the Rangers are in fact out of the playoff hunt. Yes many of us knew that when it was the trade deadline and they traded nearly half their team. Some do not want to come to grips with the fact the Rangers may be a borderline playoff team for the next three years but that is ok. The Rangers since facing the reality that they will not be in the playoffs for the first time in 12-years have certainly been playing better. They are 4-4-2 in their last ten games and since their skid, they have won 5 of their last 7 games.

Rangers top guys, Hayes, Spooner clicking.

As a whole the Rangers are playing much better, possibly due to no pressure anymore, guys playing to make a statement next year or just wanting to be a spoiler hockey team the Rangers have been on the right road to close things out for the regular season. The production of Kevin Hayes has been amazing, Hayes has really surged into a top goal scorer for this team and cracked 20-goals on the year, the first time in his four-year career thus far. Also to mention, Ryan Spooner and Vladislav Namestnikov have been great additions to this Rangers team, in the last two weeks of play these have combined for 13 points, Spooner tallying 10 and Nanmestnikov tallying 3 points.

The future of the Rangers backend. It’s pretty bright. 

The Rangers also are showing some bright spots out of young defenseman like Neal Pionk and John Gilmour who since coming to the team have played a major role, as well stepping into top four defenseman minutes. Gilmour has slotted around 19 minutes per game, and has added 2 goals, 2 assists. While Pionk has been the brightest spot on the blue line aside from Brady Skjei, Pionk has slotted upwards of almost 20 minutes since coming to the team as well has tallied, 6 assists on the year. Cannot forget about the future of the Rangers crease, Alexander Georgiev who since coming to the team has started in five games and in those five games he has allowed 3 or fewer goals four out of the five. On the season he is posting 2 wins, 2.73 goals against and .930 save percentage. The future seems to be looking bright here for the Big Apple.

Little about the Penguins top guns. They’re good. 

Onto, the juggernaut and Stanley Cup favorites yet again, the Penguins. The Penguins have done the opposite of what the Rangers have done since the All-Star break they have been on fire and have shot all the way up in the rankings to now second in the Metro by one point. The Penguins play of Evgeni Malkin has certainly been the reason why they are this good lately, Malkin has won player of the month, player of the week twice and has tallied 9 goals and 15 assists in the last month of play. Now, throw in the best player in hockey Sidney Crosby, who has 14 points in the last month of play, on top of one of the best shooters in hockey, Phil Kessel with 4 goals, 9 assists in the last month of play. Yeah, it is pretty impossible to beat this team.

No Murray, No Problem.

The Penguins come into this game with Matt Murray still sidelined, although that won’t matter due to Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith holding down the fort quite well, plus having guys like I mentioned above in front of you, whoever is in this crease gets some solid support. The Penguins are 6-4-0 in their last ten games, coming off a win Sunday night vs Dallas, the Penguins are well rested and will be ready to come out flying tonight. They are 14-18-3 this season and in the last month of play, they’ve played five home games winning three of them. Even during a stretch of only four games in a month out of the 17 games they have played they have won 12 of those games. The Penguins have certainly pushed themselves into the conversation of possibly being three-peat Stanley Cup winners.

Penguins vs Rangers…

The Penguins and Rangers have faced off three times already this year and this will mark their final meeting. The Penguins currently hold the season series 2-1, winning in overtime once at the beginning of the year, dropping their second meeting at home and then beating the Rangers 5-2 two months ago. The history is rich between these two teams but with the Rangers being non-contenders this game is not so interesting to many. The Penguins are certainly the favorites here tonight but who knows with how the Rangers have been playing as of late, maybe they come out flying from the start, wanting to play some spoiler hockey vs the Penguins.

Rangers Spooner, Hayes look to continue point streaks vs Edmonton

Wow, that is now back to back wins for the Rangers, first time in over a month they have done that, and the last time the Rangers won back to back the first win started with Calgary, expect this time the Rangers won their second game vs Calgary.

What a game it was, not a fantastic win by any means, when you allow 50 plus shots in the last two games, then yeah that is definitely an area of concern. But I mean, holy hell where did this performance come from out of Henrik Lundqvist, making 50 saves of the 51 shots Friday night, becoming the first goalie in NHL history(since shots were tracked in 1955) to make 50 plus saves and pick up wins in both games.

Rangers hot commodities

Another story coming out of New York is the Rangers F Kevin Hayes, the 25-year-old forward is really stepping into a scoring role here, as the Rangers have struggled and a few key forward pieces have departed. Hayes has 7 goals and 5 assists in the last month of play and has scored four times in the last five games. Also not to toot the Rangers Hayes here but, he did set a career high in goals(18) scoring the first goal of the game Friday night. Hayes has seemed to like playing alongside the newly acquired forward, Ryan Spooner. Who if we may add has been in full stride since coming to New York, adding 1 goal and 7 assists over his last three games.

The Rangers win Friday night was by no means a nice win, nor a win they can walk away with confidence, but it is a step in the right direction. They have defensive issues to handle, without a doubt. The d-core is young now and they have 5/7 defenseman playing minutes they have never seen. Neal Pionk, started in Hartford this season playing AHL minutes and has been with the Rangers for 11 games and now leads the team with 21:18 ice time. Not easy for a 22-year-old rookie defenseman.

Oilers McDavid and company…

The only concern here is they now head to Edmonton for a back to back, with Lundqvist probably sitting due to facing 106 shots over three days, the Rangers will look to Alexander Georgiev to hold down the fort. Coming into this game the Oilers have three players that have been producing at efficient rates, Connor McDavid(of course) has totaled, 14 goals in his last 15 games, Leon Drastali, with 9 goals and 9 assists in the last month of play, Ryan Strome with 5 goals and 6 assists in the last month of play and 3 goals and 3 assists in the last week.

The Oilers are a team, where themselves have struggled all season, got off to an extremely slow start, saw some major goaltending issues with Cam Talbot playing poorly and they could not seem to keep a healthy top four on the back end. The Oilers are another team similar to the Rangers who have failed to meet expectations but are just playing spoiler hockey up to this point.

More on Edmonton’s playoff hopes…

The Oilers are well of ways out of a playoff spot, and coming into this game they are 4-6-0 in their last ten coming in on a two-game losing streak, dropping a tough one to Nashville Thursday night. The advantage for Edmonton here is that they have fresh legs, coming into this game on a day of rest, where the Rangers are going back to back in their Western Canada road trip. The only downside of Edmonton missing the playoffs this season is that Cam Talbot looks pretty dumb, after coming out to the media after the All-Star break and saying they will make the playoffs, yikes.

The Oilers on the season are 27-33-4 with 58 points, currently for anyone who cares and or is wondering, yes they are 18 points out of a playoff spot with 18 games to be played, nearly impossible for them to make a run.

The Rangers on the season are 29-30-6 with 64 points, and as scary as it sounds, and or as unbelievable as it sounds, that is the more appropriate term the Rangers are still only, 5 points out of a playoff spot with 17 games to be played(16 after tonight). A little less difficult than the Oilers, but still a tough task. The Rangers though in their last ten are 3-6-1 on a two-game winning streak. They last played Edmonton at the Garden, in which they won 4-2, back on November 11, 2017.

New York Rangers: Pack Your Sh*t Edition

The New York Rangers are in full pack your sh*t mode. They have literally sent five guys to all different places and have received a laundry list of picks and some prospects. They sent Michael Grabner to New Jersey, hey Grabs, pack it up. Nick Holden to Boston, hey Holden go be a cone somewhere else. Rick Nash to Boston, hey Nashty, go put some pucks on net. Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller to Tampa Bay, just pack it up to whatever.

All seriousness, though I was a bit upset to see Nash, McDonagh, and Miller go, three guys that spent a decent amount of time in New York and definitely impacted the roster. Although Grabner did as well, but he was not a long-term Ranger and also a pending UFA this offseason so he had to go. Holden, well was not good, let’s say that.

If you are a Rangers fan are you upset with three 1st round picks (2018), two 2nd round picks (2018), two 3rd round picks (2018) and possibly another 1st round also if Tampa Bay wins the Stanley Cup this season. They also received, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren, Igor Rykov, Rob O’Gara, and Vlad Namestnikov and Ryan Spooner. Essentially, six picks, five prospects and two NHL ready players who are relatively young and developed in the NHL for three UFA’s at the end of this season and RFA at the end of this season and one RFA in 2019-20.

The firesale has begun and the rebuild is in full effect, the pack your sh*t edition may be in full effect and something many Ranger fans did not want to see but many saw this coming and for those that understand the need to look long-term know how this helps and those who don’t will sit and cry for the next two to three years. So be it, pack your sh*t too than. The Rangers now have 3 million in cap space while they still have some players to resign next year none will be receiving hefty contracts, leaving them with essentially a decent amount of cap for a free agent or big signing in the offseason.

Ok, so Namestnikov has 44 points this season playing alongside Stamkos and Kucherov so will see how that works out, Spooner has 25 points in 39 games and 2.85 mil cap hit. Also, Brett Howden a former 1st rounder in the 2016 draft, has been contributing nicely at the WHL level this season he is also 19-years-old played in 58 games 81 points for Moose Jaw Warriors in 2016-17 and 58 points in 38 games in this season also “C” Captain last three seasons. Not terrible. Also a former first rounder in 2016. Libor Hajek 20-years-old played for Czech Republic U20 team. Also WHL Saskatoon Blades 33 games with 25 points. A laundry list of experience in major juniors and on the international stage. Also a 2nd rounder in 2016. These shows they are two ALMOST NHL ready.

The pack your sh*t edition ends for now but in four months when the offseason begins the Rangers will be livid on the free agent market and also probably looking to trade some other pieces.

The Rangers line up most likely looks like this as well now,

Chris Kreider- Mika Zibanejad- Pavel Buchnevich 

Jimmy Vesey- Kevin Hayes- Mats Zuccarello 

Vladislav Namestnikov- David Desharnais- Jesper Fast 

Cody McLeod- Ryan Spooner- Vinnie Letteri 

Brady Skjei- Neil Poink

Marc Staal- Rob O’Gara

John Gilmour- Tony De’Angelo

Henrik Lundqvist 

Alexander Georgiev 

Spooner could possibly center line three, I’d hope but anyways the Rangers have now got a little deeper in the center position, because one Howden is a center as well and when he is ready(a year or two) the Rangers centers will be Zibanejad, Spooner, Howden, Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil(either him of Andersson will center) and now Hayes can go back to his left wing spot and the Rangers when these young AHL/WHL players are ready will have four to five solid centers not even including what they do with their three first round picks and two second-round picks. We can assume the Rangers go after some forward depth in the draft which means, with three first-round picks, one or two of these guys they draft have to be somewhat NHL ready within a season or two and the rebuild takes what, two to three years instead of six to seven like some teams.

Yeah, the Rangers made the playoffs for 12 consecutive seasons, won a President trophy finished among the top three numerous times and made trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, Stanley Cup, but still have no Cup to show for this success. The Rangers, if they did not choose to rebuild now, would have waited on McDonagh to age, signed him big and no team would have taken an aging defenseman contract(i.e. Marc Staal) and possibly received less for him, let Nash walk, Grabner walk and get nothing for them. The Rangers saw that at the moment some teams were looking to add some forward depth and defensive depth they had the pieces to shed and realized with an aging goaltender a Cup run was not likely. Now the Rangers have the option to draft in the first round three times for the first time in god knows how long.

Ok, I’ll admit it is weird to look at the Rangers 2014-15 President Trophy win and realize holy cr*p there is literally five players who remain on the roster form that team and one of them is Marc Staal. Well ok, yeah, the next two or three years may be painful but think about how young and exciting this team will be to watch in 2022, 2023 and on. I don’t know about you but if you are not looking long-term right now and actually think the Rangers were able to compete for a Cup with how good the Predators, Jets, Penguins, Flyers, Capitals, Golden Knights, Sharks, Ducks are this year then you are some sort of lunatic who obviously has to be hit with some reality. And here is your reality check, the Rangers pack your sh*t edition is your reality check. Sorry 9-year-old reading this or some 40-year-old keyboard warrior out there that is triggered right now, but get over it, if you don’t like it go pick dandelions in the outfield, where you belong, and hey while you’re at it, pack your sh*t too.

Follow along on Twitter @santageetee for some alarming and thought-provoking tweets. Blog sleeps for the night now. Night, night, Let’s Go Rangers.