Tag: New York Rangers rebuild

Rangers Alexander Georgiev Proving To Be A Possible #1 In New York

The Rangers recorded yet another loss in extended regulation play. Of the Rangers past 10 games they have lost in a shootout or overtime in five of them. The Rangers dropped a close 3-2 game to the Edmonton Oilers Monday night.

Aside from the Rangers 69th point and 13th overtime loss on the season, Alexander Georgiev the Rangers back up (or is he a backup?) goalie played another tremendous game in between the pipes. Georgiev turned away 30 of the 33 shots he faced in the Oilers game. Aside from the Oilers power play goal and extremely controversial goalie interference goal in the first period. Georgiev shut the door in the second and third period.

Georgiev pushed aside the Oilers 14 second period shots and 10 third period shots. These were not basic saves either, Georgiev was making desperation saves, keeping the Rangers in the game and a sole reason they even picked up a point Monday night.

This was not the only game we have seen Georgiev play well and be the difference maker for the Rangers this season. In his last five starts Georgiev has allowed 12 goals on 118 shots. On the season Georgiev has a 10-11-3 record, 3.03 save percentage and .907 save percentage.

His most recent loss vs Dallas, Georgiev showed excellence yet again. Making 31 saves in a Rangers 1-0 loss. Or perhaps his 55 save performance vs Toronto when the Rangers won on February 10th. His 24 save performance vs the Islanders on January 12th. Or when he shutout the Islanders on November 21st making 29 saves leading the Rangers to their first win in eight games vs the Islanders.

Georgiev has strung together some unreal games this season. The only issue we have seen in his game. When he lets in 2-3 goals early he often continues down that road and blows up for 5+ goals against. It is not all his fault for allowing 5+ goals in five games this season and four goals against in four games this season. But aside from a few bad games, Georgiev has shown that in two or more years he has the potential to be a #1 goaltender for the Rangers.

With the Rangers splitting time between Lundqvist and Georgiev it has given him a major confidence booster. This is only a positive as it is something to look forward on a down year for fans. If Georgiev continues to play this way it will relieve a ton of stress and anxiety from fans when Lundqvist retires and the Rangers need a number one.

Readdressing The New York Rangers Rebuild

The Rangers are in the first full year technically of their rebuild. Although some could say that they were rebuilding last season in the months of November, they were not officially in a “rebuild” phase at that point. The Rangers went into the 2017-18 season with expectations to make the playoffs and around the 2018 NHL trade deadline is officially when the Rangers went into full rebuild mode.

It has been exactly a year since the start of the Rangers rebuild. Trading Ryan McDonagh, JT Miller, Rick Nash, Nick Holden, Michael Grabner began the rebuild. And now as everything has come full circle and the 2019 NHL trade deadline has come and gone the Rangers have traded two more long-time Ranger players for picks and prospects.

Since the 2018 NHL trade deadline we have seen a number of players leave the Rangers…

  • Ryan McDonagh
  • JT Miller
  • Nick Holden
  • Rick Nash
  • Kevin Hayes
  • Michael Grabner
  • Mats Zuccarello

Five of these seven names were all known as veterans or played a vital role in the success and make up of the Rangers franchise over the last 10 years.

As the Rangers have been a .500 team this season (to the surprise of many) they are still just getting started in this rebuild phase. The Rangers have two guaranteed 1st round picks this season. They also have two guaranteed second round picks.

*** Also have another second round pick but the contingency is if the Lighting win the Stanley Cup the 2nd rounder becomes a first this year if they do not win it sticks as a 2nd. 

Then the Rangers have a third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. Bring the total to 10 picks this NHL 2019 draft and looking at another ten in the 2020 draft (1 first, 1 second, 2 thirds, 1 fourth, 1 fifth, 1 sixth, 3 sevenths). Therefore combined between the next two draft years the Rangers have twenty draft picks. And they are definitely not done trading, as next years deadline could feature depth forwards like Jesper Fast, Jimmy Vesey and Vladislav Namestikov to be traded that will potentially yield more draft picks.

Has a rebuild been different for many and most New York Rangers fans? Sure. Can we be upset with the direction the Rangers are going? Probably not, I have seen a lot of discredit and frustration towards Jeff Gorton regarding the Mats Zuccarello deal. But the Rangers received a 1st round pick, 2nd round pick, a 3rd round pick plus Brenden Lemieux for Hayes and Zuccarello. Could we possibly have got more for Zuccarello, perhaps but I doubt Gorton was sitting there denying better deals.

Looking at the Rangers prospects pool may also make some Rangers happier.

Rangers defensive prospects

  • Ryan Lindgren: From the looks of it Lindgren is a physical defenseman, not a lot of offensive upside but is very good and responsible in the d-zone. Has potential to be a four/five defenseman.
  • Rob O’Gara: Another defensive minded defenseman with not a lot of offensive upside that will be a fifth defenseman
  • Libor Hajek: One of the more highly sought out Rangers prospects. Hajek was very successful in the WHL but has not transitioned well to the AHL only collecting 5 points this season. He does have potential to be a number four defenseman.
  • Julius Bergman: Another physical defenseman who has been traded a few times and his stock has taken a toll, although he was a second rounder. Bergman could be a solid NHL defenseman if he stays disciplined.
  • John Gilmour: A defenseman that is one of the Rangers more underrated prospects, a very good skater, strong and has offensive upside. Can play power play and has potential to be a number four defenseman)
  • K’Andre Miller: Rangers first rounder last season and looking to be the Rangers next best defenseman. Miller is a very good two-way defenseman, when he cleans up his play on the defensive side of the puck will be a very good NHL defenseman)
  • Nils Lundkvist: Much like Miller has a lot of upside on the offensive side of the puck, a great skater (probably better than Miller) but needs work on the defensive side of the puck and upside to be a top four defenseman.
  • Nico Gross: Too early to tell as he still playing in the OHL but putting up very solid numbers for a defenseman.

The Rangers have some solid upside on their back end as long as they do not rush the process of Miller, Lundkvist and Lindgren the Rangers just in those three guys have a bright future on the blue line. Gilmour and Hajek are one of the more underrated Rangers prospects that could came out and provide some solid sturdiness to that blue line in a few years.

(My underrated defenseman that will pan out for the Rangers)

Rangers forward prospects:

  • Vinnie Lettieri: If used correctly he can be a great third line forward. We have seen Lettieri at the NHL level and he is not a flashy player, very simple, gets to the dirty areas and plays like a Ryan Strome almost.
  • Ryan Gropp: We have not seen him yet but reports say he has potential to be a top-six forward.
  • Ty Ronning: He has consistently performed better year by year and could be a top-six forward depending on adjustment to NHL game.
  • Vitali Kravstov: Rangers former first round pick, many are hoping to be a solid goal scorer at the NHL level. He is playing in the KHL and the Rangers planned to bring him up this season if he did not get injured.
  • Gabriel Fontaine: Having a better year already in the AHL compared to last season. In 2-3 years he could be a third line forward.
  • Filip Chytil: As we have seen this year Chytil can be a very good forward at the NHL level, consistency may be an issue but it is still very early.
  • Lias Andersson: He’s bounced around a bit and has not been all that successful at the AHL level, my guess is Andersson is at best a third line center at the NHL level.
  • Brendan Lemieux: Newly acquired forward from Winnipeg. He has played 44 games with the Jets this season collecting 9 points. A former 2nd rounder and potential to be a top-six winger.

Kravstov, Chytil will be the focal point of this offense come a few years. Ronning and Gropp if they make it before being traded will be (depending on this years draft) possible second line/more so third line guys. Andersson and Lemieux I could see paired together in two years and Lettieri a fourth line center.

Rangers goalie prospects: 

  • Brandon Halverson: He’s bounced around the ECHL and AHL a bit but at 22-years-old it is still early. A probably fringe starter at best)
  • Igor Shestyorkin: The Rangers 2014 4th round pick has spent his last five years in the KHL for the best team in the league. He has been the best goalie in the KHL for quite sometime, but who knows when the Rangers will see him. Potential to be a number one.
  • Alexander Georgiev: We have seen Georgiev play completely fine at the NHL level the last two years now. A definite potential for number one but a Shestyorkin and Georgiev sounds nice.

I think the upside to this all is that the Rangers prospects are not all off in foreign countries playing professional hockey there or all off at the major junior level. Of there 16 forward/defenseman prospect eight of them are playing together in the AHL right now. It may not mean a lot but the guys are building some chemistry and it is good to see players go through to the system and progress that way instead of potentially throwing them into NHL action too soon.

The Rangers are 27-26-9 this season with 63 points, a lot better than what I thought they were going to be. The Rangers have a lot of upside to their situation right now and they come into the NHL 2019 draft with 10 picks, six coming in the first three rounds. The Rangers will not be a playoff team for another three years I’d have to assume so get used to looking forward to prospects, drafts and the term rebuilding. Plus don’t buy any jerseys because who knows what Jeff Gorton will do.

 

 

Top Headlines To Keep Your Eye On As The NHL Trade Deadline Nears…

The All-Star break is over and the regular season is back underway tonight which means the trade deadline is nearing and more speculation about where July 2019 UFA (unrestricted free agents) will end up either before the trade deadline or in the off-season continues.. As of today we have exactly three weeks until the trade deadline so things will be getting pretty dicey over the next 2-3 weeks. For now these are my top story lines to be aware of heading into a pretty important month for teams.

1. Artemi Panarin or Sergei Bobrovsky? the Blue Jackets are at a very difficult road right now, they have two important UFA’s to tend to right now and both can make or break their future. The Blue Jackets seem more inclined to treat their top forward Panarin to a contract, his agent and the Blue Jackets have met now two times but we have not heard anything yet. Bobrovsky has been on the “hot seat” with the Blue Jackets since his stint a few weeks back when he got pulled and never returned to the bench. The Blue Jackets need to decide what they are going to do. They are a top-three Metropolitan division team, have eyes on the playoffs and if everything goes right they can make a run in the playoffs, but if they do that and hold onto both Panarin and Bob they will let the two walk for essentially nothing. I would see Bobrovsky moved at the trade deadline and Panarin re-sign.

2. Ottawa Senators cap situation: The Senators have a similar situation to the Blue Jackets except they have five important players to re-sign and cannot afford any of them. They have a projected 7.43 million in cap space right now. Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Ryan Dzingel, Colin White and Cody Ceci are all due for contracts. Mark Stone will probably get around 7.5 million lets say therefore they hit their cap hit. Matt Duchene is going to cost around 8-8.5 million probably for 6-7 years, Colin White will cost 2.5-3 million at 4-5 years, Ryan Dzingel will cost 4-5 million at 4-5 years, Cody Ceci will cost 4-4.5 million at 4-5 years. Therefore with all these players contracts that is 27.5 million in cap space between these guys alone. When we add up that 27.5 million and the rest of their players right it comes to 58.93 million in cap, plus all the players on their entry level deals it is 65.63 million, not to mention in two years Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot are going to be due for a contract. This is a tough situation for the Senators, they have a 72 million cap hit and the cap is raising next year but the only way this does work out is if Duchene and Stone get those projected numbers and White/Dzingel/Ceci take those contracts as well.

3. Rangers on the rebuild still? The Rangers have been in the story line for rebuliding since last season but the newest players on the block for the Rangers are Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes and Adam McQuaid, all these players are UFA’s in July and the way the Rangers are going it seems obvious they are going to want to trade them and build for the future. The Rangers have to worry about Anthony Deangelo and Neal Pionk as their main RFA’s this summer. Therefore if the Rangers are going to trade anyone it is going to be Hayes, Zuccarello for the sole reason of what they can receive in return form a contending playoff team.

4. Who are the top trade targets to keep an eye on right now? Wayne Simmonds, Jason Spezza, Andre Burakovksy, Michael Ferland, Brian Boyle, Derick Brassard. My prediciton for these players are Stars receive Burakovsky he can easily slide in their top-six and help them out. Simmonds continues to get targeted by Winnipeg, Nashville, Dallas, Ferland is a top contender in Pittsburgh.

New York Rangers; Rebuilding update through thirteen games

The real reason I am here to write this article is for multiple reasons. I will come out and admit I am a long-time Rangers supporter, I’ve watched them for now nearly 14 years, I’ve seen them through their lows and highs like the Stanley Cup final loss. I am a die-hard hockey fan, but also more importantly a very realistic and down to earth hockey fan. I am not your typical Ranger fan though. You may be imagining a stuck up, New York accent screaming “remember 2014 bro” fan you are thinking of. I will be the first to admit when the Rangers are struggling and right now they are. But the big reason I am here is because how cynical and disloyal some Rangers fans are. Listen and hear me out.

New York Rangers rebuild…

The Rangers hired a college coach, a Boston University coach, someone with no NHL experience as their head coach. This was for the reason to yes develop young players and get the rebuild going. I don’t think anyone had expectations of this team being a playoff team this season (2018-19) year and many fans knew it would be a rough and bumpy season. The part that disappoints me is that after a win vs the Ducks Thursday night and coming off a win vs the Sharks Tuesday night, Ranger fans were clearly not happy.

Head Coach David Quinn has scratched Pavel Buchnevich two games in a row and played Filip Chytil 10:05 in the game vs Anaheim Thursday and 8:53 vs San Jose Tuesday night. After seeing the minutes Chytil played Ranger fans and blog reporters turned to the internet and wrote articles like “Dan Quinn is failing Filip Chytil” this type of knee jerk reaction is what makes me scratch my head. What did Rangers fan expect? If the kid is not playing well to see 18 minutes a game? I understand the rebuild part but you don’t go into games and lose every game as a first year head coach, you still need to be competitive. The fact Quinn has taken two on the road now this week is a good sign. It is 13 games into the season, Chytil is in dry spell right now he will bounce out of it and Quinn will play him the minutes all fans want to see.

You need to take a breather and watch something. The article only gets more brutally honest.

Another reason I am writing this article is because before the game Thursday night Larry Brooks the reporter for the Rangers tweeted

“Buchnevich remains out of the lineup. Quinn said players who were in for victory at San Jose deserve to get another shot, “for their effort”.”

Brooks exaggerated the quote a little with the quotation marks over “for their effort”, indicating it to be a comical comment(in my opinion). To me, I don’t see the wrong in this, your team won against what is to be the best in the Western Conference therefore the guys who played that game obviously did something correct therefore they get another look next game and see what they can do. I think that is called playing the hand you have and giving everyone an opportunity. Fans are making it seem like Buchnevich has been scratched for 13 games straight, its an 82 game season people he will play. We have seen the guy for three years now and he is not showing anyone in the Rangers organization a reason to be a consistent player in the line up year in and year out everyone comes in with high hopes for Buchnevich and he does not live up to expectations.

After that tweet from Brooks fans started tweeting at him stuff like…

“4th line duty for Chytil. He will get his usual 8 minutes. Rebuilding is different with the Rangers.”

“The problem here is he was way to hyped way too much before he got here, and so far hasn’t really shown any consistency at the NHL level.” (Assuming this is Buchnevich)

“I agree, I’m almost at the point where I want him to be traded and flourish elsewhere so that the Rangers can see how badly he was managed in NY.”

“Yeah let’s continue to play bums instead of a struggling prospect. He will learn so much from the bench. AV 2.0.”

“Brotha. We need to lose every game and trade everybody in the pro. Cess. Wtf u talkin about.” 

To be fair, I did see some comments stating that Buchnevich is not ready for the NHL, he doesn’t show consistency ever and he is just not gelling in NY right now. As well as comments like “yup, that’s my coach. #accountability #bebetter” But a majority of these fans either one think Buchnevich is some Wayne Gretzky that is sitting on the bench and Quinn is doing this purposefully to torture the kid or that he should be traded and out of New York. Ranger fans are known for their knee jerk reactions, with very little logic/knowledge about the game. If you are not a Rangers fan, and from the NY area you probably joke about Madison Square Garden being filed with “suit fans” who just come to games because their company had tickets. Tons of suit fans screaming “shoot” while the shooter has 2 defenders in front of him is exactly how you imagine Ranger fans.

New York Rangers rebuild 2018-19Anyways back to Buchnevich, I agree with Quinn here, Buch is a player that does not show consistency and just seems to be the player who can easily be edged due to his effort and what he brings to the table, put someone else in and try something new. As for Chytil, people the kid is not an Elias Pettersson, all NYR fans are way to high on this kid and think he is going to be like a Pettersson or other top NHL prospect. Ranger fans they stretched on taking Chytil in 2017 at 21st overall. The kid is 19-years-old he is not going to be a Matt Barzal, Auston Matthews, Patrick Laine, Brock Boeser, Alex Wennberg, etc and come in at 18-y/o and dominate. He needs sometime to adjust and get used to the speed, not to mention he is a 6’2 around 190 lbs, once he gets some size, confidence and more experience at the  NHL level, he’ll be fine. Drop your expectations for these players and here’s your reality check. Buchnevich is not as great as everyone thought he was going to be, he showed an inconsistent pace since he has come into the league, he shows some great signs in the offensive end, moving with the puck, creating offense an using his size/speed but then there are times when he has nothing. Chytil has played a total of 22 NHL games, relax. He is a second rounder who we stretched to in the first round. He will come around and do just fine. He showed great development in Hartford last season and now is adjusting to a whole different nature.

This rebuild will take time, the more you jump the ship on your coach and put him down and don’t trust what he is doing the longer this process will be. They have great talent coming up and brewing right now, they are playing competitive also which is a great sign. On top of that all, they are getting used to this rebuild phase, Quinn is a brand new NHL coach he will make mistakes and he will learn from them. Relax, NYR fans, enjoy the rebuild and stay off Twitter some of you, sheesh.

 

 

Glen Sather, Jeff Gorton release statement about Rangers rebuild

It does not get any more serious than this, as Ranger fans we all knew the Rangers were inevitably inching towards a rebuild, it was pretty obvious. I mean now it literally does not get any more obvious or more serious than this, when the Rangers owner and general manager released a statement saying that the Rangers are heading into a rebuilding phase and some familiar faces may be gone soon.

Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton statement Thursday afternoon: (secondary reporting by TheScore) 

As a member of the Blueshirt Faithful, we consider you a part of the New York Rangers family, and always want to ensure we share important news about the organization directly with you. Today, we want to talk to you about the future.

As you know, since the 2005-06 season, we have been a highly competitive team. We have played 129 playoff games, won the Presidents’ Trophy, reached the Conference Finals three times, as well as the Stanley Cup Final. While we’re proud of all those accomplishments – we didn’t reach our ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to New York.

So as we do every season, we have been continuously evaluating our team, looking for areas that can be improved to enhance our chances of winning. We began the process of reshaping our team this past summer, when we traded for assets that we believe will help us in the years to come. As we approach the trade deadline later this month and into the summer, we will be focused on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character. This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about and respect. While this is part of the game, it’s never easy. Our promise to you is that our plans will be guided by our singular commitment: ensuring we are building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup contender.

There are no fans like Rangers fans. You are passionate, loyal and true. You fill The Garden every night, and we always know there will be a strong showing from RangersTown in every building across the League. We do not take your support for granted. We appreciate that you have always stood by us, and we ask you to remain by our side as we undertake this exciting new chapter filled with promise and change.

We will keep you informed as this process takes shape. Thank you for the incredible loyalty, pride and respect you show to the New York Rangers, each and every day.

God, I may have teared up a little. This is serious folks. Just let this sink in. It’s ok though everything will be alright people.