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Category: New-York-Rangers

The Benching Of Mika Zibanejad

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

We’d say the last time something like this happened was when John Tortorella benched Marian Gaborik in the third period of Game 5 of the Rangers’ 2012 conference finals against the Devils, except doing such a thing was pretty much standard operating procedure for the coach.

Hence, no shock value there.

This, though, on Thursday night in Newark was different. This was different with David Quinn, who for the first time in his three seasons behind the bench brought down the hammer on one of the Rangers’ marquee players by dramatically reducing Mika Zibanejad’s ice time in the first period before sitting him for the first 10:46 of the second.

Finally, after weeks of giving Zibanejad the benefit of the doubt he had earned not only down the stretch last season, but through the entirety of the center’s work under Quinn, the coach had seen enough, following another period in which The Swede was a cipher on the ice.

And so he sat him. Sat him after a team-wide desultory opening 20 minutes, in which the Devils only could build a 1-0 lead thanks to Igor Shesterkin’s exceptional play in nets, and sat him through the midpoint of the second, by which time the Blueshirts had tied it 1-1 on Chris Kreider’s power-play goal.

continued

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Moving Jack Eichel To The New York Rangers Isn’t A Fit At This Point

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Here is the thing. Given cap constraints, it is essentially an impossibility for the Rangers to accommodate both Eichel, the shiny new apple for which they are at least semi-lusting, and Zibanejad. It will be either/or … or, maybe neither in the not so distant future if the first 20 games are an accurate depiction of what the Swede has become.

If Kevyn Adams, Buffalo’s first-year general manager, looks to move his team captain before the April 12 deadline rather than waiting until the offseason, it would be well nigh impossible for the Blueshirts to get in on the action unless they could somehow deal Zibanejad, who owns a full no-move clause.

The 24-year-old Eichel, whose season has hardly been a smashing success while surrounded by dysfunction that has been a permanent companion since the Sabres last qualified for the postseason in 2011, has five years left on a contract with a fixed cost of $10 million per. It’s a pricey one, all right, but at least the Rangers — or any acquiring team — won’t have to deal with arbitration or potential free agency for the next half-decade.

more

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Artemi Panarin Taking A Leave Of Absence

from Mollie Walker of the New York Post,

New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the team in wake of a politically motivated article from Russia, in which his former Vityaz head coach alleges that the ex-forward of the Moscow Region club beat an 18-year-old girl in Riga, Latvia in 2011, The Post’s Larry Brooks reported Monday morning.

Andrei Nazarov, who is currently the head coach of the KHL’s Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, has repeatedly criticized Panarin for the forward’s outspoken beliefs regarding Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s regime. Nazarov is a known Putin supporter.

The Rangers are expected to release a statement on the situation.

continued

added 11:32am,

NEW YORK, February 22, 2021 – The New York Rangers today released the following statement regarding Artemi Panarin:

“Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations in this fabricated story. This is clearly an intimidation tactic being used against him for being outspoken on recent political events. Artemi is obviously shaken and concerned and will take some time away from the team. The Rangers fully support Artemi and will work with him to identify the source of these unfounded allegations.”

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  Tags: artemi+panarin

How About Jack Eichel On Broadway?

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Maybe Zibanejad — who owns a full no-move clause in his contract — will turn this around over the next two months the way Jeter did 10 years ago. Even then, extension negotiations would be a pretty dicey affair. Can the team commit long-term at an appropriate price point in a flat-cap universe that is unforgiving when it comes to mistakes? And again, what would a mutually agreeable price point even be?

You probably know where this is going. That’s right, across I-80 West to I-90 North to 1-90 West right into Buffalo, where Jack Eichel could very well be ripe for the picking at the age of 24 and with five years remaining on his contract at an annual cap hit of $10 million.

If it gets to that with Eichel, who is going on his sixth year without a playoff appearance since his 2015 second-overall selection out of B.U., then the Rangers will need to be prepared for the conversation starting with Alexis Lafreniere.

Moving Eichel — and to the Rangers, no less — would create a public relations firestorm in Buffalo. Acquiring a player with both the special qualities and marquee appeal of Lafreniere might allow the franchise to minimize the damage. The Sabres aren’t moving their captain to New York for a handful of expendable parts.

But would the Blueshirts be willing to entertain that? Would they have the stomach for it? Maybe the better question is, would the hierarchy have much of a choice? If this is truly Zibanejad’s season, what in the world are the Rangers going to do?

more

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Tony DeAngelo Speaks

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

“I’m obviously disappointed about the way things ended in New York and how things have unfolded, but I’m not going to sit here and play the victim card at all,” DeAngelo told The Post in an exclusive interview by phone on Friday that represented his first public remarks since that fateful night.

“Hockey-wise, there are mistakes that I have made. I’ve gotten hot-headed at times. I’m the first one to admit that and I take responsibility for it. I’ve tried to learn and get better and better at it, but there are still times where things have happened and emotionally I’ve gone over the line a little bit, and I accept responsibility for that. The thing with Alex, exactly like he said, emotions got away.

“I wish things had happened differently, but like I said before, I’m not in any way playing the victim card.”

But let’s be serious here. DeAngelo is not out of the NHL because of the tussle with Georgiev. Those things happen in pro sports.

much more

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  Tags: tony+deangelo

Mika Zibanejad Where Are You?

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Listen, if the Rangers are going to have a chance to remain relevant in the playoff chase, it is imperative that Zibanejad produces. No team can survive with a washout season from its first-line center. The Blueshirts, who were carried offensively last year by the Zibanejad-Artemi Panarin Dynamic Duo, certainly won’t be able to hang in if No. 93 continues putting up zeroes. That is true whether or not Panarin, limited to one shift on the power play in the third period after suffering some sort of lower body injury late in the second after getting tangled up on the boards with Chris Wagner, is down for any length of time.

That is not overblowing the situation regarding Zibanejad, who has all of three points (1-2) on the year. Neither is it overblowing his significance to the operation.

David Quinn, who earlier in the day had mounted a defense of his centerman, was pleased indeed with Zibanejad’s play in this one through which he and his line held its own in the match against the Bergeron-Marchand-David Pastrnak trio

“Tonight, for sure, was the guy we saw last year in a lot of ways,” said the coach. “He did a great job defensively, with his body, was on the puck and got great scoring chances.

“He wanted it and had a swagger to him tonight.”

more and Brooks even gave me a chuckle with this....

There was more than a fair amount of good stuff throughout the evening, but not enough of it to generate a victory at the Garden. It was 3-2, B’s in overtime, when the basket-hanging Brad Marchand beat Georgiev on a breakaway...

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A Slow Start To Alexis Lafreniere’s Rookie Season

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

So let me say this without anyone suggesting that I am calling Alexis Lafreniere a bust or a disappointment or somehow an example of how the Rangers do not know how to nurture teenagers.

But for the third straight game in which open ice was at a premium and the match was contested in tight spaces, David Quinn dropped the first-overall draft selection from the rotation over the second half of the third period.

The first-overall selection of the 2020 draft got two shifts worth 1:24 over the final 11:56 of Monday’s 2-0 Garden defeat to the Islanders in which the visitors struck twice within 2:05 after a scoreless first 51:15.

This after No. 13 received two shifts worth 57 seconds over the final 10:40 of Thursday’s 4-2 victory over the Capitals, which was a game after he received two shifts worth 1:29 in the final 11:13 of the 3-1 victory over the Penguins on Feb. 1.

It’s funny. People sort of assumed — and you, I and Felix Unger all know what happens when you do that — that Lafreniere would naturally elevate his game after scoring his first NHL goal with the game-winner in overtime in Buffalo on Jan. 28. For whatever reason, though, the 19-year-old’s game has stalled.

continued

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  Tags: alexis+lafreniere

Tony DeAngelo Should Be Playing Hockey Right Now

from Dave Poulin at the Toronto Star,

Tony DeAngelo is not in an NHL locker room today. He should be. He was tied for fourth among NHL defencemen in scoring last season while playing with the New York Rangers. He is a coveted right-handed shot on the blue line, he runs a power play, he’s effective on the breakout and he plays 18 to 20 minutes a game. The 25-year-old is a perfect fit for an up-and-coming team. Except he’s not.

The question of fit extends to the locker room, where so much was accepted for so long. Change has been occurring in recent years, and that’s a good thing. The hazing and initiations have been eliminated. That “what you see here, what you say here and what you hear here stays here when you leave here” mantra is gone. People simply won’t tolerate what they have in the past.

That includes DeAngelo’s behaviour. The defenceman couldn’t move on from being benched for the second and third games of the season, a decision Rangers coach David Quinn made after DeAngelo committed an unsportsmanlike penalty in the home opener. He was already a controversial figure on social media, supporting the outgoing U.S. president and downplaying COVID-19. And then an altercation with teammate Alexander Georgiev apparently brought things to a head. DeAngelo has played his final game for the Rangers, general manager Jeff Gorton said.

continued

added 10:05am, Watch Brian Burke on this situation below.

Continue Reading »

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The Calgary Flames Have Interest In Tony DeAngelo

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The Flames are conducting due diligence on Tony DeAngelo and have expressed at least preliminary interest in the Rangers’ excommunicated defenseman, The Post has confirmed.

It is believed that Sam Bennett, the fourth-overall selection of the 2014 draft, who has at least temporarily fallen out of favor, has been a topic of conversation between the teams.

Bennett, who can play center or wing, has been designated as a healthy scratch for the Flames’ match at Winnipeg on Thursday after having recorded just one point (an assist) in the first nine games. He has primarily played on the wing, averaging 13:20 on a line with Mikael Backlund and either Josh Leivo or Andrew Mangiapane.

According to sources, the Flames have not yet made the definitive decision to move on from him.

Calgary is among several teams that have inquired about DeAngelo, who is in virtual taxi-squad land after clearing waivers in the wake of his Tussle in the Tunnel with Alexandar Georgiev following the Rangers match Saturday night against the Penguins. Some, though, have offered bad contracts in return. The Rangers have little to no interest in saddling themselves with an onerous obligation in order to ease DeAngelo out of the organization.

continued

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Afternoon Line- David Quinn

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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