Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK, July 18, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired forward Mika Zibanejad and a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Zibanejad, 23, skated in 81 games with Ottawa this past season, registering 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points, along with 18 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2015-16, including games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals (seven), and faceoff win percentage (50.5; 659-for-1,306). Zibanejad has tallied a goal on 13 of his 28 career NHL shootout attempts (46.4%), and he has recorded five game-deciding goals in the shootout. Zibanejad’s five game-deciding goals in the shootout are the second-most a Senator has tallied since 2005-06, as he passed Daniel Alfredsson for sole possession of second place during this past season.
NEW YORK, July 15, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Josh Jooris.
Jooris, 26, skated in 59 games with the Calgary Flames this past season, registering four goals and nine assists for 13 points, along with 39 penalty minutes. He tied for the team lead in shorthanded assists (two) and tied for fifth on Calgary in shorthanded points (two) in 2015-16. The Flames posted a 9-2-1 record in contests which Jooris tallied at least one point this past season, and he posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 45 of the 59 games in which he played during the season. He skated in his 100th career NHL game on February 23, 2016 at Los Angeles.
from Stan Fischler of MSGNetworks,
Put it this way, if Lou Fontinato were playing defense for the New York Rangers today, he would have been one of the most popular -- if not the most popular -- athlete in New York.
I speak firsthand since Louie and I grew up together in the Rangers organization. During the 1954-55 season, I worked in the Blueshirts publicity department and Fonty was a hell-for-leather rookie.
This wonderful man, who for many NHL years seemed indestructible, died at the age of 84 on Sunday near his birthplace in Guelph, Ontario.
What made Fontinato so special was a blend of uncontrolled exuberance, passion, lust for body checking and -- not to be underplayed -- delight in good old fist-fighting.
When Louie fought, The Garden -- then on Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets -- would go mad.
"As long as I knew Louie," said Hall of Famer Andy Bathgate, "he loved a good fight. But he also was a first-rate defenseman, even in Juniors."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Jeff Gorton has to be as surprised as anyone that, three months from the start of next season, the Rangers are almost the exact same team that was not good enough last season. Except minus their best defenseman and power-play quarterback the second half of the season, both of whom were named Keith Yandle. Because believe me, this was not the plan.
But Gorton, in his first full offseason as general manager, is not just some innocent bystander here. He is the decider. From what we’ve gleaned, the Blueshirts, a) are extremely reluctant to trade Derek Stepan; b) won’t trade Ryan McDonagh; c) cannot get anything even remotely resembling equal value for Rick Nash; d) have not been shopping Chris Kreider.
So when removing those players from the equation — after making the decision not to buy out either Dan Girardi or Marc Staal and thus incur $12 million of empty cap space over eight years on the former and/or $21.77 million of dead cap space over 10 years on the latter — how exactly do the Blueshirts expect to change the equation and dynamic on Broadway next year?
The Rangers’ core has been at the heart of a five-season run of notable success. But at its best, it was not good enough to win the Stanley Cup. So why would anyone think this same group can be good enough to win this year?
NEW YORK, July 1, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Nathan Gerbe.
Gerbe, 28, has skated in 394 career NHL games over parts of eight seasons (2008-09 – 2015-16) with Buffalo and Carolina, registering 58 goals and 80 assists for 138 points, along with 172 penalty minutes. He has recorded 10 or more goals in a season three times in his career, and he notched a career-high 16 goals in 2010-11 with the Sabres and 2013-14 with the Hurricanes. In addition, Gerbe has been on the ice for only 20 power play goals against while logging 247:03 of shorthanded ice time throughout his career. He has skated in nine career NHL playoff contests, registering four points (three goals, one assist).
The 5-5, 178-pounder skated in 47 games with Carolina this past season, registering three goals and four assists for seven points, along with 14 penalty minutes. He was on the ice for only four power play goals against while logging 48:59 of ice time while shorthanded in 2015-16. The Hurricanes earned a point in five of the seven contests which Gerbe tallied a point during the past season (4-2-1 record).
NEW YORK, July 1, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Michael Grabner.
Grabner, 28, has skated in 397 career NHL games over parts of seven seasons (2009-10 – 2015-16) with Vancouver, the NY Islanders, and Toronto, registering 104 goals and 69 assists for 173 points, along with 70 penalty minutes. He is tied for fourth in the NHL in shorthanded goals since the start of the 2010-11 season (12). Grabner has recorded at least 20 goals in a season twice in his career, and he established career-highs in goals (34), assists (18), and points (52) with the Islanders in 2010-11. In addition, he was named to the NHL First All-Rookie Team in 2010-11. Grabner has skated in 17 career NHL playoff games, registering two goals and four assists for six points, along with a plus-five rating.
The 6-1, 185-pounder skated in 80 games with Toronto this past season, registering nine goals and nine assists for 18 points, along with 12 penalty minutes. Grabner established a career-high in games played in 2015-16. He ranked sixth in the NHL – and ranked second among NHL forwards – in shorthanded ice time this past season (248:29) while helping Toronto rank 13th in the NHL on the penalty kill. Grabner was one of three Maple Leafs who tallied a shorthanded goal in 2015-16, and he tied for second on the team in game-winning goals (two) this past season. He recorded his 100th career NHL goal, which was a game-winning goal, on December 27, 2015 against the Islanders.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The work necessary to maintain the Rangers’ five-year run as an upper-echelon team will continue following this NHL Entry Draft weekend, over which general manager Jeff Gorton was unable to get much accomplished.
“I think we have things to do to get us where we want to go,” Gorton said Saturday. “We’re in a spot where we’re trying to get better, trying to make deals to get better. We’ve been in a lot of [trade] conversations. We’re listening to everything and we’ll see where it goes. We tried to do some things, and I’d say we came close to doing something to get into the first round, but it didn’t work out and we weren’t going to be forced into doing something just to do it.”
Better safe than sorry for the Blueshirts, no doubt about that. There is time to renovate before the free-agent market opens July 1, there is time to renovate before camp opens in mid-September, and there is time to renovate before next season’s trade deadline. A year ago at this time, the Penguins weren’t anyone’s idea of a contender, much less a Stanley Cup champion.
But if there were no acceptable deals to be had this weekend, the process of remodeling a roster filled with expensive (some would say, onerous) contracts isn’t necessarily going to get any easier for Gorton, who has been steadfast in not offering assets such as Rick Nash and Derek Stepan at a discount.
NEW YORK, June 25, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired defenseman Nick Holden from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for their own fourth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Holden, 29, skated in 82 games with Colorado this past season, registering six goals and 16 assists for 22 points, along with 24 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2015-16, including games played, assists, average ice time (21:52), hits (217), and blocked shots (118). Holden ranked second on Colorado – and led Avalanche defensemen – in hits, ranked third in average shorthanded ice time (2:20) and blocked shots (118), and ranked fourth in average ice time this past season. In addition, he was one of five players on Colorado – and one of two Avalanche defensemen – who skated in all of the team’s 82 games in 2015-16.
The 6-4, 210-pounder has skated in 221 career NHL games over parts of five seasons (2010-11; 2012-13 – 2015-16) with Columbus and Colorado, registering 21 goals and 40 assists for 61 points, along with a plus-one rating and 74 penalty minutes. Holden established career-highs in goals (10), assists (15), points (25), and plus/minus rating (plus-12) in 2013-14. In his three seasons with the Avalanche (2013-14 – 2015-16), he led Colorado defensemen in hits (491), and he ranked third among Colorado defensemen in goals (21), assists (40), and points (61).
The St. Albert, Alberta, native was originally signed by Columbus as an undrafted free agent on March 28, 2008.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The Rangers made like the person on line at the deli counter of a supermarket whose ticket is numbered 81 while Ticket No. 1 was being served. Which is to say, the Blueshirts waited … and waited … and waited through a night largely devoid of drama that began with Toronto’s first-overall selection of Auston Matthews.
The Blueshirts did not move Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider or Kevin Klein (Klein surfaced Friday as possible trade bait). The Blueshirts are not offering their assets at a discount. And while Kevin Shattenkirk remains in St. Louis after a deal with Edmonton collapsed, the Rangers are not pursuing the right defenseman with only one year remaining on his contract prior to potential free agency.
But it is not as if the carriage turned into a pumpkin at midnight. This was not the trade deadline. Gorton, whose team has selections 81, 98, 141, 171, 174 and 201 as the draft concludes with rounds two through seven on Saturday, will continue to work on deals in advance of July 1 free agency.
The Rangers have $56 million in cap space committed to a shadow roster of 15 players (two goaltenders, five defensemen and eight forwards), thus leaving $17 million to complete the 21- or 22-man roster. That $17 million would include the approximately $9 million to $10 million it likely would take to re-sign impending restricted free agents Kreider, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and Dylan McIlrath (if not traded).
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Rick Nash is still a Ranger, so is Chris Kreider and so is Derek Stepan. So, for that matter are Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Sources have told The Post that the Rangers are not offering their assets at a discount; that while Gorton is committed to a summer remodeling, he is not going to take 60 or 80 cents back on the dollar for his top assets simply to create cap space or acquire badly needed draft selections. At the moment, the Blueshirts are not scheduled to pick until 81st overall after having dealt away their first- and second-round selections.
Regarding Nash, who despite an off-the-charts bad 2015-16 has been the Rangers’ best forward by a considerable margin over his four seasons in New York: The Post has been told the Blues are not interested in dealing for No. 61, even if the 32-year-old winger is one of the St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock’s all-time favorite players....
Sources also have told The Post that Nash — who has submitted a list of 12 teams to whom he can be sent as per his modified no-trade contract clause — would not approve a trade to a Canadian team. Options for a deal are thus limited.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org