Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Break up the NHL Eastern Conference champions? You betcha, for the combination of free agency and life in a restrictive hard-cap world will ensure the Rangers’ 2014-15 team photo will look significantly different from the one that was snapped during the Stanley Cup finals.
At least five, and perhaps six, of the 18 skaters who competed against the Kings in the elimination Game 5 double-overtime defeat in LA on June 13 were all but gone on the eve of Tuesday’s opening of the free-agent market, with Brad Richards (buyout) and Derek Dorsett (trade to Vancouver) already out of the picture.
Second-pair right defenseman Anton Stralman, second-line winger Benoit Pouliot and fourth-line winger Brian Boyle all are likely to be receiving their mail at new addresses following a lead-in to free agency during which management concluded the market would be too rich in these cases for the club’s liking.
from Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants,
Rangers GM Glen Sather provided a realistic assessment on the Rangers’ chances of retaining all their free agents after the team made its seven selections in rounds 2-7 Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.
To paraphrase, they’re not good, and that was even before Sather said the NHL general managers were taken somewhat by surprise by the salary cap being set at $69 million instead of the previously expected $70 million.
“We already traded one guy (Derek Dorsett) to give us some relief,” Sather said. “We didn’t know then but we had a real good idea that it wasn’t going to be $70 million so we had to make some room. We’ll see what happens here in the next week.
“I’d like to have everyone back,” Sather added. “Realistically I think it’s going to be complicated for the two reasons I said: One, the cap is not going up and the other one is where we ended up at the end of the year (in the Stanley Cup Final).
“We didn’t win so I think, realistically, some of these guys have got to pull the horns in a little bit,” Sather said.
added 5:25pm, Watch ten minutes of Glen Sather from the draft floor below...
via the New York Rangers,
“Tough last few days ... I loved being a Ranger and living in New York and playing at MSG in front of great fans. I've met many new friends, excellent teammates and staff and I have memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. Glen Sather, the management and owner, Mr. Dolan, are all class acts. I want to thank them for letting me be a part of New York life and the Rangers family. With this decision finalized, I can now look forward to starting the next chapter in my career.”
"We would like to thank Brad for everything he has done for our team on and off the ice during his time here. This was an extremely difficult decision to make because of how much respect I have for him. Brad's leadership and guidance for our young players was invaluable to the organization. We are grateful to have had the professionalism and experience he brought as an example for our team to follow. Brad has been a very good player for us and an even better person. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Also removed "Report" from the headline.
added 12:51pm, from Capgeek...
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
If the Rangers return most of the same roster, with Martin St. Louis, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard and Carl Hagelin as the forward core, the Rangers will likely be a playoff team next year, but there are enough free agents that it can't be assumed the Rangers will have the same roster. Mix in a buyout of Brad Richards, and potential free agent departures of defenceman Anton Stralman along with forwards Benoit Pouliot, Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore and others and that will present an opportunity to make some changes.
Additionally, the Rangers are known for being big-game hunters and, in a summer in which many big names are already being floated in trade rumours, it would come as no surprise if at least one of those big names found its way to Broadway.
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
A lot of people expect the New York Rangers to buy out Brad Richards, but the most emotionally invested part of Pat Morris still isn’t convinced it will happen.
Morris, the Newport Sports Management agent who represents Richards, joined the Hockey Central at Noon panel Tuesday to discuss his client’s much-talked about future. He said nothing has been settled in his talks with New York GM Glen Sather but wouldn’t rule out a return to Broadway for Richards.
“Maybe that’s my heart rather than my head [talking],” said Morris, “but with the commentary from Glen Sather, he was pretty positive about Brad’s role, especially after [former captain Ryan] Callahan left.”...
Another of Morris’s clients, Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly, has also been in the headlines lately.
It’s a situation worth keeping an eye on, both because of what’s already happened and what may occur in the not-too-distant future....
Morris said O’Reilly, 23, wasn’t entirely unprepared for this development, but it certainly sounds like he and his client hoped they could avoid going down this path.
“We’re now preparing for an arbitration case we didn’t think we’d have to tend to,” he said.
more on each of the players...
Under the cool, calm and collected Vigneault, the Rangers remained a work-in-progress even after they clinched a playoff berth.
Pleasant surprises out-numbered disappointments, particularly in goal where Cam Talbot expertly took over as back-up to Henrik Lundqvist without missing a beat. Not to mention Kevin Klein, who replaced Michael Del Zotto.
The departure of Ryan Callahan hurt not a bit as Martin St. Louis stepped in, providing leadership and key goals throughout the playoff run. Marty was second to McDonagh in Rangers scoring throughout the post-season.
Last September, when the sport's bible, The Hockey News, viewed the Rangers chances, it called them 17-1 to win The Cup. Clearly they did a lot better than anticipated and, therefore, this must be viewed as an upbeat season!
Rangers fans should have no fear because there's a surplus of hope looking ahead to 2014-15.
-Stan Fischler at MSG where you can read more on the Rangers.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Boyle has made it clear he is looking for a bigger offensive role, although he was proud of what he did this season as a member of the fourth line.
“I was on the fourth line, and I didn’t really like it, but it wasn’t the fourth line I was used to,” said Boyle, who had three postseason goals (one empty-netter) after six in the regular season. “We had three lines that could score on any shift — it was different, it was just different.”
After saying how much he loves the Rangers and the opportunity they gave him, Boyle relayed the message sent to him from coach Alain Vigneault.
“I know what my role would be coming back here,” said Boyle, likely looking for a two- or three-year deal in the range of $3 million to $4 million per. “In the playoffs and on a team that’s going to win in May and June, it’s an important role. But everybody wants to score more goals.”
Stralman was a top-four defenseman for the past two seasons, and is likely looking at an open-market value between $4 million to $5 million per on at least a three-year deal, if not longer.
“The only thing in my mind really is security for me and my family,” Stralman said. “We’ve been moving a lot — four teams in seven years. All we’re really looking for is stability, to stay in one place. This is obviously where we want. I’d like to stay. I hope it can happen. We’ll see.”
more on the Rangers...
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.
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