Kukla's Korner Hockey
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...
from Jim Cerny of BlueShirtsUnited,
It could have been that the Rangers spent Monday preparing to play Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals later that evening at Madison Square Garden. Instead, Ranger players, coaches, and staff took part in break-up day at the MSG Training Center, while 3,000 miles away the Los Angeles Kings were feted with a championship parade.
Head coach Alain Vigneault, who met individually with each player on Monday, said his team's four losses to the Kings--in particular the three in overtime on the road, including Friday's Game Five double overtime defeat...would "haunt" the Rangers because the club was so close to winning each and every one.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
D Anton Stralman: Question is whether the Rangers will have the space to accommodate the $4-4.5 million per on a multi-year deal the right defenseman would attract on the open market following his cash-register playoffs.
D Raphael Diaz: Righty could return for a deal in the $1 million neighborhood if Stralman departs.
LW Benoit Pouliot: Two years in the $2-2.4 million per range for the erratic winger who responded to coach Alain Vigneault’s early tough love and was an effective complement on the line with Brassard and Zuccarello, but who did take 10 offensive-zone penalties in the playoffs.
C Brian Boyle: Will have numerous teams pounding on his door. Questions are whether, a) the Blueshirts have the space to commit $3-3.3 million per for a fourth-liner that Boyle is likely to command as a UFA; and, b) whether Boyle will look to sign with a club that would offer the opportunity for a larger role.
C Dominic Moore: Fourth-line engine should receive in the neighborhood of $1.5-$1.75 million per on a two-year deal.
RW Dan Carcillo: Unlikely to return unless the Rangers deal Dorsett.
more on the the off-season the Rangers face...
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
from Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News,
One minute later, Richards was asked if there were pride in the Rangers’ accomplishments, despite how it all had crashed down.
“There will be,” Richards said. “Not tonight. But there will be. Tonight’s not a night to reminisce. But there will a time this summer when you think back about what an amazing run it was. It has to be amazing to get this far: To come together, and no one will ever know except for us how fun it was and how we came together. But you lose three games in overtime in the final, it’s tough to explain.”
What seemed to hurt the Rangers the most was how close they felt they had been. The series ended 4-1 Kings, but the Blueshirts had led all three games in Los Angeles that they eventually lost, all in extra time.
They couldn’t believe it was over.
“We all want to go back onto the ice,” center Derick Brassard said.
Chris Kreider was angry, pacing a bit to the side behind where Richards had conducted his interview. Further back to the right corner, Derek Stepan sat crushed at his locker.
“It sucks right now. This is so tough to swallow,” said Stepan, who has not been able to swallow solid food since breaking his jaw in the Eastern Conference Final against Montreal.
On the other side, the LA Kings talked about winning the Stanley Cup while still on the ice, watch below...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
General manager Glen Sather and his staff have the responsibility of bolstering the personnel to attain the three victories by which the Rangers came up short, and without first-rounders for the next two seasons — gone to Tampa Bay in the deadline deal that brought Marty St. Louis into New Yorkers’ lives — to either regenerate the operation or to dangle as trade assets....
The Rangers simply have to get bigger. The Kings’ size and ability to get to the net and cause havoc for Henrik Lundqvist was the decisive factor in the finals. If the Rangers are playing with the big boys now, it can’t only be about players putting on their big-boy pants. It’s about Sather getting bigger boys who can go toe-to-toe with the Jeff Carters, Dustin Browns and, yes, Milan Lucics of the world.
It is a fait accompli that Brad Richards has worn the Blueshirt for the final time. It is only a matter of timing as to when management exercises its final amnesty buyout on the team’s de-facto captain, whose tenure over three years added class and a substantial presence to the organization. Richards will leave the Rangers in a far better place than when he joined them. His contract has paid for itself.
Derek Stepan elevated his game throughout the tournament, during which he was matched consistently against the opposition’s top line. Stepan’s compete-level was exemplary. In his fourth year in the playoffs, and while playing the final seven games with a contraption affixed to his helmet to protect the broken jaw he sustained in Game 3 against Montreal, Stepan got it. The Rangers have no worries going forward with No. 21.
The same cannot be said regarding Rick Nash, who played extremely hard, but not well enough by any definition in order to justify his status as the go-to difference maker Sather thought he was in acquiring from Columbus two years ago.
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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