Rangers Make First Deal On Draft Day

Falk-memeThe Rangers decided since everything was quiet, they would get the party started at around 11:30 am EST and make the first deal of the day by acquiring defenseman Justin Falk from the Minnesota Wild for forward Benn Ferriero and the Rangers 6th round pick next year.

So what do we know about Falk? Well Wild fans seem thrilled he’s gone so that’s probably not a good sign but he’s a big guy (6’5″ and 215 lbs) who is only 24 years old. He’s a restricted free agent this summer who wasn’t getting a qualifying offer from the Wild so we don’t know cap hit yet but he made $825k last year. He played 36 games last season with three assists and a minus-9 while averaging 13:12 per game so this is basically a depth move, which to be honest I’m perfectly okay with. It isn’t like Matt Gilroy and Roman Hamrlik will be back next season.

As for what the Rangers gave up, Ferriero we hardly knew as he was part of the Kolarik trade last season. (Side note: Kolarik signed in Europe for the next two seasons so maybe the Rangers were right to trade him.) Sounds like he was included so the Rangers wouldn’t be over the 50 contract limit. And the pick – well we know the Rangers don’t actually like picking guys in the draft recently so that’s no surprise. Although at least this is a late round one.

Welcome aboard Justin Falk!

Advertisements

Brad Richards Is Still Employed, No Buyouts Planned This Summer

This man will be wearing this jersey next season. Well unless he's traded this summer... (Photo: Melissa Andus)

This man will be wearing this jersey next season. Well unless he’s traded this summer… (Photo: Melissa Andus)

To answer my question from Thursday, no the Rangers will not use their last remaining compliance buyout this summer as they announced yesterday that Brad Richards would be remaining with the team and that they wouldn’t be buying anyone else out (not that there was anyone else they were planning to use it on).

So now that it’s happened, how do I feel about it? I still have mixed feelings.

The bad is simple – the contract is horrible. Sure the Rangers can deal with the cap hit this coming season and may even be able to deal with it next season depending on what max becomes. But surprisingly that was never the issue. The issue is the new “cap recapture” portion of the CBA which basically penalizes teams where players retire early on front loaded contracts. I think the rule is absolutely ridiculous but somehow both sides agreed to it so we’re stuck with it. (The contract was legal when signed. The league shouldn’t be able to say “now it’s not so you’re getting punished”.) Richards falls into this category and that’s why everyone felt he had to go. It’s also the reason he still might.

As for the good, I am of the belief that the Richards we saw this season is not the player he is now. Do I think he is the guy who won the Conn Smythe in 2004? No, he’s not that guy either. But he’s better than he was this season. Plus now he has a chip on his shoulder to prove he isn’t done. No one should ever under-estimate an athlete who wants to prove people wrong. I think that mixed with a new coach/style will prove to make this move worthwhile.

The sad part is no matter how the year goes for Richards, I expect the entire season to focus on him being bought out next summer. In fact, it already has begun. Which is ridiculous, if you ask me.

But I’m going to stick to being positive and say that I’m glad he’s back for another year. Now go prove everyone wrong Richie! (And maybe bring us a Cup while you’re at it…)

Compliance Buyout Period Is Open; Will Rangers Use It?

Does he stay or does he go? At this point, I don't even think Glen Sather knows. (Photo: Robert Kowal/flickr)

Does he stay or does he go? At this point, I don’t even think Glen Sather knows. (Photo: Robert Kowal/flickr)

The NHL’s compliance buyout window was scheduled to open 48 hours after the Final ended. So last night at 11pm, the window opened. (Way to take that 48 hours literally, NHL.)

Players need to be placed on waivers before officially being bought out (a fact many people seemed to have missed) so as of this morning, no one is officially off their team. That doesn’t mean we don’t know players who will be bought out – guys like Briere and Bryzgalov in Philly and Kaberle in Montreal will be placed on waivers at noon today. One name we don’t know what will happen with – Brad Richards.

Over the past few weeks, I have seen a ton of articles both for and against keeping Richards. I’ve also seen some people write both sides of the argument and not in the sense that they are showing both views. It’s a tricky situation. His contract sucks and will burn the Rangers a few years down the road. There’s unfortunately no way around that. But can he be easily replaced by someone cheaper if bought out? Probably not, and that is what the Rangers are weighing now.

Read more of this post

Happy Birthday MDZ!

Del Zotto-memeGood news – today is the last Rangers birthday of June. Even better news? We get to see some videos of the youngest full-time member of the 2013 Rangers, Michael Del Zotto!

I know a lot of fans are split on Del Zotto (okay, split is probably not the right word) but I still think he has the potential to be a great offensive defenseman. And for anyone who says he should be there right now, he’s turning 23 today. Yes, he’s just 23. Most defensemen don’t hit their prime until their mid to late 20s. In other words, he still has time. With a new coach and system, I think we’ll truly find out what type of player DZ is. (Although I still believe he could’ve succeeded under Torts.)

Enough about that, let’s watch videos!

First up, I found this one during the lockout and have been waiting for a good time to use it and figured today was as good as any. Here is the birthday boy scoring a power play goal back when he was 10 years old:

Read more of this post

Happy Birthday Darroll Powe!

Wait…another birthday? Yes, another Rangers birthday. And we’re not even done for the month after this one. So we are we celebrating today?

Powe-meme

Yes Darroll, I am talking about you. That’s what I do when Rangers players have birthdays. And even though you didn’t play a lot of games for the Blueshirts, you’re still a Ranger so you get a birthday post.

So what can we learn about the man who is celebrating his 28th birthday today? Besides the Rangers, he has played for two other teams – the Flyers, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in March 2007 and the Wild.

Read more of this post

Bienvenue à New York, AV

How many years ago was 1994? It's more than 7, right? Good, good. (Photo: Screenshot from BlueshirtsUnited.com)

How many years ago was 1994? It’s more than 7, right? Good, good. (Photo: Screenshot from BlueshirtsUnited.com)

The New York Rangers welcomed their 35th head coach today at Radio City Music Hall. In his first meeting with the New York media, Alain Vigneault (who prefers to be called AV) already presented a strong contrast to John Tortorella: he was engaging, friendly, and answered everyone’s questions. So, on first glance he doesn’t seem to live up to the legend that the Vancouver media has built around him. Speaking of Vancouver media, they may soon have a new nemesis to clash with: reports are saying that Torts may be heading to Vancouver. Good luck with that, boys.

So, what does AV have planned for the new Rangers regime?

Read more of this post

Happy Birthday Step!

Another day, another birthday. Today we celebrate another Minnesota-born Ranger as the third youngest member of the 2013 squad (not including guys who bounced back and forth from Hartford), turns 23 today. And who would that be? The guy who is slotted into the number one center position going forward:

Stepan-meme

Yes Derek, that would be you. Please don’t ever put that jersey on again as I like watching you play on this side of the Atlantic.

So I’ll admit that I enjoy watching videos of Step because he is basically a goofball so any video involving him usually entertains me. It took awhile but I narrowed down a few of my favorites over the past year or two.

Read more of this post