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New York Rangers


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New York Rangers

Post by jedi17 on Fri 19 May 2017, 7:50 pm

Starting the look forward into 2017-18 and a request from my readers
May 19, 2017, 5:19 PM ET [7 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
This time of year has basically become silly season 1, 2 or 3, depending where on how you view just before the trade deadline or free agency. Coming into this season, many of us believed that 2017-18 was the real year where a run could be made. That view changed mildly earlier this year due to the hot start and then spiked with the win over Montreal. The defeat to Ottawa was painful and is still raw, especially seeing the match up to date with Pittsburgh, but now the focus shifts to the future. That figure will mean lots of changes. What those changes are remain to be seen.

Reading all the blogs and columns and comments on last two blogs, speculation as to who will go is wildly rampant. Almost no name, save for maybe Brady Skjei, has been immune to that speculation. While the proposals have been far afield, Rangers management should currently be meeting determining the future direction of the team. To try and cover every rumor might take hours or weeks. What I will say is that New York has to get it right. That includes 1) who should be bought out, including requests for those with NMC or NTC, 2) which players need to be protected or exposed, including how to sweeten the pot for Vegas to take one player as opposed to another, and 3) what type of extensions to offer the team's RFAs as well as UFAs as well as which ones to offer those extensions.

Rather than me pontificating over and over, what I thought might be interesting for you to propose your realistic deals based on 1), 2) or 3) above and have me weigh in. I use the term realistic because if it's completely far fetched and so far off the grid, I am not touching it. Any of the three are open season and happy to weigh, likely in a blog of several have the same view.

Let me weigh in on what Eklund wrote today and yesterday, that is the Rangers interest in Galchenyuk. I have expressed before my affinity for Galchenyuk, despite his uneven development. He to me still profiles as a quality second line and possibly first line player, most probably at winger but also possibly at center. Now the proposals made by several of Derek Stepan going for Galchenyuk does fit needs for both teams, but despite his struggles, likely favors the Rangers more than Montreal.

Stepan is still a quality, two-way center who likely would be Habs first line pivot man despite his lack of foot speed. While he draws a fairly good amount of hate from the Rangers' faithful, Stepan still had 17 goals, 38 assists and a plus-19 rating as well as a career-high 209 shots in 81 games this season. In addition, he has scored at least 51 points in each of his five full seasons in the NHL. But his lack of production in the playoffs this season along with his long goal drought coupled with his slow foot speed, non-profile as a first line center, high-ish salary cap of $6.5 million per year until 2020-21 and NTC that kicks in July 1, make him a prime trade candidate.

On the flip side, Galchenyuk, the third overall pick in 2012, has underachieved to a certain extent, especially compared to what was expected of him due to his lofty draft status. He had a breakout year in 2015-16, reaching the 30-goal mark for the first time. And it didn’t really get going until March, when head coach Michel Therrien made him the top-line center beside Max Pacioretty and eventually Brendan Gallagher. This year, he had a very uneven season and finished the year with just two goals and eight assists his last 18 games and 17 and 27 overall in 61 games. He is nearly four years younger than Stepan and an RFA, who could be signed to one more bridge-deal but likely will earn a longer term extension to keep him under control.

I get the view of dealing Stepan for Galchenyuk. It gets the team younger while also saving some cap room. Galchenyuk may have more future upside than Stepan but dealing Stepan removes a leader in the locker room and the team's best two-way center. On the point of Montreal would want more than Stepan or J.T. Miller, for the former, possibly, depending on the deal construct, on the latter, thanks but not thanks. While Miller has failed to produce historically in the playoffs, you are at best making an incremental increase and likely taking on salary, using additional cap room, by what Galchenyuk will want.

    Current date/time is Tue 19 Jun 2018, 4:45 pm