PDA

View Full Version : [Brooks] Rangers Struggling to Find the Right Line Combos



Pete
10-18-2014, 02:18 PM
Uncle Larry (via our discussions — again) putting everyone on notice!

---


It does not portend great things that the absence of one center could throw the Rangers into chaos, but that has been the story of the first five games. Vigneault either hasn’t been able to decide what he likes, or he has been able to decide all too quickly what he doesn’t like.

Anthony Duclair went from the first line to being nailed to the bench. Chris Kreider has been here and there. Mats Zuccarello has been here, there and everywhere. Why Vigneault would ever have split last year’s cornerstone tandem Brassard and Zuccarello so quickly — after two sub-par performances — is a mystery. Carl Hagelin, bounced around, hasn’t found a spot from which to make an impact.

By the way, is Friday’s demotion of J.T. Miller a rush to judgment or what, on the 21-year-old who had a very good camp, a reasonable opener, a mediocre second game and a tough third contest before being scratched for two straight matches?

Maybe the Rangers have a trade chip in Miller, the 15th overall selection in the 2011 Entry Draft, but if so, it better not be used on a Band-Aid fifth or sixth defenseman. You know what, maybe way down the line this year, if the Sharks’ Joe Thornton or the Hurricanes’ Eric Staal become available and the Blueshirts appear one big-time center shy of legitimacy as a Stanley Cup contender, maybe then Miller can be part of a deal.

Or maybe there will come a point when the coach is able to invest trust and patience in the first-rounder. Quite clearly, Vigneault needs convincing regarding Miller’s viability as a Ranger.

It was like this last year too, with line combinations pretty much changing by the day into the beginning of January. The fact is, Vigneault was still experimenting with Brassard on the wing as late as late December while Brian Boyle was still in the middle. The Kreider-Stepan-Rick Nash unit didn’t become a staple until the penultimate game before the Christmas recess.

But last year, Vigneault didn’t know the personnel. And last year, Hagelin missed the first 10 games, Nash missed 17 of the first 20, Moore missed seven of the first 18 and Ryan Callahan missed 17 of the first 41, sidelined three separate times with three different injuries. So it was all mix and match.

It is on the players, of course, just as it is always is. It is on Brassard — who has scored three times — to elevate his game. It is on Zuccarello to be a force. It is on Kreider, all but invisible the last two games (maybe three) to become consistent.

And it will be on St. Louis, who performed gallantly as a volunteer center, to be productive on the wing. In 24 regular-season games as a Ranger, St. Louis has scored one goal while playing with pretty much everybody except Wayne Dillon.

Respecttheblue
10-18-2014, 03:14 PM
^ Ouch! ^

And as U.L. says "trade chip ... if so, it better not be used on a band aid fifth or sixth defenseman. ... ... maybe down the line if ... the Blueshirts appear one big-time center shy of legitimacy as a Stanley Cup contender, maybe then..."

One thing we know is there's more than just a few players on the team *not just one who need to shake a tail feather.

Bretzky
10-18-2014, 04:27 PM
Duclair Stepan St. Louis

Kreider Hayes Nash

Stempniak Brassard Zuccarello

Hagelin D.Moore Malone


(when Stepan is healthy of course)

until then, it's a crapshoot.

NYRangersFan
10-18-2014, 07:03 PM
Zuccarello is going to play left wing with Brassard and St.Louis?
Hope he can play LW well. Otherwise he is on the third line.
This might be the End of Duclaire for this season.
If not love to see Duclaire with Brassard and St.Louis.

Phil in Absentia
10-18-2014, 07:04 PM
Zuccarello is going to play left wing with Brassard and St.Louis?
Hope he can play LW well. Otherwise he is on the third line.
This might be the End of Duclaire for this season.
If not love to see Duclaire with Brassard and St.Louis.

Zuccarello came into the league as a LW. He moved to RW last season, so he should be just fine there.

NYRangersFan
10-18-2014, 07:39 PM
Zuccarello never played LW much with the Rangers.

Bretzky
10-18-2014, 07:50 PM
Zuccarello never played LW much with the Rangers.

His first season with us he did, I believe. And I also believe he did in that Olympic year when everyone was drooling over him and Vikingstad on Norway.

NYRangersFan
10-26-2014, 06:18 PM
Zuccarello is awful so far. One assist and minus 5 in 7 games. Move Duclaire in his spot and put him to fourth line RW.

Vodka Drunkenski
10-26-2014, 06:31 PM
That line misses Pouliot tremendously

Mike
10-26-2014, 06:59 PM
That line misses Pouliot tremendously

He's not the only player they miss at the moment.

CreaseCrusader91
10-26-2014, 07:09 PM
I'd put Kreider with Zucc and Brass. Put Duclair with Hayes and Nash. MSL with Mueller and Stempniak. Moore with Glass and Hagelin.

At this point shuffle the decks and see what sticks.

leetchy2
10-26-2014, 07:12 PM
That line misses Pouliot tremendously

Brass/Zucc looked good against MTL just couldn't finish. With time I think Kreider can gel with the line. As for missing Pouliot, so far he has 0 goals, 2 assists and -4 rating in 8 games with Edmonton. So ya never know this year how the line would have looked had we had the money to keep Pouliot. I'm more upset about losing BBoyle and signing Glass instead.

AmericanJesus
10-26-2014, 07:37 PM
I'd put Kreider with Zucc and Brass. Put Duclair with Hayes and Nash. MSL with Mueller and Stempniak. Moore with Glass and Hagelin.

At this point shuffle the decks and see what sticks.

Hagelin has two goals in his last three games. I wouldn't drop him to the fourth line. Stempniak probably belongs there now. Hot start has cooled off.

Kreider - Brassard - Nash
Duclair - Hayes - MSL
Hagelin - Lindberg - MZA
Glass - Moore - Stempniak

Pete
10-26-2014, 07:59 PM
Hagelin has two goals in his last three games. I wouldn't drop him to the fourth line. Stempniak probably belongs there now. Hot start has cooled off.

Kreider - Brassard - Nash
Duclair - Hayes - MSL
Hagelin - Lindberg - MZA
Glass - Moore - Stempniak

Why not Mueller over Lindberg?

AmericanJesus
10-26-2014, 08:13 PM
Why not Mueller over Lindberg?

Shit meant Mueller. Could have typed AHL plug. Actually if it's me that's Miller's spot.

Dunny
10-26-2014, 08:40 PM
Miller for me as well.

Dunny
10-26-2014, 08:48 PM
BTW, look at Millers draft year, it may go down as worst draft year ever.

Bretzky
10-26-2014, 08:54 PM
Am I the only one who'd rather have Jordan than Eric, all things considered?

Kreider Hayes Nash
Duclair Stepan St. Louis
Stempniak J.Staal Zuccarello
Hagelin D.Moore Malone

I really like the idea of Jordan anchoring our 3rd line.

Stepan-Hayes-J.Staal-D.Moore down the middle is pretty strong.

I'd certainly be willing to part with Brassard+ if Carolina looks to move both brothers out of town (I honestly can't see them moving one without moving both and going in a whole new direction)

Both Staal contracts are crazy but I'd take the younger, two-way Jordan at 6 million for eternity over the older Eric at 8+ for a few more years.

Vodka Drunkenski
10-26-2014, 09:09 PM
6 million to be a 3rd line center?

Pete
10-26-2014, 09:27 PM
How is Hayes better than Staal?

I find the obsession with Hayes baffling. (Not calling you out, Brett. Just saying). He's been held shot less in half the games he's played.

He'll develop. But he's not even close to being top 6. Yet.

Vodka Drunkenski
10-26-2014, 09:31 PM
Agreed, he's not there yet. I think he needs a year or two in the A before we start to see what he really is

Pete
10-26-2014, 09:33 PM
Agreed, he's not there yet. I think he needs a year or two in the A before we start to see what he really is

Yea. Agree with you. He and Duclair need seasoning.

Dunny
10-26-2014, 09:44 PM
It's fine to try and catch lightening in a bottle, but you have to be ready to move on.

Bretzky
10-26-2014, 10:32 PM
I'm not overly into labels.

The Kings won last season with a 5+ million dollar "fourth line center."

Hayes in a vacuum isn't a top-6 center yet, but I really like the idea of that monster line with him between Kreider and Nash.

It's all about chemistry and roles.

I'd take my chances with Jordan Staal replacing Brassard's role and being able to shelter some of the defensive load that Stepan and D.Moore bear the brunt of since neither Brassars nor Hayes nor Miller get any defensive zone starts / responsibilities.

Sure, a 6 million dollar 3rd line center.

Right now we're paying one 5 million dollars and seems to only have chemistry with Zuccarello.

Look, I'd love to add either Staal brother to this team. They're both great talents. I just love the idea of Jordan Staal added to this team's core of leadership. Don't forget, he's been in the league forever, but Jordan is still only 26. He JUST turned 26.

Under contract for 8 more years, that could be a steal of a contract for a 50-point two-way center in a season or two. And at 26, he's likely to just be hitting his prime now.

Derek Stepan
Jordan Staal
Kevin Hayes
Dominic Moore

is a great center core going forward.

Phil in Absentia
10-26-2014, 10:52 PM
Not that this is really the thread for it, but the Rangers did try to trade for Staal at the draft when Carolina picked him up, and you'd have to imagine they'd have tabled a similar (if not identical) offer to him that the Canes did. If the injury history hasn't turned them off, and assuming the money matches (which I don't think it can), Jordan or Eric aren't that crazy to think about.

RichieNextel305
10-27-2014, 12:36 AM
Personally, Eric seems like the one Sather would go for more. And I don't think it's too hard to imagine. Didn't Brooks write at one point over the past few months about how it may be time to stop assuming that Marc is going to bolt for Carolina to play with his brothers, and to start assuming Eric may be bolting Carolina to play up here?

I think of it this way: if the Rangers again look poised to make another run come Feb/March, I do think Sather will again do his work to bring in a big center for this team. Because really, I think that is one of the few places we are lacking.

Phil in Absentia
10-27-2014, 09:11 AM
Personally, Eric seems like the one Sather would go for more. And I don't think it's too hard to imagine. Didn't Brooks write at one point over the past few months about how it may be time to stop assuming that Marc is going to bolt for Carolina to play with his brothers, and to start assuming Eric may be bolting Carolina to play up here?

I think of it this way: if the Rangers again look poised to make another run come Feb/March, I do think Sather will again do his work to bring in a big center for this team. Because really, I think that is one of the few places we are lacking.

Yeah, though I don't know how much stock I'd put into that theory considering the state of things with Marc right now. He's in the same limbo Girardi and Callahan were, with no light at the end of the tunnel, which means unless they come to grips over price (and they're not that far apart, according to Brooks), this'll ride to the deadline as well.

But if I were a betting man, my money would be on either Eric, Jordan or Thornton being targets by the deadline this year. The Rangers lost the Cup Final, at least in part, because of the incredible mismatch of Kopitar versus Stepan.

AmericanJesus
10-27-2014, 09:15 AM
Yeah, though I don't know how much stock I'd put into that theory considering the state of things with Marc right now. He's in the same limbo Girardi and Callahan were, with no light at the end of the tunnel, which means unless they come to grips over price (and they're not that far apart, according to Brooks), this'll ride to the deadline as well.

But if I were a betting man, my money would be on either Eric, Jordan or Thornton being targets by the deadline this year. The Rangers lost the Cup Final, at least in part, because of the incredible mismatch of Kopitar versus Stepan.

For argument's sake, how do you see cap space fitting on any one of those three? $8.25M, $6.75M or $6M added to our cap. You'd almost have to have Brassard going back the other way.

Phil in Absentia
10-27-2014, 09:17 AM
For argument's sake, how do you see cap space fitting on any one of those three? $8.25M, $6.75M or $6M added to our cap. You'd almost have to have Brassard going back the other way.

Any on expiring deals? UFA at the end of the season? I know Jordan isn't, but I don't remember off-hand if Joe or Eric are.

At the deadline, I'd imagine the pro-rated effect would allow for it, but it'd pose a pretty serious problem going forward into next season.

Bretzky
10-27-2014, 09:40 AM
Any on expiring deals? UFA at the end of the season? I know Jordan isn't, but I don't remember off-hand if Joe or Eric are.

At the deadline, I'd imagine the pro-rated effect would allow for it, but it'd pose a pretty serious problem going forward into next season.

All the more reason why Brassard+ going to Carolina to acquire Jordan (only 1M more than Brassard) rather than Eric makes sense IMO. And going forward, 6M for Jordan Staal is going to be a steal. He literally JUST turned 26, and is locked in at 6M for the next 7 seasons as he enters what is likely the prime of his career.

IMO, it certainly makes more long-term sense than Eric or Thornton. And having Stepan, J.Staal, Hayes/Miller/Buchnevich/Nieves, D.Moore as your center core looks strong to me.

Stepan and Jordan Staal matching up against the Crosby/Malkin, Kopitar/Carter, Bergeron/Krejci of the league is a much stronger playoff-style combination than Stepan followed by Brassard (who seems to only work exclusively with Zuccarello so far).

Pete
10-27-2014, 09:47 AM
I want no part of Staal for 7 years. he hasn't played a full season since 2010 and has really struggled since being traded. He doesn't make the guys around him better, isn't a great playmaker or creator, he's just not an impact player.

At least Eric, there's a chance you're getting a dominant forward.

Phil in Absentia
10-27-2014, 09:56 AM
All the more reason why Brassard+ going to Carolina to acquire Jordan (only 1M more than Brassard) rather than Eric makes sense IMO. And going forward, 6M for Jordan Staal is going to be a steal. He literally JUST turned 26, and is locked in at 6M for the next 7 seasons as he enters what is likely the prime of his career.

IMO, it certainly makes more long-term sense than Eric or Thornton. And having Stepan, J.Staal, Hayes/Miller/Buchnevich/Nieves, D.Moore as your center core looks strong to me.

Stepan and Jordan Staal matching up against the Crosby/Malkin, Kopitar/Carter, Bergeron/Krejci of the league is a much stronger playoff-style combination than Stepan followed by Brassard (who seems to only work exclusively with Zuccarello so far).

I'd much rather deal Stepan than Brassard.

Thornton or E. Staal and Brassard looks so much better than Stepan and Jordan, IMO.

Hayes isn't long for the NHL at this rate. He's got the tools, clearly, but looks like he needs the rest of the year in the A to really get it all in gear. I don't see him being an impact NHL player for the Rangers this season. Just like Miller. These guys need time to figure it out.

Bretzky
10-27-2014, 10:02 AM
I disagree about him being an impact player.

No, he's not the offensive force that Eric is, but he plays a complete game and is the kind of player who may top out at 50 points during the season, he can elevate his game in the playoffs.

That Canes team is a wreck. I'm not wiring him off because he's struggled after being traded from a perennial contender to a basement team, along with battling injuries.

He's been a lock for 25+25 his entire career, and again, he just turned 26.

I'd rather give up assets for Jordan on what will become a steal of a contract, than similar assets + nearly 9million dollars for the older Eric, or giving up assets for Loser Thornton.

Pete
10-27-2014, 10:07 AM
I disagree about him being an impact player.

No, he's not the offensive force that Eric is, but he plays a complete game and is the kind of player who may top out at 50 points during the season, he can elevate his game in the playoffs.

That Canes team is a wreck. I'm not wiring him off because he's struggled after being traded from a perennial contender to a basement team, along with battling injuries.

He's been a lock for 25+25 his entire career, and again, he just turned 26.

I'd rather give up assets for Jordan on what will become a steal of a contract, than similar assets + nearly 9million dollars for the older Eric, or giving up assets for Loser Thornton.

Whatever the case may be if he's impact or not, he isn't dynamic. He's scored 25 goals (or paced it) twice in his career, so he isn't a lock for 25. I'd say he is a lock for 20, but if I wanted to pay a guy $6 million to play 60 or so games and get you 50 points, I'd have kept Callahan.

The guy just has a frail body. It's not chronic, it's all different things. He's just not durable.

Eric Staal can take over a game or a series. Jordan never has, and I don't think he ever will.

Bretzky
10-27-2014, 10:09 AM
I'd much rather deal Stepan than Brassard.

Thornton or E. Staal and Brassard looks so much better than Stepan and Jordan, IMO.

Hayes isn't long for the NHL at this rate. He's got the tools, clearly, but looks like he needs the rest of the year in the A to really get it all in gear. I don't see him being an impact NHL player for the Rangers this season. Just like Miller. These guys need time to figure it out.

Are you saying you'd deal Stepan for Thornton or E.Staal?

I wouldn't.

I don't think you address a positional weakness by trading your best player at that position just to upgrade 10-20 potential points; even 20-30 points.

You deal from elsewhere (ideally a position of strength) to add to the one guy who is actually a strong center on your team.
To be fair, I'm not sure we have that position of strength: it's certainly not defense anymore as we need to retain Staal just to stay strong there; perhaps RW? Zuccarello? Prospects?

I just feel Stepan is part of the solution. Brassard is the guy who is paid like a 2C who is a tweener who excels at 3C and only has chemistry with one guy on the team.

1M and 3 years of term separate Brassard and Jordan Staal.

That's something to seriously look at, IMO.

Also of note: Brassard's NTC kicks in in 2015 (not sure if that means January or after this season)

Bretzky
10-27-2014, 10:15 AM
Whatever the case may be if he's impact or not, he isn't dynamic. He's scored 25 goals (or paced it) twice in his career, so he isn't a lock for 25. I'd say he is a lock for 20, but if I wanted to pay a guy $6 million to play 60 or so games and get you 50 points, I'd have kept Callahan.

The guy just has a frail body. It's not chronic, it's all different things. He's just not durable.

Eric Staal can take over a game or a series. Jordan never has, and I don't think he ever will.

And he's paid accordingly.

I'm not asking Jordan to come here and be Mark Messier.

We have guys that can take over games (Nash, McDonagh, Kreider, Lundqvist, even St. Louis perhaps)

We just need a big, strong, two-way center who helps us compete against the top teams in the league who boast that strong center depth. Bergeron and Krejci don't really take over games. Kopitar, Zetterberg are at their best often when they're not scoring highlight reel goals but playing elite 200-feet games. Jordan can do that. He's also never played with the kind of wing talent he would be playing with here.

6M for a player like him is goin to be a steal going forward.

Brassard is already at 5M.

That's what I'm looking at. Pieces to the puzzle; not necessarily another marquee name on Broadway.

Pete
10-27-2014, 10:20 AM
And he's paid accordingly.

I'm not asking Jordan to come here and be Mark Messier.

We have guys that can take over games (Nash, McDonagh, Kreider, Lundqvist, even St. Louis perhaps)

We just need a big, strong, two-way center who helps us compete against the top teams in the league who boast that strong center depth. Bergeron and Krejci don't really take over games. Kopitar, Zetterberg are at their best often when they're not scoring highlight reel goals but playing elite 200-feet games. Jordan can do that. He's also never played with the kind of wing talent he would be playing with here.

6M for a player like him is goin to be a steal going forward.

Brassard is already at 5M.

That's what I'm looking at. Pieces to the puzzle; not necessarily another marquee name on Broadway.

The problem is Staal isn't as good as the guy's you're listing. He isn't Kopitar or Zetterberg, and he isn't Beregeron or Krejci. He's probably one of the more overrated players in the league.

Phil in Absentia
10-27-2014, 10:27 AM
The problem is Staal isn't as good as the guy's you're listing. He isn't Kopitar or Zetterberg, and he isn't Beregeron or Krejci. He's probably one of the more overrated players in the league.

Yeah, the only thing he really has going for him is the increased size, but it feels entirely lateral to me to swap Brassard and Jordan Staal. You're giving up talent for size and sacrificing durability for fragility... at an increase in price (not to mention the cost of acquisition).

Pete
10-27-2014, 10:34 AM
Yeah, the only thing he really has going for him is the increased size, but it feels entirely lateral to me to swap Brassard and Jordan Staal. You're giving up talent for size and sacrificing durability for fragility... at an increase in price (not to mention the cost of acquisition).

When I wanted to trade Stepan for Spezza, everyone said it was lateral because both guys were 60 point players at this point. But my argument is that Spezza isn't likely to be manhandled like Stepan can be. So, same logic applies here. I'd take Staal's size, sure. I just don't think he's worth his contract and he's only going to play 60 games a year.

Phil in Absentia
10-27-2014, 10:35 AM
When I wanted to trade Stepan for Spezza, everyone said it was lateral because both guys were 60 point players at this point. But my argument is that Spezza isn't likely to be manhandled like Stepan can be. So, same logic applies here. I'd take Staal's size, sure. I just don't think he's worth his contract and he's only going to play 60 games a year.

Spezza also makes guys around him better. Jordan Staal doesn't.

Pete
10-27-2014, 10:36 AM
Spezza also makes guys around him better. Jordan Staal doesn't.

That, too.

Phil in Absentia
10-27-2014, 10:37 AM
That, too.

That, especially, I'd say.

Come playoffs, I want two things – size and performance. Stepan, generally speaking, provides neither (though he did bounce back well enough last season performance-wise).

RichieNextel305
10-27-2014, 10:52 AM
I don't want anything to do with Jordan Staal. A few years ago, when Dreger reported we had some interest in him, it made some sense. At that point, it looked as if you were set 1-2 with a productive Richards and a good 2C in Stepan. Jordan would have stepped into a 3C role on a team that was 2 wins from the Stanley Cup Final. That is the role he should be playing. He is a 2/3C, not a 1. The Rangers have guys like Brassard and Stepan already in-house who could be 2/3C's, they lack a 1.

Jordan Staal made some sense for us 2 years ago. He doesn't right now. I agree with Pete where, if we're making a move for one of them, it better be Eric. Eric has the size and skill to take over a game and/or series, and has produced like a 1 for the better part of his career. Whether he still is that same player is up for debate, but if I'm gambling on one of the Staal's, I'm taking Eric for the Rangers AINEC.

Bretzky
10-27-2014, 11:01 AM
That's fine if you feel that way, but are you prepared to give up what it will cost to acquire Eric?

I don't think Brassard+ is even a starting point.

They'll want Stepan+ and THAT is a mostly lateral move imo.

IMO the issue is that Brassard isn't really a legit #2 on a contender, not that we need to upgrade Stepan's points by 10 or 20 (which is really all you're getting by upgrading him to Eric).

I see your side of it but I'd rather have Stepan, JStaal, Hayes than EStaal, Brassard, Hayes down the middle (especially considering Jordan is locked in at 6M and Eric is 8.25 and up for a new deal I'm a couple years).

Hmmm. Can McDonagh play center? :P

RichieNextel305
10-27-2014, 11:08 AM
They just re-signed Brassard to a 5-year extension, and he contributed on arguably our best line last year. For a team that is knowingly going through some chemistry issues right now, I doubt they look to move a guy they just invested a 5-year extension into and has proven to be a big-time big-game player for the organization, and has proven chemistry with another winger they're actively trying to re-sign.

Having Stepan and Jordan Staal as your 2 top centers still puts us back into the same issue we have now: 2 #2/3 Centers centering our Top-2 lines. It really solves nothing. It's a lateral move at best, only enhanced by the fact Jordan is a bigger name than Brassard is.

If we're looking to actually improve down the middle, then improve down the middle. Don't make a lateral move that will leave us in the same predicament were already in. It's not that our centers suck. Players like Stepan and Brassard are good players; I don't think anyone here is trying to say they're not. I believe they're just saying that in an ideal world, they're not #1 Centers. And that's accurate. But, neither is Jordan Staal.

Eric Staal, on the other hand, is a #1 Center. That is what we lack. If we're looking to make a move for a #1 center, then make a move for a #1 center. Don't make a move for a glorified #2/3 center just because he carries a big name. Jordan Staal is a different player than Brassard and Stepan, but he fits the same criteria: good player, but not a #1 center.

Pete
10-27-2014, 11:13 AM
They just re-signed Brassard to a 5-year extension, and he contributed on arguably our best line last year. For a team that is knowingly going through some chemistry issues right now, I doubt they look to move a guy they just invested a 5-year extension into and has proven to be a big-time big-game player for the organization, and has proven chemistry with another winger they're actively trying to re-sign.

Having Stepan and Jordan Staal as your 2 top centers still puts us back into the same issue we have now: 2 #2/3 Centers centering our Top-2 lines. It really solves nothing. It's a lateral move at best, only enhanced by the fact Jordan is a bigger name than Brassard is.

If we're looking to actually improve down the middle, then improve down the middle. Don't make a lateral move that will leave us in the same predicament were already in. It's not that our centers suck. Players like Stepan and Brassard are good players; I don't think anyone here is trying to say they're not. I believe they're just saying that in an ideal world, they're not #1 Centers. And that's accurate. But, neither is Jordan Staal.

Eric Staal, on the other hand, is a #1 Center. That is what we lack. If we're looking to make a move for a #1 center, then make a move for a #1 center. Don't make a move for a glorified #2/3 center just because he carries a big name. Jordan Staal is a different player than Brassard and Stepan, but he fits the same criteria: good player, but not a #1 center.

Well said, I agree.

Regardless of what one may feel about Brassard, there's really no way around:

E. Staal
Brassard
Hayes
Moore

Is legit 1st liner, 2/3rd liner depending on streakiness, learning 3rd liner, can only be a 4th liner.

Stepan
J. Staal
Hayes
Moores

Is legit 2nd liner in the role of a 1st, 3rd liner in the role of a 2nd, learning 3rd liner, can only be a 4th liner.

RichieNextel305
10-27-2014, 11:24 AM
Exactly. That's how I was breaking it down in my head, and it's accurate.

J. Staal is a lateral move. And when you look at that last line in Pete's comment, (Is legit 2nd liner in the role of a 1st, 3rd liner in the role of a 2nd, learning 3rd liner, can only be a 4th liner.) it is already what we have.

fletch
10-27-2014, 01:04 PM
Disagree with the article's premise that missing one center is throwing the team off. NYR had a lot of roster turnover in the off season... so it's only natural that there is some playing with line combinations. During the regular season last year, there were a lot of good game bad game good game roller coasters, and there is a similar inconsistency this season IMO. I don't blame the coach for tinkering to try and get more consistent performance from the team.

I know that it's only natural to do some hang wringing... but we were awful at the start of last season and built as the year went on. I'm not too interested in the standings until at least the beginning of January, unless this team has a cold stretch that puts them in the cellar.

Faiz
10-27-2014, 01:08 PM
Like fletch said, it's natural for them to be trying out different lines.

I just find that AV is too impatient, expects results right away. You'll see him change up lines same game. I think if you just give them a little time to connect, the lines would be better.
But then again, I don't know what goes on in practices, what lines worked and didn't so yeah

Mike
10-27-2014, 02:03 PM
The Rangers turn 5-6 players every year. Sometimes they're big names, sometimes they're role players, sometimes they're both. I never expect them to start out hot. They have the goaltending, and enough big named players to turn it around at some point, however that's not something you should be relying on year in, and year out. Sooner or later it will implode.

The Dude
10-27-2014, 06:13 PM
Any interest in Mike Richards?

Am I wrong in thinking he fits the criteria? Size, skill, pay scale, availability...? What do the Kings need? Maybe you get him on the cheap just so they get out of paying him 2nd liner money to play on the lower lines?

If not, Eric Staal or Thornton are the targets thst improve the team.

Ribeiro was the move to make over the summer.

Mike
10-27-2014, 06:21 PM
Any interest in Mike Richards?

Am I wrong in thinking he fits the criteria? Size, skill, pay scale, availability...? What do the Kings need? Maybe you get him on the cheap just so they get out of paying him 2nd liner money to play on the lower lines?

If not, Eric Staal or Thornton are the targets thst improve the team.

Ribeiro was the move to make over the summer.

Richards isn't even 6' tall. We just bought out a 4th line player making 1st line money with the same last name.

RangersRule2
10-27-2014, 09:59 PM
6 million to be a 3rd line center?

Is the cap going up by $5 MM -- we can't afford it.

Phil in Absentia
10-27-2014, 10:00 PM
Is the cap going up by $5 MM -- we can't afford it.

That's poor cap management. Even if the Cap goes up $10M, that isn't license to be negligent with managing your own cap, and the price on your own players.

Pete
10-27-2014, 10:04 PM
MZA - Brass - Nash is a right line combo.

Duclair - Mueller - Stempniak is another.

So Hags - MSL - Kreider and Glass - Moore - Malone is all that's left.

NYRangersFan
10-27-2014, 10:17 PM
Zuccarello finally woke up with a goal and two assists. Maybe he will fit in on LW with Brassard and Nash.

The Dude
10-28-2014, 05:14 PM
Richards isn't even 6' tall. We just bought out a 4th line player making 1st line money with the same last name.

My bad. He plays bigger than that, and IMO could play 1st line center on this team if he can be stolen from LA. And I mean stolen. Dirt cheap if its doable.

Idk, just always thought the guy played his ass off and gave the Rangers fits.

Future
10-28-2014, 05:52 PM
My bad. He plays bigger than that, and IMO could play 1st line center on this team if he can be stolen from LA. And I mean stolen. Dirt cheap if its doable.

Idk, just always thought the guy played his ass off and gave the Rangers fits.
As much as I hated him in Philly, I really like the game he plays.

Don't know that I agree with him being a first line center, and actually I think his style would have fit the Rangers 3 years ago, but now, idk.

Dunny
10-28-2014, 06:07 PM
He's just another example of what happens when your skating ability slips a hair. Skating skating skating. When you're a fringe average skater you can get away with it, but when it inevitably slips the next thing you know your a 4th line center.

Bretzky
10-28-2014, 08:54 PM
Jordan Staal at 6M is undesireable?

But Brassard at 5M is okay?


Just watch. You'll see how good J. Staal's contract looks in a few years.

26 year old two-way center locked in at (what will soon be less than) marker value for a 50-point player.

A lock for at least 20 goals.

Capable of shutting down opponents top centers.

Plays in all situations.

Great on faceoffs.

Locked in at a great price for his entire prime.

Has won a Stanley Cup.

Has a brother already on the team whom he played with growing up and in the OHL with Peterborough.

Is 6'4" 220.


vs

5M for less production.

Has NEVER scored 20 goals in the NHL.

5'11" 200

Has chemistry with only one player on the team




And now we're discussing Mike fucking Richards?

Maybe we should trade for 7M dollar Semin to play on Dom Moore's wing in an enforcer role.

Bretzky
10-28-2014, 08:59 PM
J. Staal is going to put the injuries behind him and continue to have a great career.

You don't have to dazzle like Patrick Kane to be valuable to a team.

Players like Jordan Staal help win championships.

Cash or Czech?
10-28-2014, 09:12 PM
Jordan Staal hasn't done jack since being exposed when not behind Crosby and Malkin. 20 goals doesn't make a $6M forward. He's not elite. Hell, he isn't even a defined 2nd liner.

Phil in Absentia
10-28-2014, 09:22 PM
Jordan Staal at 6M is undesireable?

But Brassard at 5M is okay?


Just watch. You'll see how good J. Staal's contract looks in a few years.

26 year old two-way center locked in at (what will soon be less than) marker value for a 50-point player.

A lock for at least 20 goals.

Capable of shutting down opponents top centers.

Plays in all situations.

Great on faceoffs.

Locked in at a great price for his entire prime.

Has won a Stanley Cup.

Has a brother already on the team whom he played with growing up and in the OHL with Peterborough.

Is 6'4" 220.


vs

5M for less production.

Has NEVER scored 20 goals in the NHL.

5'11" 200

Has chemistry with only one player on the team




And now we're discussing Mike fucking Richards?

Maybe we should trade for 7M dollar Semin to play on Dom Moore's wing in an enforcer role.

You need to settle down. There's no reason for this kind of attitude/response.

Bretzky
10-29-2014, 04:24 PM
You need to settle down. There's no reason for this kind of attitude/response.

Don't misinterpret my cussing for anger. I just strongly disagree. I don't understand how Mike Richards could be suggested but Jordan Staal "isn't even a defined 2nd liner." I think that's absurd, lol. I didn't mean any offense by my comments though.

I just think Jordan Staal is underrated around here. Sure, Eric is the more offensively gifted player; no doubt about it. But just because Jordan's battled injuries doesn't mean he's "fragile," and just because he's on a horrible team doesn't mean he's horrible. Gaborik was/is much more "fragile" and he just dominated in the Stanley Cup playoffs on the Cup winner. I think Jordan (or Eric of course, but at a much higher cost asset + cap-hit wise) would be a perfect fit in AV's system and would make us a much better team all-around.

Phil in Absentia
10-29-2014, 04:50 PM
Don't misinterpret my cussing for anger. I just strongly disagree. I don't understand how Mike Richards could be suggested but Jordan Staal "isn't even a defined 2nd liner." I think that's absurd, lol. I didn't mean any offense by my comments though.

I just think Jordan Staal is underrated around here. Sure, Eric is the more offensively gifted player; no doubt about it. But just because Jordan's battled injuries doesn't mean he's "fragile," and just because he's on a horrible team doesn't mean he's horrible. Gaborik was/is much more "fragile" and he just dominated in the Stanley Cup playoffs on the Cup winner. I think Jordan (or Eric of course, but at a much higher cost asset + cap-hit wise) would be a perfect fit in AV's system and would make us a much better team all-around.

I understand that, but it came across as attitudinal.

I actually agree with you, in principle, which is why in a case like this, the idea should be to address the user who suggested it, not to respond back with a blanket. When you say "we're discussing Mike Richards", you kind of assign a collective opinion to a group of people who you then oppose with your own opinion, when in reality there was only one user actually suggesting a deal for him.

But I still don't agree that Jordan Staal is the answer. The same as I wouldn't agree that Mike Richards is either. The key should be to upgrade on Derek Stepan, not fill in smaller voids behind him at increased costs (both Staal and Richards) that would continue to allow/force him to remain in a role he doesn't belong in in the first place. That is why Eric is actually the more attractive trade scenario. He bumps Stepan down. Jordan doesn't. Mike Richards doesn't either.

The idea should be to get bigger and stronger in the 1C spot by acquiring a player who has actually had success in that role before. That's why Eric Staal and Joe Thornton are the guys being tossed around most.

Vodka Drunkenski
10-29-2014, 05:18 PM
J. Staal is going to put the injuries behind him and continue to have a great career. You don't have to dazzle like Patrick Kane to be valuable to a team. Players like Jordan Staal help win championships.

You can't guarantee he will put the injuries behind him.

Bretzky
10-29-2014, 06:28 PM
I understand that, but it came across as attitudinal.

I actually agree with you, in principle, which is why in a case like this, the idea should be to address the user who suggested it, not to respond back with a blanket. When you say "we're discussing Mike Richards", you kind of assign a collective opinion to a group of people who you then oppose with your own opinion, when in reality there was only one user actually suggesting a deal for him.

But I still don't agree that Jordan Staal is the answer. The same as I wouldn't agree that Mike Richards is either. The key should be to upgrade on Derek Stepan, not fill in smaller voids behind him at increased costs (both Staal and Richards) that would continue to allow/force him to remain in a role he doesn't belong in in the first place. That is why Eric is actually the more attractive trade scenario. He bumps Stepan down. Jordan doesn't. Mike Richards doesn't either.

The idea should be to get bigger and stronger in the 1C spot by acquiring a player who has actually had success in that role before. That's why Eric Staal and Joe Thornton are the guys being tossed around most.

Great post. I, however, feel that while Stepan may not be an elite 1C like those you mentioned, he can succeed in that role. He is a capable 1C IMO, whereas I'm not sure Brassard is capable of putting up 45-50 points again if he's actually playing the 2C rather than a 3C behind Stepan and Richards and getting 90% of his starts in the offensive zone. He's not a 3-zone player and he isn't consistent enough to be a 2C IMO. (Again, just my opinion and I'm sure others will disagree).

That's why I feel that Stepan is part of the solution. I don't think we should trade Stepan to get an upgrade on him. For his faults, Stepan is already a 55+ point center who's still young enough to continue developing and improve upon that production level. I absolutely wouldn't want to trade him for Joe Thornton who will be off the team / retired in a few seasons. That's why I feel that keeping Stepan and packaging Brassard with some flashy assets / young players / prospects to acquire either a borderline 1/2 C or a very good 2C such as Jordan Staal (who is that IMO, especially come playoff time). J. Staal plays a 3-zone game, and can matchup against anyone. He's never really had the luxury of playing with the kind of wingers he'd be with here. While not the most creative offensive player, if you put J. Staal between guys like Nash, St. Louis, Kreider, Zuccarello (if he doesn't go in the trade), Duclair in a year or two, I think he'd have great success. Of course this is all conjecture and speculation, but that's how I feel.

I'd be heartbroken if we traded Stepan for Joe Thornton and didn't win a Cup with him. I could stomach Stepan for E.Staal a little easier as he could be here more long-term, but I still think the answer is improving the middle of our lineup, rather than upgrading Stepan's 55 points to 75 (which is what I feel you get with either E.Staal or Joe Thornton at this point in their careers and in NY, as everyone's (except Jagr's) production seems to decrease a little when they come to NY).


I want center depth that looks like this:

Stepan
______ (J. Staal, Vermette, E.Staal if somehow possible)
Hayes
D.Moore


rather than


E.Staal/Thornton
Brassard
Hayes
D.Moore


* And I realize that J. Staal or Vermette replacing Brassard is mostly lateral PRODUCTION-wise, but I think those players are better fits for this team, this system, and for playoff hockey matchups). *

I certainly see the other side of it though, and I'm coming closer to the fence on this the more I think about it, especially when considering Stepan will be a 6M+ player after this season anyway).

In a perfect world, we trade Brass, [Zucc or Hagelin], Miller, J.Moore, Haggerty, Skjei for E.Staal and A. Sekera and go to war with

Duclair E. Staal Nash
Kreider Stepan St. Louis
Hagelin/Zucc Hayes Stempniak
Malone Moore Glass/Fast

McDonagh Girardi
Staal Sekera
Klein Boyle

Lundqvist
Talbot


But of course it's not realistic, and I think despite his recent performances, I think Carolina could get an even better / more massive return for Eric than that (and I think if they move one brother out, they're moving both out, and I think we could get Jordan for a fairer price without gutting the team).

Who knows. Maybe Hayes develops faster than we all think and he's our big center come playoff time. A lot can change over the course of a season.

PS: I still do like the idea of Brassard and Staal for Yandle and Vermette that was discussed a while back. A real hockey trade where both teams benefit (if they can negotiate and extend Staal).

Too much time between games. Saturday can't come soon enough.

The Dude
10-31-2014, 09:00 AM
And now we're discussing Mike fucking Richards?

Maybe we should trade for 7M dollar Semin to play on Dom Moore's wing in an enforcer role.

??? Why not talk about Mike Richards?

The guy has had success playing top line minutes with a sniper. He plays east coast hockey. Hes edgy, and versatile. Hes likely available as well.

Can ANY of that be said of Jordan Staal?
A guy who has NEVER played top line minutes? A guy that is always hurt and hurt NOW? Whst exactly makes you think hes available on a team that is likely to cut payroll and rebuild? Theyre going to trade that contract that you cant stop raving about for Brassards?

All i know is Richards on a bad year puts up Jordan Staals average/good year numbers. Ruchards is available. Staal is hurt and likely not available.

Mike
10-31-2014, 09:15 AM
I'd take Mike Richards. He has a similar contract to Brassard ..... little more money, 2 more years.

Phil in Absentia
10-31-2014, 09:28 AM
??? Why not talk about Mike Richards?

The guy has had success playing top line minutes with a sniper. He plays east coast hockey. Hes edgy, and versatile. Hes likely available as well.

Can ANY of that be said of Jordan Staal?
A guy who has NEVER played top line minutes? A guy that is always hurt and hurt NOW? Whst exactly makes you think hes available on a team that is likely to cut payroll and rebuild? Theyre going to trade that contract that you cant stop raving about for Brassards?

All i know is Richards on a bad year puts up Jordan Staals average/good year numbers. Ruchards is available. Staal is hurt and likely not available.


I'd take Mike Richards. He has a similar contract to Brassard ..... little more money, 2 more years.

The problem isn't Richards or Staal. The problem is neither bumps Stepan from the first line. The same issue exists – the Rangers have a second-line center in a first-line center role, a third-line center in a second-line center role and two fourth-line centers, even when Stepan is healthy.

The idea should be to push everyone down into their proper role by acquiring a player who is actually capable of playing in that 1C role more effectively and efficiently than Stepan.

Future
10-31-2014, 09:44 AM
The problem isn't Richards or Staal. The problem is neither bumps Stepan from the first line. The same issue exists – the Rangers have a second-line center in a first-line center role, a third-line center in a second-line center role and two fourth-line centers, even when Stepan is healthy.

The idea should be to push everyone down into their proper role by acquiring a player who is actually capable of playing in that 1C role more effectively and efficiently than Stepan.
Yes....

But having a 2, two guys who are a 2/3, and a 4 is basically what we did last year, and that worked pretty well. I don't believe that you need that Alpha center type guy, especially not with really good wingers. Adding another 2C would make a big difference for this Rangers club, even if it doesn't necessarily bump Stepan, b/c it gives you three legit threats down the middle.

Phil in Absentia
10-31-2014, 09:55 AM
Yes....

But having a 2, two guys who are a 2/3, and a 4 is basically what we did last year, and that worked pretty well. I don't believe that you need that Alpha center type guy, especially not with really good wingers. Adding another 2C would make a big difference for this Rangers club, even if it doesn't necessarily bump Stepan, b/c it gives you three legit threats down the middle.

I mean, in a sense, yes, but I'm looking more to the potential match-ups in the East and West, since my goal is still a Cup victory. The problem with both Stepan and Richards is that they are smaller players. While Mike Richards plays bigger, he's still only 5'11, so depending on who the team plays come post season, the match-ups against the bigger, more dominant centers is striking — especially among the better teams in the West. I looked at the LA series as a loss up the middle from the onset. Stepan v. Kopitar was a no-contest win for the latter. There was just no way for Stepan to handle that assignment.

I do agree that it's better depth, but I don't agree it's the right kind of depth. I'd much rather have Joe Thornton or Eric Staal than Mike Richards or Jordan Staal for that exact reason.

Mike
10-31-2014, 09:56 AM
The problem isn't Richards or Staal. The problem is neither bumps Stepan from the first line. The same issue exists – the Rangers have a second-line center in a first-line center role, a third-line center in a second-line center role and two fourth-line centers, even when Stepan is healthy.

The idea should be to push everyone down into their proper role by acquiring a player who is actually capable of playing in that 1C role more effectively and efficiently than Stepan.

Richards doesn't push Stepan down, but he solidifies us up the middle. You can see it as a band aid, but I see it as an improvement. Thornton, or E Staal would be better, but MR would be the next best thing if neither of them can be had. Fwiw, I don't see Thornton going anywhere.

Phil in Absentia
10-31-2014, 09:58 AM
Richards doesn't push Stepan down, but he solidifies us up the middle. You can see it as a band aid, but I see it as an improvement. Thornton, or E Staal would be better, but MR would be the next best thing if neither of them can be had. Fwiw, I don't see Thornton going anywhere.

I don't either. I don't see Eric going anywhere either. First-line centers are moved in this league at around the same odds of you winning the lottery. Especially when you consider the Boston model (The Holy Trinity) is still the one teams are using to build efficient playoff teams.

Mike Richards would give the team depth, yes, but my concern would still be with the potential center match-ups of Stepan versus whomever. Especially with Stepan's pretty rocky history in the playoffs to begin with.

Ba Ba Bluey
10-31-2014, 10:14 AM
I'm confident that Stepan is bulking up as we speak.

Future
10-31-2014, 10:25 AM
I mean, in a sense, yes, but I'm looking more to the potential match-ups in the East and West, since my goal is still a Cup victory. The problem with both Stepan and Richards is that they are smaller players. While Mike Richards plays bigger, he's still only 5'11, so depending on who the team plays come post season, the match-ups against the bigger, more dominant centers is striking — especially among the better teams in the West. I looked at the LA series as a loss up the middle from the onset. Stepan v. Kopitar was a no-contest win for the latter. There was just no way for Stepan to handle that assignment.

I do agree that it's better depth, but I don't agree it's the right kind of depth. I'd much rather have Joe Thornton or Eric Staal than Mike Richards or Jordan Staal for that exact reason.
Kopitar had 2A and was a 0+/- in the series.

Myusername
10-31-2014, 10:33 AM
Richards is over the hill... pass

Phil in Absentia
10-31-2014, 10:47 AM
Mike Richards is 29, dude. He's not "over the hill". Brad Richards is over the hill.

Mike
10-31-2014, 11:00 AM
I don't either. I don't see Eric going anywhere either. First-line centers are moved in this league at around the same odds of you winning the lottery. Especially when you consider the Boston model (The Holy Trinity) is still the one teams are using to build efficient playoff teams.
Well that's my point...... Chances of getting a stud 1A aren't good. If we're looking to improve, M Richards gives us a pretty good upgrade.
Mike Richards would give the team depth, yes, but my concern would still be with the potential center match-ups of Stepan versus whomever. Especially with Stepan's pretty rocky history in the playoffs to begin with.

I'm confident that Stepan is bulking up as we speak.

yeah, on Ho Ho's
Hy

The Dude
10-31-2014, 11:00 AM
The problem isn't Richards or Staal. The problem is neither bumps Stepan from the first line. The same issue exists – the Rangers have a second-line center in a first-line center role, a third-line center in a second-line center role and two fourth-line centers, even when Stepan is healthy.

The idea should be to push everyone down into their proper role by acquiring a player who is actually capable of playing in that 1C role more effectively and efficiently than Stepan.

I totally get that and agree. Im talking Richards because the cost in aquiring him would be minimal and he HAS been a point producer in big minute roles. I think hes more physical than any center on the Rangers roster. That makes him not as much of a lateral move. Adds another missing aspect to the roster.

Of course I want a legit, true first line center, like Thornton, E. Staal, or someone like that. I just dont see them in the Rangers price range as far as assets worth giving up.

RangersRule2
10-31-2014, 11:09 AM
That's why Eric Staal and Joe Thornton are the guys being tossed around most.

How can we afford ANY of these guys given the current cap ?

Phil in Absentia
10-31-2014, 11:31 AM
How can we afford ANY of these guys given the current cap ?

I'm not sure. I haven't looked too deeply at the projected cap at this years' deadline, or what kind of space we may have by then. There's also the fact that both have multiple years left on their deals to contend with. Of the two, I'd imagine Thornton's deal would be a a lot easier to stomach, considering he signed such a sweetheart extension (two more years at $6.75M). Eric Staal? Another year at $8.25M — nearly $2M more per season. And this says nothing of the cost to acquire either, which would be substantial.

I'm just saying, objectively speaking, I'd be a lot more comfortable knowing the Rangers were targeting someone like Thornton than if they were someone like Jordan Staal based on what the organization needs right now. They're one piece away from the Holy Trinity in hockey (Stud C, Stud D, Stud G), so I just don't see as much value in adding more Derek Stepan's (though I do understand there is some value there).

Pete
10-31-2014, 11:37 AM
Yes....

But having a 2, two guys who are a 2/3, and a 4 is basically what we did last year, and that worked pretty well. I don't believe that you need that Alpha center type guy, especially not with really good wingers. Adding another 2C would make a big difference for this Rangers club, even if it doesn't necessarily bump Stepan, b/c it gives you three legit threats down the middle.

I didn't work in the finals and thats ALL that matters.

Future
10-31-2014, 11:43 AM
I didn't work in the finals and thats ALL that matters.
A #1 C wouldn't have changed the defensive collapses that lost games. But basing how you build a team on just 5 games is a mistake I think.

And I don't really even think LA outplayed the Rangers, regardless of the outcome of the series. I think the Rangers' worst game was the one they actually won. We dictated play a lot during that series.

Pete
10-31-2014, 11:48 AM
A #1 C wouldn't have changed the defensive collapses that lost games. But basing how you build a team on just 5 games is a mistake I think.

And I don't really even think LA outplayed the Rangers, regardless of the outcome of the series. I think the Rangers' worst game was the one they actually won. We dictated play a lot during that series.

A center that's harder for the western conference centers to handle would clearly make a difference. The Rangers didn't have to go against any top defensive/big bodied center until Kopitar.

I'm building a team based on a proven formula.

Future
10-31-2014, 12:52 PM
A center that's harder for the western conference centers to handle would clearly make a difference. The Rangers didn't have to go against any top defensive/big bodied center until Kopitar.

I'm building a team based on a proven formula.
But Kopitar didn't do anything and the Rangers were fine offensively. Rick Nash would have been far more beneficial to the Rangers than another center.

The teams that have won decently have all won with depth. The Kings, Blackhawks, Bruins and Penguins all won b/c they could put out three good scoring lines. Not because they had a #1 Center. Granted, they all have that, but it's not why they won.

Bretzky
10-31-2014, 01:09 PM
But Kopitar didn't do anything and the Rangers were fine offensively. Rick Nash would have been far more beneficial to the Rangers than another center.

The teams that have won decently have all won with depth. The Kings, Blackhawks, Bruins and Penguins all won b/c they could put out three good scoring lines. Not because they had a #1 Center. Granted, they all have that, but it's not why they won.

Good points.

4 of the 5 games were extremely close.

The series wasn't a blowout by any means.

Center depth, while an issue, is being somewhat exaggerated now IMO.

Trading Stepan for an older, more expensive center is not the kind of move we need to be looking at.

Upgrading the center depth BEHIND him is what we should be looking at.

Jordan Staal instead of Brassard might be just enough push-back to make the difference in that SCF.

Although, like you mentioned, if Rick Nash scored a mere 2 goals or Chris Kreider scores once or twice instead of hitting 3 posts, we'd have been playing game 7 against The Kings. We were extremely close as is. We lost Stralman, Boyle, and Pouliot. We added D.Boyle, Duclair, and Hayes in those spots as of now. Rick Nash is playing much better.

I don't think we need to get rid of a key member of our young core (Stepan), not to mention a great friend and co-leader of our CAPTAIN and best skater in McDonagh to upgrade another 10-20 points at 1C and pray that a guy with no loyalties to NYR like Joe Thornton leads us to the cup.

Thornton? No way IMO.

E. Staal? At the right price, sure.

J. Staal? Yes, because the price will be less, and he's locked in at 6M for the next 7 seasons which is going to be a steal for a 26 year old 50-point two-way center who does a little of everything, just entering his prime.

Vermette? At the right price, sure.


I'm starting to think a top-4 D might be more important than making a big trade for a center though. And usually more second-pair defensemen are available at the deadline than top-6 centers.

I don't think Dan Boyle is going to be part of the solution, but that's just me. We shall see.

Pete
10-31-2014, 02:19 PM
But Kopitar didn't do anything and the Rangers were fine offensively. Rick Nash would have been far more beneficial to the Rangers than another center.

The teams that have won decently have all won with depth. The Kings, Blackhawks, Bruins and Penguins all won b/c they could put out three good scoring lines. Not because they had a #1 Center. Granted, they all have that, but it's not why they won.

Generally accepted formula is a stud center, stud D and stud goalie.

torontonyr
10-31-2014, 02:40 PM
Generally accepted formula is a stud center, stud D and stud goalie.

I think that having a "stud goalie" has become less & less important. If you witness trends over the past decade it seems as though having an above-average tender who streaks at the right time is far better to the overall makeup of the club as it alleviates budget costs for offensive/defensive talent.

RichieNextel305
10-31-2014, 02:44 PM
Bret, Jordan Staal doesn't push us closer to a SCF appearance moreso than Brassard does. I'm sorry. He just doesn't. Jordan Staal is not a fit here at the money he makes. If this team is gonna spend that kind of money on a center, let it be a No. 1 center. Not a glorified 2nd/3rd line center. It would be a terrible, terrible move.

You would have people cursing in various different languages in rage over having Staal on this team at the money for the role he plays. Jordan Staal would be a move the pre-lockout Rangers would make. Thankfully, the post-lockout Rangers, I doubt, would make that move.

Future
10-31-2014, 02:45 PM
Generally accepted formula is a stud center, stud D and stud goalie.
I think that's outdated. Yes you need great defense and goaltending, but from the forward spot, I think depth dwarfs having a stud center.

Bretzky
10-31-2014, 04:17 PM
Bret, Jordan Staal doesn't push us closer to a SCF appearance moreso than Brassard does. I'm sorry. He just doesn't. Jordan Staal is not a fit here at the money he makes. If this team is gonna spend that kind of money on a center, let it be a No. 1 center. Not a glorified 2nd/3rd line center. It would be a terrible, terrible move.

You would have people cursing in various different languages in rage over having Staal on this team at the money for the role he plays. Jordan Staal would be a move the pre-lockout Rangers would make. Thankfully, the post-lockout Rangers, I doubt, would make that move.

That's just..like...your opinion, man. ;P

I think replacing Brassard with Jordan Staal does push us closer to returning to the SCF and perhaps winning.

Are you suggesting that I'm advocating a "dark ages" move while I'm arguing against trading our homegrown #1C for a 30+ more expensive center (Thornton or E. Staal), and rather spending 1M more to upgrade our 2C position.

Jordan Staal makes 6M. He just turned 26 a month ago. He's a 4-time 20+ goal scorer.

The real value is the fact that his contract is so long-term. He's locked up at 6M through the prime of his career. 6M for a 50-point two-way center is going to be LESS than market value in just a couple of years (look at Brassard, who is a 2/3 tweener already getting 5M without hitting the open market).

Derick Brassard makes 5M. He just turned 27 a month ago. He has never cracked 20 goals or 50 points.


Are Joe Thornton and Eric Staal better players than Jordan Staal?

Of course.

I don't think we can afford to pay the cost to acquire either one, let alone Eric's cap-hit (more than Rick Nash's). Perhaps if Carolina was willing to eat some salary (which I doubt), it's not happening.

The cost (assets) to acquire Jordan will be far less than Eric, and for good reason, but that doesn't mean Jordan is trash. He's a very good hockey player. While the production levels are about the same, I think his attributes make us a stronger team; a harder team to play against. Jordan Staal can grind out long playoff games / series against the top centers in the league. Brassard? He's minimized in tight-checking games like that. Staal's size, reach, physicality, and versatility make him a more valuable asset than Brassard IMO.

Stepan-J.Staal-Hayes-D.Moore is a team I'm willing to go to war with. We were a few goal-posts away from winning The Cup last season as we were.

For me, Stepan is part of the solution. When you want to identity a positional weakness, I don't think you trade your best player at that position for an upgrade. You upgrade the players behind him on the depth chart.

If you were the Penguins GM and you wanted to improve our defense, would you trade Kris Letang for Drew Doughty? Or would you try to put together a package to add Keith Yandle to your blueline WITH Kris Letang?

I'm actually fine mostly standing pat, potentially adding a defenseman at the deadline, as I think we are a lot stronger than we've looked so far without our 1C and top-4 D and a number of new faces. But if we do make a move for a center, I think it's going to be a Jordan Staal or Antoine Vermette deal much moreso than a Joe Thornton / Eric Staal move.

I know you disagree, but that's how I feel.

Mike
10-31-2014, 05:05 PM
Who said anything about trading Stepan? Phil is suggesting that they get someone that pushes Stepan down to the 2nd line, which would make the Rangers that much stronger. I don't think it's possible to get anyone to do that, but we can solidify the middle by getting a 2/3 guy. And who knows ??? you put someone on another team with different players, and responsibilities, and they may flourish.

Phil in Absentia
10-31-2014, 05:11 PM
I mean, I would trade Stepan, because I feel Brassard is still an adequate second-line center, but I'm not specifically advocating he be the guy dealt. I'm just saying that the idea should be to get a body in above him, to push him two the second line. To me, that'd an ideal scenario where the Rangers are clearly set up the middle. They'd have one of the best fourth-line centers in the league in Moore, probably the best second-line center in the league in Stepan, and then whomever in the third slot. Maybe Miller is finally ready by that point? Or maybe Miller goes in a deal with a guy like Brassard? I have no idea. I'm just saying, the idea should be to push Stepan back one slot to be the deepest team possible come post-season.

The Dude
10-31-2014, 05:33 PM
???? Now i msy be wrong, but didnt Brassard have a good playoffs, which helped us get to yhe cup finals? Why are we only slightly upgrading a guy like that?

Im not big on Brassard, but can we not act like he wasnt a part of the drive last season? I deal him over Stepan any day. But im not sure teams want him. Its either one going in a trade though, unless we are dealing Zucc or Kreider, which im against, especially Kreider.

I think Stepan COULD land a big time center if packaged with the right prospects. Not sure Brassard does.

Mike Richards could be had for a song. Just need to find cap space.

Phil in Absentia
10-31-2014, 05:43 PM
???? Now i msy be wrong, but didnt Brassard have a good playoffs, which helped us get to yhe cup finals? Why are we only slightly upgrading a guy like that?

Im not big on Brassard, but can we not act like he wasnt a part of the drive last season? I deal him over Stepan any day. But im not sure teams want him. Its either one going in a trade though, unless we are dealing Zucc or Kreider, which im against, especially Kreider.

I think Stepan COULD land a big time center if packaged with the right prospects. Not sure Brassard does.

Mike Richards could be had for a song. Just need to find cap space.

This post is really confusing. You're saying Brassard had a great playoffs which helped us get to the Cup Final, but that no team would want him? This makes no sense. What team wouldn't want a playoff-producing center?

The Dude
10-31-2014, 06:04 PM
This post is really confusing. You're saying Brassard had a great playoffs which helped us get to the Cup Final, but that no team would want him? This makes no sense. What team wouldn't want a playoff-producing center?


Im sorry i should have addressed that part to Bret.

Im kinda pointing at the fact that Bret is saying that if the Rangers had a better center than Brassard the Rangers would have done better in the finals. Which is contradictory, since he helped them get there.

I think he has more worth to the Rangers than other teams because of how he clicks with Zuccs. He JUST got a big raise from the Rangers. Imo, more than hes worth, and imo more than other teams may think hes worth.

I dont see Brassard being a centerpiece in any trade. I can see Stepan landing a much bigger return.

Point? Nobody is going to give up much for Brassard after his recent pay day. Nor do i see the Rangers dealing him, as that looks terrible from an organizational standpoint.

I'd RATHER deal Brassard, but I dont see it happening for the reasons stated above. IMO, Stepan is the better 2nd line center, where as Brassard is more 3rd liner material. Neither are 1st.

RichieNextel305
10-31-2014, 06:11 PM
That's just..like...your opinion, man. ;P

I think replacing Brassard with Jordan Staal does push us closer to returning to the SCF and perhaps winning.

Are you suggesting that I'm advocating a "dark ages" move while I'm arguing against trading our homegrown #1C for a 30+ more expensive center (Thornton or E. Staal), and rather spending 1M more to upgrade our 2C position.

Jordan Staal makes 6M. He just turned 26 a month ago. He's a 4-time 20+ goal scorer.

The real value is the fact that his contract is so long-term. He's locked up at 6M through the prime of his career. 6M for a 50-point two-way center is going to be LESS than market value in just a couple of years (look at Brassard, who is a 2/3 tweener already getting 5M without hitting the open market).

Derick Brassard makes 5M. He just turned 27 a month ago. He has never cracked 20 goals or 50 points.


Are Joe Thornton and Eric Staal better players than Jordan Staal?

Of course.

I don't think we can afford to pay the cost to acquire either one, let alone Eric's cap-hit (more than Rick Nash's). Perhaps if Carolina was willing to eat some salary (which I doubt), it's not happening.

The cost (assets) to acquire Jordan will be far less than Eric, and for good reason, but that doesn't mean Jordan is trash. He's a very good hockey player. While the production levels are about the same, I think his attributes make us a stronger team; a harder team to play against. Jordan Staal can grind out long playoff games / series against the top centers in the league. Brassard? He's minimized in tight-checking games like that. Staal's size, reach, physicality, and versatility make him a more valuable asset than Brassard IMO.

Stepan-J.Staal-Hayes-D.Moore is a team I'm willing to go to war with. We were a few goal-posts away from winning The Cup last season as we were.

For me, Stepan is part of the solution. When you want to identity a positional weakness, I don't think you trade your best player at that position for an upgrade. You upgrade the players behind him on the depth chart.

If you were the Penguins GM and you wanted to improve our defense, would you trade Kris Letang for Drew Doughty? Or would you try to put together a package to add Keith Yandle to your blueline WITH Kris Letang?

I'm actually fine mostly standing pat, potentially adding a defenseman at the deadline, as I think we are a lot stronger than we've looked so far without our 1C and top-4 D and a number of new faces. But if we do make a move for a center, I think it's going to be a Jordan Staal or Antoine Vermette deal much moreso than a Joe Thornton / Eric Staal move.

I know you disagree, but that's how I feel.

I just believe it's a case of you chasing a big name, which you love to do. And that's fine.

I never said I believe we're getting a E.Staal or Thornton. I don't believe it's in the cards. That being said, it would be beyond foolish to trade valuable, controllable assets that have proven they could play big-time hockey in the playoffs for a glorified 2/3C who solves absolutely ZERO for this organization.

What this organization lacks is a 1C. We all know that. If a move comes along where you can add a Vermette, who won't cost an arm and a leg both financially or in return, then thats fine. But, if we're going to be dropping a ton of players and money on a player, it literally doesn't make a drop of sense to have that player be J.Staal, who leaves us in the same spot were currently in: looking for a 1C.

If a 1C becomes available, pursue it if need be. Don't pursue a big-name for the sake of pursuing a big-name. And that's all J.Staal really is to us: a big name. He isn't a 1C, which is what we lack. He is more of what we have already (2's and 3's) plus he comes at a high cost.

You continue bickering between Brassard and Staal. The bottom line Brassard is a creative player who has proven he could thrive in New York and in the playoffs. He is a Vigneault type of player. He has chemistry with some forwards on this team. And he just signed a long-term deal. Why would they look to deal him? Why would they look to deal him for a player who makes a million more, isn't an answer to any issues we currently have, etc.

I know you love making proposals and preaching why a big-name fits with the Rangers. I get it and understand it. But, in this case, if the Rangers ever were to make a move for a center, they need to be smart. If a center becomes available, and he makes sense, and it's worth pursuing, I'm sure they will. They can't just make a trade for the sake of making a trade. And regardless of what you're saying, flipping Brassard in a deal for Staal is a lateral move that solves nothing, and is really nothing more than a trade for the sake of making a trade.

Mike
10-31-2014, 06:32 PM
Fwiw, Brassard average more ppg than Staal has over their careers. Brassard put the majority of his points up while playing on the Cololbus Blue Jackets, while Staal was on the Penguins.

Vodka Drunkenski
10-31-2014, 08:15 PM
I see what you did there

Bretzky
10-31-2014, 10:09 PM
Just to avoid going back and forth again...


I wonder what it would cost to bring in someone like Dubinsky...

He'd be an ideal winger for the Brassard-Zuccarello line, and he can also play center in a top-6 role if needed. Gritty; elevates game in the playoffs; has performed in NY...

Stranger things have happened :P

Phil in Absentia
10-31-2014, 10:16 PM
That bridge is burned, IMO, and the Jackets love him. I don't see them moving him out.

Bretzky
10-31-2014, 10:54 PM
I wouldn't be so sure about the bridge being burned, but you're certainly right that the Jackets have no reason to move him as he's become a big part of their leadership core.

RichieNextel305
11-01-2014, 01:01 PM
I think the perfect winger for the Brassard and Zuccarello line may actually be our $7.8 Million dollar man.

Vodka Drunkenski
11-01-2014, 02:33 PM
I kind of agree on Nash, doesn't hurt to try

Future
11-01-2014, 03:25 PM
I wouldn't be so sure about the bridge being burned, but you're certainly right that the Jackets have no reason to move him as he's become a big part of their leadership core.
Yea I think the probably was between he and Torts, not the players really. And this team is so different now that there shouldn't be any grudges or anything remaining.

I would love to bring back Dubi, I think he was always really hurt that they didn't give him the A when Richards got here - and rightfully so - but this is an entirely different unit. For a team that needs a little chutzpah, I think Dubi would be a great, great fit. I might be a little bit biased since I've always been a Dubi fan lol

Pete
11-01-2014, 03:36 PM
I wouldn't want him at his contract. And now he can't stay healthy.