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Thread: How Rangers Can Improve Toughness This Summer

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    How Rangers Can Improve Toughness This Summer

    Given the immediate allusion to size disparity, what Quinn appears to be speaking to here isn’t the kind of toughness that’s become an anachronism in today’s NHL – a game now largely defined by its speed and skill. Rather, what he seems to be after here is the embrace of a new understanding of toughness in the current climate. One that strongly favors relentless puck pursuit and targeted aggression – elements that aren’t absent in today’s game but were largely missing under Vigneault’s tutelage. While some of that fault can be attributed to AV’s coaching philosophy that favored shot selection over volume, physicality was always a concern under his watch.
    Despite their dismal finish to last season, Quinn’s new strategy is achievable without the need for massive roster turnover. It could even be highlighted by a few of the Rangers’ young veterans – particularly straight-line players like Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, and Jesper Fast.

    However, it might behoove the Blueshirts’ front office to ensure enough of this “character” is under contract next season to give their new coach his best fighting chance.
    Perhaps Scott Hartnell, 36, could be persuaded to pull on a blue shirt? The veteran, known for his leadership qualities and strong physical play, is a rare combination of adept hockey player and tough leader. Though he only made it into four of the Predators’ playoff games this postseason, his presence—primarily physically—was felt in each of them.
    Another unrestricted option for Rangers’ general manager Jeff Gorton to consider is 28-year old Antoine Roussel. The hard-working, in-your-face-type is a pest who plays a heavy 200-foot game despite his middling 6’0, 200-pound frame. On paper, he could fit Coach Q’s preference to a tee. Like the trade that brought Wayne Simmonds to the Philadelphia Flyers years ago, unleashing number 21’s brand of antagonism on the Metropolitan division might be a worthy cause for the Rangers to try their hand at.
    On defense, 29-year-old Ian Cole, who always plays with a physical edge, might help to eat minutes and can be deployed with heavy defensive zone starts. So could 27-year-old and soon-to-be ex-New York Islander, Calvin de Haan. Neither player stands to break the bank in the process. Again, according to Cane’s salary projections, the former should earn just over $3 million on a three-year ride. de Haan, on the other hand, is coming off a season-ending shoulder surgery that limited him to just 33 games. He stands to sign something of a prove-it-type one-year, $1.6 million ticket.
    https://www.blueshirtbanter.com/2018...ss-this-summer

    --

    Also discussed: Pageau, Zucker, Dumba, and of course Tkachuk, among others.


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    I think the change in style for the team will be huge. It was definitely an element that was missing from the team the last few seasons. As the article mention Kreider, Vesey and fast should all benefit from this. I would love to see our 4th line be tougher to play against this season. I have said for two or so years now that this teams needs an energy line.

    No to Hartnell. Don’t really know how good cole or de Haan are but I’m sure they’re going to sign at least 1 defensive ufa so might as well make it someone who is a bit more physical.


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    Just having Quinn will help. I wouldn’t mind exploring a Roussel, but he’s more of an irritant.
    I mentioned Hartnell last offseason, but not sure if now is a good time to bring him in. With his age, and our youth movement, seems like that ship has sailed.

    I think having Beleskey and Smith around, and hopefully a new culture of willingness and hard play, more toughness will come, compared to last season. The team might not kill you every night, but they can be tough to play against with the guys they have.

    If we do add someone, I’d prefer a guy that can play top 6, if necessary. With the middle 6 composer of Zucc, Spooner, Chytil and Namestnikov (plus Buch), you need a physical dude, making hits, getting attention, and creating some room for these guys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    Just having Quinn will help. I wouldn’t mind exploring a Roussel, but he’s more of an irritant.
    I mentioned Hartnell last offseason, but not sure if now is a good time to bring him in. With his age, and our youth movement, seems like that ship has sailed.

    I think having Beleskey and Smith around, and hopefully a new culture of willingness and hard play, more toughness will come, compared to last season. The team might not kill you every night, but they can be tough to play against with the guys they have.

    If we do add someone, I’d prefer a guy that can play top 6, if necessary. With the middle 6 composer of Zucc, Spooner, Chytil and Namestnikov (plus Buch), you need a physical dude, making hits, getting attention, and creating some room for these guys.
    Sounds like Komarov.


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    Not sure he can hack it on a 2nd line.
    If you can get a guy like him or Roussel on a 1-year deal, and flip at the deadline. Just don’t see either being a 3-year plan player.

    Ideally, you have a Tkachuk’s physical play or Kotkaniemi’s relentless feistiness.
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    Not sure he can hack it on a 2nd line.
    If you can get a guy like him or Roussel on a 1-year deal, and flip at the deadline. Just don’t see either being a 3-year plan player. editing to add: I love th we guys, but if it’s a true rebuild, I’m saving a 4th line spot or 2 to give a kid sheltered minutes.

    Ideally, you have a Tkachuk’s physical play or Kotkaniemi’s relentless feistiness.
    Last edited by josh; 06-02-2018 at 02:24 PM.
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    "if necessary".

    I read that as code for "as needed".


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    Senior Member Squirt Division Mr.wiskers's Avatar
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    As far as physical play, Add Matias Samuelsson to that list, he should go at the end of the 1st Rd.


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    While I doubt that some of these name FA signings will happen (e.g. Hartnell, but you never know —*he would be I good fit for this young team if he is willing to give it up for the red white and blue) , I think that integral toughness — the way it is described in the OP — or what i would call "playing toughness" versus almost extinct "fighting toughness" — is an important part of the equation that was neglected the last few years, and is part of the player makeup a team needs to win. The closer we get to contention, the more important that grit becomes...along with all the other extremely important things like hockey IQ/positioning sense, speed to the puck, skill & talent, etc etc. a long way to go, a long way...
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    I like every option in the OP. I definitely cash in on de Haan. Give him a 3 year deal on the cheap side. Say 2 mill per.

    I go with Roussel over Hartnell, but I think there's a big time price tag difference there. Hartnell played for 1 million last season. I'd think Roussel gets a bit of a raise in the 2 mill he's been making.. Stay away from Reaves.

    Different kind of player and old as fuck, but Joel Ward is still a pain in the ass when he parks in the opposition's front of the net.

    Tkachuk is definitely the guy I hope lands in their lap at pick nine, or a just a cheap trade up to the spot to get him.
    Last edited by The Dude; 06-02-2018 at 10:07 PM.

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    guys remind me when Hartnell was ever looked upon for his leadership skills. I think a good part of his reputation in philly was his partying and Carter banging his wife. He could never stay on his skates - hence the Hartnell down campaign. I mean the guy is 36 and again was a healthy scratch this past season at times. I don't see he's the answer to anything that's needed here. He plays with heart because his skills are almost nonexistent at this point. I truly hope and pray we are not that desperate.

    Reaves would bring a true heavy presence that neither Hartnell nor Roussel bring. I don't get the whole pest thing being an advantage and don't see any leadership qualities in any of them.

    Phil I certainly respect your articles on this one I just have a different opinion even down to Vescey and Fast being straight a head players. I don't think either guy plays with anything remotely close to a tough physical game that would require anybody we play against to keep their head up when either of those guys are on the ice.Fast is perhaps the most consistent guy we have when it comes to effort and that's great, can't even give JV that much credit. He's invisible more often than not and I'm betting a new coach isn't going to instill something in him that will flip that switch to where he becomes a big piece of this team moving forward.
    Last edited by jsrangers; 06-03-2018 at 12:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsrangers View Post
    guys remind me when Hartnell was ever looked upon for his leadership skills. I think a good part of his reputation in philly was his partying and Carter banging his wife. He could never stay on his skates - hence the Hartnell down campaign. I mean the guy is 36 and again was a healthy scratch this past season at times. I don't see he's the answer to anything that's needed here. He plays with heart because his skills are almost nonexistent at this point. I truly hope and pray we are not that desperate.

    Reaves would bring a true heavy presence that neither Hartnell nor Roussel bring. I don't get the whole pest thing being an advantage and don't see any leadership qualities in any of them.

    Phil I certainly respect your articles on this one I just have a different opinion even down to Vescey and Fast being straight a head players. I don't think either guy plays with anything remotely close to a tough physical game that would require anybody we play against to keep their head up when either of those guys are on the ice.Fast is perhaps the most consistent guy we have when it comes to effort and that's great, can't even give JV that much credit. He's invisible more often than not and I'm betting a new coach isn't going to instill something in him that will flip that switch to where he becomes a big piece of this team moving forward.
    Hartnell sucks.

    However, he wore letters in Philly and Colombus at times.

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    I don't care who we sign, I just want them to show up when Hank gets run!




    Would be great to see exciting hockey again back in MSG!





    PS! Hell sign some one who will run the other Goalie once in awhile to spark things up!
    Last edited by skunkman; 06-03-2018 at 07:50 PM.
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    I like all the names listed so long as it’s for the right price and we’re not signing more than one or two of them. Rousell and Cole would be good pick ups imo. Short-ish term. Even de Haan for a year interests me.
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    The only thing on my mind after reading this is how pumped up I am to seing Kreider next season. I know this has been said every offseason the last 3 years, but I really think Quinn and his style/philosophy will benefit Kreider a lot. He's best when he's a little "angry" and plays hard, so if Quinn gets that out of him on a daily basis I could see him tearing up teams next season.

    I'd take Roussel and De Haan, dont like Cole. Simmonds is also interesting, but he's under contract and not the type of player we are looking to trade for (soon 30).

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    I think Kreider is or will be 27 so it's unlikely he gets better or learns to be mean. He is what he is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    I like every option in the OP. I definitely cash in on de Haan. Give him a 3 year deal on the cheap side. Say 2 mill per.

    I go with Roussel over Hartnell, but I think there's a big time price tag difference there. Hartnell played for 1 million last season. I'd think Roussel gets a bit of a raise in the 2 mill he's been making.. Stay away from Reaves.

    Different kind of player and old as fuck, but Joel Ward is still a pain in the ass when he parks in the opposition's front of the net.

    Tkachuk is definitely the guy I hope lands in their lap at pick nine, or a just a cheap trade up to the spot to get him.
    De Haan said many times wanted to be out west because of a family situation. May be he really only hated playing for the Isles?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I think Kreider is or will be 27 so it's unlikely he gets better or learns to be mean. He is what he is.
    Most likely, but we've seen players improving their game after changing the coach. If he's allowed and encouraged to play the way he plays best atleast he may be more consistent in his performances.

    I dont know, I just have a feeling Kreider will be good under Quinn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugg View Post
    De Haan said many times wanted to be out west because of a family situation. May be he really only hated playing for the Isles?
    Think that's Hamonic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I think Kreider is or will be 27 so it's unlikely he gets better or learns to be mean. He is what he is.
    Yep. The crowd that keeps waiting for Kreider so suddenly be Eric Lindros will be disappointed. He has flashes but consistency has never been a part of his game. That's why he is who he is.
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