Offseason depends on Staal's injury/future Carolina ambitions and Clowe's injury/contract terms. I would like to resign Clowe if he has reasonable contract demands. If Staal's eye is healthy this summer and makes it clear he wants to stay a ranger when his contract expires then i look to trade MDZ for a scorer. If Staal is a question mark then i look to trade him to Carolina for either a forward on their team or the 5th overall pick. I also buyout Richards.
Hello, first post on this forum. I've been reading HFRangers for about 3 months now and after last games loss I was compelled to sign up and let it all out.
Anyways, I've read the" it's Tort's fault, it's the players fault, it's Sather's fault" threads and I figured I would chime in on this topic first. At this point I would say it's a mixture of all 3. Obviously, the Rangers have quality, otherwise they wouldn't of made it this far, especially winning against a super hot Caps team in the 1st round. I will also refer to Hank as the ultimate neutralizer. Without him, this team doesn't make the playoffs, even though he had a slow start this season, and had a few down games in the playoffs, he did have a Vezina quality finish to the season, and he shut out the Caps in the last 2 games. We are a lost team with him, and the rest of the pro Hank talk goes without saying.
I'll start with the GM and I'll be brief, he has his history with the Rangers as all fans know. I will only comment on his moves that pertain to this years roster. The Richards deal, well I can't really fault him too much for the move. At the time it was a sound move. The reuniting of Coach and former Con Smythe winner. All the talking heads on NHL network etc, were praising the move. It just seems that Richards who is around 33 is playing like a 40 yr old. He's aged poorly in a hockey sense. This is something that Sather could not predict.
The Nash trade is not bad, nor great IMO. Nash was huge for the Rangers going down the stretch and was key in getting us into the playoffs, but he's been a dud in the playoffs, and I have more to say on him, but I'll save it for later. I'm going to give the trade a TBD at this point as it's an even stevens at this point for me.
Letting Prust go however was a huge mistake, I understand the $$$$, but he was well worth the $2million+. He was so helpful to this team in so many ways it's amazing. It was very foolish to deem him an overachieving 4th liner.
Lastly, the Gaborik trade has been a thing of beauty. I was tired of watching Gaborik during the season, and the infusion of youth and skill in his behalf has turned this team around. So I'm giving Sather a solid B for the current roster.
Now it's Tort's turn. There is so much to discuss about this guy, but I will try to shorten it up. I'm not a huge fan of his, but I don't despise him like some of the fans is the best way to some it up.
First what I like about him
I like his willingness to sit his big name players or lessening there minutes when they are obviously underperforming. He did this with Gaborik, with Richards. I also like his no nonsense demeanor.
I like how he's tried to tailor the teams style according to the teams skill set aside for one element. This team is not filled with great hands players, or snipers. If I may, I would say this team is below average when it comes to shot velocity.
I like the way he defends on the power play. I'm totally fine with shot blocking and clogging the lanes. Albeit there are times when our forwards shrink too far to the net, which allows the defensemen to walk it in closer and fire slapshots which occasionally get through. I'll blame that detail on the players for giving the defenseman too much room. On the other end of the ice though I'm probably the most frustrated however. The constant dump and chase is so agonizing to watch, especially when it's not even being executed correctly. The puck is just tossed deep haphazardly with no thought of who's actually going to be able to get it in time. As far as I'm concerned, every dump and chase we attempt should go straight into the turnover stat column. Is this the players fault for dumping the puck so stupidly? I'm leaning yes. I can't believe that an NHL coach would coach his players to do this. Not to mention, Brassards line does not have this problem which is evidence. His line does a much better job of skating the puck into the zone and dishing it off to each other.
I respect his hockey knowledge.
What I don't like about him.....
He has a big mouth. I was fired up when he through Hagelin under the bus the other say when he said he stunk on the power play. How would he like it if Sather said the same about him? He's borderline narcissistic.
I don't like how he shuffles the lines as often as he does. I also don't like his playoff line up. If I had it my way. I would put Nash on the 1st line with Hags, and Stephan. Yes, Callahan is a 1st line forward, and he's my hero whom I try to emulate when I play hockey every Tuesday night. This has to do with chemistry, and at the beginning of the season, Hags and Nash were balling when they were paired. With Hags speed, Nash has the room to dangle and do what he does best. I also think Brassards/Zuccs creativity would be potent with Callahans hustle and grind. I realize, it would be a small line, but Cally plays bigger, and Zucc's has spunk, and they'll get by size wise.
On the power play, I would only change this. He needs to sit MDZ the hell down and put Moor or Strahlman in place. Keep Nash/Cally/Stephan/Brassard. I would like to have McD in there, but we need him and Girardi to focus on shutting down their 1st line. MDZ has been playing like a 4th liner for the past month. We miss Staal incredibly.
So with that said, would I like to change Torts?? Yes, but who would we sign instead?
Finally, the players........
Nash- Great regular season player, but his dangling and 1v1 game is reducer when it comes to playoff time. Playoffs is all about hustle and hitting, and ugly goals. He's too pretty for the playoffs and needs to adjust his style accordingly.
Callahan - Still have a huge man crush on him. His size hurts him during the playoffs which is when defenseman buckle down and refs are calling penalties less and less. He's still has the speed, and creativity and will to lead this team and has had opportunities.
Stephan - He is who he is, a solid 1st line center, no complaints on his game
Brassard - A gift from the hockey gods. Hope for the teams future, and a contender for first line center next year.
Zucc's - I like this guy. This team is in soar need of creativity. With the flattening of Richards, it's even more important to have this guy play more. I've liked him in the playoffs.
Del Zotto - As I mentioned I think he's 3rd/4th line material. He's so freaking slow for a skinny guy especially, and pinches too much and gambles too often. He drives me nuts.
McD - Solid D man, love him
Girardi - He's good no great. Solid slapshot which we need badly. He has mental lapses in the back end at times.
Moore- Future of the Rangers. Needs to work on his positioning in front of the net more, and get meaner, but his skating and hands are too good to deny.
Hags - He's what Kreider will be in about a year. Lots of legs, but needs work on his hands and creativity. Needs someone creative to be paired up with them.
Kreider - Looks much better then he did at the beginning of the season. More physical, and composed, but he has quite a bit of work ahead of him still. I think he needs more time down below. Once he is able to use his speed for offense and get better hands, he'll be a 30 goal scorer. Needs to improve his work along the boards, but his back check is borderline elite.
In a nutshell, we need more of the Brassards that can skate/protect the puck and create things. The offense is vanilla especially the PP. I'm looking forward to J.T. Miller taking a jump in his game. He has the qualities that this team is missing. Creativity and Composure. It's lacking handsomely!!!! I'm also looking forward to C.Thomas in the future, he has the strong shot that this team could use more of.
In summary, we're a team with deficiencies on coach's and players side. Hank is the one that makes the Rangers a playoff team, vs's a non playoff... What are my thoughts on a solution?
Demote MDZ, Stop dumping the puck foolishly, switch Nash and Cally, get Strahl or Moore on the PP, and tell Torts to shut his pie hole
Get rid of Sather and anyone he calls a "friend". Get rid of Tortorella and Sullivan. Keep guys like Gorton and Clarke. Wouldn't mind giving a guy like Messier a shot at some managerial position either. Keep a majority of the team together. Let players develop chemistry through playing together regularly and staying together. Bring in a coach who understands what "offense" means and that it is a necessity to winning games. No more collapsing defense and using shot-blocking as the main mode of defense. That's about it.