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When is the future the present?

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Old
05-10-2007, 12:47 PM
  #1
Forechecker
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When is the future the present?

All of this free-agent chit-chat has brought up an interesting question in my mind: when is the future the present? On the one hand we are lucky enough to have a farm system that is well stocked with 2nd - 4th line wings and centers, and several potentially top tier defensemen. The reality of having such a well stocked system is:

1) There are only X number of roster spaces on the team at any given time, which is usually a much smaller # then truly eligible prospects
2) 60% (a guess) of our prospects will never play for the NYR, and I would guess that about that same number won't ever have more than a cup of coffee in the NHL

Now, add in the good fortune that the NYR, as they're currently set-up, has a good balance of youth & vets, and was in all probability 7.7 seconds away from being in the ECF. The 07-08 reality is they are one to two players away from being a season-long force to contend with.

There will inevitably be a couple more kids on the roster to fill out 3/4 line duties, assuming Orts and/or Hollweg are gone and Orr doesn't win a spot in camp, along with Cally & Girardi, and even if Staal somehow manages to go the AHL for the first month or so, you know he'll be up sooner rather than later. If that's the case you are essentially going to have two lines of vets (Prucha, Hossa, and Lundy all fall under the vet category now, IMO) and two lines of youngsters. Not a bad balance, especially considering we have decent shot at the cup in 2007-2008.

I say sign the playmaker center to bring home the Cup ASAP, because you never know what the next season is going to bring.

What are your thoughts? Do you risk a decent shot at the Cup in 07-08 to promote prospects that may not have the skills (ever) to play at an elite level in the NHL, or do you think the NYR has a one to two year window to win the Cup and we should go all out to acheive that goal for Jags, Nyls, Shanny, et al?

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05-10-2007, 12:56 PM
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That's a great question and one that I've been wondering of late. The future and now should be one in the same (I know that makes no sense upon rereading that).

And that's why I wouldn't mind throwing some money at a guy like Drury, Gomez or Rafalski. At the same, that's also the reason I want no part of Forsberg. The Rangers have made sound, prudent moves since the great purge. They have added piece to help now but also to help down the road — all the while developing talent from within.

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05-10-2007, 12:57 PM
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Well if it's the future it obviously can't be now because it's the present. So never .

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05-10-2007, 01:18 PM
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Well if it's the future it obviously can't be now because it's the present. So never .
Yes, but at the same time it will never be tomorrow since it's always today.

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05-10-2007, 01:27 PM
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exactly

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05-10-2007, 01:28 PM
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Well I think they're still trying to gradually work guys from Hartford into the mix as certain people show themselves capable of being able to contribute at the NHL level.
A healthy mix of vetrans and kids has been a good formula for this team since the lock out and I don't think they're going to just divert from that and let some vetrans walk away just to fill the roster with kids who may be close but not quite ready to play in NY.


As long as there isn't any moving backwards I don't really mind it at this point. Now if guys like Callahan and Girardi were to get sent back to Hartford come next season because they want to resign Rachunek and some 5th or 6th shlep dman that's when I have a problem with things.

At the same time it's still kind of frustrating when you want to see guys like Staal play but you know they aren't going to avoid free agent defensemen to make room for him...Then again maybe Staal will only be better with some time in Hartford first...

Who knows. It would seem that Renney and company have been right more then they are wrong on judging when a few of these guys are ready to step in. I'm willing to trust their judgement on whether it's time to bring others to the big stage or not.

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05-10-2007, 01:42 PM
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always...we always need to be planning for the future, but putting the best team together now that won't hamper our future to much...all neil smith

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05-10-2007, 01:47 PM
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Looking back to last season, it is noteworthy to recognize that this team didn't come together or get it's final pieces until mid-february. The additions of Mara, Girardi and Avery brought everything together but also the learning experiences and journey factored into the end product. Because of this, I would really like to go into next season with 95% of the core intact. I'd like to avoid free agents except in cases where they simply cannot be ignored (A. Ward vs Shanny).

Let's go into the season and see what we have, see what improvements are made naturally. Do Prucha, Callahan and Girardi take another step and contribute on the scoresheet and off? Do we get a healthy Jagr all season that plays like the absolute beast he was in the playoffs? Do we get 2nd half Lundqvist for the entire season? Did the Rangers find their true identity last season or do they have to find another one next year?

I pose these questions because they are all important factors for the success of next season. Assuming that they all pan out, we aren't very far off from cup contention. The missing pieces might just be available around the trade deadline. Those pieces might only have a contract lasting through next season (which doesn't conflict with spots for youth). Those pieces might only cost us some superflous assets. To me, this scenerio is much more appealing than giving a Gomez, Souray, Briere or yes even Drury a 5-6 year deal worth a total of $35m. Maybe TB is in disarray and Vinny becomes available. Wouldn't that potential trade be much more appealing than Gomez for the next 6 years?

The landscape of the new NHL/cap era is that flexibility is essential. The idea was for the players to sign 2-3 year deals. Not these 6 year deals that are the standard. It's not natural in terms of the CBA structure and eventually some teams are going to be absolutely hamstrung by these cumbersome contracts. Smart organizations will only employ these contracts in truly necessary situations. To me, a 2nd line center is not one of those situations.

Basically my point is it might be a better game plan to go into next season with this potentially potent line-up that was tested in the playoffs. It took nearly 3/4 of a season for this lineup to come together so well. Why is it necessary to have next year's cup contender assembled on October 5th? Last season, we were an Avery and a Mara away from success. Why are we a Drury or Gomez away from success now all of a sudden? To sum it up, I am preaching patience.

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05-10-2007, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugerya View Post
Looking back to last season, it is noteworthy to recognize that this team didn't come together or get it's final pieces until mid-february. The additions of Mara, Girardi and Avery brought everything together but also the learning experiences and journey factored into the end product. Because of this, I would really like to go into next season with 95% of the core intact. I'd like to avoid free agents except in cases where they simply cannot be ignored (A. Ward vs Shanny).

Let's go into the season and see what we have, see what improvements are made naturally. Do Prucha, Callahan and Girardi take another step and contribute on the scoresheet and off? Do we get a healthy Jagr all season that plays like the absolute beast he was in the playoffs? Do we get 2nd half Lundqvist for the entire season? Did the Rangers find their true identity last season or do they have to find another one next year?

I pose these questions because they are all important factors for the success of next season. Assuming that they all pan out, we aren't very far off from cup contention. The missing pieces might just be available around the trade deadline. Those pieces might only have a contract lasting through next season (which doesn't conflict with spots for youth). Those pieces might only cost us some superflous assets. To me, this scenerio is much more appealing than giving a Gomez, Souray, Briere or yes even Drury a 5-6 year deal worth a total of $35m. Maybe TB is in disarray and Vinny becomes available. Wouldn't that potential trade be much more appealing than Gomez for the next 6 years?

The landscape of the new NHL/cap era is that flexibility is essential. The idea was for the players to sign 2-3 year deals. Not these 6 year deals that are the standard. It's not natural in terms of the CBA structure and eventually some teams are going to be absolutely hamstrung by these cumbersome contracts. Smart organizations will only employ these contracts in truly necessary situations. To me, a 2nd line center is not one of those situations.

Basically my point is it might be a better game plan to go into next season with this potentially potent line-up that was tested in the playoffs. It took nearly 3/4 of a season for this lineup to come together so well. Why is it necessary to have next year's cup contender assembled on October 5th? Last season, we were an Avery and a Mara away from success. Why are we a Drury or Gomez away from success now all of a sudden? To sum it up, I am preaching patience.
Agreed. I would not mind seeing virtually the same team on the ice next year.

I think these next two years will be the last two before we have to get a top line talent via trade or FA...... Nylander and straka dont have forever to win a cup, and you can tell thats all they are playing for right now.... as is Jagr, who wants to win one in this city very badly...

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05-10-2007, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugerya View Post
Looking back to last season, it is noteworthy to recognize that this team didn't come together or get it's final pieces until mid-february. The additions of Mara, Girardi and Avery brought everything together but also the learning experiences and journey factored into the end product. Because of this, I would really like to go into next season with 95% of the core intact. I'd like to avoid free agents except in cases where they simply cannot be ignored (A. Ward vs Shanny).

Let's go into the season and see what we have, see what improvements are made naturally. Do Prucha, Callahan and Girardi take another step and contribute on the scoresheet and off? Do we get a healthy Jagr all season that plays like the absolute beast he was in the playoffs? Do we get 2nd half Lundqvist for the entire season? Did the Rangers find their true identity last season or do they have to find another one next year?

I pose these questions because they are all important factors for the success of next season. Assuming that they all pan out, we aren't very far off from cup contention. The missing pieces might just be available around the trade deadline. Those pieces might only have a contract lasting through next season (which doesn't conflict with spots for youth). Those pieces might only cost us some superflous assets. To me, this scenerio is much more appealing than giving a Gomez, Souray, Briere or yes even Drury a 5-6 year deal worth a total of $35m. Maybe TB is in disarray and Vinny becomes available. Wouldn't that potential trade be much more appealing than Gomez for the next 6 years?

The landscape of the new NHL/cap era is that flexibility is essential. The idea was for the players to sign 2-3 year deals. Not these 6 year deals that are the standard. It's not natural in terms of the CBA structure and eventually some teams are going to be absolutely hamstrung by these cumbersome contracts. Smart organizations will only employ these contracts in truly necessary situations. To me, a 2nd line center is not one of those situations.

Basically my point is it might be a better game plan to go into next season with this potentially potent line-up that was tested in the playoffs. It took nearly 3/4 of a season for this lineup to come together so well. Why is it necessary to have next year's cup contender assembled on October 5th? Last season, we were an Avery and a Mara away from success. Why are we a Drury or Gomez away from success now all of a sudden? To sum it up, I am preaching patience.
I agree 100%. As tempting as it might be to go for it all now...it's a big risk to throw crazy $ and years at a guy who isn't truely what we need. We need to stick to the game plan and show the patience you mentioned.

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05-10-2007, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
That's a great question and one that I've been wondering of late. The future and now should be one in the same (I know that makes no sense upon rereading that).
Bingo. If done right, youth should be slowly phased in each year. never a big purge, but if you can add 1-2 good young players each year that's the right way to do things.

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05-10-2007, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
Bingo. If done right, youth should be slowly phased in each year. never a big purge, but if you can add 1-2 good young players each year that's the right way to do things.
And that's really what's about, John, BUT if the goal of an organeyezayshun is to be the possessor of the Stanley Goblet you might have to make some hard decisions on prospects versus FAs or part of a trade. The Garden Faithful have been very patient with Slats over the past few years, but I have to imagine that even the truest of Blueshirt diehards would want to see the Goblet at MSG at some point in the next 43 years, and would expect either prospects for vets in trades or prospects' roster spots being sacrificed for a UFA in order be the aforementioned Possessor.

I'm all for development, but I want to see another banner raised at MSG sooner rather than later. Not sayin' Drury/Brier/Gomez is the key piece, or even if that last piece of the puzzle needs to be here before late Feb., but my guess it will have to come from the outside.

Who knows, maybe we do fall into an awesome pattern of being a perennial playoff contender, and do it with a steady influx of prospects and smart vet signings. I don't think so, but one can hope.

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05-10-2007, 04:28 PM
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And that's really what's about, John, BUT if the goal of an organeyezayshun is to be the possessor of the Stanley Goblet you might have to make some hard decisions on prospects versus FAs or part of a trade. The Garden Faithful have been very patient with Slats over the past few years, but I have to imagine that even the truest of Blueshirt diehards would want to see the Goblet at MSG at some point in the next 43 years, and would expect either prospects for vets in trades or prospects' roster spots being sacrificed for a UFA in order be the aforementioned Possessor.

I'm all for development, but I want to see another banner raised at MSG sooner rather than later. Not sayin' Drury/Brier/Gomez is the key piece, or even if that last piece of the puzzle needs to be here before late Feb., but my guess it will have to come from the outside.

Who knows, maybe we do fall into an awesome pattern of being a perennial playoff contender, and do it with a steady influx of prospects and smart vet signings. I don't think so, but one can hope.
the eventual goal is the Stanley Cup. if that opportunity presents itself in the immediate future, even better.

I'm sure competing for the Cup with 6-8 players under 26 won't be good enough for the hardcore rebuilders, but who cares?

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05-10-2007, 05:46 PM
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I agree 100%. As tempting as it might be to go for it all now...it's a big risk to throw crazy $ and years at a guy who isn't truely what we need. We need to stick to the game plan and show the patience you mentioned.
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Originally Posted by -31- View Post
the eventual goal is the Stanley Cup. if that opportunity presents itself in the immediate future, even better.

I'm sure competing for the Cup with 6-8 players under 26 won't be good enough for the hardcore rebuilders, but who cares?
I don't see these ideas as being mutually exclusive (in the sense that you can't rebuild and win a cup). Look at the teams remaining. Buffalo is loaded with young talent, top to bottom. Ottawa and Detriot are very similar to each other, not quite voice-cracking young but certainly not old (as a whole). Good mix of in-their-prime guys and veteran leadership with a few youngsters sprinkled in for good measure. Anaheim has some amazing youth (that we don't quite possess yet) with some elite level veterans. The Devils and Avalanche won cups with rookies playing key rolls. You don't have to go balls-out rebuild or balls-out "youth for vets to win a cup".

The point I tried to make is that this team is seriously close. People keep mentioning guys that are "top notch" when we already have that. We need that something else to put us over the top. And yes, I agree that we need that 2nd line center to really compete and that 1st pairing defenseman to shore up the back end but I just don't like the prices these guys are going to demand and I especially don't like the length of the contracts that are beig floated around. What I'm advocating is waiting it out, see what we look like after a good 1/2 to 2/3 of season. Find out what's on our shopping list before we go to the market. I think it's possible to get those missing pieces later in the year and at that time it will be pending UFAs. The beauty is we have tons of assets that are causing a logjam and by acquiring pending UFAs we aren't eating up future roster spots for Staal, Dawes, Dubinsky, Sauer, Helmenien, Korpikoski, Anisimov, Sanguinetti, Montoya, etc, etc, etc.

Did Buffalo go crazy on the UFA market after they lost in game 7 of the conf finals? Who did Ottawa try to upgrade with besides Gerber (disaster) to get over the hump? Detriot? Anaheim is the only team left that made a major move but that is something you do when a Pronger is available and that was still a trade.

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05-10-2007, 05:50 PM
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And that's really what's about, John, BUT if the goal of an organeyezayshun is to be the possessor of the Stanley Goblet you might have to make some hard decisions on prospects versus FAs or part of a trade. The Garden Faithful have been very patient with Slats over the past few years, but I have to imagine that even the truest of Blueshirt diehards would want to see the Goblet at MSG at some point in the next 43 years, and would expect either prospects for vets in trades or prospects' roster spots being sacrificed for a UFA in order be the aforementioned Possessor.

I'm all for development, but I want to see another banner raised at MSG sooner rather than later. Not sayin' Drury/Brier/Gomez is the key piece, or even if that last piece of the puzzle needs to be here before late Feb., but my guess it will have to come from the outside.

Who knows, maybe we do fall into an awesome pattern of being a perennial playoff contender, and do it with a steady influx of prospects and smart vet signings. I don't think so, but one can hope.
They aren't mutually exclusive. You can add 1-2 new young players each year, while also adding a free agent or two.

The key is not to go too crazy in one direction or the other.


Last edited by John Flyers Fan: 05-10-2007 at 06:14 PM.
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05-10-2007, 05:58 PM
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The biggest problem facing the Rangers is that our future doesn't seem to include any high-end offensive talent but lots of lower to middle level offensive talent. Combine that with our 4 best offensive players nearing the end and you have a possible recipe for disaster.

Either some of the kids will have to turn out better than they are projected or we will be right back in the thick of the UFA market.

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05-10-2007, 06:12 PM
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Our community of prospects is working out well--in fact we look a little overloaded--if there can be such a thing. The one thing missing is we don't really have your 1st line or elite type forward as of now. As for the team itself Renney and many of the vets seem to think we were pretty close this year when all was said and done. My opinion--the one hole we have to fill from outside via trade or free agency is 2nd line center--the main thing is to get someone (he doesn't have to be a superstar) who can really do the job. If we trade for such a player no doubt we'll have to dip into prospects and/or draft picks and maybe even a younger regular. The one thing with trading for that center is he would need to be on the right side of 30 otherwise we should chase after Drury or Gomez. As for the makeup of the team as others have mentioned there needs to be a mix of veterans and younger players. Hopefully two or three stick right out of camp. I'm thinking Staal and Montoya especially but maybe Bourret or Dubinsky or even a Baranka.

One other thing there is pressure from within to go for it in the next couple seasons. On paper I think we've made strides personel wise where that is realizable. We at least seem to have a fighting chance next year especially if Jagr can return to the form of two years ago. Between him and Lundqvist we got two superstars who can take us there.

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05-10-2007, 06:37 PM
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If he was still a possibility, I'd be looking at a deal for Nathan Horton. It's a youth for youth deal with big upside that secures a 1st/2nd line center for several years. The price would be steep but if not too much then worth it.

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