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How Should Rangers Approach The Balance of 2009-10 Season

View Poll Results: How Should Rangers Approach The Balance of 2009-10 Season
The Rangers should continue to make prudent moves to make the playoffs. 15 27.27%
The Rangers should concede 2009-10, strip the team of excess baggage and build for the future 40 72.73%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
12-31-2009, 12:57 PM
  #1
bobbop
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How Should Rangers Approach The Balance of 2009-10 Season

This idea of playing to make the playoffs/rebuilding/tanking seems to hijack a ton of other threads. I talked to the mods and we decided to have a poll and give this topic it's own space.

In my mind it all comes down to one of two options...

1. The Rangers should continue to make prudent moves to make the playoffs.

2. The Rangers should concede 2009-10 is not their year, strip the team of excess baggage and build for the future.

So let's discuss.

I support Point #1. Last night nonwithstanding (and I fortunately could not watch the game) the team has been playing better in recent weeks. There are a number of underperforming players who can step up their games. The team is still learning a new coach and system. And I can't stand the idea of throwing in the towel to try to get a lottery ticket in the draft. I want the rest of this season to be meanigful. And frankly, there aren't that many pieces that I would want to move that are moveable and would return value.

So I'll cast the first vote for prudent moves.

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12-31-2009, 01:05 PM
  #2
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Count me at 1.5. I want the Rangers to continue to try to win, but I don't want any foolish, desperation trades in the attempt to make the playoffs. If the team turns it around and plays markedly better the rest of the way, then we can think of adding something at the deadline. But until then, we need to take a wait and see approach.

If things do not turn around and we look like we will be on the outside looking in, I would like to be sellers at the deadline. If the playoffs are out of reach this year, then we should position ourselves as well as possible for next year by clearing cap space and obtaining prospects/picks where possible. Any such moves would undoubtably further our slide toward the bottom of the league, resulting in a better draft position.

If it should come to that though, I still want the remaining players to go out and play to win every night, and I will root for them to win every night. I cannot and will not root for my team to lose.

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12-31-2009, 01:13 PM
  #3
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I go with #2.

At some point you have to look at this team objectively and realize that it's not a very good team. It's an average team at best. At worst we are a legit lottery team with a great goalie and great goal scoring winger in Gaborik. Nothing more.

There's to many holes (No 1st or 2nd line centers, No legit scoring winger other than Gaborik, no punishing defenceman to protect the front of the crease, and we have a coach that has uttered the phrase "I don't know" far to often when describing his teams play this season")

Just because the Eastern Conference is filled with garbage teams doesn't mean that we should be happy becaue we may not smell as bad as the garbage below us. At the end of the day we are still garbage.

Cut ties with the baggage. Get in some picks and prospects and make a serious run at the #1 overall selection on draft day via a trade and if we have to overpay somewhat? So be it.

I'm not one to look at the remaining games and have any delusions that any of them are meaningful when the final outcome is pretty predictable.

When you have as many holes on the roster as we do, and you have NO CAP SPACE to fix those issues nor do you have the guns in the AHL to help right the ship, the end result is pretty evident.

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12-31-2009, 01:16 PM
  #4
broadwayblue
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No stupid Antropov trades that will hurt the team going forward. If we make any deals, we should be sellers. I'll take a 4th rounder for higgins.

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12-31-2009, 01:19 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadwayblue View Post
No stupid Antropov trades that will hurt the team going forward. If we make any deals, we should be sellers. I'll take a 4th rounder for higgins.
Antropov for a million more is a lot better than Kotalik.

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12-31-2009, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadwayblue View Post
No stupid Antropov trades that will hurt the team going forward. If we make any deals, we should be sellers. I'll take a 4th rounder for higgins.
See, that was a good trade.

Not resigning him was the mistake. Trading a 2nd for him was a very solid move.

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12-31-2009, 01:23 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbop View Post
And frankly, there aren't that many pieces that I would want to move that are moveable and would return value.
This. No team in their right mind is going to want the guys that we need to get rid of to really strip down, build up some money and rebuild on youth.

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12-31-2009, 01:26 PM
  #8
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I'll go ahead and support looking toward the future, though not to the extreme that most are advocating. In short, I'm not for "tanking" but I do support the idea that we should not be trying to salvage this season by making drastic moves.

In a nut shell: Buy low and look ahead towards the 2011 season.

Unfortunately, this team is poorly constructed, poorly managed, and in my opinion, poorly coached as well. We're not deep enough to provide the secondary scoring that is necessary to make a run in the playoffs, and we're not seasoned enough either.

I think this season can be meaningful, but meaningful in hindsight. In other words, this could be the season that sets us up moving forward and we can look back on it and say, "Yeah, that's when we turned the corner."

We have a stable of good, young defensemen. Staal, Del Zotto, Girardi, Sauer, Sanguinetti, McDonagh, Heikkinen, Gilroy, etc.

We're developing a nice group of forwards in Dubinsky, Callahan, Anisimov, Grachev, Stepan, Kreider, Werek, Bourque, Byers, etc.

We have a goalie who is now entering his prime years.

We're poised to make a name for ourselves, but not this year. These players need time to develop and grow. It's foolish to repeat last season where we gave up a high draft pick for a pending free agent. If we're making moves, we should be looking at players with upside who are struggling.

Peter Mueller has become the poster-boy for that notion around here, and I definitely support the idea of bringing him in for the right price. I'm also a fan of Patrick O'Sullivan in Edmonton, and Kris Versteeg in Chicago -- who isn't really struggling, but is likely to be a cap casualty in the summer. All 3 are skilled, offensive-minded players that can compliment the group of defensively skilled forwards we have right now.

Now, while you might look at this move as contradictory to my original idea of building for the future, it's not the case. If these players rebound here in NY, we're in great shape moving forward. Say we acquire Mueller and O'Sullivan. Both have 60-70 point upside in my opinion. If they get back on track this season, we've added two impact forwards to the lineup who are under 25 years old. If they don't, then we can afford them another year of development while we wait for our offensive prospects to join the team, and we've most likely added an additional top-10 draft pick to our prospect pool.

Shop players like Prospal, Higgins, and Girardi at the deadline. If Prospal likes NY, and enjoys playing with Gaborik, he can talk to us in July.

I think it's the wiser play for this organization.

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12-31-2009, 02:14 PM
  #9
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TRXJW, I agree with just about all of that. Not a big fan of acquiring Mueller, myself, but in principle, I believe that's the best strategy going forward this season.

Higgins, Kotalik, Prospal, and Brashear should be heavily shopped. If there is any hope of ridding ourselves of Redden or Rozy, it must be done.

I'd be open to moving Girardi if a good deal came along.

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12-31-2009, 03:26 PM
  #10
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The Penguins are a team that will tank for a season or two.

The Islanders are a team that will tank for a season or two...or a decade!


I hope I never see a day where this organization tanks to get a better draft pick.

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12-31-2009, 03:37 PM
  #11
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Who could we even trade for prospects? We don't have anyone of value that's not young and worth keeping. Could maybe trade Prospal after he returns from injury, but Sather would be lucky to get a second rounder for him. We'd all love to lose some of the bad contracts, no matter what the return. And I can't say I'm going to be rooting against the team. I'm still a Ranger fan.

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12-31-2009, 03:45 PM
  #12
broadwayblue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pld459666 View Post
See, that was a good trade.

Not resigning him was the mistake. Trading a 2nd for him was a very solid move.
I'm sorry, just can't see how that was a good trade. We didn't win a single round in the playoffs yet sacrificed a 2nd round pick in the process. Wrong move there. And if we wanted to sign him for this season he was certainly available...but there was no need to waste a high pick on him as a rental on a team going nowhere. It's that kind of asset management that will keep us a borderline playoff team for years to come.

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12-31-2009, 03:50 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadwayblue View Post
I'm sorry, just can't see how that was a good trade. We didn't win a single round in the playoffs yet sacrificed a 2nd round pick in the process. Wrong move there. And if we wanted to sign him for this season he was certainly available...but there was no need to waste a high pick on him as a rental on a team going nowhere. It's that kind of asset management that will keep us a borderline playoff team for years to come.
Antro contributed down the stretch, and I agree that he would improve this year's team. A second-rounder is nothing to stress over. Most first-rounders don't even become players on the top two lines in the NHL, let alone second rounders. The organization is relatively deep and we don't need to stockpile picks like in 2005.

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12-31-2009, 03:57 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choice View Post
Antro contributed down the stretch, and I agree that he would improve this year's team. A second-rounder is nothing to stress over. Most first-rounders don't even become players on the top two lines in the NHL, let alone second rounders. The organization is relatively deep and we don't need to stockpile picks like in 2005.
Nothing to stress over? While I agree that draft picks are always a crap shoot, can you honestly say you would trade Derek Stepan for a couple months of Antropov this year? Because that's potentially what we gave up for 3 extra games at MSG last season. Stockpiling picks is one thing...managing assets is another. We were not 1 or 2 pieces away from going the distance and everyone had to know that...thus it was terrible asset management.

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12-31-2009, 04:02 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadwayblue View Post
I'm sorry, just can't see how that was a good trade. We didn't win a single round in the playoffs yet sacrificed a 2nd round pick in the process. Wrong move there. And if we wanted to sign him for this season he was certainly available...but there was no need to waste a high pick on him as a rental on a team going nowhere. It's that kind of asset management that will keep us a borderline playoff team for years to come.
Granted, it's a fair point that you make in regards to wasting an asset like a 2nd round pick for nothing, but it's also not his (Antropo's fault) for not winning that series.

The fact of the matter is that we could have had 2 Antropov's and still lost that series. The Caps were the better team and had Hank not stole 2 games it's over alot sooner than it was.

All of that said, The smart move was to acquire a center that could actually man the position. We needed a big bodied player that could score goals and set up teammates equally. He fit the bill.

Where this team screwed the pooch in terms of asset management is allowing him to leave.

He may not be a #1 center, but he is a legit #2 guy that is exactly what this team needs.

The allowing him to walk and replacing him with Kotalik was the bad asset management. Trading a 2nd rounder for him was a gamble well worth taking.

Would do that deal every year the situation called for it.

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12-31-2009, 04:03 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadwayblue View Post
Nothing to stress over? While I agree that draft picks are always a crap shoot, can you honestly say you would trade Derek Stepan for a couple months of Antropov this year? Because that's potentially what we gave up for 3 extra games at MSG last season. Stockpiling picks is one thing...managing assets is another. We were not 1 or 2 pieces away from going the distance and everyone had to know that...thus it was terrible asset management.
I see your point. We weren't winning the cup last season anyway so why potentially hurt the future. But I see the reward outweighing the risk. Plus having a guy like Stepan in the system who has steadily improved since getting drafted, makes picks more expendable, IMO.

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01-01-2010, 07:34 AM
  #17
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Originally Posted by Choice View Post
having a guy like Stepan in the system who has steadily improved since getting drafted, makes picks more expendable, IMO.
I honestly don't see how having good junior players makes picks expendable. The only thing that makes picks expendable, IMO, is having a very good, young NHL team. If you have a very good, young NHL team, you can lose the chance at another good young player. In other words, Stepan might help make a second rounder expendable if and when he makes it to the NHL and proves himself a good player.

To broadway blue's main point, I agree. There seems little point in spending a 2nd rounder for a team that's not going anywhere in the playoffs, and that team was going nowhere. Is it definite that the second rounder will play in the NHL? Nope it's only a maybe.

On the other hand, the playoff drive wasn't even a maybe for anyone who could look at least year's team with an objective eye. There were far too many holes for that team to go anywhere when it had to play only the best teams night-in-night-out.

On the thread topic, keep feelers out. If a good deal comes along that will improve the future, take it. There's little in our "present" that we should worry so much about sacrificing.

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01-01-2010, 08:15 AM
  #18
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I don't think we should necessarily concede a bottom end playoff spot but I'd be pushing the young guys to get there more than relying on the old vets who don't always play with very much enthusiasm.

The Rangers are a mediocre team. Quick fixes might give us short term benefits but in the long run they're likely to hurt the team. Whatever the short term benefits are this team isn't going to win a championship this year or next. Best to identify your young core--including future players already in the organization and hold on to them.

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01-01-2010, 08:34 AM
  #19
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Stay as close as possible in the playoffs race, try to prepare the future but no dumb moves at the deadline, and all that without "giving up", aka tanking the season.

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01-01-2010, 09:10 AM
  #20
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I don't have a problem making the deal the Rangers did to get Morris. Part of the benefit of developing a farm system is to provide assets. Not every prospect becomes an important member of the core. Having a deep prospect pool allows such a deal. I'd rather give up prospects that have value, but, are either redundant in the system, or do not necessarily fit what the front office is trying to build, than give up a 2nd or 3rd round pick of unknown value. This organization has finally begun to produce quality prospects, and appear to be better at the draft table. With Clark in charge, I believe our picks have more value now.

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01-01-2010, 09:22 AM
  #21
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How to approach? #2.
  1. Assign Redden to the AHL. Have nothing to lose. Again, if he refuses to report, you can terminate his contract. All good stuff.
  2. Look for a Rozsival trade partner. HEAVILY.
  3. In lieu of these two moves, find a bruiser defenseman DEFINITELY and attempt to find a decent two-way defender to replace them.
  4. Waive Voros, Lisin, Boyle.
  5. Attempt to trade Higgins and Kotalik. If you can't trade Kotalik, keep him, don't waive him. Even though he's terrible, he's still a PP asset and you don't want to risk paying half his contract due to re-entry waivers if the playoffs become possible or for other reasons.
  6. Call up Grachev/Byers.
  7. Keep Drury. Don't do anything with him, we'll eat the rest of his two years. He may be terrible now offensively, streaky, and all else, but he's a gamer and performer. Redden's the contract that has to be moved.

At this point, I don't have a lineup for you. I'm not going to predict trades. There's really no point in that. These are just the steps I think should be taken.

Lineup after on a guess?

Prospal-Dubinsky-Gaborik
X-Drury-Callahan
Grachev-Anisimov-X
Byers-Christensen-Brashear

Staal-MDZ
Girardi-X
Gilroy-X

Lundqvist
X

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01-01-2010, 09:31 AM
  #22
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The Rangers made a good trade for Antropov and made a good decision not re-signing him. The Rangers were receiving a compensatory selection for Alexei Cherepanov so they could afford to trade their 2nd round pick for a rental. Kenny Ryan is no Derek Stepan. People act like the Antropov trade is going to haunt the franchise. You can't collect assets and refuse to move them for immediate help.

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01-01-2010, 09:39 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerBoy View Post
The Rangers made a good trade for Antropov and made a good decision not re-signing him. The Rangers were receiving a compensatory selection for Alexei Cherepanov so they could afford to trade their 2nd round pick for a rental. Kenny Ryan is no Derek Stepan. People act like the Antropov trade is going to haunt the franchise. You can't collect assets and refuse to move them for immediate help.
How does having an extra 2nd round pick make it any less valuable? There's no logic there. And who in the organization told you we would have selected Kenny Ryan? I'm not saying the Antropov trade in singularity is going to haunt the franchise...but it's absolutely indicative of the types of trade that will. Short term band aids (that lead to nothing of significance) at the expense of a stronger team in the future.

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01-01-2010, 01:20 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerBoy View Post
People act like the Antropov trade is going to haunt the franchise.
Really? Who? Name those people who "act like the Antropov trade is going to haunt the franchise."

Jesus Christ I hate strawman arguments. Can't some of you simply deal with what's written rather than distort a position completely beyond what was said? WTF?


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01-01-2010, 01:41 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerBoy View Post
The Rangers made a good trade for Antropov and made a good decision not re-signing him. The Rangers were receiving a compensatory selection for Alexei Cherepanov so they could afford to trade their 2nd round pick for a rental. Kenny Ryan is no Derek Stepan. People act like the Antropov trade is going to haunt the franchise. You can't collect assets and refuse to move them for immediate help.
Nobody is saying it's going to haunt the franchise. The point is that we didn't need immediate help because we weren't going to go deep into the playoffs to begin with.

Kenny Ryan has little to do with it because there's no assurance the Rangers were going to take him with that pick.

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