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Barring something unforeseen, Marc Staal is going to get paid at some point during the next twelve months. The 2014-15 season will be the fifth and final year of a $19.875M deal he signed in 2010, and Larry Brooks speculates that negotiations for an extension will begin at a $5.5M average annual value. At this point in time, I hope it’s a team other than the Rangers that commits long-term to Staal.
Bill Goldthorpe over at Save By Richter made it clear last week he believes the Rangers missed their best opportunity to trade Staal, which would have meant moving him at the draft. With that scenario out of the question, the next best time to move Staal would be taking the Ryan Callahan route, trading him mid-season for a return that is preferable to letting him walk for nothing in the summer.
Trading Staal at or around the trade deadline would likely be an awkward and unpopular decision, assuming that the Rangers will be in playoff position. But management would be wise to take advantage of Staal’s reputation around the league and his last name to secure a return that exceeds his on-ice value.
The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they’ve hired Dan Lacroix, the Rangers’ assistant coach you’ve likely forgotten about.
Lacroix joined the Rangers last summer and served as the “eye in the sky” for the club, with Arniel and Samuelsson serving as the assistants behind the bench.
Montreal presumably wants Lacroix to replace the grizzly look behind the bench that Gerard Gallant took to Florida. #snarl
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After spending the 2013-2014 season in Switzerland, Matthew Lombardi signed a 2 year, $1.6 million with the Rangers on July 16th. Lombardi, who led the Swiss league in points last season, has only played 90 NHL games since suffering a bad concussion, not his first by the way, in 2010. Interestingly, Lombardi was set to return to Switzerland until the Rangers called.
Given his recent history, Lombardi has an unreliable track record post-concussion in terms of figuring out how useful he could be this season. Also, Lombardi has played almost his entire career in the Western Conference, making him more unknown, at least to me, though I suspect other Ranger fans don’t know that much about him.
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The NHL allows for a maximum of 23 players on an NHL roster, meaning a maximum allotment of 2 spares outside of the 18 skaters and 2 goalies that dress every game. However, as teams are required to carry the cap-hit of any player on their NHL roster, that’s a luxury the Rangers cannot, and should make no attempt to, afford.
The Rangers should be able to field a 21-man roster with approximately $1.3 million of cap space, even giving John Moore a generous raise:
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The Rangers and Derick Brassard agreed to a $25 million / 5 year deal [$5M per] a day in advance of his arbitration hearing. With the deal, the Rangers buy four years of Brassard’s unrestricted free agent eligibility.
Pat Leonard reports on the contract structure:
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The upcoming season is a big one for J.T. Miller. The Rangers are reportedly expecting big things from the 21 year old this season.
Miller has 12 points in 60 career NHL games, numbers that don’t exactly scream top-nine forward at the NHL level. But there’s reason to believe those numbers don’t fully give him the offensive credit he deserves. In his two seasons at the NHL level, the Rangers had on ice save percentages of 5.37% and 3.61%–startlingly low figures. When the pucks don’t go in, they don’t award points.