AV says “no untouchables” and his comments on Dan Girardi sounds like the Rangers may have changed their position on him

Vigneault (MARTIN ROY, LE DROIT)

Vigneault (MARTIN ROY, LE DROIT)

Yesterday at a golf outing, Rangers head coach, Alain Vigneault spoke with the French Media about the team’s need for change. “We’re at a point where there’s probably no untouchables,” he said.

“In the past five years, the core of our training has hardly changed,” Vigneault explained. “Myself, it’s been three years that I am here. With managers, we look for ways to bring some new blood, some new energy within our group.” 

According to NHL Numbers, the Rangers were 2nd only to the Florida Panthers in average age (28.034 to 28.206 respectively). So it is not shocking that the Rangers feel the need to get younger. That explains why they will not be bringing back Eric Staal (30) Dominic Moore (34) and Viktor Stalberg (29) this offseason.

That does lead me to believe that re-signing their 4 RFAs this summer (Kreider, Miller, Hayes and McIlrath) are a high priority. In doing so, tough decisions are going to need to be made and Rick Nash will likely be the lead candidate to start the infusion of “new blood”. His 7.8M cap hit off the books can get that done.

“We all know that in the NHL [in the era] of the salary cap, it’s very difficult to make trades,” Vigneault stated. “There haven’t been many…The [free] agent market, we know, has been more active.” This likely means that the Rangers may try and open up some additional cap space and look to find players there. Vigneault emphasized this will be an interesting few weeks for the organization.

One player that seemed off the table was Dan Girardi. As per the NYPOST, the Rangers won’t entertain a buyout or ask him to waive his no trade clause. This seems in contrast to what Alain Vigneault said about there being “no untouchables”. It also gets more complicated if you try and read into this quote.

[su_quote cite=”leDroit” url=”http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lapresse.ca%2Fle-droit%2Fopinions%2Fchroniqueurs%2Fsports%2Fsylvain-st-laurent%2F201605%2F30%2F01-4986639-pas-dintouchables-a-new-york.php%3F_branch_match_id%3D266150107424626871″]”He’s a warrior. However, when the body has difficulty to follow because many injuries, there are always limits to what an athlete can accomplish, “said the coach, halfway between pessimism and realism.[/su_quote]

Is it possible that Rangers management is rethinking their position on Girardi? Should they find a way to get him to waive his no move clause? It is very possible by AV’s comments as a whole. The finances of a buyout are not conducive to long term success for the Rangers as we detailed here. So a trade seems the only likely out.

An interesting summer indeed, Mr. Vigneault.