Breaking down Brooks’ article and Rangers not buying out Dan Girardi

Girardi (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Girardi (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Late yesterday evening, Larry Brooks of the NYPOST sent Rangers fans buzzing (mostly in outrage) with his latest scoop on the Rangers off-season plans. This post will either continue to keep you yelling at the clouds, give credence to your positions or provide you with some rational insights.

If you haven’t read Brooks’ article go here first.

To those who think he’s full of it, just realize that he is beyond the shadow of a doubt the most linked in beat writer out there. In some instances, he is fed information straight from the Rangers themselves. Did you think he bugged Sather’s office all those years?

Rangers will NOT buyout Dan Girardi

Girardi buyout breakdown

Girardi buyout breakdown

The fact that Brooks reported what I told you the Rangers would do last week on Girardi makes me smile. Not because I think Girardi is one the league’s best or because I think he will rebound and find his 2014 form (because I don’t). It’s because it proves that committing cap suicide because fancy stats folks think addition by subtraction is the way to go, is wrong.

As you can see by the breakdown on the left, the dead cap space between 2017-2020 is absolutely unbearable. Especially in a league with such parity.

Here’s what really sent those who can’t stomach Girardi either by eye test or through analytics bat-shit crazy.

“In addition, sources report management has not requested the alternate captain to waive his no-move clause (which will be replaced by a modified no-trade following 2016-17). Further, no such request is expected.”

Just because they won’t ask him to waive it, doesn’t mean if a suitor asks about his availability now or at the NHL trade deadline, they won’t approach him. It also could mean that he already made it clear that he would not waive under any circumstance this season.

FullTilt Take: The Rangers made the right move financially for this season. Next year they can trade him and even if they have to retain 2M of his salary for three years, it would still be 1.75M cheaper than a buyout and would be done by 2019-20. It’s good business after a bad contract. You don’t cut your nose off to spite your face. Didn’t these armchair GM’s learn that when they were kids?

Keith Yandle likely a goner and Rangers UNLIKELY to pursue Kevin Shattenkirk

Brooks states that Yandle is not committed to becoming a UFA but that his price tag of around 6.5M a year will be too rich for GM, Jeff Gorton’s blood. Fact is, we already know that Boston and Dallas are getting ready to give him just that or more.

What I was surprised by was this, “sources indicate the Blueshirts are extremely unlikely to pursue St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk in a trade.” Brooks reasoned, “With only one year at a reasonable $4.25 million remaining on his contract, it likely would take a six-year commitment at upward of $6.5 million per to keep Shattenkirk off the 2017 open market. That’s an investment the Rangers are not going to be willing to make.”

FullTilt Take: I wrote here that the Rangers should already start planning for life after Yandle. So there’s no shock at all. As for not going after Shattenkirk, that’s a little confusing. The Rangers could actually afford him next summer if they were to trade or buy out Dan Girardi then. While a buyout isn’t a great option, it would be slightly better and for less years. Maybe they don’t think Shattenkirk is that good? Maybe.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 9.53.10 AM

Almost Everyone Is Available For A Trade!

Rick Nash (All Star Game -JAMIE SABAU/NHLI VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Rick Nash (All Star Game -JAMIE SABAU/NHLI VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Let’s just drop the quote right here from Brooks:

“Of course Rick Nash is available — as is everyone in the organization other than Henrik Lundqvist, Brady Skjei and Pavel Buchnevich. The Rangers, we’re told, are prepared to listen to offers for everyone.”

This one paragraph sent NYR fans and bloggers alike up the wall. The insults they hurled at Girardi, Gorton, Sather and to a much lesser degree myself over my logical take was pure comedy. The Rangers need to make changes, that’s obvious. Sadly, you can’t just roll up your worst players that you disparage daily and expect some GM to hand you better players or prospects. No you need to offer value. In other words, you have to find a way to get them in the store.

Have you ever been to a yard sale? As soon as you pull up you see a nice looking new mountain bike. You think to yourself, “let me stop the car and see what they want for it.” You look it over, go to the owner and find out he wants $600 for it. You’re thinking to yourself, “Are they crazy? It’s a yard sale!”

All of a sudden, you spot on the table a decent looking fishing pole. You find their price reasonable and make the deal. You didn’t get the mountain bike, but you just got a real good fishing pole and intend on using it tomorrow. That’s how deals are made.

FullTilt Take: The Rangers need to change it up, so why wouldn’t you explore as many offers as possible. You have no idea what people are looking for sometimes until you get them to the negotiating table.

Minnesota Wild want Derek Stepan

Now this was probably the biggest bombshell Brooks dropped in the entire piece. Let’s get this straight, the Wild could ask for the Minnesota native, Stepan all they want. It doesn’t mean it will happen. However, what could the Rangers be looking for in exchange?

Lyle Richardson wrote today, As for the Wild’s supposed interest in Stepan, no word from Brooks as to what the Rangers seek in return or who the Wild are offering in return. I’m assuming it would be a defenseman as that’s where the Wild have the depth to deal from.

FullTilt Take: Unless that defenseman is Matt Dumba or Jared Spurgeon it’s a non starter. I would also expect a forward in return. I don’t think the Wild have what it takes to pry Stepan out of NY.

Stamkos on the Rangers is Extremely Remote

Yesterday, I basically all but killed the idea here, so I’m not surprised. I will add this very important quote from Brooks to cement it.

“Aside from the matter of being unable to insure Stamkos’ contract against a recurrence of the blood-clot condition that has sidelined him (though it is not likely to be an aside for teams pursuing No. 91), the Rangers essentially would have to clear $16 million of space in order to sign No. 91 and fill in the remainder of the roster.”

FullTilt Take: It’s basically impossible.

Rangers to go after Jimmy Vesey

Per Brooks: Expect the Rangers to be in big-time on pending free-agent winger Jimmy Vesey of Harvard, who will become available on Aug. 15 when the Predators lose the rights to the 66th overall selection of the 2012 entry draft.

Here’s a scouting report on the kid via Hockey’s Future:

Vesey is a big winger who is a skilled passer and sees the game well. He is more than just an up-and-down player as he possesses skill and smarts that make him a dangerous player in the offensive zone. Vesey does not shy away from the physical game but could be more active in that area. His defensive zone coverage is inconsistent at times.

FullTilt Take: Rangers need to stockpile the young talent so they should absolutely go for him.

Conclusion

I’ve been in the business world for almost 25 years. I’ve spent the last 10 in management positions as well as the last 5 in a corporate role. One of the things I learned is to “sit on my hands”. In essence, no matter what information or issues hit you don’t respond without thinking about it first.

An emotional reaction is usually never a good thing in business. Hockey and the Rangers are essentially that, a business. Yes, we are all emotionally invested but you can’t make good decisions off of that.

Step back and digest information. Take it in and view several different angles. You’ll find that in business and in life it will take you further.