Let’s all be honest, no one actually has a clue as to what the Rangers are trying to do
It’s that time of year again. The time where everyone is an armchair GM or a “hockey insider”. Almost every hockey fan, blogger and beat writer is guilty of speculation. I will admit, I am one of them too.
Putting fans aside, because they propose trades like Rick Nash for Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie, bloggers do it based on what they see and read that makes sense. From there they will put together the most logical trade scenario with cap considerations and each team’s needs as well. Some bloggers even get the occasional info, mostly from 2nd and 3rd hand sources, like myself. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t.
However, this offseason, especially concerning the Rangers, even Hockey Insider info is basically a hot mess. Here is what we really know:
- The Rangers are doing a lot of talking with teams
- The Rangers are listening to basically offers on everyone
- Rick Nash and Derek Stepan are the two most discussed names
- The Rangers have 4 RFA’s they would like to retain
- The Rangers have some bad contracts they wish they could move
- The Rangers have cap issues (like a lot of top end teams)
- NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE HELL JEFF GORTON IS TRYING TO DO
Those are the facts as we know it. Some of the best in the biz have basically said so from Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie, Elliotte Friedman to NYR beat writer Larry Brooks. Still, when it comes down to nailing any info, they are all on different pages it seems.
At one point, McKenzie and others called the Rangers a dark horse for Steven Stamkos. Last night, Larry Brooks called it “nonsensical”. So who are we to believe here? Flip a coin at this point and it is likely to be more accurate.
Brooks noted this as well:
This is not going to be easy for the Rangers. One source reports that Gorton “is juggling about a half-dozen balls in the air” as the NHL prepares for Entry Draft Weekend in Buffalo that will follow Wednesday’s official expansion announcement and awards show in Las Vegas. Another source refers to the GM as “playing dominoes … when one piece falls, they’ll all fall in line.”
At least this reaffirms what all the Insiders are saying, and that is that the Rangers will be busy or at least trying really hard to make changes. Still, when I sit back and look at it closely, it’s possible that they don’t move a single major piece this offseason as well. I doubt it, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
That approach will certainly cost at least 1 of the 4 RFA’s, but losing Dylan McIlrath or even Kevin Hayes will not be Earth shattering because both are replaceable at this point in their careers. It still leaves us wondering, what is Gorton’s gameplan? What is his team building philosophy for the Rangers really look like?
The answer has eluded us all…even the Hockey Insiders.