What should the New York Rangers do with Patrik Nemeth?

What should the New York Rangers do with Patrik Nemeth?

The New York Rangers are strapped for cash this offseason. They have under $12 million in salary-cap space to spend despite a long list of restricted and unrestricted free agents hitting the market this summer. In order to free up cap space to afford to re-sign their most talented free agents, the Rangers will need to move on from one of their veteran defensemen. The New York Rangers need to move on from Patrik Nemeth after a disappointing 2021 season.

Why it is time to move on from Patrik Nemeth

The Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals this season. They were true underdogs that surpassed all expectations. The youth on the Rangers’ roster stepped up and overperformed. Meanwhile, 30-year-old defenseman Patrik Nemeth fell back and underperformed throughout the 2021 season. Nemeth is currently playing on a 3-year contract worth $7.5 million that he signed last summer ($2.5M AAV). The Rangers can no longer afford to keep Patrik Nemeth at this price point. They will have to trade or buy out Patrik Nemeth this offseason to stay in a financially viable position.

Patrik Nemeth was unproductive this past season. He played in 63 games, totaling only 7 points with a +/- of -9. He did, however, record 102 blocks, 115 hits, and 11 takeaways. Considering his production level, his contract’s AAV, and the Rangers’ lack of cap space, it seems inevitable that the BlueShirts trade or buyout Nemeth this offseason.

Patrik Nemeth’s playing time declined over the course of the season. He appeared in only 5 of the Rangers’ postseason games and posted a +/- of -5. The Rangers are a less efficient team with Nemeth on the ice.

The New York Rangers can free up a solid amount of cap space by either buying out Patrik Nemeth’s contract or trading him to another team:

Per CapFriendly’s buyout calculator, a Nemeth buyout would add $1.5M this offseason to work with. It’s even bigger in 2023-24, where the full $2.5M is back on the books. That’s just in time for Alexis Lafrenière, K’Andre Miller, and Filip Chytil’s new deals. There’s a -$1M penalty for two seasons after, which the Rangers can easily manage. – via Forever BlueShirts

The possibility of saving $1.5M in cap space this offseason and $2.5M in cap space next offseason is enticing. This possibility will likely lead the Rangers to move on from Patrik Nemet this offseason and invest their money elsewhere.

New York Rangers: Who should replace Alexandar Georgiev in 2022?

The New York Rangers will be replacing Alexandar Georgiev this offseason. Georgiev is a restricted free agent this offseason and it has been reported that the Rangers do not intend to extend a qualifying offer. The likely outcome is that New York trades Alexandar Georgiev’s right to another team. The Rangers will then be in need of a new backup goalie, but who could fulfill that position? Jaroslav Halak, Eric Comrie, and Scott Wedgewood are some players for them to consider.

What Jaroslav Halak could bring to the Rangers:

Jaroslav Halak has been a goalie in the NHL for an impressive 16 years. The 37-year-old goalie spent the 2021 season with the Vancouver Canucks on a one-year deal worth $3 million. Halak played in 17 games for the Canucks, starting 14 of those contests. Jaroslav Halak posted a .903 save percentage in 2021 as Vancouver’s backup goalie.

Jaroslav Halak is a veteran goalie who is best remembered for a legendary 53-save playoff performance with the Montreal Canadiens in 2010. Halak would provide the Blueshirts with veteran leadership and quality performance as a backup goalie. A contract to acquire Jaroslav Halak would be affordable, something necessary for the cap-strapped Rangers. In his 16-year career, Halak has recorded a .916 save percentage and 2.49 goals-against average. Jaroslav Halak could be identified as a prime candidate to play backup for Igor Shesterkin in 2022.

What Eric Comrie could bring to the Rangers:

Eric Comrie is a younger option for the Rangers to consider as Igor Shesterkin’s backup this offseason. Comrie played the 2021 season on a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets worth $750k. He played started 16 games for the Jets and played in a total of 19 games. Comrie boasted an impressive .920 save percentage this season with a 2.58 goals-against average.

Eric Comrie is entering his seventh season in the NHL. He has been a consistent presence on the waiver wire throughout his career, having four separate stints with the Jets and also spending time with Arizona, Detroit, and New Jersey. The New York Rangers could make sense as Eric Comrie’s fourth team in his career.

Also, the 6’1? netminder posted a .955 save percentage on unblocked shot attempts and a .944 expected save percentage during those same situations. That’s a difference of .011 points. The only other goaltender in the league that featured a higher differential was New York’s Igor Shesterkin (.012). – via Jets Nation

Comrie played on the league minimum salary last season and far exceeded all expectations. This offseason, Eric Comrie could be getting a salary worth around $1.5M AAV. His SV% for the season was 6th best among all NHL goaltenders, yet he played in only 19 games (64th in the NHL). Eric Comrie’s solid performance in limited playing time during the 2021 season could earn him a pay bump and even potentially a starting job this offseason. If the Rangers do pursue Eric Comrie this offseason, they will be looking to add a premium backup goalie for the 2022 season.

What Scott Wedgewood could bring to the Rangers:

Scott Wedgewood is a goalie that moved all around the league during the 2021 season. He played 3 games for the New Jersey Devils, 26 games for the Arizona Coyotes, and 8 games for the Dallas Stars. Wedgewood is another veteran goalie that will enter the 2022 season at 30 years old.

Scott Wedgewood played the 2021-2022 season on a one-year, $800k contract that he signed last July with the New Jersey Devils. In his 8 games with the Dallas Stars this season, Wedgewood was solid, posting a .915 save percentage (SV%) down the stretch. Wedgewood’s career SV% is a respectable .906 with a 3.10 goals-against average. Scott Wedgewood would be an affordable option for the Rangers this offseason.

Why the Rangers need to re-sign Frank Vatrano

rangers, Frank Vatrano

The New York Rangers need to make decisions on a few impending unrestricted free agents. The Rangers just wrapped up a surprising season that saw them make it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. Many of the key components of this playoff team, though, were playing on expiring contracts. Right-wing Frank Vatrano is one of those players that is set to become an unrestricted free agent. But Frank Vatrano is a player that the Rangers need to re-sign this offseason.

The Rangers need to re-sign Frank Vatrano

The Rangers acquired Frank Vatrano at the 2022 trade deadline. New York struck a deal with the Florida Panthers to put Vatrano in a blue shirt and the 28-year-old went on to have a productive season with the Rangers. He totaled 13 points (8 goals) in 22 regular-season games with New York and also added 13 points (5 goals) in 20 postseason contests.

Vatrano was playing on a three-year contract that he signed with the Florida Panthers worth $2.53M AAV. That deal expires in July and Vatrano is hoping to sign a new deal with the New York Rangers.

“I think I have some unfinished business here. I want to help this team win a Stanley Cup.” – Frank Vatrano on his desire to stay with the Rangers via Mollie Walker

In order for Frank Vatrano to complete that “unfinished business”, he will need to strike a new deal with the Rangers. This could be difficult to achieve, though, as the Rangers are tight on cap space. They have only about $12 million to spend and a slew of unrestricted free agents that are looking for new deals.

Frank Vatrano’s new deal could be worth about $3M-3.5M AAV, which might price him out of the Rangers’ range. There could be room to fit Vatrano under the cap depending on what Andrew Copp or Ryan Strome’s next contract looks like, as well as Kaapo Kakko. But a player of Frank Vatrano’s talents is worth the projected cap hit.

Frank Vatrano played on the same line as Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. The trio had some excellent chemistry and gave the Rangers a spark that propelled the team deep into the playoffs. If Chris Drury wants to keep his team in Stanly Cup contention, re-signing Vatrano would go a long way toward accomplishing that mission.

What should the New York Rangers do with Kaapo Kakko?

The New York Rangers have a dilemma regarding the former second-overall pick in 2019 Kaapo Kakko. Controversy surrounds the Rangers after head coach Gerard Gallant made a puzzling decision to bench Kakko for Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Rangers went on to lose this game, ending their season after a deep playoff run.

Gerard Gallant’s decision to make Kaapo Kakko a healthy scratch has clouded the 21-year-old winger’s future in New York. Kakko was once viewed as a promising young talent that would be featured in the Rangers’ lineup for years to come. But after three up-and-down seasons in New York, Kakko is now a restricted free agent and could be on his way out of the Big Apple. The Rangers need to make a decision on what they want to do with Kaapo Kakko.

What should the New York Rangers do with Kaapo Kakko?

Kaapo Kakko was benched for Dryden Hunt in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals, breaking up the “Kid Line” during the Rangers’ most crucial matchup. Gallant’s decision to scratch Kakko was not communicated ahead of time, as Kaapo said he knew “nothing” and “just saw the lineup.” Kakko is planning on using this scratch decision to motivate him in the future:

“I’m going to show that I’m better than that. You should put me in the lineup. I’m a good player.” – Kaapo Kakko on being a healthy scratch for Game 6 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals

As Kaapo Kakko looks to become a better player in the future, the Rangers need to decide whether he will try to do that in New York or elsewhere. New York is projected to have around $13 million in salary cap space this offseason. They also have a slew of other impending free agents to make decisions on, including Copp, Strome, Vatrano, and others. Is Kaapo Kakko worthy of a second contract?

Injuries play a factor when considering Kakko’s future with the team. Kakko appeared in only 42 games this season. This could be argued as a reason to let the 2019 first-round pick walk in free agency, but it could also be used as a point to sign Kakko to a cheapened contract.

Kaapo Kakko has not exactly lived up the hype of his second-overall draft selection. He scored a career-high in points during his rookie season (23) and only managed to contribute 18 points in 2021. There is still a lot of untapped potential in Kaapo Kakko, though, as he is only 21-years-old. The Rangers should hope to extend Kaapo Kakko for two-to-three years at around $3-3.5 million. But, of course, as a restricted free agent, a number of teams could be interested in Kakko and send in offer sheets.

New York Rangers recall defenseman Braden Schneider from Hartford

rangers

The New York Rangers announced today that they have recalled defenseman Braden Schneider from the Hartford Wolfpack. He has been appointed to the main roster immediately, bypassing the taxi squad. Also, in the announcement is that the Rangers have reassigned defensemen Nils Lundkvist and Tarmo Reunanen as well as goaltender Tyler Wall to Hartford.

Schneider was drafted 19th overall in the 2020 NHL entry draft. The Rangers were so high on him that they traded a 1st and 3rd in that draft to Calgary so they could grab him.

While he only has 9 assists in 24 games for Hartford, Schneider isn’t paid to score. The 6’2″, 210lb 20 year old from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, was drafted as a hard-nosed stay-at-home defenseman. But in the AHL, he has shown flashes of quick outlet passes and agile skating.

 

As long as Covid doesn’t change things, Braden Schneider should be able to get into Thursday’s game against the Sharks at the SAP Center in San Jose. Because the Rangers’ top 4 defensemen is set with Lindgren-Fox and Miller-Trouba, look for him to slot into the 3rd pairing with Patrick Nemeth. This would end up being the 5th Defenseman that Nemeth has been paired with this year. Previously he has been with Tinordi, Jones, Lundkvist, and Hajek. None of them have been very impressive.

With Lundkvist, Reunanen, and Wall being sent down, it’s still to be seen what the goal in all of these moves is. Are the Rangers showcasing their young players as potential trade chips at the deadline? Are they using the multitude of Covid absences to gauge the NHL readiness of many young prospects? Is it all of the above?

New York Rangers Vs. Nashville Predators Gameday Preview 12/12/2021

ryan strome, rangers

The first-place New York Rangers are back on the ice today versus the tough as nails Nashville Predators. The Rangers are looking to continue their winning ways after defeating the Sabres on Friday night. The victory came because of a called-back goal due to offsides. The Rangers have been on a tear for the last month winning 12 of their last 14 games.

Bounce back wins and beating teams that they should beat has become a calling card for this year’s Rangers team. They haven’t lost more than 1 game in a row since their Western Canadian trip in early November. During that trip, they lost 3 games in a row. Since then, they have only lost 2 total games. One against the the Toronto Maple Leafs, and one against the Colorado Avalanche.

It looks like Alexander Georgiev will start in goal for the second straight game after posting the win against Buffalo. Igor Shesterkin has been on the ice practicing this week, but is not ready yet according to New York Rangers Head Coach Gerard Gallant.

What To Watch For

Ryan Strome and Nils Lundkvist have been taking it easy due to some suspected non-covid related illness that may be going around. They are expected to be in the lineup.

– Tonight, Chris Kreider will become the 22nd Ranger in team history to play in at least 600 regular-season games for the Rangers.

– The Nashville Predators currently lead the league in fighting majors. So look for things to be very physical tonight. Tonight will be a good test to see how the Rangers’ team toughness has changed them.

Adam Fox has the second-most assists in the NHL and leads all defensemen with 24A and 29 Pts.

Main takeaways as New York Rangers tally 7th straight victory in win over Blackhawks

New York Rangers, Artemi Panarin

The New York Rangers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 for their 7th victory in a row on Tuesday night. The game was highlighted by not only Artemi Panarin scoring his 500th point of his career but also by a booming hit by Jacob Trouba that sent Juuhar Khaira to the hospital on a stretcher.

The Rangers got out to an early lead 1:01 into the 1st period on a Jacob Trouba bomb from the right circle. The feed from Artemi Panarin was his 500th point in just 497 games. Becoming just the 49th player in NHL history to accomplish this feat. Panarin capped off the night with another assist and 2 more goals, including an empty netter and the 1st star of the game.

In a scarier moment, at 13:50 into the 2nd period, Juuhar Khaira accepted a pass from behind him while exiting the defensive zone. His head was down while he was trying to find the puck, and Jacob Trouba stepped up and laid a huge hit on him. No penalty was called because it looked like the initial point of contact was Khaira’s chest. The only reason his head/chin was hit was because his head was down. Not because Trouba was headhunting.

 

This game was indicative of what has become Rangers hockey. They do not give an inch, all four lines forecheck, and they stick up for each other. This was apparent after a very questionable hit from behind on Dryden Hunt by Ryan Carpenter. Ryan Strome came screaming in and dropped the gloves, and started throwing punches in a true show of camaraderie. What happened last year after the Tom Wilson incident will not happen again with this current team. Bet on it.

Rangers Game Notes

Alexander Georgiev stood tall in net tonight. Saving 24 of 26 shots for a .923 save percentage for the Rangers. It took his record this year to 4-1-1 with a .876 SV%. His playing well in goal the last 2 ½ games has been a huge boost for this team with Igor Shesterkin out. Igor is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury he sustained on Friday night against the Sharks.

Chris Kreider scored a Power play goal for his 17th goal of the season. This was also his 10th power-play goal of the season so far. Is this the year he finally scores 30?

– This win marked the 7th win in a row for the Rangers and the 11th win in the last 12 games.

Mika Zibanejad is now on a 13 game scoreless streak. Although he does have 10 apples in that timespan

– Jacob Trouba had the 1st “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” by a defenseman since Brian Leetch in1988

New York Rangers Vs. Chicago Blackhawks Gameday Preview 12/7/2021

rangers, nhl

On the tails of a comeback victory in front of a raucous Madison Square Garden crowd on Saturday night, the New York Rangers play the second game of a home and home series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Rangers are looking to continue their recent winning ways, having won 6 straight, and 10 of their last 11. With 10 of those victories being won by one goal. The Rangers have figured out how to keep a late lead after struggling with it earlier in the season. Their 6-game win streak is the longest streak for the Rangers since a 6-game stretch in 2017.

New York Rangers Game Day Notes

– Adam Fox is expected to be in the lineup tonight after he took a maintenance day yesterday and didn’t practice. He has a six-game assist streak going in which he has notched eight assists.

Artemi Panarin is looking to become the 49th player in NHL history to score 500 points in 457 games or less. This feat is even more impressive, considering Panarin was never even drafted.

– Alexander Georgiev is in net again tonight for the Rangers after an impressive showing against the Blackhawks on Saturday night.

– Marc-Andre Fleury is making his 900th NHL appearance tonight. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is currently sitting at 499 career wins. His next win will give him 500 victories, joining an elite group of just two other goalies to achieve at least 500 victories. Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy.

Rangers’ Alex Lafreniere knows he must leave struggles behind: ‘I have to be better’

alex lafreniere, rangers

As a generational prospect, Alexis Lafreniere of the New York Rangers knows he must perform better in the coming games. Last season, during his first campaign at the NHL level, Alexis played in 56 games, scoring 12 goals and recording nine assists. He enjoyed 13:53 minutes of ice time on average but has seen a significant uptick this year to 15:42.

The Quebec native has scored two goals and earned one assist over seven games this season, recording two game-winning goals compared to four last year.

However, in the team’s most recent defeat to the Calgary Flames, head coach Gerard Gallant singled out the youngster for his poor performance: “I want more from Laffy.”

“For sure, I have to be better,” Lafreniere said. “It was a physical game, tough game and you have to be able to win your battles one-on-one, so no, it wasn’t good enough for me and we’ll try and fix some things and get back to it Friday night [at home against the Blue Jackets].

Alexis enjoyed 15:43 minutes of playing time, taking three shots on goal and recording a -1 +/-.

“In general, I think I played some good games on the first road trip, but I have to do the same things every game and be more consistent. I know exactly what I have to do better. You know when you play a bad game. I’ll be better on Friday.”

At 20-years-old, Lafreniere is still gaining his footing in the NHL against more physical and aggressive players. The team still expects him to become one of their star players, but it will take time. Out of the Rangers’ 12 listed forwards, Lafreniere played in the sixth most minutes, indicating he has a significant role.

Rangers send down Morgan Barron as they make way for return of Ryan Strome

ryan strome, rangers

The New York Rangers are preparing to take on the Calgary Flames at 7 PM on Monday evening, and they will be getting back one of their more prominent players, Ryan Strome.

On Monday afternoon, the team announced they had sent Morgan Barron down to the AHL. He will spend time with the Hartford Wolf Pack until the Rangers require his services once again, and it was clear he needs more time developing before he can take on a more serious role in the NHL. Over two games, Barron averaged 8:28 of ice time, picking up two penalties.

In Barron’s place, Strome, who recently returned to practice after entering COVID-19 protocol, will play against Calgary. The 28-Year-old center cleared isolation protocol, leaving Kaapo Kakko as the last piece to the puzzle waiting to return.

Strome is an important part of the Rangers’ strategy and plan, playing in 56 games last year and contributing 14 goals and 35 assists. He spent 18:16 on the ice per game, contributing three power-play goals and 321 face-off wins.

Replacing Barron will give the Rangers an advantage against Calgary, as their opponent has lost two of the first four games. The Rangers, on the other hand, are coming off a stellar four-game road winning streak, scoring three goals in the third period against the Ottawa Senators to escape with a victory over the weekend.