Henrik Lundqvist isn't the only high profile Ranger having difficulties working out an extension with the club, as Ryan Callahan says this about his negotiations (via New York Post)...
“There’s absolutely nothing going on with that. It’s something that will take care of itself. I’ll play this year and see what happens after that.”
...it's crazy that Rangers fans, myself included, are leery of bringing back Lundqvist and Callahan on lucrative, long term deals. I mean, who wouldn't want to see both of these guys end their careers in a Blueshirt? But at the end of the day, it's about the name on the front of the jersey, not the back. It's never a smart idea to base a contract on nostalgia.
...i've said it before, but giving long term deals to a 31-year old goaltender and an injury prone forward will only lead to more mediocrity for this franchise. Sather needs to offer high paying, short term deals to these two and be willing to walk away if they're not interested in those terms. The best time to unload your top players is when they're at the pinnacle of their career, because the only one way for them to go is down and it's when you can get the greatest return. Sure the Rangers might get a few decent years out of them, but at the end of those max deals the Blueshirts will more likely be planning retirement ceremonies than Stanley Cup celebrations. Just ask the Yankees.
...if the Rangers want to be a progressive organization, not only should they be negotiating short term extensions with guys like Lundqvist, Callahan and Girardi, they also need to be scouring the league for their replacements if those negotiations fall through.
Also similar to Lundqvist, Callahan has been struggling this season as he's scored just twice in the last 12 games and has not been providing the physical element we're all used to from the Rangers Captain...
“I’m struggling to score and want to contribute more offensively, but I’m working hard to make sure that I don’t slip in other areas of my game. It seems like I go through something like this every year. I need to stay focused. I think I can be better. I need to be better.”
...i wonder if this is just a slump or Callahan's body beginning to break down from the punishment it has taken over the years. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Drury-like fall off from Callahan once he enters his 30s.
...if Lundqvist and Callahan aren't able to turn their games around this season, they are literally going to cost themselves millions in free agency. Their agents must be going nuts.
Saw this article about the Knicks. We're putting a lot of the Rangers issues on Dolan not holding Sather accountable, more concerned with revenue than wins. Wonder how the Islanders impending move will affect that mindset.
"Progressive" is the key word for this article for me. We're usually the ones giving up youngsters for the 31 yr. old who declines in blue, and where has that gotten us? I'm not advocating loosing either of these key core players but sometimes you do have to part ways if negotiations don't fit the design of the team. I'm more concerned about Cally leaving then Henry, I think something will get done there. Cally tweaked his repaired shoulder I'm willing to bet. When was the last time you saw him not hit everything on 2 skates? That's what I thought.
Shoot the Goalie made a great point which I think in answering points to the seminal issue here.
He says "look at the teams Hank has had in front of him."
Excellent point, but it begs the 64,000 question:
If they can't assemble a winning team with more money distributed in front of him and he in his prime, what makes you think they can assemble a winning team with less money distributed in front of him and him being not as good?
i love how everyone says we are a team of 3rd liners like there are teams all over stacked with crosby's 3 lines deep. we have MANY above average offensive players, and some of the best skating D in the league; yes skating is a skill just watch faulk try and defend. so to say the rangers are this lunchpale 3rd line crew just is plain false.
hank and callahan are the last problem we have. beeN saying it all along these boys need to be paid so they can concentrate on winning. imagine we make the cup? you expect hank to play a game 7 say in anaheim and be at his best when he may be free agent days later. its ridiculous. Any1 ever think that if hank has a sick year his price could actually go up?? sign them both, girardi too. cally will get his 5 mill, girardi his 3 and hank his 7. done.
callahan is 20 games into a season in which he had no training camp, no offseason, played the playoffs with a multiply torn shoulder , works his ass off to get back and then breaks his finger. he plays at full steam and needs to be givin the benefit of the doubt, period.
I think we can all agree on this... With a new coach, expiring contracts, these next two years will shape our next 5 years plus...
They either commit to the young guys in the minors (JT, Linburg, kristo, mash, Mllrath, Allen) it will be interesting to see how they pan out as well as how the rangers choose to spend their money. Or they trade some of them and spend a little more money on other free agents..
With the emergence of Kreider, and Kristo tearing it up it seems to me he is the start of a second line that can score next year.. Now you need to surround him with a center and another forward that scores.. Now is Zucc the answer... Not sure.
Buyout richards, sign another scoring forward with his money, put him on a line with Kristo, JT Miller.. NOw Zucc is on a third line with hags possibly and another speedy forward.
Form the hard hitting, gritty line that we all know needs to be formed (i hate to say it, like Boston).. Put Mash there (who has skill and toughness) get an Ott from Buffalo and the maybe dorrsett..
NOW I thought this up on the fly and while I sitting at work so dont go bashing me if I missed things but the point I am trying to make is we have players and money to work with coming up and its going to be interesting to see what the rangers do for sure
We are at the crossroads of the old rangers and the new rangers to be for the next five years and I hope they make the right moves to get us to the Elite level.
this team has been stuck in mediocrity for far to long now and Hank and Calli are not helping with there play a of late m not saying throw them out the door but no 8 yrs million per deal for either of them or time to move on
Everyone relax...jeez! It's very easy to isolate events and exaggerate events as they occur throughout the season but sometimes the big picture is elusive. For all those already claiming that Callahan is starting his "decline" need to remember all the times we've yelled "oh captain" at the tv after scoring a clutch goal. IMHO, Callahan is injured. Furthermore, as great of a player he is, Callahan was never going to be much more than a solid, hard working, 20-goal scorer. Expecting anything more than that is unreasonable. He is where he is because of his leadership and willingness to play his gritty style and that is all (which is more than commendable)! Stop with the "decline" talk already. He must be playing injured as we've all seen, or the lack thereof, of his physical play. He'll be back to his old form in no time.
And for those folks calling for a shake-up after not winning a cup in 20 years...what more of a shake-up do you want after personnel-changes, coaching changes and and over-all change in playing style. Dolan, Sather?
Fear not, Blueshirt faithful...Lord Stanley's cup is so coveted because it's the hardest trophy to obtain. We'll get ours again!
I'm really surprised Dolan and Sather haven't figured out a way to circumvent the cap yet. Like signing Hank for $3 mil/season, then make him the spokesman for Cablevision for another $4 or $5. Its not like there's any shortage of money...
Thank you! Thank you! Thank-effing-you! It is what I've been saying forever, but fans are just that. Remember, it is short for "fanatic". If they had their way Messier would still be playing. I clipped this from another poster who nailed it and told him I was going to simply cut and paste it as a reply to all those loons who literally lose their shit when the conversation turns to letting Hank go:
"You're not getting it dude. No one denies Hank is the best player on the team, is better than Talbot and has been extremely consistent over the past 8 years. The position the "trade Hank" group is taking is that this team has so many holes it would not be wise to use up $8MM of cap space on one position and that we could use Hank as an asset to get multiple pieces back in return. We're thinking long term. We already know what will happen if we have Hank in net and a bunch of third liners skating around him. It's time to see what would happen if we had a lesser goalie in net but more depth throughout the lineup. In the end we could be Fed, but what do we have to lose? The team can't possibly improve with $8MM committed to the King over the next 6-8 years."
@Say my Name Thanks for the shout out on the quote, but in fairness, you took it out of context...lol.
I stated "look at the teams Hank has had in front of him" meaning that Hank puts up stellar numbers while playing for mediocre teams. A lot of people talk about Renney/Torts bringing the NYR back to respectability, but one could say it was because they had Hank as their goalie. If not for Hank, the NYR are a perennial "no-playoffs" team. My quote was stressing how important Hank is to the NYR and how he is worth signing to a big contract (albeit not a ludicrous one) which goes against your thinking.
With that said, want to make 2 more points that are worth mentioning:
1) The problem is not that giving too much money to Hank will hamstring the team in the future, especially if Hank declines in skill (I think he has 6-7 more elite years ahead of him - look at Fatso) You need to spend money on the contracts worth spending, and Sather doesn't do that well. He's gotten better about it under the cap, but he has a tendency to overpay when it's not worth it (i.e. Richie). Hank is worth it, and who knows how the cap structure will change as we go later in the contract? Most likely there will be more room to accommodate the RIGHT players for the right money. This team underperforms because they are a bunch of expensive parts that don't fit, not because they don't have the resources to get the parts that fit. So NYR don't sign Hank, have all this money freed up, and then spend it on players who underperform...that's the problem you're looking at under a bad GM. The fault is on Sather for not using the money he has to create the best team. But maybe that's not what the NYR and Dolan really care about, which I've gotten into before, so I won't rehash.
2) Hank's trade value is not as high as many people think. He's a UFA in the last half year of a contract. Unless he guarantees an extension to whomever he gets traded to (if that scenario happens), he's not gonna demand high level talent unless that other high level talent is also under an expiring UFA contract. If you really want to get trade value and free up cap space for the NYR to make future moves to help the team, you gotta trade someone like Nash, who's locked up for a few more years. I don't want to trade Nash, but if you want trade value and open up money, he, out of all the players on the current roster, has the most attractive trade value to other teams right now IMHO.
@Say my Name I'm curious to your thinking. You've made it clear that you don't think signing Hank long term is a good idea. What do you think would be a good idea beyond not signing him? What would be your plan for putting together a team that can compete for the Cup in the near future? Not calling you out, just curious.
@DubiLeetch haha...aweosme...and so true. They're exaggerating for effect, but you know what they are trying to say.
@DubiLeetch You got this all backwards. In the business world you get paid on the basis of how you are performing, not passed performances. Kevin is correct in his assessment in he's article.
Show me what you can due now not what you'd done in the passed. You'll never win the cup based on what the players have done years passed. Now is what counts and neither Cally or hank deserve a big contract based on how they're playing now.
@DubiLeetch Amen. The guy constantly outworks 2 or 3 opposing players every shift. As long as it's not injury-related, he'll be fine.
The team definitely needs more bite, so hopefully McIllrath can provide that from within the organization, along with Connor Allen. After that, the future of Kristo and JT Miller looks bright, which helps solve the scoring drought.
@GraveyTrain9 Cally is awesome! I love the way he plays and what he has given. Still, he is a horrible investment...now. You can't pony up top end money to someone who earned the right into the discussion by playing a way that he simply cannot continue to play - certainly not enough to fulfill the next contract. He is a small man and physics are physics. Plus he has had shoulder surgery and no one is EVER the same after that...ever. I had mine by arguably the best in the world (David Altchek) and while I still rock climb and play hockey it is not quite the same. I have heard that from every single pro athlete I know as well.
As with every post 30 player you offer him good money and short years. That way you will only be on the hook for probably 1 "bad" year. Otherwise, gotta say goodbye.
@johnnyb3910 because the NHL will shut that down in a heartbeat
@johnnyb3910 too funny
you guys are making fantasy hockey moves. what precedent are you basing this off? no team has ever traded a huge star like that and rebounded quickly, if your point is trade him to start some sort of rebuild you have no point. whatt do you want back "trade lundqvis"t people, id love to hear the ridiculous people you want back
Say my name, that was in response to my post and I stand by everything I said. The only way we should trade Hank is if there's no chance of getting a deal done. As I previously stated, I understand your line of thought but don't agree. "The team can't possibly improve with $8MM committed to the King over the next 6-8 years." So if we lock up Hank, there's no chance we can improve the team around him?? Sorry but I don't agree at all. We have some expiring contracts coming up this season, good prospects and other players to trade away but not Hank. Not unless he is going to walk in free agency. As for the age thing, I think I've already made my point on that issue. Lundqvist is not over the hill for a goaltender.
@Say my Name i just keep reading the line "We already know what will happen if we have Hank in net and a bunch of third liners skating around him." So true...
@shoot_the_goalie @Say my Name Both good points and yes....there is a function of my wanting to not sign Hank that stems directly from the holes in the team that a good GM may have been able to address even while paying Hank. So...true....some of my leaning toward not signing Hank is due to the GM's horrible calls in other areas. I would be much more comfortable signing Hank if they could trade their GM. He can't make it work with Hank not being paid like a top 3 goalie, I can only imagine how bad it will be when he would have to work around a new contract for Hank. You are right though....and it brings out an excellent point....a btter GM could probably pay Hank and still "field" a good team in front of him.
@gravey94 @Say my Name Winning the Cup has always been about depth and talent. No surprise. The problem that the cap brings is that one has to be incredibly careful with the "stars". Yes they do offer the talent side of the equation, but it is now IMPOSSIBLE to keep them beyond their most productive years without compromising the depth side of the equation. So now getting a star is like trying to buy a ripe banana, but with the downside being if you miss it can really hamper you for years.
So, yes, the first thing you do is remove your love for the stars and let them go early rather than late with FULL awareness that you will be losing a couple of years of high productivity. Thus, Hank, Staal, Cally, etc..have to go. BUT....you have had them for their prime AND if you have done your job right you have others (not necessarily at the same positions) that will be in their prime that are bargains. So you don't NEED a goalie that is Hank's replacement so long as you have a star of similar production at another position that contributes to the overall talent of the team at the same relative bargain that Hank was for the first half of his career.
i.e. The Red Sox lose Ellsbury a superstar CF, but they had him for 3 rings and backfill with what is hopefully Xander Boegarts at SS who will be the equivalent to the overall team. And they get him at a relative bargain and avoid the backside of a 160 mil contract that will likely hurt the Yanks down the line. And this is in a sport WITHOUT a cap.
As to what I would do, it goes merely to following the above recipe that excellent franchises like the Patriots, Red Sox, Steelers, Braves stick to.
And before you state that there still is a Brady to account for I am way ahead of you. Yes. That is true. It doesn't mean that you are devoid of stars, just that you have to be very wise in choosing the ones you roll the dice on to spend money on as they age. To me it is a no brainer that goalie is NOT one of them. First, b/c goalies tend to be affected by any decline due to age much quicker than other players (due to the exposure of the position) and perhaps more important b/c history shows that having a top 3 goalie is less important to winning a cup than a team with more depth and the "star" talent being in non-goalie positions.
So as to exactly what the Rangers hold do should they free up the room from not paying Hank...I have no specific moves, other than getting younger, tougher, faster and CHEAPER so that there is more depth. I only emphatically claim that in order for the Rangers to NOT be what they have largely been over the past 80 years they have to adopt the strategy that winning teams use.
The specific moves I leave to the GM...which is frightening considering he still seems to value players that would have thrived in the 80's. But first things first...lol
Totally agree with you on the long-term for Cally. My post was more intended for the people who are too quick to play the blame game. I know us NY fans can be brutal on our beloved sports teams but sometimes folks just need to be reasonable!
What we have moving forward is fundamentally emotions vs. logic. We all know what the right thing to do is...
@DubiLeetch I've never suggested anyone to get back. In fact i think it is almost irrelevant. Yes, get back what you can, hopefully at least one player who starts and has some sort of impact. It is not about this year, or even next. It is the 4-5 years after that why you trade Hank. The logic being that if you can't win a Cup with Hank making good money and while in his prime, why do you think you can win a cup while paying him HUGE money and him by DEFINITION declining over the life of the contract? It's math dude.
@HJB91 HJ...Well, you're right...absolutes are probably not the best way to describe things. Impossible to get better? No. More difficult? Yes.
You are right about the expiring contracts too.
Still..I am one of the few that though i love Hank think he is overrated, which is hard b/c he is definitely a top 10 in my eyes, but top 3...no. - only once. Look at the stats. I think his stick handling contributes to a lot of extra pressure and I don't like the holes he has in his game high. That last bit is critical, bc as you get older the arm speed going up drops even more...doesn't bode well.
However, even pretending that he is say the BEST goalie in the world, I don't believe (and history supports this) that the BEST is necessary to win the Cup. I am less inclined to give ANY player monstrous money and years in a game that is perhaps more than any other determined by overall talent and depth.
DubiLeetch ... are you seriously 12 years old? In the real world, contracts are written as a guage of future performance. Past performance matters only as a way of predicting future results.
@johnnyb3910 @calithirteen Doesn't really work in baseball, and I think that's what the NHL is trying to avoid in order to prop up their weaker markets. As we see in MLB, the teams that spend more have greater success. (with the occasional exception) As annoying as the cap is sometimes, it has been effective thus far in the NHL. Maybe not in propping up the weaker markets, per se, but definitely creating parity throughout the league.
@DubiLeetch @Say my Name haha...maybe. I'm not really a fan anymore. I love hockey and love the Rangers, but sort of lost the love of the players and owners...only interested in my entertainment i.e. seeing a good product. It gets me in a lot of fights here. Lol. I totally get being a fan though. I was once too. Messier, Graves, Leetch, RICHTER!! etc... had someone suggested trading them to me back then....look out! :)
@DubiLeetch @Say my Name Agree totally. hank wasn't the problem...he was more integral to the success than anything! Just think of it as a car. Maybe a 610HP engine - though awesome - is not where to put most of your money when the rest of the car is a 1982 Pacer... Maybe spend less on the engine and upgrade to a Mustang you know?
@Say my Name @DubiLeetch i agree somewhat. they did have a very gung-ho season , all or none type effort which obviously torts stuggled to re-create but why get rid of the guy who stood on his head to get u there. idk, the team is certatinly flawed but i dont think hank and thet $ you pay him the flaw
@DubiLeetch @Say my Name Well, the one win away was a pretty remarkable and one could say unsustainable combination of effort and system. They were generally outclassed on the ice but never outworked and Hank literally stood on his head. I think that year was possibly the greatest coaching and greatest system for a had-nosed, less talented team (most of which is gone, or too old to play like that year after year).
That year may lead you to believe that it can be done, but i think it was fool's gold.
@HJB91 Agree, but not this year he's not!
@Say my Name @shoot_the_goalie @HJB91 I agree, we should make every effort to sign Hank to a reasonable contract which include money and length but we can not go crazy in the process. He is no longer the best goalie in the league. There are 4 or 5 goalies I'd rather invest then hank. So be sensible.
According to the votes of the NHL GM's Hank has been one of the top 3 goaltenders for 5 out of the 8 years he's played in the league.
@Say my Name @HJB91 Sorry, but Hank is not overrated. Stats are just one part of it. Look at the teams Hank has had in front of him. They are mediocre to above average, even the '12 team which dramatically overachieved, and he still puts up outstanding numbers. They once did an interview with a bunch of NHL players/GMs/coaches, and easily the majority said Hank was the toughest goalie to score on in the league. It's also been stated many times by people who know hockey that the NYR are a perennial "golfing" team without Hank.
With that said, yes, you are correct, it's not just a goalie who wins a Cup, but the goalie is the most influential part of a Cup winning team many times over. AV probably has a Cup to his name if he had a better goalie than Luongo.
If you're gonna unload players to rebuild for the long term, I think you have to unload a whole host of other players before you unload Hank (i.e. Richie, Girardi, Cally, Nash) as Hank is too much of a vital part to this teams success. Do you bet the farm on Hank? of course not. Signing a ridiculous contract would be absurd, but signing him to 6-8 years at 8m, is not unrealistic and not crazy if you have a GM who spends smart (which unfortunately, Slats is not) Signing Hank to a huge long term contract is not a bad move if you make smart moves with other players.
Maybe I'm wrong, but look what happens to teams who have so-so/shaky goaltending, like PHI, VAN, etc. I do not want to watch teams like that.
And I hate to say it, but look at NJ. Brodeur is a big reason why they've had the success they've had, cause he's an elite consistent talent, and he's won cups with a bunch of 3rd liners skating in front of him.