Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports that Ryan McDonagh is excited about Alain Vigneault’s emphasis on getting defensemen up the ice with more consistency so they can help the attack...
“I know I’ve got a responsibility in my own end first and foremost. But in this day and age, defensemen create second and third opportunities. I’m definitely trying to instill in my mind that I’ll step up and make those plays. I’m confident in myself and I see myself become even more of an all-around player.”
Gross adds that McDonagh began skating again last week and is getting on the ice two to three times per week right now, in addition to working out five days a week.
...the one element missing from McDonagh's game has been some offense. And while he is far from being Brian Leetch, I think Torts' emphasis on defense stunted McD's growth in the opponent's zone. I mean, Torts didn't even feel comfortable putting him on the point of what could be considered the worst power play in the history of the NHL last season. Less emphasis on shot blocking along with Vigneault's strategy of spreading ice time around should also keep McD fresh allowing him to be more effective in both ends of the ice.
...if you think that McD's contract is a bargain now, imagine when he adds a little offense to his game. Thank you Montreal.
...the other defenseman I'm really curious about seeing play under Vigneault is Del Zotto. I know Rangers fans have been throwing his name around as a possible trade candidate lately, but I'd rather give Del Zotto one last chance to figure it out in this new system than see him lighting it up for another team. Allowing Del Zotto the freedom to get up the ice, might just be what the doctor ordered. Especially if Vigneault can pair him up with a responsible partner such as Girardi or one of the new guys (Falk or Johnson). This is the final season of his contract, so if it doesn't work out and the Rangers can't move him by the trade deadline, at least they won't be stuck with him for multiple years.
A couple of you have been asking, so here's the breakdown of McDonagh's contract per Cap Geek...
2013-14 - $4,000,000
2014-15 - $4,300,000
2015-16 - $4,500,000
2016-17 - $5,000,000
2017-18 - $5,100,000
2018-19 - $5,300,000
These numbers average out to $4.7 million per year which is McDonagh's annual cap hit.
hags apparently signed but the terms haven't been released! they have to be good terms for it to be done this quick!
It's an interesting situation with MDZ, do you trade him now for some muscle or proven talent or give him a season under AV where he might find his game, or he might continue making numerous gaffs, then walk at the end of the season for nothing.
I think Mac has the game to have a 50-60 point season honestly. Not saying it'll happen, but it certainly won't shock me if he does it.
I'm excited for the season. The Rangers do not stack up at all against the top 10 teams if measured by proven performance, BUT there are quite a lot of players who are young and therefore may achieve more than they ever have. With that comes hope.
Sather must go though. Sather apologists cite only his decent moves, but as they say - the proof is in the pudding. While I would never use winning The Cup as the only measure of success, the fact is that over TWELVE years he has only once created a team that passed the eye test of "yep....these guys can play with anyone" And even then who among us would disagree that the success of that team was a high-wire act. entirely dependent on unsustainable grit, toughness and sacrifice combined with the BEST goalie in the world having to stand on his head every single night? In short - even that year they achieved far, far more than their aggregate parts merited.
And keeping Richards with the cost/benefit and risk analysis so skewed in favor of buying him out....wow...brilliant.
Here's to hoping that AV brings a young and aggressive, fast skating, hard-hitting team into what is hopefully Sather's last season!
I was watching a replay of a game on MSG lastnight and it's sad how many time our forwards cycled the puck down low for like 5 or 10 seconds, threw it back to the point and neither dman was at their point. the puck ended up getting the then 3/4th's through our neutral zone. torts had those guys so far back on their heels it wasn't even funny. I'm looking forward to seeing atleast 10 points added to most of our d's point totals next year
Let McD play PP. One thing he does so well is faking the high defender and then getting the shot on goal, whether it's a hard shot or not. Too many times it was just pass, pass, and pass without any movement. McD doing that little "side step" to throw the high defender off just a little opens up a lot of options, particularly on PP. It's actually what Brad Richards used to do well, and hopefully can get back.
It's kinda crazy that we're talking about giving Del Zotto "one last chance" at age 23. He's got another 4 years or so before he reaches his prime. I thought he'd be a little further along at this point, and he does some asinine things on the ice sometimes, but he's still a kid. I'm in no hurry to deal him.
"Worst power play in the history of the NFL". I know it felt like that most of the time but seven teams finished with a worse power play percentage including the Bruins. Three teams were only two tenths of a percent higher including (dare I say it) the Canucks.
I could not be happier that they locked in McDonagh. He's already one of the top shut-down D in the league, and if he adds a little offense, he will certainly deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Chara and Webber. If Staal comes back healthy and they can convince him not tohave a family reunion in Carolina, I'd say G is definitiely the odd man out and will be moved before the deadline.
As far as MDZ, I see there being 2 scenarios where MDZ gets moved 1) If the trade has a proven offensive defenseman coming back to the NYR, or 2) if Moore, Staal, McDonagh, and Stralman (or any combination thereof) show early that they can carry the offensive load from the blueline that will be sorely missed if MDZ were gone. Yes, MDZs defense drives us nuts, bet let's also remember that #2's defense was pretty shoddy his first few years in the league as well. And before anyone has a coronary, I am in no way suggesting that MDZ is comparable to Leetch. However, I do think he's comparable to Letang. Letang is not exactly a goalie's dream in the defensive zone, but it's overlooked because of his offensive abilities. And he's 3 years older than MDZ. A new system and a coach that may not try to force feed MDZ the defensive side of things may be just what MDZ needs to become one of the elite offensive defensemen in the league. Another opportunity for him to show improvement seems prudent.
And when you think about it, not having McD on the PP is ludicrous. I'm sure there was the mindset that "too much too soon" might stifle the kid's development, but at least at him some minutes. I don't recall McD EVER playing the PP.
Mac, like all our D, need to work on their shot from the point. Doesn't even need to be a hard slapper, just get it to the net. If he can improve that area of his game, he should see consistent PP time.
I think these guys realize that in the cap world they have to compromise some if they want to be Rangers, certainly McD could have held out for a bit more so I'd expect Hags' hit to be reasonable. It will be interesting to see what Step signs at.
@Betweentheworlds MDZ is an RFA after next season, not a UFA.
@Betweentheworlds I Sather gives him until Christmas to show that he can be more of an asset than a liability. If nothing changes and he's completely unreliable defensively, AND someone else assume a bigger offensive role (perhaps McDonagh or Moore), then I could see him getting moved.
Just playing devils advocate here , every GM has their hits and every GM has their misses. It comes with the territory
@jmacwilli I don't think you get it. To paraphrase Craigy Carton..."James Dolan don't care about hockey Booma"! The NY Rangers are an afterthought in his empire. Sather has a job until Sather decides he wants to leave, most likely because Dolan just doesn't want to go through the hassle of finding a new GM. I think there's a good chance Sather leaves either after this season or next, but I don't think he will ever get fired.
@AG_Blue If he doesn't turn it around this season, can you seriously see the Rangers re-signing him next offseason?
@shishya100 In fairness, NFL powerplays are pretty atrocious ;-)
@gravey94 Just an aside, talking about these guys makes me remember how good Leetch was. Not only was he dominant offensively, but Leetch was so underrated defensively. Guy was rarely out of position and actually had a pretty mean hip check.
Right Icy, but if he's not signed by then he could still walk. I think they either trade him by the deadline for some change or he pulls it together and gets resigned, if they keep him here next year.
That still leaves the question on what he's going to do to get some grit on this team, why he's picked up depth Dmen, who he's going to move to open cap space. Staal? Girardi? I kind of agree with keeping MDZ for now with his offensive upside, if he can get his head right. The few games he looked good last year were also the games where he played nasty.
well, it depends how the team is looking at that point and who's available ... i can definitely see cutting him loose, but whether he's with us or not, we haven't seen his best yet
@Betweentheworlds i think people here are right. that he gets a 1/2 of a season to prove to the organization wether he fits here or not.
You're kidding right? Four years is a lifetime in the league, and he still makes the same bonehead mistakes night in and night out. He has the tools to be a decent offensive defenseman (if he doesn't shoot wide every shot) but that's half the equation, you need the smarts on defense as well which he doesn't have. You need to know when and when not to pinch, I couldn't tell you how many 2 on 1's poor staal was hung out to dry on because he pinched and turned the puck over. He seems lost in his own zone, how many times does he make a terrible read and chase the man with the puck to leave someone wide open in front (Ryan carter game 5 dagger). Bottom line I know I've used this reference before but just because you have the tools doesn't make you a good player it's the smarts that take you to the successful level, Mark Sanchez can throw the ball a mile, has great mobility but has no iq when it comes to the game which is why he's bust, the same with delzotto, great tools no smarts. If he couldn't handle the defensive responsibility in a basic grind style defensive system how on earth is he king to handle the defensive responsibility in a uptempo offensive system?