Alain Vigneault announced today that Henrik Lundqvist will get his fourth straight start tomorrow night in Carolina.
Lundqvist is 0-2-1 in three starts since the Olympic break.
...Lundqvist is far from being to blame for the Rangers struggles since the break as the defensive breakdowns have led to increased scoring chances. Having said that, he's definitely not as locked in as he was before leaving for Sochi. Anyone starting to get flashbacks of 2006? Someone get the Rangers medical staff to check if Lundqvist is grinding his teeth at night again.
...the Rangers have five games in the next eight days, so I thought tomorrow might be a good spot to get Talbot another start against a team at the bottom of the division. At the same time, Vigneault also needs to get Lundqvist feeling good about his game again, so maybe a start against a struggling team is the answer.
Meanwhile, Vigneault also said that Mats Zuccarello is a game time decision with his fractured hand. Here's Zuccarello after practice...
Alain Vigneault announced today that Henrik Lundqvist will get his fourth straight start tomorrow night in Carolina.
Yesterday ended being one insane day for Rangers fans, so I decided to put this post together to tie-up some loose ends in the aftermath of the Martin St. Louis/Ryan Callahan blockbuster trade.
Two days ago, Steve Zipay at Newsday reported that beyond money, another hang-up in the contract negotiations between the Rangers and Callahan was an issue with no trade/no movement clause. To which I scoffed at, as I refused to believe a NTC would blow up a potential deal to bring back a beloved Ranger. Well...
"We were getting closer on the money," Sather said at Madison Square Garden a few hours after talks broke down. "When this thing got started it was eight years and an awful lot of money for Ryan Callahan or for anybody else, unless you're a first All Star, a player that's won Stanley Cups. [But] the no-trade is the one thing that really bothered me in the end; it really ties your hands. I know it's nice for the players to have security, but 'no-trade' . . . is a tough deal."
...sort of ironic that an issue with a no trade cause ultimately caused Callahan to be traded.
In the aftermath of the trade, Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com reported that the San Jose Sharks were heavily involved in the Callahan trade talks.
Sather acknowledged that he had other offers on the table if the St. Louis deal fell through, but that the returns were geared more towards the future.
...amazing how much differently we would be viewing the Rangers this morning if Sather traded Callahan to San Jose and ended up with just picks and prospects. St. Louis makes them a contender, the other deal might have had us looking towards next season.
Here's Sather's full press conference on the trade...
As you can imagine this trade didn't go over too well with Lightning fans, so St. Louis tried to smooth things over by sending this letter to the Tampa faithful (via Puck Daddy)...no comments
The New York Rangers (33-26-4) lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs (33-23-8) by the score of 3-2 in overtime, last night. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...the Rangers haven't been anyway near as bad as they were earlier this season, but since the Olympic break you're seeing a lot of the issues that plagued them in October and November are creeping back into their game. Defensive breakdowns, Lundqvist not making the big save, the power play failing and biggest of all...not finishing. I mean, my beaten up 2000 Honda Civic has a better finish than this team right now. And I don't think it's any mystery that the Rangers inability to find the back of the net has coincided with the loss of Zuccarello. Hopefully he'll be back on tomorrow night.
...speaking of pint-sized forwards, that St. Louis guy has some offensive ability, huh? He was noticeable every time he was on the ice and even made Brad Richards look like he had some jump to his step. Can you say 2004 redux? Understandably, he did look nervous as he wasn't able to corral the puck a few times on scoring opportunities, but once he feels fully comfortable in his new surroundings he'll be just fine.
...you do have to like the resiliency of the Rangers to come away with a point, because after the Kadri goal, I thought the game was over. Hopefully, the players can use it as motivation going forward.
...i don't think that anyone can argue that Kreider-Stepan-Nash is easily the team's fourth best line right now. Which is a problem. Hopefully, with the addition of St. Louis, opponents won't be able to key on this line as much defensively and open things up for them.
...thought Stralman had his best game in months. Physical, sound defensively and good with the puck. Unfortunately, it was all undermined by an awful giveaway which directly led to the Kadri goal.
...i'd say it was weird not seeing Callahan out there last night, but we're so used to him missing games due to injury it wasn't all that strange.
...D. Moore is such a likable guy, I always have a smile on my face when he scores.
...not that I thought it was a good spot to fight because the Rangers were playing well, but is Carcillo going to run away from everyone who challenges him?
...remember when Lundqvist was unbeatable one-on-one? He's now 0-3 on penalty shots against this season. I never blame a goalie for being beaten on a penalty shot, but you'd like to see him stop at least one.
...Zuccarello can't get back soon enough, if for no other reason than to get Dorsett back out of the lineup. I know it's not easy to get back into the swing of things after an injury, but he's bringing nothing to the table right now.
...despite the tough post Olympic start, I'm still not completely down on this team. They've been skating real well and creating offensive opportunities. With the acquisition of St. Louis and the return of Zuccarello, the offense should start finding the back of the net with regularity again real soon. The one concern I do have going forward with the loss of Callahan is the lack of toughness and grit. The teams that are able to make successful playoff pushes and runs know how to grind out victories. I'm not certain this team, as currently constructed, can do that.
...back at it tomorrow night in Carolina.
...sorry for all the late recaps recently, been a little crazy on the home front.
Bergen Record - Leafs spoil Martin St. Louis' debut with Rangers
New York Post - Rangers come up short against Maple Leafs
New York Post - Sway for St. Louis will sting without Cup win now
New York Post - No Rangers’ captain for rest of the season
New York Times - Rangers Trade Callahan and Are Dealt a Defeat
Newsday - Rangers lose in OT in St. Louis' debut
The New York Rangers (33-26-3) host the Toronto Maple Leafs (32-23-8) at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. For a preview, go to Yahoo! Sports.
Sorry guys, with all the Callahan/St. Louis craziness I didn't have a chance to put together a full game notes, so I'll leave you with this video of Martin St. Louis arriving at MSG...
Update, 3:51 p.m.:
Disregard my rant on Miller, he had to be on the Wolfpack roster by 3pm today or the Rangers wouldn't have been able to reassign him for the remainder of the season.
The Rangers have obtained defenseman Raphael Diaz from the Vancouver Canucks for a 2015 5th round pick.
He is a UFA at the end of the season and gets paid $1.225 million per year.
...not exactly the guy we all hoped the Rangers were getting from Vancouver today.
...but you can never have enough defense. Solid depth move.
Meanwhile, according to the AHL transaction page, the Rangers sent JT Miller back to Hartford today.
Update, 2:08 p.m.:
More player reaction to the trade...
Update, 1,30 p.m.:
Derrick Brassard reaction to Callahan trade (via Renaud Lavoie)...
"the atmosphere was not good in the locker room when it became known that Ryan Callahan was traded."
...this to me could be the biggest negative of the trade. What does it do to the locker room? How does it effect guys like Lundqvist, Girardi and Staal who have all grown up in the organization with Callahan? They're all professionals and St. Louis will make it a real easy transition once he starts scoring, but it's got to be a blow to their psyche.
Update, 1:24 p.m.:
Ryan Callahan's original ask of 8 years at $7.5 late last summer should be marked as the starting point for his New York departure.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 5, 2014
Update, 1:11 p.m.:
Statment from Steve Yzerman on the trade...
"The Lightning are very excited to have Ryan Callahan join the organization and help us in our quest to make the playoffs," Yzerman said. "Ryan is an outstanding player and leader who we look forward to seeing on the ice tomorrow night."
"We'd like to thank Marty for everything he has done on and off the ice during his outstanding 13-year career in Tampa Bay. He has been one of the greatest players in the organization's history but in the end we honored his request today. We wish him and his family the best of luck as he continues his career in New York."
...i'm real courious to see how this plays out for Callahan. Is he going to re-sign with Tampa or test free agency. And how much is he going to get? Could you imagine if he ultimately signs with a team for less than the Rangers are offering. I really hope he fires his agent, who I feel led him astray.
The Rangers have traded Ryan Callahan, a first round pick (2015) and second round pick (2014) to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St. Louis.
If the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference finals this season, the 2014 pick headed to Tampa Bay would become a first-round selection.no comments
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3:20 p.m. - Islanders trade Vanek to Montreal. (Sportsnet)
3:18 p.m. - Stastny will not be traded. (Dater)
3:16 p.m. - Legwand traded to Red Wings. (Sportsnet)
3:14 p.m. - The Flames have not traded Mike Cammalleri. (Spector)
3:12 p.m. - Matt Moulson traded to Wild. (Sportsnet)
3:10 p.m. - Ryan Kesler was not traded. (Friedman)
3:04 p.m. - Rangers get D Raphael Diaz from Vancouver for a 5th-round pick. (LeBrun)
...not confident in Faulk?
3:02 p.m. - May be one more deal in the works for Rangers. (Strang)
2:55 p.m. - JT Miller sent down to Hartford. (AHL Transactions)
2:54 p.m. - Flyers trade Andrej Meszaros to the Bruins. (Spector)
2:43 p.m. - Lots of interests for Columbus D Jack Johnson. (Renaud Lavoie)
2:39 p.m. - Red Wings are trying hard to acquire David Legwand. (TFP)
2:34 p.m. - Moulson talks for Sabres remain with Sharks, Ducks and Wild. (Kyproes)
2:32 p.m. - Penguins are waiting on Kesler but will go for Vanek if a deal with VAN can't be worked out. (Botta)
2:26 p.m. - Blue Jackets have traded a draft pick to Edmonton for D Nick Schultz. (Portzline)
2:23 p.m. - Tim Thomas headed to DAL. (McKenzie)
2:19 p.m. - Matt Moulson to MIN is a possibility. (McKenzie)
2:17 p.m. - Vanek deal might be finally nearing completion. Multiple teams have been in the hunt. (TFP)
1:56 p.m. - Doesn't look like Brodeur is being traded by the Devils. (Strang)
1:54 p.m. - Ruutu to the Devils. (Dreger)
1:44 p.m. - Marcel Goc from #Panthers to #Penguins I'm told. Picks in exchange for a 3rd and 5th pick. (Kyproes)
12:41 p.m. - Edmonton trades Hemsky to Ottawa for 3rd and 5th round picks. (McKenzie)
11:20 a.m. - Rangers trade Ryan Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St. Louis. (TVA Sports)
11:15 a.m. - TSN crew on saying it would be Callahan as well as a 1st & 2nd round pick.
11:08 a.m. - Katie Strang at ESPN.com says Rangers/Callahn awfully close, yet still no deal. She's starting to feel headed in diff direction. Strang also getting sense that potential trade for Marty St. Louis is taking priority right now over getting extension done for Callahan.
11:06 a.m. - Bob McKenzie says Callahan and "significant draft picks" to TBL for St. Louis if it gets done. (Cordell)
11:00 a.m. - Marty St. Louis to the Rangers has really ramped up and may be much closer to reality. (McKenzie)
10:57 a.m. - Henrik Lundqvist will start against the Maple Leafs tonight.no comments
Update, 7:41 p.m.:
Katie Strang at ESPN.com updates the Callahan contract talks by stating an agreement is not imminent.
However, Strang adds that at this point, it's hard to imagine a deal won't be struck.
...after the below McKenzie report, I thought a new contract would have been announced by now. Wonder if there were any setbacks or maybe the no trade/no movement squabble held things up more than I anticipated.
Bob McKenzie at TSN reports that the Rangers and Ryan Callahan are inching towards a contract agreement.
He does warn that they're not there yet.
...looks like Callahan will be back for the next six years at likely $36 million or $6 million per year.
Some good news regarding Mats Zuccarello's fractured hand as Alain Vigneault upgraded the Norwegian forward to "day-to-day," however, the Rangers head coach did rule him out for tomorrow's game against the Maple Leafs.
Vigneault added that it's just a pain thing now for Zuccarello, who looked much more comfortable at practice today.
...it's real easy to get on the Rangers for their performance the last two games, but I'm assuming most NHL teams will struggle when their leading scorer and resident tough guy isn't in the lineup.
...look for Zuccarello to give the Rangers a big jolt when he returns to the lineup hopefully as early as this weekend.
...the big question when Zuccarello comes back is what to do with Miller. I guess that could all change if/when Callahan is traded, but with the way the rookie has been playing it'll be a real tough decision for AV to take him out of the lineup.
While Ryan Callahan did participate in practice this afternoon, he did not take questions from the press afterward.
...really no reason for him to stand there for five minutes and answer every question with "I want to be a Ranger and I hope we're able to come up with a compromise."
Vigeault did say this about his captain after practice (via Bergen Record)...no comments