Read: Looking at Mats Zuccarello’s potential 2014-15 season

Zuccarello1Mats Zuccarello has said that it was the best move for both sides to sign a one-year deal for this season and that he feels he could be the next Ranger to sign a long-term deal.

He is looking at the “biggest good year vs bad year” contract differential of any of  the Rangers UFAs. They write that Zuccarello will be able to sign for a lot of zeros if he puts up 70 points but that won’t be the case if he gets “15 points in 25 games and then gets hurt.” (Dobber Hockey)

Dobber has him projected to score 20 goals and 37 assists.

The Hockey News Pool Guide has Zuccarello scoring 15 goals and adding 35 assists.

The Sports Forecaster has Zuccarello scoring 16 goals and 29 assists and list him as a player who will have a target on his back this season.

They say that teams will look to “shut” Zuccarello down by “any means necessary,” he will have a target on his back and find it tough to repeat his “breakout numbers.”

Some of Zuccarello’s teammates think he is becoming an “elite” player.

Read: Where does/would Kevin Hayes fit in this year?

Kevin Hayes1Kevin Hayes reportedly didn’t sign with the Blackhawks because he feels he is ready to be an NHL player and didn’t want to wait for a spot with Chicago. (NBC Chicago)

Signing with the Rangers is curious for Hayes because the Rangers are deep at RW with Rick Nash, Marty St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello, among other prospects. (SI)

Hayes may be taking more of a long-term approach to the Rangers with St. Louis and Zuccarello both UFA after the season and more spots/ice time could open up then. (SI)

Hayes says that he is comfortable playing all three forward positions (Rangers) and Kevin Weekes says that the Rangers may view him as a center. (Weekes)

There are questions about whether Hayes is ready to jump into the NHL or if he should start in the AHL.

For more on Hayes, CLICK HERE.

Adam Rotter: The Rangers top six is set and so is at least one spot on the third line Carl Hagelin, with Lee Stempniak likely having an inside track on the other. Hayes will have a lot of opportunity to show off, first in Traverse City and then in training camp and preseason. If he plays well he will likely be with the team deep into camp and battle for one of the remaining spots. What helps him, as well as JT Miller, is versatility and comfort playing multiple positions. I don’t think Hartford is a bad option for Hayes to start the year and if he plays well he could be called up and provide a spark like Carl Hagelin did when he was called up a few years ago.

Read: Ulf Samuelsson on analytics

Ulf SamuelssonRangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson says that the ability to use “analytics” has been around for a few years and they allows you to look at how effective different plays (such as dumping in the puck vs carrying it in) are. (Expressen)

He says that this information can be used as tool but it’s “very time consuming” and hard to examine it all. (Expressen)

Samuelsson said that when he was in Phoenix (2006 to 2011) they looked at this type of information to see how they could take advantage of it. (Expressen)

On how the Rangers use analytics, Samuelsson says that the team, like many others, is looking over the best model for how to use and implement this information. (Expressen)

  • Jim Sullivan is listed on the Rangers website as having the title of “Director, Player Care & Development / Analytics & Hockey Technology”

Third party companies that teams can hire to track and interpret this information can cost over half a million dollars per season. (Expressen)

Read: Henrik Lundqvist has a good feeling about the team

Henrik Lundqvist Stanley Cup1Henrik Lundqvist says that he is using the Rangers trip to the Stanley Cup Final as motivation for next season and says that he has a “good feeling” about this team. (Newsday)

Lundqvist says that the Rangers can’t get ahead of themselves and start thinking about the playoffs when the season starts. He adds that they need to start next season fresh and not think about what happened last year and just expect it to happen again. (Newsday)

He adds that last season was a good step for the organization and having one year under Alain Vigneault and his coaching staff should alleviate some of the issues they dealt with last year. (NY Post)

On the roster changeover, Lundqvist said that the Rangers lost some “great players” who played a big role on the team but he is excited to see what the new players can do and what they can bring. (NY Post)

To read more of this story, click here

Read: Anthony Duclair’s skill set

Anthony DuclairAnthony Duclair’s former coach in midget hockey says that Duclair is someone who can beat you in different ways. He says that Duclair can score with a “dazzling” deke or “straight up with a shot.” (Montreal Gazette)

Duclair says that his game is offensive minded but he is working on becoming more defensive minded. (HF)

In three preseason games for Quebec, Duclair has three goals and 5 assists.

To read more of this story, click here

Read: Brian Leetch thinks that Ryan McDonagh should be the Rangers next captain

8/24/14 | 12:25PM: Former Rangers captain Brian Leetch says that Ryan McDonagh is the “logical” choice to be the next captain of the team. (ESPN)

Leetch says that McDonagh is the “main guy” for the foreseeable future and since he is already a leader on the team, having the “C” won’t change much for him. (ESPN)

CLICK HERE for more on McDonagh as potential captain.

Leetch has continually praised McDonagh during his career.

Recap: Kevin Hayes on choosing the Rangers, his leg injury, Chris Kreider and the role Brian Boyle played

Kevin HayesKevin Hayes joined the SportsTalkNY show to discuss his decision to sign with the Rangers: (SportsTalkNY)

  • Why the Rangers, “I thought it was a great fit and I wanted to go to the best team and the best opportunity to succeed in the NHL short-term and long-term and it seemed like a good fit.”
  • On his brutal/near career ending leg injury, “I got kneed 2/26 of my Junior year and everything popped in my leg, all the blood vessels popped and it was a terrible freak incident. It opened my eyes a little more about the sport of hockey and it forced me to work harder to get into the best possible shape that I could be in, it was a blessing in disguise.”

To read more of this story, click here

Read: Why the Edmonton Oilers wanted Benoit Pouliot so badly

Benoit PouliotOn July 1, the Edmonton Oilers gave Benoit Pouliot a FIVE-YEAR deal worth $4 million per season.

Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish says that his team went after Pouliot because of his work ethic, his skating and his ability to provide a strong forecheck which the Oilers have been lacking. (NHL.com)

MacTavish said that they hope Pouliot is going to continue to grow as a player and even if he doesn’t score, he can provide energy and play physical. (NHL.com)

Mats Zuccarello Derick Brassard

Read: Mats Zuccarello on Derick Brassard getting a long-term deal after he got a short-term deal

Mats Zuccarello was asked if he felt “unappreciated” by the Rangers after he signed for one-year and the Rangers gave Derick Brassard five-years.(TV2)

Zuccarello said that he knew Brassard was going to get that contract, that the two speak everyday, and that Zuccarello taking one-year and $3.5 million probably helped Brassard get his deal from the Rangers. (TV2)

He adds that with losing Brad Richards it was important for the Rangers to keep Brassard. (TV2)

For more on Zuccarello, CLICK HERE.

For more on Brassard, CLICK HERE.

Read: What Mark Messier loved about his time in the Rangers front office

During Super Bowl week, Mark Messier did a few interviews to help promote the Kingsbridge Ice complex he is working with and was asked about his potential NHL future.

Messier was asked about coaching by Mike Francesa and answered by talking about how much he loved his time with the Rangers.

He said that he loved being part of the decision making process, constructing a team and trying to guide them to the Stanley Cup.

Messier said that he learned a tremendous amount working with Glen Sather and the Rangers front office.

When on with TSN Drive, Messier once again remarked how much he loved being part of the Rangers front office.

For more on Messier, CLICK HERE.

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