….The talent is there is there with Tank. He doesn’t take any crap, hits, is physical and has an absolute cannon from the point. He took his shot last night and all I could dream of was that he replace Michal Rozsival on whatever powerplay he would be on with that insane shot. And boy, does he hit. He had five last night to co-lead the team with Brandon Prust in 20 minutes of ice time. He was a minus two, and he still has a lot to learn about playing defense at the NHL level, but when he gets a little bit more improvement, he could be a good one.
“He’s got a bomb of a shot and he’s always ready to shoot. I like his innocence. He’s not afraid to stand up and hit someone in the middle of the ice. Some guys get upset with it. But he’s a guy who wants to stand up and be counted.”
John Tortorella to Andrew Gross of the Record
…He could be a real darkhorse to make the team but it seems unlikely for this season. A year in Hartford he could have a spot on next years team. He is only 22 and very much like why the Canadiens traded Ryan McDonagh to the Rangers, because they thought he wouldn’t sign, once Vally went to Russia they probably thought he was gone for good.
He said over the summer that he went to Russia because the contract could help his family
Last week it was announced that the Rangers prospect Pavel Valentenko will return to North America for this coming season.
According to Dan David, who profiles Valentenko in the Rangers 20 Prospects In 20 Days Series, Valentenko only left for Russia because he needed to take care of his family and the contract he could get in the KHL could do that.
…Family comes first, and hopefully this gets rid of the stigma that comes with players who leave for the KHL.
Valentenko will be at the Rangers prospect camp in July and then at training camp which starts on September 17th.
Update:9:35AM: According to Dmitry Chesnokov, Valentenko will take part in the Rangers prospect camp.
Original Post: 5:37PM: June 17th:
According to Laurie from Beyond The Blueshirts, citing Russian reports, Rangers prospect Pavel Valentenko is expected to return to North America for next season.
Valentenko was acquired in the Scott Gomez deal along with Ryan McDonagh and Christopher Higgins.
…He is always forgotten about, Laurie says he has one year left on his contract so that could put him in Hartford.
He isn’t ranked as one of the Rangers top 20 Prospects
Custance says that Kovalchuk has talked about returning to Russia for many years and that pull has been there since the KHL started.
NHL teams have to terminate a player’s contract to allow them to play in another league, something that other teams may not be willing to do.
The Rangers have no one on their NHL roster who is from Russia but they did draft Pavel Buchnevich in the third round in 2013.
Buchnevich has two years remaining on his KHL contract.
The Rangers also have the rights two Mikhail Pashnin and Pavel Valentenko. Pashnin was going to leave Russia and come to North America before deciding to stay in Russia on a two-year contract. Valentenko returned to Russia last summer.
11:55AM: Katie Strang notes that the final three-years of McDonagh’s contract come with a limited no-trade clause.
11:13AM: The Rangers have confirmed that McDonagh has agreed to terms on a new contract.
Larry Brooks (9:14AM) reports that McDonagh will have a cap hit of $4.7 million per season.
Brooks notes that the Rangers six-year contract for McDonagh will buy out the first
two three years that McDonagh can be an unrestricted free agent.
McDonagh will now have the highest cap on the Rangers defense.
Adam Rotter: Six years and $4.7 million is about as good of a deal as the Rangers could have hoped for. They lock up an anchor on defense and do so at a reasonable rate for them. McDonagh will likely see his salary increase from year to year, and those last two years he will probably be making a number comparable to one he would get on the open market. To the Rangers though, $4.7 is the important number and it’s a number that should allow the Rangers to keep adding pieces around McDonagh.
Earlier Reports and Press Release Are Below
In his first year as a pro hockey player, Ryan McDonagh was sent down to Hartford to start the season. At the time, John Tortorella said that it was a move to preserve McDonagh and keep him on the right track as the organization thought he could be part of the “core.”
When he was called up, to replace Michael Del Zotto in early 2011, Tortorella said that McDonagh “has grown as a player, and he’s one we are very interested in.”
Near the end of last season, on a night where Brian Boyle said that McDonagh was “fantastic” John Tortorella said of him “He is a guy that wants to extend himself offensively. He has made tremendous improvements in that. The minutes he racks up and who he plays against at such a young age…..(smiling) is really good.”
Recently, at MSG.com Tortorella told Stan Fischler “Ryan’s best has yet to come, really. Basically, he’s just starting to come on because he’s got the goods. He’s mentally mature. Even when he makes a mistake, Ryan is ready for the next shift. And he’s going to get better and better offensively.”
As part of NHL.com’s 30 teams in 30 days series, Dave Lozo ranks the Rangers top ten prospects.
Without including Chris Kreider, who is still technically a prospect, Lozo’s list is:
- JT Miller
- Christian Thomas
- Dylan McIlrath
- Michael St. Croix
- Ryan Bourque
- Andrew Yogan
- Brady Skjei
- Jesper Fast
- Pavel Valentenko*
- Steven Fogarty
The NHL has announced which Rangers are restricted free agents and prone to an offer sheet.
- Michael Del Zotto
- Mats Zuccarello
- Anton Stralman
- Cameron Talbot
- Pavel Valentenko
- Casey Wellman
Group 3 unrestricted free agents from the Rangers are Sean Avery, Ivan Baranka, Brendan Bell, Andre Deveaux, Steve Eminger, Ruslan Fedotenko, Ilkka Heikkinen, John Mitchell, Kris Newbury, Brandon Prust, John Scott, Jeff Woywitka.
Martin Biron is still listed as a group three free agent as the list has not been updated/contract not registered with the league yet.
Stu Bickel and Chad Johnson are group 6 unrestricted free agents.
Lee Baldwin, Francois Bouchard, Chris Chappell, Sam Klassen, Andreas Thuresson were not tendered qualifying offers and are free agents.
The following Rangers are unrestricted free agents (via Cap Geek)
- Ruslan Fedotenko
- Brandon Prust
- John Mitchell
- Steve Eminger
- Stu Bickel
- John Scott
- Jeff Woywitka
- Marty Biron
The following Rangers are RFA’s this summer:
- Michael Del Zotto
- Anton Stralman
- Mats Zuccarello
Players who did not finish the season on the Rangers roster who will be free agents are:
- UFA: Sean Avery, Andre Deveaux, Chad Johnson, Brendan Bell, Mike Vernace, Kris Newbury
- RFA: Chris Chappel, Sam Klassen, Andreas Thuresson, Francois Bouchard, Pavel Valentenko, Casey Wellman, Cameron Talbot, Lee Baldwin
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that besides trying to re-sign Marty Biron, Brandon Prust and Michael Del Zotto, the Rangers are likely to let all of there other free agents go.