The 2018-2019 New York Rangers Final Report Card: Grading Every Ranger and Coach on the Roster, Who Makes the Grade & More. Plus: The Jeff Gorton Press Release & The Draft Lotto

It’s the annual report card blog!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another monster of a blog here on

Another season has come and gone for the New York Rangers. With the draft lottery taking place later tonight, it’s time to put the final bow on the 2018-2019 New York Rangers.

As I do every year, I am closing the season off with my report card blog. Once the grades are doled out, it’s then full steam ahead for me, as I await to see what the Rangers do next, as they approach their busiest off-season in some time.

Before moving along here, here are my most recent blogs, in case you missed them:

NYR/PITT 4/6 Season Finale Monster Blog Review: Alexandar Georgiev & The Rangers End The Season on a High Note; Rile Up the Tanktards, Georgiev Becomes First NYR Goalie To Beat Matt Murray, The Hypocritical Panarin/Tank Fans, Rehauling & Retooling the NHL Draft Lottery System, Rebuild MSGN, Looking Ahead & Much More on NYR

NYR/CBJ 4/5 Review: Bobrovsky Edges Georgiev In a Goaltender’s Duel; Rangers Lose Via The Shoot-Out, Big-Time Buchnevich, M$G Closed Until September, Rangers Shoving Gambling Down The Throats of Fans, Senile Sather Update & More

NYR/OTT 4/3 Review: Lundqvist Continues His Mental Breakdown, Rangers Embarrassed By The Worst Team in the NHL, Senile Sather’s Fake Retirement, Vally Has Lost It, Mika McDonald & More

NYR/NJD 4/1 Review: “The Nasty Boys” of Lemieux & DeAngelo Pummel The Devils But The Devils Deny Lundqvist Career Win 450, Old Time Hockey at The Rock, Soy Boy Fans, Fighting in the NHL, We Want Duguay, MSG Network Talking Heads Go Batty, Lundqvist’s Post Game Interview Meltdown, DQ & More

NYR/PHI 3/31 Review: Georgiev Dominant Again; Records Second Shut-Out of The Season, Georgiev Forcing Gorton’s Hand, Brendan “Masterton” Smith Does More Time Than Jussie Smollett, “The Indomitable Strome-Man”, Lemieux Update & More From Philly

NYR/STL 3/29 Review: Oh My Georgiev Does It Again; Posts Another 40+ Save Winning Performance, The Elite Mika Nedved & Debunking the Zibanebots, Ryan “Steve McDonald” Strome Shines, Brooks vs Maloney, Brendan Smith & The Masterton Trophy, Gilmour Goner, The Halakness Monster & More NYR Thoughts & Opinions

I have been doing these report card blogs for five seasons now. For the first time since I started doing these report card blogs, the mission statement from the Rangers has changed. This report card is no longer about giving grades to a team that hopes to make a playoff run. To compare, in the past, these report cards were grades being given out to a varsity team.  For this season, it’s like grading a squirt team. Simply put, the criteria and subject manner has changed.

Unlike previous seasons, these grades won’t be as impactful as they once were. (Not that they were ever impactful, because after all, these grades are just the opinions of one person. However, I’m sure you get my point!)

In the 2018-2019 season, these Rangers were a team that were all about development. All you could ask for was that when the season was over, you would see some light at the end of the tunnel. I think there is a glimpse of light here, but obviously, the brightest of lights won’t be seen for a while.

It’s also tough to compare this report card to previous report cards that I have done on this site. For example, how can one truly assess a player like Filip Chytil, as opposed to say a Rick Nash from recent seasons? You really can’t. The aim has changed. The expectations are different.

When it comes to giving out grades on this 2018-2019 final report card, I admittedly judged the veterans harder than I did with the younger talent. I would hope that you, John Q. Reader, would agree with me that expectations for a Kevin Shattenkirk, are just a little bit higher than expectations out of someone like a Tony DeAngelo. The same logic applies to the goaltenders too, when it comes to Henrik Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev.

When it comes to Lundqvist vs Georgiev, I expect better production from the veteran and high priced Lundqvist than I do from the rookie & much cheaper Alexandar Georgiev.

When it comes to giving out grades, here’s the criteria I used, which is the same criteria I’ve been using ever since doing these report card blogs:

Grades are given based on production, playing to their role on the team and to the contract of a player. For example, I expect less from a cheap fourth line player that came out of Hartford, than say someone like Brendan Smith. After all, we are playing in a salary cap world, where teams are constantly giving up quality players, even players they drafted, to compete. To ignore the cap hit of a player would be foolish, which is why it’s considered in these grades. Keep in mind, to me, the salary cap hit is a stat that belongs on the back of a hockey card, here in this new era.

Players who have played less than 10 games with the team, players who have been traded and players who were sent down to Hartford, are all listed in the “Incomplete” section.

I also want to say here, these grades are just my opinion only, so don’t get so bent out of shape about them. I’m grading players on a bad team after all, and on a team that is looking forward to a brighter future. That said, it’s just tough to be rah-rah about the team in its current state.

I posted my Mid-Season Report Card back in January.

On January 11th, 2019, I posted my Mid-Season report card. You can find that blog here:

The 2018-2019 New York Rangers Mid-Season Report Card: Grading Every Ranger and Coach on the Roster, Who Makes the Grade, Looking Ahead, Second Half Preview & More

For the purpose of this blog, just to compare and contrast a bit, I am including what I wrote back in January in this blog. This way, you can see what I thought in January, as opposed to what I think here in April, with the season over.

My comments from the Mid-Season Report card, will be in italics.

My final report card comments, here in April, will be in bold.

Without further ado, I present to you “The 2018-2019 New York Rangers 2018-2019 End of the Season Report Card”.

Buchnevich came into his own this year after a stint in the Quinn Bin. (Credit: BSU Radio for “Quinn Bin”.)



Lias didn’t play enough when I did my mid-season report card. I gave him an incomplete. Here’s what I said in my mid-season report card:

There are two schools of thought on Andersson, one being that he needs time to develop and the other being that Gorton selected him to play now. He hasn’t cut it and ex-players, like Dave Maloney, have questioned his skating. While you can’t call him Lias Jessiman yet, he’s also done nothing to prove that he was the crown jewel of that 2017 draft day deal with Arizona.


When it comes to Andersson, you can say the best days are yet to come. However, for this season, you have to look at him for where he was drafted and the players involved in the trade to get him. When compared to Chytil, Chytil seems eons ahead of Andersson. When you look at the trade, Tony DeMAGAngelo is looking like the best prize of that trade.

With each passing day, that Gorton quote of “Andersson is the most NHL ready player in the draft” seems as silly as Sather saying he would win a Cup every year with the Rangers.

Two goals in 42 games played is not going to cut it.



Brickley was in Hartford when I did the mid-season report card. You may see the B- next to his name and think I’m overrating him. However, it’s more that I didn’t see enough of him. He played in 14 games, but never once in those 14 games did I think he was in over his head. I don’t know what his future is here, but for the limited time played during this season, I thought he was alright. Not bad, not great. Playing on the mish-mash fourth line every third game is just too tough for me to get a true feel for a player.

PAVEL BUCHNEVICH. Mid-Season Grade: C+

What I said in my mid-season report card:
With 12 points in 26 games played, for all the talk last season that “AV IS RUINING BUCHNEVICH”, well that’s what it was – talk. Buchnevich has been hit or miss this season. Sometimes he will show you glimpses of his skill and sometimes he will pout and even get lazy defensively. Like many, he’s been on the scratch list of Quinn during this season. An injury slowed him down, just when it seemed that Buchenvich was about to heat up. The Russian, now in his third year, needs to show more, especially when on a bad team. After all, someone has to be the points leader on a bad team. Why not Buchnevich?


Buchnevich got better as the season went along. Whether Quinn’s message was well received or it was because of the extra playing time by getting minutes on the first line, whatever it was, Buchnevich’s game excelled as the weather got warmer.

While the Rangers PP was a complete mess after the trade deadline, Buchnevich was one of the rare highlights on the PP.

Buchnevich finished the season with 21 goals in 64 games played, good for third overall on the team. He did also finish with a -10, but the plus/minus stat isn’t as important as it once was.

While I believe Buchnevich’s future is with the Rangers, I am not 100% sold that he’s completely turned the corner yet. That said, all we can hope for is smooth sailing ahead and no more healthy scratches.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
As said at the top of this blog, and not that you are, but you can’t live or die with these grades. Chytil is in his real rookie year this season. At times, he’s been explosive offensively. Other times, he gets lost. As Sam & Joe always tell us – he’s only 19. You just hope that Chytil hasn’t even scratched the surface yet. When coming up with this grade, I took his contract and draft positioning vs Andersson into account. Chytil has 13 points in 41 games (He was scratched once this season) and you hope 2018-2019 is the stepping stone for better things to come.


Chytil’s game took a step down as the season went along. For the rookie, perhaps part of it was the long schedule. Chytil has ways to go, but I think you have to like what you’re seeing so far.

As Micheletti reminded us all season, Chytil is only 19 years old. He’s still a kid playing in a league of men. Wait until he fills into his body and turns his boy strength into man strength.

We saw Chytil’s offensive skills plenty of times this season and I think he will only get better with time.

While Chytil won’t be considered for any Calder votes, this rookie year wasn’t bad either. However, for the sake of this report card, he was 100% better in the first half of the season than he was in the second half of theseason, which of course, does partly have to do with the player transactions the Rangers made at the trade deadline.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
One of the longer tenured Rangers on this club, Fast’s best work comes on the defensive end. I still think his offensive numbers need to be up, as he only has 6 goals in 37 games. This is a bad team, so Fast needs to put up better numbers. I wonder how Fast would do on a Stanley Cup contending team? He seems like he would be a fourth line grind/penalty killer for a team like a Tampa, Toronto, Pittsburgh, etc. Fast does a lot of little things right, but if the Rangers moved on from Fast too, would he truly be missed?


Turns out, Jesper Fast was playing hurt during the majority of the season. Of course, this information wasn’t released until after the season. However, his teammates knew, as they honored him with the “Player’s Player” award for the fourth season in a row.

Jesper Fast remains a player who does all the little things, but in a league where you need scoring from your forwards, I still think Fast is expendable. Fast remains the “Selke” of the Rangers, but it’s not like he’s ever a candidate for that award either.

You really can’t knock Fast, but at the same time, in a season where he could’ve produced strong offensive numbers on this team, he didn’t.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Remember when Howden looked like a potential Calder candidate? I guess that’s why they play more than 10 games in the regular season! For Howden, who came over in the McDonagh trade from last season, this is a development year. He’s shown to have a nose for the puck, but lately he’s sputtered around and hasn’t done much. He has been good at the dot though. Howden currently has 14 points through 41 games and again, he’s one of the young players on this team. Ranger fans can only hope that he makes his mark in the future.


Howden had a strong start to to the season, got injured, came back slow and then made a good push at the end of the season. Like many on this roster, Howden is a work in progress. It’s truly tough to judge Howden because of the injury and how long it took him to find his footing when he returned. He did finish the season with 23 points, which is a start.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
I toyed with giving Kreider an A-, which would’ve been tops on this list. Kreider leads the team in goals, with 20 goals. He’s also third on the team in points, with 32 points in 42 games. Let’s face it, during many games this season, Kreider is the best Ranger on the ice. However, the knock I’ve always had on Kreider, and it’s happened several times this season, is that he’s inconsistent. Yes, I know what his stats are, but someone is going to lead a bad team statistically. I just think there are too many games where you still have to check the box score to see if he even played. I know it’s tough to be at your best, during every game in an 82 game season, but for Kreider to make the league take notice, he needs to be more consistent. After all, if anyone deserved to go to the All-Star game more than Lundqvist or fan-vote Zuccarello, it’s either Kreider or Hayes. In 2019, Zuccarello is still considered the bigger star or name around the league. Consistent play from CK20 would change that.


When you see this grade, I remind you to check the criteria on which I use.

To me, Kreider should’ve not only been a 30 goal scorer this season, he could’ve been a 40 goal scorer. He wound up with 28 goals. This season was like every other Kreider season  – show up for a while then ghost for long stretches of time.

Kreider was never the same player, statistically, once Zuccarello was traded. In fact, Brendan Lemieux produced more offensively in his time here than Kreider did, post the trade deadline.

After about 15 or so games of struggling, it was announced Kreider was playing through an injury. Seems like an excuse to me. After all, why keep playing him if you have no shot at the playoffs? Why make a lingering injury worse? Plus, we’ve seen this stuff from Kreider before, when he was 100% healthy.

Kreider can be great and can dominate games. However, it seems those games are becoming further and more in-between. Gorton is going to have to make a decision on CK20 this summer.



Lemieux was acquired in the Hayes trade. Lemieux, who spent the bulk of his 19 games on the fourth line, picked up three goals and three assists. He also recorded a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

You can say I’m biased for the tough guys and guys with heart, because I am. However, I don’t see how anyone can give Lemieux a subpar grade. The guy busted his ass during every minute that he wore the Rangers jersey.

If there is any criticism of Lemieux, it is of the Valiquette bullshit variety. The only thing you can say is he needs to up his conditioning, but when you play all season playing 6 minutes a game on a good team, you can’t expect someone to log 20 minutes a game two days later. The future is bright for #48. I’m sure he will break his ass in the off-season and come into 2019-2020 with a chip on his shoulder.


Lias didn’t play enough when I did my mid-season report card. I gave him an incomplete. Here’s what I said in my mid-season report card:

If you’re a regular reader of these blogs, you know I have high hopes for Lettieri. He’s been a scoring machine in Hartford, but in 16 games with the Rangers, he didn’t produce a point. That won’t cut it. I still believe that Lettieri needs to be on the second line, and playing with better players for him to succeed. However, the Rangers didn’t invest a top draft pick or money in him, so he’s not a priority for the Rangers.


When it comes to Lettieri, my final thoughts on his season is what I have been saying all year – he shows great offensive awareness and is willing to shoot the puck. However, he plays in a league where stats are king and his numbers aren’t there.

Until Lettieri can rip off double digit goals and double digit assists, he will have a tough time shedding the 4A label. I think he has the ability to produce points at a clip, but it hasn’t happened yet.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
At the beginning of the season, Namestnikov was on the scratch list of Quinn. As time went on Namestnikov has grown and has become more comfortable on the Rangers. He’s also developed a mean streak and isn’t afraid to throw down or get in someone’s face either. With 15 points in 38 games, you would like to see Namestnikov have 10 or so more points, but he’s been valuable defensively, where he may have prevented 10 or so goals too. With a year left on his deal, he may be of some value to Cup contending teams.


The word “snarl” was used a lot by David Quinn this season and Namestnikov was one of those guys that embraced that word. I thought Namestnikov started to come into his own a little in the second half of the season. When compared to another defensive forward in Jesper Fast, Namestnikov had 11 more points than Fast, finishing with 31 total points.

Namestnikov, because of his expiring contract during the 2019-2020 season, could be trade bait for the Rangers. However, as far as 2018-2019 goes, I thought Namestnikov had a decent go of it.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Nieves has 3 points in ten games and one of his goals was a phantom goal. I still don’t see Nieves here for the long haul. At 6’3″, I think Nieves has to use his size more and get a little bit more physical. However, for all I know, David Quinn may not want that out of Nieves. I really don’t know. I just think Nieves is one of those Hartford experiments and once his turn is up, someone new will join the fray.


Again, when you look at the grade, remember the criteria I’m using. I thought Nieves improved tremendously as the season went along. The Rangers must’ve thought so too, as they gave him a new contract during the season. While his 10 points in 43 games doesn’t really jump at you, he usually was a positive factor on the ever-changing Rangers fourth line.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Strome has 9 points in 23 games with the Rangers, which is good for someone in the middle of the pack. Strome is another player I don’t see here for the long term, as he was only acquired in a “shake-up the environment” trade. Strome plays hard, but as time goes on, the fifth overall pick of the 2011 draft seems to be more of a role player than a play-maker.


Wow, what a second half for Ryan Strome, who if I had my way, would’ve won the Steve McDonald Extra Effort Award. In 63 games with the Rangers, Strome scored 18 goals, which is more than Mat Barzal scored for the Islanders.

I would argue that the Rangers should bring Strome back for next season. He plays hard. He makes plays. He also seems to be a positive influence for the younger kids on this team and the Rangers need some veterans to fulfill that role. Aside from the Zibanejad trade, the Spooner for Strome swap is perhaps the best trade Gorton has made during his tenure here.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Vesey has 21 points in 41 games, which means he’s getting a point in every other game. He also was most recently put on the scratch list of Quinn too. Vesey, who to me, will always be compared to Buchnevich because they started their Ranger careers at the same time, seems to have more value than Buchnevich. While Buchnevich may be more skilled, Vesey seems to have adapted to the NHL game better. Vesey has also shown a willingness to get physical when needed, which is something you need in the American game. When it comes to both Vesey & Buchnevich, both of these players are players that Quinn needs to get more out of.


Vesey, who will be a free agent at the end of the 2019-2020 season, there just seemed to be some sort of a disconnect as the season went on. While Vesey showed a willingness to roughhouse, his production never came like many hoped it would.

On this team, because of how they joined the Rangers, Vesey will always be compared to Buchnevich in the same way that Andersson is compared to Chytil.

Vesey did finish the season with 35 points, but after a stint on the first line, Vesey became as cold as ice.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Zibanejad leads the team with assists (23) and points (35). So how come I don’t have with the highest grade on this list? Simply put, I think Zibanejad misses way too many open shots, especially on the power-play. Furthermore, I don’t think he’s shown the ability to swing games as much as Hayes or Kreider have been able to do when they are hot. Put it this way, and I know many people have tried to put down the +/- stat in recent years, but Zibanejad is a -15, while Kreider has a 0 and Hayes has a +6. Zibanejad also has a worse shooting percentage than the two Americans as well. In no way am I downplaying what’s been a good season for Zibanejad, I just don’t think he’s the best player on the team.


Zibanejad wound up being the best player on the team this season, even winning the Team MVP and Steve McDonald Extra Effort Award. While I will joke about how some people call him elite, because he’s not, he was a great first line center for the Rangers this season.

Zibanejad led the team in goals (30) and in assists (44) this season. While he did seem a little mopey when Zucc was traded, Zibanejad would eventually leave his mini-fog.

The reason I’m not giving him the A+ is because there were too many games against bad teams where Zibanejad couldn’t get a point or create offense. He was also scoreless for a while, as he was busy hosting a  candlelight vigil for Zuccarello. You just can’t come up empty-handed to teams like Ottawa, no matter how much Lundqvist stinks.

There will be some MIKA FOR CAPTAIN talk. At one point in this season, I thought that would be Kreider’s title. However, as I write these words at the end of the season, I wouldn’t argue against Mika for Captain and I wouldn’t mind trading Kreider, as long as the return is good.

Brady Skjei is like Harvey Dent aka Two-Face, from the “Batman” movies. You never know which Skjei is going to show up – the good Brady Skjei or the bad Brady Skjei.



What I said in my mid-season report card:
I can’t lie – I didn’t see the point in the Rangers signing Claesson in the off-season, especially with an abundance of defensemen at both the big show and AHL levels. While Claesson has been a healthy scratch for nearly half the season, he hasn’t been bad either. He’s done a good job. When it comes to defensemen, the old adage is if you don’t notice them, that means they are doing well. There haven’t been many times this season where you’re throwing your arms up in disgust with Claesson, as you’ve been with Shattenkirk, Skjei or Smith. I don’t think Claesson is a difference maker, but he’s also not hurting the team.


Claesson was a constant scratch in the second half of the season, which is where he was for most of the first half. Claesson was also injured for a period of time too.

In the first half of the season, I thought Claesson was serviceable. In the second half of the season, his mistakes were more glaring and noticeable.

With a ton of defensemen in the system already, it’s hard to imagine Claesson back here next season.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
It’s really hard to grade TDA, because like Claesson, he is scratched a lot by David Quinn. What hurts with TDA, is that the Rangers gave up a starting goalie & a number 1 center for TDA & Lias Andersson. As Ron Duguay told me, there’s something wrong when a young player has been on three different teams. With the way this Rangers season is going, TDA may be on his fourth team, come next year. I’m not around these guys full-time, obviously, and I hate to use the word “maturity” in regards to TDA, because I don’t have any sort of inside access. However, it seems that TDA takes a lot of penalties, usually in retaliation. They aren’t all his fault, but sometimes, you need to keep a level head, as that’s what’s best for the team. TDA has also been on the ice for some bad turnovers, but when you’re a bad team, good teams will do that to you too.


Tony DeAngelo had a hell of a second half of the season. For a stretch of time, he was the top scoring defenseman in the league. Can he build off of this? I hope so.

To me, TDA was the best offensive-defenseman on the team, showed balls and a willingness to get dirty. He also tightened up defensively.

There’s always going to be TDA haters in this world of crybaby liberalism, but if those people can get their head out of their safe space, they will realize that TDA can be a major asset for this team for years to come.

You can also argue that TDA played so well, that he made Shattenkirk look even worse than he already was.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Pionk’s grade is inflated a bit, because of his contract and being part of the youth movement. Here’s what I’ve said about Pionk all season – is there any difference between Pionk and Shattenkirk except for the fact that Shattenkirk makes a lot more money? Pionk has made Shattenkirk expendable. Pionk leads all defensemen in points, with 19. He’s even fifth on the team in scoring! What hurts Pionk is his defense at times, but that goes for any Rangers defenseman on this report card, outside of Marc Staal.


When it comes to the young guys, the grades aren’t that important. However, I have to be fair here – Pionk stunk in the second half of the season.

For the last few months, and as mentioned in my game review blogs, I think Pionk just hit a wall from the schedule. He plateaued and then had a rapid decline. For whatever reason, Quinn, who would scratch his own mother, continued to dress Pionk in every game. I think that hurt Pionk.

Pionk was just an abysmal mess defensively, lost his touch offensively and probably will give Lundqvist recurring nightmares during the off-season.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
I like Shattenkirk. I really want him to succeed. As I’ve been saying ever since he got here, I love everything that he does and says… off the ice. He just hasn’t produced to his contract and some of that is because of “Murphy’s Law”, as anything that could go wrong for 22 has gone wrong for 22. A season and a half into his contract with the Rangers, I don’t think the Rangers have ever had Shattenkirk at 100%. The QB of the PP has been anything but. The Rangers didn’t give Shattenkirk a ton of money for only 10 points this season. This is a league of results, and as much as I like what Shattenkirk says and the charity work that he does, he’s not producing.


As mentioned on this blog at the time of his signing, last season, and throughout this season – I like Kevin Shattenkirk the person, I really do. I think he’s a great guy and I commend his charity efforts. That said, I gotta call a spade a spade here – Shattenkirk was awful, especially when you consider his salary cap hit.

Shattenkirk was bad defensively. Real bad. However, Shattenkirk’s bread and butter is supposed to be as “The QB of the PP”. He was that this season. Unfortunately, he was the Mark Sanchez of the PP and rarely scored.

While I will always contend that Shattenkirk has been plagued with bad luck and is the poster boy for Murphy’s Law, the fact of the matter is this was a bad season, a season where the Rangers should look to deal him if they could.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
This grade could’ve been a lot worse. However, after a tough start to the season defensively, Skjei has gotten better as the season has gone along. That said, he’s still not out of the woods yet. Skjei is a player the Rangers have deemed as a player of the future, as he has the longest contract of any Ranger on the team. Skjei has a respectable 13 points in 39 games, but at times, he’s been a nightmare defensively and perhaps a target on the dartboard of Henrik Lundqvist. Skjei needs to tighten up defensively for any fan to think that Skjei is earning his money.


Who is Brady Skjei? Is he an offensive-defenseman? Shit, can he be a decent defenseman?

Skjei seemed to have a 50-50 season, where he would have games where he stood out & played well. He would also have games where he was just bad. In fact, it seemed like it took a returning Adam McQuaid to help kick-start Skjei’s season. Once McQuaid was traded, Skjei did seem to regress and go back to what he was doing earlier in the season.

What may get lost with Skjei is that he’s still young and maybe was forced into an elder statesmen role this season. However, when you’re making the big bucks, you’re going to be under the microscope more so than others.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Smith has been a bust and a frequent name on the scratch list of Quinn. Ever since signing his big money contract because of solid work in the playoffs of 2017, Smith has been one of the biggest misses during Gorton’s tenure. I don’t even know if the Rangers could get back a third round pick for him at this point. For what you’re getting out of Smith, I rather call up someone from Hartford and let a kid get experience.


For as much as a team player that Brendan Smith was, the bottom line is this – he wasn’t that great on defense, which is why he was converted to a forward. With the money he’s making, that’s just not acceptable. Like other members of this team, Gorton needs to figure out how to move Smith in the off-season.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
To me, not only was Staal the best defensemen of last season, he’s the best defenseman this season too. He’s somewhat the defacto captain of the Rangers, but the Rangers don’t want to put the “C” on him and we all know why. Staal has been great defensively all season for the Rangers and has even worked on his offensive game this year too, as he has 3 goals and 7 assists this season. He’s the only Rangers defenseman to avoid the scratch list of Quinn and has played in every game this season. It’s hard to deem a player who’s making top money with the team as an “unheralded and unsung hero”, but Staal has been better than anyone expected.


For as much as Staal regressed during the final years of Girardi and McDonagh, Staal has picked up his game tremendously in their absence. Don’t listen to the chart boys – Marc Staal had a good season this year. His contract will always be a topic of debate, but when it’s all said and done, he was the best defenseman on this team this season. Furthermore, he also helped the younger kids on this team, as guys like DeAngelo and Pionk had their best games when playing next to good old number 18.

Georgiev was superior to the man making $8M more than him this season.



What I said in my mid-season report card:
While Georgiev doesn’t have impressive numbers, outside of two bad games (Carolina and Columbus) he’s been solid in his role with the Rangers. His numbers really aren’t that far off from Lundqvist and as outlined in past blogs, he’s played against tougher teams than Lundqvist has played against. Most of Georgiev’s starts are against playoff teams, while Lundqvist has beasted on bottom-of-the-barrel teams. Oh, and he’s the only Ranger goalie with a shutout too, in case you haven’t heard! Seriously speaking, while Georgiev isn’t Talbot or Raanta, he has the potential to reach their level, but he needs to play more. If this is a rebuild, it does the Rangers no favors for Georgiev to play as infrequently as he has. In the second half of the season, I would expect Georgiev to play more.


What a final half of the season for “The King of Kings”! Playing exclusively against playoff teams, Georgiev turned in the best five goaltending performances of the season – the two games against Toronto, the win over St. Louis, the shutout over the Islanders and the shutout over the Flyers.

Take a look at these stats:

Keep in mind, when it comes to the W/L stat, Lundqvist was credited with a no decision after being pulled in a game where gave up 5 goals to the Islanders. Georgiev entered a 5-1 game, but would give up a goal. However, since the Rangers mounted a comeback and scored five goals, the GWG and the loss was credited to Georgiev.

What makes Georgiev’s rookie year so impressive is that he posted these numbers with a suspect defense in front of him. Unlike Lundqvist, Georgiev only played against the top teams in the league. He’s also the only Rangers goalie to ever defeat the Penguins during the Matt Murray era.

Let’s face it – Georgiev was supposed to be a one and done type of player, a stop gap until Shestyorkin got here. Now it’s not that simple. Hell of a season for Georgiev, especially considering how rocky it started.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
The “DefALLt Star”, because of his name, Lundqvist is having what’s been the norm for him in recent seasons. Lundqvist starts off great, carries the team, and sometimes is the best player on the ice. However, as the season goes along, Lundqvist starts to fall apart and has his usual mid-winter slide. We’re seeing it now. You all know my feelings on Lundqvist already, so I won’t rehash that here. In what’s been a new wrinkle, for the first time this season, we’re starting to hear about his mental anguish. With the Rangers looking to experience more darkness before they see light, you have to wonder how Lundqvist will hold up, as he plays behind the worst defense of his career.


Between only playing bad teams, ducking the good teams and having the worst numbers of his career, all while making the most money at his position in America, Henrik Lundqvist was a complete failure this season. Anyone who says otherwise is drinking the Swedish Kool Aid.

Lundqvist was terrible once the All-Star festivities ended. Even worse, he was terrible all while playing the worst teams in the league. What really knocks Lundqvist down a peg is the fact that he blames his teammates for losses in every post game interview. How does that help a young and rebuilding team?

Mark my words, and as I’ve been saying for 5 years now – the Rangers will never win a Cup with Henrik Lundqvist. The faster they remove this albatross from the books, the better off they will be.



I haven’t seen many Wolfpack games in whole this season. In fact, I’ve only seen two. In his limited four game stint with the Rangers, Gettinger didn’t capitalize on his opportunity. He’s too big to be quiet. He’s a work in progress, so the jury is out on him.

Gettinger never played again for the Rangers after a cup of coffee on Broadway.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
The Rangers had to take him in the Rick Nash trade and he’s just one of those players that I don’t think is destined to be with the big club. From what I heard, he’s a good locker room guy, but that can only take you so far.

Beleskey never played again for the Rangers after a cup of coffee on Broadway.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Fogarty had a ten game stint with the Rangers that produced no points and he wasn’t a factor. He’s back in Hartford and again, he’s just one of those players to me that won’t be with the big club in the future.

Fogarty never played again for the Rangers after a cup of coffee on Broadway.


He had his chance and it didn’t work out. See ya.


It’s a shame Hajek got hurt after scoring his first NHL goal. You have to believe he’s part of the future of the Rangers blue line.


Out of all the defenseman call-ups, I thought Lindgren was the best and looked the most natural. The best is yet to come.

The $8.5M man has a contract that no one wants. Instead of moving on from Lundqvist, the Rangers said toodles to Zuccarello, Hayes and McQuaid during the 2019 trade deadline.



What I said in my mid-season report card:
If it wasn’t for his recent injury, Hayes would probably be tops on the team in points. With the games missed, he’s currently second on the team with 33 points in 39 games. He’s arguably the best Ranger on the team, although others may make case for Kreider, Zibanejad or Lundqvist. In a year with his name swirling in trade rumors, Hayes has been the anti-Zuccarello. When the trade deadline comes, Hayes will be the toughest decision that Jeff Gorton makes. How do you let a guy that’s been great all season and who is still young, just go for unproven draft picks? Then again, is Hayes shooting his load in a draft year? Gorton is in a very tough spot here.

Hayes had a great season for the Rangers. Now with the Jets, Hayes has the chance to increase his paycheck next season if he can have a strong performance in the playoffs. Oddly enough, Larry Brooks is campaigning for the Rangers to bring him back. Of course, flip-flop Brooks also said the Rangers should move on from Hayes for good during the trade deadline.


What I said in my mid-season report card:

It’s tough to judge McLeod, who is here to protect the young kids, play strong defensively and to give the team some grit. McLeod has only 1 goal through 22 games played, but even if he had 3 or 4 goals, would it really make that much of a difference? Unlike his first season in NY, McLeod has been more willing to battle and fight. Up until recently, the team was much better with him in the line-up too. It wouldn’t shock me if the Rangers moved on from McLeod, but he’s been serviceable this season.

McLeod was a locker room guy, but at his age and with his skill set, the Rangers had to move on from him.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
It’s really hard to judge McQuaid, as he has missed most of the season with an injury. Out of the 8 starting Ranger defensemen this season, he’s been the most replaceable. I would be shocked if he’s with the Rangers in 2019-2020. McQuaid has shown that he will throw down when needed, but so was Dylan McIlrath. While McQuaid is more skilled than the player known as “The Undertaker”, McQuaid’s best days are long gone. He would be better suited on a Cup contender, as a sixth or seventh defenseman.

McQuaid’s biggest contribution to the Rangers was helping Brady Skjei get going. I don’t know what the future holds for McQuaid, as it seems like bouncing around the league is what’s most likely.


I never understood why the Rangers invested two years and $8M into Spooner. After 16 games, the Rangers traded him to Edmonton. This is a miss for Jeff Gorton.

WOOF. Spooner played himself out of the league, as Edmonton traded him to Vancouver. From there, he played for Vancouver’s AHL affiliate. Not good.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Let me say this first – I am a Zuccarello fan. However, his time is up. He knows it. The Rangers know it. The fans know it. Where someone like Hayes is capitalizing on his contract status, Zuccarello has done anything but. Zucc has four goals in 29 games played, as he missed a bunch of games with a groin injury. While no one can ever question the heart of Zuccarello and what he’s meant for this team during his tenure here, this has easily been his worst season as a Ranger. Zucc has been a turnover machine this season and sadly, mentally, it looks like he’s given up.

Zucc got hot right around the All-Star break, which made it harder for some Ranger fans to see him go. Dallas hopes that Zucc can help Dallas get to the Cup, which would benefit the Rangers, draft-pick wise.

What a hell of a play drawn up by Lindy Ruff here.



What I said in my mid-season report card:
It’s tough to grade Gorton, as you won’t really be able to judge him for three more years. However, as stated in recent blogs, he’s had way more misses than hits. We will have to see what he does in the deadline, the 2019 draft and in the upcoming off-season to really get a feel for him. However, as of right now, his big money contracts have all been failures, Andersson hasn’t panned out yet and with his defense a mess, why is Ruff still here? To be fair, he was burdened by bad Sather contracts, so Gorton deserves more time to see what he can do. That said, it doesn’t help that Sather is still around.


Gorton’s time to shine will be now and throughout the summer. How he handles this draft and free agancy will be most telling. I thought the Hayes trade was a win. I thought he could’ve got back more for Zucc.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Quinn is another tough one to judge, as he isn’t here for the now, he’s here for the future. I do like his message and the way he acts with the media. I think the bloom is off the rose with him a bit and the honeymoon is now over, especially with the the 9-1-1 winning streak being a thing of the past. However, once again, like other names on this list, you can’t truly judge him based on this season and with this roster.


What bothered me about Quinn was not allowing his lines to gain any real type of chemistry. As pointed out during the season, he also talked out of both sides of his mouth. I thought he did a good job for what he had and I’m interested to see how he does with a real NHL roster.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
The powerplay continues to struggle for the Rangers. I will say, it has looked better than when Arniel was running it. Again, you need more time to get a grasp of what he can do.


The power play was fucking awful after the trade deadline. Even with the roster changes, one PPG in 31 attempts is inexcusable.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Unlike the other coaches on this team, I don’t know what the hell Ruff does here. The defense stinks and I don’t see it getting better. The penalty kill is 27th in the league. To Ruff’s defense, it’s not his fault he has some bad veterans with bad contracts on his defense. That said, WHAT DOES RUFF DO HERE?


While the talent isn’t the best, the defense didn’t really get much better as the season went along. Even Larry Brooks is writing articles calling for Ruff’s oversized head. I don’t know why Ruff is here at all.


What I said in my mid-season report card:
Allaire is still tops in the NHL and I can’t wait for the day that he gets his hands on CZAR IGOR SHESTYORKIN!

FINAL GRADE: A++++++++++

What Allaire did with Georgiev erases all the crap that we have to deal with when it comes to Lundqvist. Allaire belongs in the HOF.

It’s been a crazy season for the Rangers.

That concludes the 2018-2019 Report Card. I hope you enjoyed it. My grades aren’t the end of the world. The grades are just my opinions.

And oh yea, I know I could wrap up the blog now, considering all the content for your one click, but let me keep rolling for a minute.

“Hey Mr. Dolan, it’s Jeff. Jeff Gorton. No, not that Jeff Gorton. It’s me, the Jeff Gorton that’s the GM of your hockey team. Yes, Mr. Dolan, you do own a hockey team. Anyway, can you send me a clean-up crew? I need to get the odor of old man and turd cigars out of my office. Yes Mr. Dolan, I really work for you and you really do own a hockey team!” Photo Credit: NHL

Two last things before wrapping up here.

Did you guys see the letter Jeff Gorton sent out to the season ticket holders today? Like every single one of his interviews, Jeff Gorton didn’t say much, as he used a lot of words, but didn’t say anything of much significance.

Since I had fun playing italics and bold during this entire blog, let me share with you Jeff Gorton’s letter that was sent out today. His words are in italics, my words, as I translate what Jeff Gorton is really saying, are in bold.

Here we go:

NY Rangers
April 8, 2019


You fucking idiots who spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on season tickets aren’t even worth my time of writing out the word “hello”. All you’ll get is a cheap hi from me. I’m also the type of guy that if you text me a question or anything important, I will only respond with the letter “K.”

With the Rangers season just concluded, we wanted to reach out to our fans to say thank you for your loyalty, and to provide our perspective on the team’s progress. While it is always disappointing to not make the playoffs, we think this season had a lot of positives, particularly in player development, and we are encouraged by what we have seen.

I would also like to laugh behind your back as we raise ticket prices next season. For you season ticket holders who can’t attend every game, you will be pleased to know that we will keep our “All For One” program going next season, where the fans next to you get to spend 50% less than you did for your ticket. Furthermore, make sure to get those deposits in, those preseason games won’t pay for themselves!

Our player development was just amazing this year, as we continued to build around Henrik Lundqvist, who despite being the highest paid goalie in America, he ranked in the bottom 10% of the league in GAA and save percentage. Please, it’s our mission to coddle Lundqvist forever, so please, if you can, mortgage your house and buy one of his silly watches. It will help his confidence and that is our sole mission here.

David and the coaching staff did a terrific job over the course of the season, making us play tough, competitive hockey. He has earned tremendous respect in the locker room and throughout the NHL for the team’s consistent effort. David and his staff hold everyone equally accountable, and they have established a strong culture of hard work and physical play that resonates with both our veterans and the young guys coming up.

Anyone have toilet paper, I need to wipe the shit that I’m spewing out of my mouth!

We were very impressed that Lindy Ruff teaches a defense that encourages the goalies to face multiple odd-man rushes per game. Even more impressive, somehow David Oliver had us deeply missing Scott Arniel on the PP!

Sorry guys, thanks for the toilet paper. However, does anyone have any soothing aloe for my asshole? Glen’s hand is still there, which is why I had to tell you that we were very pleased with our veterans. Just look at our veterans this year. Outside of Marc Staal, did any of them earn their money this season? 

Speaking of our older players, can you fucking jabronis please buy more Shattenkirk jerseys? I’m getting sick of looking at them at every concession stand in the Garden!

We will be adding even more young talent throughout what we expect to be a busy off-season. Tomorrow will be an exciting day, as the NHL holds the Draft Lottery. By all accounts, it’s going to be a deep draft, and we are going to have a top 10 pick, which we plan to make the most of. This pick adds to the 22 assets we will have acquired through the seven trades we’ve made over 2018-2019 – which also resulted in seven first round NHL Draft selections – the most any NHL team has had in 40 years.

I plan on adding more 19 year old players on this team, just because I get a kick out of Joe Micheletti’s fascination with 19 year old men. After all, the M in “NAMBLA” stands for Micheletti.

Don’t you love the term “deep draft”? It’s not like any of you scumbags can fact check me on that. Plus, what am I going to say here anyway? This draft sucks, but keep on giving the team your money? I guess it wouldn’t matter with you people anyway, but I like to massage your hopes a little bit.

We have 22 assets and 7 draft picks. However, we don’t have any scouts in America or Canada, so expect a ton of Swedes. Maybe for shits and kicks, I’ll draft another Swedish goalie in the second round again, a goalie that was projected to go in the 7th round last year.

Oh and speaking of goalies, I could have 22 goalie assets and draft 7 more goalies. However, none of those fucks will play, as we are planning on cloning Henrik Lundqvist. Again, I ask you to please buy his watch, as all the overstock is preventing him from parking his brand new Mercedes Benz in his 10 car garage.

On the ice, while we were pleased with our progress in certain areas, there are other areas we know we must improve. We’ve seen development from our young players, as well as some of our veterans, which remains a priority for us moving forward. With the assets we’ve acquired since this process started and significant salary cap space, we will be aggressive in exploring every avenue to continue building our team.

We are very pleased that we are the only team in the league to give a four year/$17.4M contract to a defenseman that was so bad, that we decided to make him a forward. It’s the Rangers way. Now I’m thinking, maybe we can clone Brendan Smith too!

We have a ton of assets and cap space. I am also pleased to announce that I’m working with Henrik Lundqvist on a new 34337 year/$676987687676987 contract. If that means I have to trade Mika Zibanejad, so be it. It is our mission to remain the only team in the league to rebuild around a 38 year old goaltender next season. That’s how you win Cups baby!

Obviously, we had a big change last week when Glen Sather announced his transition to advisor. The Rangers have been incredibly fortunate to have Glen over these last 19 seasons, and all of us who have been able to work with him are better for it. We will operate on a business as usual basis until a new President is named, and look forward to what’s next.

Speaking of big changes, can I get a huge AMEN for the Haitian nurses that had to change Glen’s diapers every day? That’s no walk in the park.

With Senile Sather gone, I must add that it’s nice to have a neck that constantly isn’t being breathed on. I think I got second hand cancer just from Sather’s $2 Swisher Sweets cigar breath.

And yes, while I put on a brave face, I am embarrassed and offended that I wasn’t offered the Team President job. Glen promises that he will find someone to work with me, but it’s pretty sad that I have to keep my mouth shut and wait for a new boss. What about me, what about Gorty?

As our off-season begins, we want you to know we are moving in the right direction. We will stay consistent with our plan, while exploring all opportunities we think can improve our team. We appreciate the passion and commitment you bring to the Rangers family, and are dedicated to our long-term plan of creating the foundation for the next Stanley Cup contender.

The right direction will always be to build around Henrik Lundqvist. Again, please, the watches, they aren’t going to buy themselves. Pony up assholes.

I am so glad this franchise ignores their history and the majority of their legends. Since most of you Ranger fans are ignorant, you will never question us, nor realize that we have only 4 Cups in 93+ seasons. I commend you for buying my bullshit. Enjoy the price increase on tickets, concessions, beer and merchandise next season, you bunch of walking talking ATM’s.

Speaking of ATM’s, here comes that little Ass-To-Mouth Joe Micheletti. It looks like he’s seen a 19 year old, as he’s beaming ear-to-ear right now. It’s time to sign off here.

NY Rangers
Jeff Gorton
General Manager

P.S.: If there are any Ranger fans living in Banff, Alberta, we are looking for someone to spoon-feed and change the diapers of Glen Sather. While we won’t pay you, we will give you a $25 off coupon off of your next $500 merchandise purchase at M$G. Love ya Rangerstown, ya rubes!

Today can be the beginning of something special. Then again, it’s more likely that I hear Al Demauro say “I TOLD YOU SO” 10000000 times.

I am now done writing about the 2018-2019 season.

Up next, the NHL draft lottery, which takes place tonight, on April 9th.

There’s been so much written, so much speculation, so many of these silly tankathon permutations and so much debate about the Rangers and the draft lottery, that I’ll spare you my take. All I’ll say is this, I’m hoping, like all of you, that the Rangers get the number 1 pick. If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Maybe the Rangers try to trade up. Maybe the Rangers get the number 2 pick.

In any event, I’ll save my opinions and what I’d like to see happen once we know where the Rangers will be selecting at.


Oh, and since the playoffs will have started by the time I do my next blog, here are my Stanley Cup Playoff predictions:

Go Bolts!

As always, thanks for reading this manifesto, and of course…


Sean McCaffrey

@NYCTHEMIC on twitter

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6 thoughts on “The 2018-2019 New York Rangers Final Report Card: Grading Every Ranger and Coach on the Roster, Who Makes the Grade & More. Plus: The Jeff Gorton Press Release & The Draft Lotto

  1. If I got it right we got second overall pick!!!!

    Wow what a break!

    If we got first I would have crapped my pants so I’m glad that did not happen………besides if we got first the Rangers would likely trade Hughes down for a defenseman that cant skate………cant skate but otherwise good of course

    I am guessing the Devils will take Jack Hughes but who knows, he is kind of small and I don’t think he is a no brainer guaranteed type prospect like say McDavid…….its possible they could pass on him……not likely but remotely possible

    : )

    1. Picking 2nd is great, Rangers can’t fuck it up and only the Devils can be second guessed! I think Gorton knows what he has to do here, unlike his predecessor.

      I’m with you, I don’t think it’s 100% NJD takes Hughes, but I wouldn’t bet against it either.

  2. Better still, I see some scouts are debating whether Hughes or Kakko should go first and we at least will have one of them………even Senile Sather could not screw this one up I am thinking………..well ok he could but he is gone now so we are in luck

    : )

  3. Researching Hughes vs Kaako and Id have to go with Kaako………..Jack Hughes is really small if you see him without the equipment…..I mean very small……smaller players can be great Marty, Fleury, Gretzky, Stan Makita etc but if Hughes is going to make it in the NHL he is going to have to turn into a Marty St Louis type physical specimen……..a side by side comparison between Marty and Jack makes Marty look like the frigging Hulk and Jack look like this skinny little kid……..on the other hand Kakko is 6 2 190 and still growing and he is excelling in a far superior to the USHL mens league in Finland… Id have to go with Kakko

    I think now maybe the Devils will even pass on Hughes
    Either or would be good to have for the Rangers so its a win win situation……..I think the World Juniors are coming up so lets see how they shake out in that one
    Well Sean at least we finally have something to be enthusiastic about after missing the playoffs again, no?…..and Senile Sather is gone…..hip hip hooray
    Im glad there was no tanking with the team this year……….I figure tanking can just ruin your luck

    1. I don’t watch enough of these kids to know anything more than what I read from the scouts about them. It seems Hughes has the better long-term potential but Kaako is ready now. Either way, it’s a win-win for NYR, as they just take the other guys.

      Now if they can get rid of #30…

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