What’s up everyone and welcome to a rare “HOT TAKE” blog, here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. After posting the Giacomin blog on Monday, my original plan was to wait until next Monday to release my NHL 2018-2019 season preview blog. Even now, that blog is going to need some tinkering, with the Pacioretty to Vegas trade, Steve Yzerman stepping down as the GM of Tampa and with Erik Karlsson’s name back in the rumor mill.
However, what prompted me to chime in right away and do a short blog (well short for me anyway) was the Rangers trading for Boston Bruins defenseman, Adam McQuaid. Shit, I feel like Mike Francesa, with his “REVOLUTIONARY” $8.99 app. (I still don’t know what the app is revolting against.) But unlike Francesa, I’m not charging you money to read this immediate reaction!
If you haven’t heard about the trade, here are the full particulars, from the Rangers themselves:
Let me make one thing clear right away – does this trade, where the Rangers acquired Adam McQuaid for Kampfer and draft picks, really change the Rangers outlook for the 2018-2019 season? Of course not. However, landing McQuaid does throw some monkey wrenches into the mix. The addition of McQuaid also shakes up my Rangers season preview blog.
Speaking of my Rangers season preview blog, what a perfect time to get to the plugs section of this blog! In case you missed them, here are my most recent blogs:
“Eddie: A Goalie’s Story” Book Review – An In-Depth Look at Eddie Giacomin’s New York Rangers Career, Giacomin’s Place in Rangers History vs Other Ranger Goalies, The Return Game as a Red Wing, Latest on NYR & More
The New York Rangers 2018-2019 Season Preview Blog: Taking An In-Depth & Comprehensive Look at the Roster & Every Storyline Going Into The Season, The Lundqvist Era and How His Role Has Changed, The Draft vs The Playoffs, The Rebuild, Free Agents vs Youth, Ranger Fans vs Patience, No Move Clauses, Potential Trades, Sather Must Go ASAP, What It Takes To Win The Cup & More on the Current State of NYR
BCBS For 8/27: An In-Depth “Play The Man” by Brad Park & Stan Fischler Book Review, Park vs Orr, Looking at the 1970-1971 New York Rangers, The Latest News/Notes/Opinions on the Current Rangers & Thoughts On The Upcoming Season, America Loses John McCain, Rangerstown Loses Tim Malone & More
The New York Rangers Delorean Blog Chapter X: Wayne Gretzky’s Final Game. NYR Ends A Depressing Season With a Passing of the Torch Moment, What Could’ve Been w/Messier & 99, Barrasso vs Richter, Jagr Stuns, Captain Brian Leetch, The NHL on FOX, The John MacLean Situation, The nWo, TLC, Bill Clinton, The Matrix & Much More From April 18th, 1999!
BCBS For 8/12: “The Summer Classic” Game Review! Team Henke vs Team Zucca, Current & Ex-Rangers Raise A Ton of Dough For Charity, Feelings About The 2018-2019 Rangers, Raanta vs Lundqvist, The All-American Ryan McDonagh, Zucc’s Best Friends, The Hank Era of Rangers & Much More From Norway!
BCBS For 8/6: “Ranger Fever” By Marv Albert & Stan Fischler Book Review, The Optimism of 1973, The Marv Albert Scandal & Today’s PC World, Who Should Be The Next Captain of the Rangers, Lundqvist/Zuccarello’s Monster Charity Game & An Idea For It, Spoonman Remains Blue and More NYR News/Notes/Opinions
BCBS 7/31: The Gump Worsley Blog! “They Call Me Gump” Book Review, Gump’s Place on the Mount Rushmore of NYR Goalies, Gump Quotes & More! Plus: Detailed Thoughts On Brady Skjei & Kevin Hayes Returning to the NY Rangers, Rod Gilbert Bashing, Tim Moriarity & Much More
The New York Rangers “Rink of Honor”: Looking At 90+ Different Men Who Represented The Rangers with Pride & Valor
Gilles Villemure’s “Tales from the Rangers Locker Room” Book Review: A Former Vezina Winner Recounts The Emile Francis Era of Rangers with a Symposium Feel, NYR Rink of Honor, Rafters of MSG & More Rangers History From the Early 1970’s
BCBS 7/20: Frank Boucher “When The Rangers Were Young” Book Review & All The Latest News/Opinions on the Current State of NYR. The “Lose For Hughes” Debate, One Trade NYR Should Look Into, Quinn’s Coaching Staff, Hank’s Attitude, The “Controversial” McLeod Re-Signing, Smith, Quick, Lettieri, The Russians, Shatty, Chart Hockey & Much More
The Mike Richter vs Henrik Lundqvist Debate: An In-Depth Look At Who Is Truly The Greatest Goalie in the History of the New York Rangers, Looking At Every Starting Goalie in the 91+ Year History of NYR & Much More Richter vs Lundqvist Talk
Before getting into Adam McQuaid, let’s take a look at what’s going to Boston.
The Rangers sent Steve Kampfer back to Boston, as Kampfer returns to Beantown for his second stint. Losing Kamper is no big deal for the Rangers. They have plenty of defenseman already locked up to big deals, plus have other young faces waiting to make their splash on the roster. If anything, it looks like Kampfer is moving from Hartford to Providence.
During last season, I alluded to the rumors that Henrik Lundqvist and Steven Kampfer did not get along. I usually don’t comment or report on second hand, third hand, or fourth hand rumors, especially since people try to feed me anti-Lundqvist stuff all the time, but I heard the same rumors from people who have never been wrong before.
Trust me, I hate the “My brother knows the third cousin of <Insert Random MSG Employee Here> and according to his sister-in-law, who found out at a hair salon, blah blah blah” stuff too. So what I’m about to tell you, you can take with a grain of salt or you can believe what I’m about to tell you. After all, I never “break stories” here, nor have shared the crazy rumors that I’ve heard over the years. So for me to break my past precedents, should tell you that I’m confident in telling you what I’ve heard.
As mentioned, I hinted at these Lundqvist/Kampfer rumors during last season. You can look at the archives to see what I specifically wrote at the time.
Essentially, with Lundqvist having the worst season of his career, and Kampfer getting more playing time with the team, things weren’t good for the Rangers, as we all know. Lundqvist would routinely blame the defense for bad games in his post game interviews. We are all also aware of Lundqvist’s hissy & sissy fits, where he acts like a spoiled brat and cries at his teammates after a goal. This is not news.
Apparently, after one of Lundqvist’s many acts of poor sportsmanship and subsequently blaming the defense after the game, Kampfer took issue. Kampfer didn’t get in Lundqvist’s face or anything, nor did anything even get remotely physical. So don’t think I’m implying that. However, Kampfer allegedly did mouth back at Lundqvist, as Kampfer defended his teammates.
From there, Kampfer didn’t play the next 9 games and was sparingly used. It would be great if the media did their job today, and asked Kampfer his thoughts about Lundqvist, now that he’s out of New York. I doubt that will happen, just like how the media can’t even get a quote from Alain Vigneault on his firing or can’t even report on what exactly happened between Vinni Lettieri and Brendan Smith. That is, not until James Dolan tells his puppet Larry Brooks what to write.
We all know the power Lundqvist wields in New York. So for Kamper to be traded, I’m not surprised. The only thing that really surprised me was that Kampfer wasn’t traded in June.
End of the story and the Lundqvist stuff aside, in the grand scheme of things, losing a 30 year old journeyman, is not a big deal for the Rangers.
What I don’t like about the trade, is the Rangers adding two draft picks. It feels unnecessary, just like how it was unnecessary when Senile Sather included two number 1 draft picks in the Ryan Callahan for Martin St. Louis trade.
Obviously, McQuaid is the better player between himself and Kampfer. I don’t think I’ll find much resistance on that opinion. However, when looking at a trade, you can’t just look at your team, you have to look at the other team, and look without bias.
The Boston Bruins have a ton of NHL regular defensemen ready to go. McQuaid, who is beloved in Boston, was most likely to be a healthy scratch this upcoming season. The Bruins are also in WIN-NOW mode, as was evident with their moves at the trade deadline last season, which pretty much backfired in every possible way. Maybe Gorton felt bad about the Rick Nash trade and showed sympathy on the Bruins, thus including the two draft picks in the McQuaid trade.
In either event, McQuaid, who turns 32 years old this season and has spent his entire 9 year NHL career in Boston, was a huge fan favorite. However, with a cap hit of $2.75M and with his role on the team being decreased, he was easily expendable. Keep in mind, Boston is all-in for a Stanley Cup run now, and that $2.75M of freed up money may help them come the trade deadline. For Boston, this trade was a pure salary dump.
In other words, Boston, with a huge stock of defensemen and needing to shed cap space, (As mentioned in previous blogs, the salary cap has changed the sport for the worse, as players are now stocks & bonds are routinely broken) were looking for a trading partner to off-load McQuaid. Enter the Rangers.
Obviously, a straight swap of McQuaid for Kampfer would’ve made a few heads turn, but astute people would’ve understood what Boston was doing, because of the salary cap. At the very most, the Rangers could’ve added their seventh rounder. In my eyes, they didn’t need to add a fourth rounder.
Am I over-analzying a bit and dissecting way too much? Perhaps. However, we’ve seen the Rangers bungle trade-after-trade and louse up draft-after-draft. Four Stanley Cups in 91+ seasons folks. So in that vein, when I see something questionable, I call it out.
What concerns me about the addition of McQuaid, is where does this leave the Rangers defense? In particular, where are the kids going to fit in? And please – spare me the “you need a healthy mix of veterans and rookies” stuff. The Rangers have plenty of veterans on this team, the problem is that now outside of McQuaid, none of them are winners. Furthermore, the Rangers do nothing but draft defensemen, but have most of the roster spots accounted for.
I am hoping that McQuaid is the first part of a two-step trade. What I mean by that is that I hope with McQuaid here, the Rangers do whatever they have to do to move Marc Staal and Brendan Smith. That is how you open up spots for the kids.
As it is right now, you have Marc Staal, Brendan Smith, Kevin Shattenkirk and Brady Skjei compromising 2/3rds of the defense. You know the Rangers have raging erections for Swedish players, so Fredrik Claesson probably makes the team. The Rangers didn’t just give up two draft picks and a player for McQuaid to play in Hartford, so McQuaid probably makes the team on opening night. That’s six defensemen accounted for.
For those not aware or who need a reminder, an NHL team can only dress 18 skaters and 2 goalies. The Rangers already have their forwards pretty much locked up, with a 12th forward spot being up for grabs. Are the Rangers going to only carry 11 forwards and 7 defensemen, with the idea of Neal Pionk being the seventh defenseman?
Unless the Rangers make another trade, it seems that Pionk’s ice time is the biggest victim of this McQuaid deal. What happens to Tony DeAngelo, who was part of a package where the Rangers gave up their number 1 center in Derek Stepan and a goalie who is far superior than Lundqvist in the present day, in Antti Raanta? Does he go back to Howlin’ in Hartford? What happens to the guy who looks like he has to worry about his SAT’s, in John Gilmour?
If Head Coach David Quinn is this magical guru of player development, as many may lead you to believe, wouldn’t it behoove the Rangers to you know, give him young talent to work with?
Again, who knows how this all plays out and if another trade is made. However, for right now, I think the Rangers have way too much age, and players who won’t be around for the next playoff run, currently on their blue line.
Right now, it seems the Rangers have a fetish for anything that even farted in the State of Massachusetts. Their Boston fetish is now nearing their plump and firm hard-on’s for anything Swedish.
I don’t mind taking McQuaid’s cap hit, because it doesn’t mean anything this season. McQuaid will be an UFA at the end of the season, which once again, bares the question – “why were two draft picks included?”
I think the Rangers have one more move in them, before heading into the season. We’ll see.
As far as what McQuaid brings, McQuaid brings physicality and balls. In fact, he’s even smacked Cody McLeod around four times, three times during the 2017-2018 season alone!
Ranger fans, thirsty for a player that they wished Dylan McIlrath would’ve become, will be impressed with McQuaid’s fight card. In fact, you can check out all of McQuaid’s fights by visiting HockeyFights.com or by clicking here directly.
All of McQuaid’s coaches, teammates and fans, have raved about McQuaid’s willingness to leave it all out there, defend his team and the ability to drop gloves whenever necessary. Unlike McLeod, McQuaid isn’t going to watch his teammates get concussed all over the place. The main issue with McQuaid is that he’s a defenseman, on a team full of veteran defensemen. It’s not like he will be taking shifts with Andersson or Chytil, and looking to protect them like he’s a Dave Semenko.
For those who do a little digging into the personal lives of the players, McQuaid was married this past July. The only reason I mention this is because he joins Shattenkirk and Fast as newly married men on the team. Let’s hope all three of these men don’t make the same mistake Brendan Smith made!
At the end of the day, the Rangers got a quality player. It sucks for McQuaid, who really loved Boston and the city really loved him. It was a trade of business. Whether McQuaid lasts the season or not, is unknown. After all, the Rangers could flip him at the 2019 deadline to a playoff team seeking toughness and get back their picks. All we can do is hope he does well. By all accounts, he’s a valuable teammate, and the Rangers need players like that.
Thanks for reading this special “HOT TAKE” blog. Make sure to check out the Giacomin blog out from Monday if you haven’t already.
I’ll be back next Monday with my NHL 2018-2019 season preview blog. Until then, thanks for reading, and as always….
LET’S GO RANGERS
@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter machine