The Taylor Pyatt situation has finally come to an end. It was reported in the Post that Rangers G.M. Glen Sather had a long man to man conversation with Pyatt in the locker rooma week ago and then he never dressed for another game. It would seem that the Rangers were trying to deal him but found no takers to give something up for Pyatt. Yesterday Taylor Pyatt was put on waivers and was claimed by the Pittsburgh Penguins today. According to Capgeek.com, the Rangers are now around $2.5 million under the cap limit, so there makes some room for the Rangers to make a deal now where they can bring in $2 million more than they send away in a trade. That is huge since alot of teams are either at the cap or over (LTI allows you to go over or bonus money can be used against next years cap).
Today, Minnesota put a player on waivers that would fit the Rangers perfect, Zenon Konopka. Yes, he is 33 years old and only a 4th liner worthy of 8 minutes a game, BUT he does the two things the Rangers need the most. He is excellent on faceoffs and will drop the gloves and make other teams play "honest" against the Rangers. His cap hit for the full year is only $925,000 so if the Rangers put a claim in today and were awarded him, it would sort of be like a trade of Taylor Pyatt for Zenon Konopka and saving $625,000 on the full season salary cap hit. With Conor Allen showing he belongs and can play as a third line defense pairing, could the Michael DelZotto deal be far away. The Rangers team that started the season had some players that didn't fit the new Rangers system and they have been sent away from New York in Taylor Pyatt, Arron Asham, Darrol Powe, and Martin Biron. So far the Rangers have stayed inside their organization and have promoted Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Conor Allen, and Cameron Talbot.
The standings in order right now at the halfway point for the Metrpolitan Division are: Pittsburh 59 points, Washington 45 points, Philadelphia 44 points, Newark 42 points, Rangers 42 points, Carolina 39 points, Columbus 38 points, and Islanders 33 points. That is with the 2 points for any type of win, 1 point for an overtime or regular loss, and 0 points for a regulation loss. NOW if the NHL changed the points system to match the way the games now end with shootouts it would be alot different. The points system as it stands, rewards teams for "going for the tie" so that the worst that can happen is only losing a point to the team in the standings. The shootout was put in to "open up the game and make more offense". Well if the teams are tied with under 5 minutes left, most teams are playing it safe and defensive and not showing more offense. That would be easily fixed by just changing the point system to 3 points for a regulation win, 2 points for an overtime or shootout win, 1 point for an overtime or shootout loss and 0 points for a regulation loss as it could be a 3 point differential between a regulation win to a regulation loss and make each game worth alot more. You want teams to play from the start of the game to the end of the game? A 3 point differential is a good enough reason to "go for it". If this was the point system, going off of the team records on Thehockeynews.com, the adjusted standings would look like this: Pittsburgh 83 points, Philadelphia 61 points, Rangers 58 points, Washington 55 points, Newark 54 points, Columbus 52 points, Carolina 51 points, and Islanders 42 points.
The Rangers have now won 4 out of the last 5 and even played well in the loss to Washington. The Rangers seem to making adjustments to their lineup to be more "AV friendly". It would seem that there will be one or two more moves soon that will make the team more in AV's vision for this season. It seems that Marc Staal is back and well and that Captain Ryan Callahan is well on his way to a return in the next two weeks.
Let's Go Rangers!!