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Canada Red/White scrimmage, Friedman on NHL/NHLPA negotiations, top-25 NYR?

November 21, 2020, 8:56 PM ET [21 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Saturday night, the Canadian National Team played the first of their three intrasquad games. Elliotte Friedman dropped some additional negotiation information Thursday and Saturday morning. Plus, the latest list of the top-25 Rangers' offseason questions, including which questions remain open.

Braden Schnieder was on the first defensive pair for the White team while Matthew Robertson skated on the third trio. Dylan Garand started the game between the pipes for the Blanc squad. Garand looked really good early on the contest, stoning the Red squad on the power play, and shut out the Red for 30:31 before each squad put in another goalie. Garand was solid positionally, anticipating plays well while also controlling any rebounds. Below is the link to the video stream, which should be applicable for all three intrasquad contests.

Friedman wrote the below in his Thursday column. Right now, there will be posturing on both sides. The players have a right to be angry because they felt that a deal was already in place where they gave to facilitate an agreement. In addition, we are potentially six weeks from a season and this is being sprung on them. In addition, as Friedman points out, players signed deals taking advantage of the lower escrow later in their contracts, which now may not be the case. Owners argument, which is accurate, is that revenue is down, as fans still are not allowed in most arenas, and sign the CBA is a 50-50 split, the players need to assist with the revenue shortfall.

You can understand both arguments. However, the owners will share in the franchise fee from Seattle next year, which is not being counted here. In addition, the league's exclusive deal with NBC expires after the season and the NHL expects to sign contracts with several providers - possibly ESPN and Fox - helping to line their pockets. But that is in the future, not now. The sides will reach an accord, though the owners should add some juice and vig to the back end of the CBA for the deferred compensation, since the present value of money means the $ down the road is worth less than they are now. 

Players agreed to a 10-per cent deferral for the upcoming year. Escrow caps are: 20 per cent for 2020-21; 14-18 per cent (although everyone assumes it will be 18) in 2021-22; 10 per cent in 2022-23; and six per cent for the remaining three seasons. (A one-year extension will be tacked on the end of the CBA if the players owe the league between $125-$250 million after 2024-25; the cap on that would be nine per cent.)

According to several sources, the league submitted two proposals. The first asked for changes solely to the upcoming season. Deferred compensation went to 20 per cent; escrow to 25. There were no other alterations.

The second asked for deferred compensation to be raised to 26 per cent for next season. Escrow was not touched until years four-to-six of the CBA, rising from six per cent to between 8.5 and nine.

In addition, there is a 60-game schedule in place — division-only play (Canadian Division, too), in your own arenas, baseball-style back-to-backs in the same venues, at least a week between the end of the season and the playoffs to allow for make-up games, playoffs start by mid-May and end by July 15

Here is the list again of the top-25 off-season questions. Some of have been covered directly, others tangentially in blogs related to the individuals within individual questions. Per what I have open, I still need to cover # 9, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20, 21, 23 and 25. I kind of answered 17 already, 21 is a moot point now since the buyout period ended and 23 is mostly complete, though free agents still remain out unsigned and trade possibilities exist. Let me know which questions you show as still to be answered.

1) Should-Ryan-Strome-be-brought-back-and-if-so-what-kind-of-deal -(also, will getting Lafreniere result in New York moving a winger to get a 2c, making Strome expendable)
2) Has Jesper Fast played his last game as a Blueshirt?
3) Did Tony DeAngelo price himself out of the team's plans with his regular season or did his price tab dip enough due to his poor series versus Carolina? (update: does his hamstring injury during the play-in round need to be taken into consideration)?
4) Is David Quinn the right coach for the team moving forward? How concerning is his inability to adjust in-game and between games? If no, who might be under consideration? (update: does he need to make the playoffs and/or win a round, due to winning the lottery and sweep at the hands of Carolina, to keep his job?)
5) Should we prepare the jersey raising for Henrik Lundqvist now? (update: did anything JD said convince you that he might be back next season?)

6) Can Filip Chytil be the second line center if Strome is not brought back? (update: is his future at center or wing?
7) With Nils Lundkvist and K'Andre Miller in the pipeline, does New York have enough D to get to the next level?
8) Will Vitali Kravtsov be in the Opening Night lineup?
9) Is Pavel Buchnevich now "expendable" due to Lafreniere coming on board or will the Rangers regret dealing him based on his untapped potential? (new)
10) Do the Rangers need to name a captain? If so, should that be Mika Zibanejad or Chris Kreider? Regardless of your view, did Kreider's comments in the Game 3 press conference sway your view?

11) Which is the true Brett Howden, the one that did little from October to March or the one we saw against Carolina?
12) Do you view the three-game sweep as a good learning experience, as mentioned by several including Davidson, for the neophytes on the team or is it too early to make that call?
13) Were you satisfied with the growth seen from Kappo Kakko and what's your realistic view as to what we should expect in years 2 and 3?
14) If Lundqvist is not back, do you want Alexandar Georgiev as Igor Shesterkin's 2020-21 backup or are you dealing him for additional assets? If bringing him back next year, are you signing him for more than one season?
15) Are you concerned with Artemiy Panarin's small late-season swoon? No goals in the last eight games before the pandemic and just one goal in the three-game sweep?

16) What is the identity of this Rangers' team? Do we know? Is one needed?
17) Can Brendan Lemiuex repeat how he played in Game 3 against Carolina or was that the aberration and not the norm?
18) What should be done with Lias Andersson? (from Tommy G on 8/7) 
19) Who will be Jacob Trouba's partner next season if it's not Smith? (from Tommy G on 8/7) 
20) How does the looming Expansion Draft affect the decision made for a particular signing/trade/buyout? (from Hedgedog 8/8)

21) If buying one player out, presuming that it's not Lundqvist for a variety of reasons, is it Staal or Smith, or do you not buyout anyone?
22) Presuming Lafreniere is the pick, on which line does he start the season? If New York makes no major acquisitions, what is your top-nine and fourth line? Is Morgan Barron on the team to start the season? 
23) Who do you want to target in free agency or via trade? (please be realistic in your proposals. That applies to who New York could get and what they would give up, so no 4-for-1 offers where the team grossly overpays.
24) Does Gord Murphy end up on the coaching staff for 2020-21 or is someone else brought in to helm the defense and the penalty kill 
25) When do you think New York contends for the Cup? 2021-22, 22-23 or other?

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