Tag: Brandon Mashinter

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: Alain Vigneault head coach of the New York Rangers following a 2-1 defeat by the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2013 in New York City.

Is Vigneault angling for a shakeup in New York?


It’s either the case of a coach trying to fire up his players… or a coach that’s tired of his players.

That’s the big debate in New York right now with Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault. The former Canucks bench boss has been remarkably (and frequently) candid  in voicing his displeasure with his team this year, as the Rangers sit 15-15-1 and on the edge of the playoff picture.

Consider what Vigneault’s said already, all of this coming within the first 31 games of the season:

On Benoit Pouliot:

“You only get so many kicks at the can here, you only get so many teams. Obviously a guy like Ben, a high pick, a high skill level, you see it now and then and you go, ‘Wow, why does the inconsistency or whatever is, not there on a more regular basis?”

On Michael Del Zotto:

“I’ve been told his strengths are his ability to beat the forecheck, join the rush, help out on the power play and get shots through. I have not seen that on a consistent enough basis for him to be able to say he’s going to be in the lineup every night.”

On the Rangers’ defense in general:

“The only one on D, in my opinion, that has really not only has played up to expectations but you see a lot of upswings with is [Ryan] McDonagh. All of the other guys, I think, have better to give. We’re going to need them to give better.”

On the inability to score goals:

“We’re getting quality chances, but there’s a segment that tells us we’re not scoring a lot. Maybe we have to play even tighter to the vest than we are and go into games with that mentality of 2-1.”

On Sunday’s players-only meeting:

“You can talk all you want behind closed doors. It’s on the 200-by-85 [rink] that things are decided. Without a doubt, our compete level is a .500 compete level. When the other team scores a goal, we don’t seem to have much of a push.”

At this point, it’s fair to suggest Vigneault isn’t enthralled with his current roster. There have been peripheral moves (waiving and recalling Arron Asham, shuffling J.T. Miller between Hartford and New York, trading Brandon Mashinter for Kyle Beach) and a variety of healthy scratches (Pouliot, Del Zotto, Taylor Pyatt) but those don’t appear to have sufficiently shaken things up.

So, what can be done?

It’s obvious Vigneault wants more “compete” and wouldn’t mind a fresh look on defense, but making moves will be tough. New York is in a unique spot given its financial outlook for this year (less than $1 million away from the cap ceiling) is the polar opposite of next year, with just $39 million committed to nine players for 2014-15.

As for what Vigneault wants the Rangers to look like?

“I look at the Detroit Red Wings—who I know well, because I coached against them for the last seven years—they’ve had no toughness, per se, as far as that type of personality, at no point other than [Jordin] Tootoo the last couple of years, but those guys play hard,” Vigneault explained, as per Newsday. “They have the puck and they say “Try and get it from me” or if they don’t have it, they battle like hell to get it back. That’s the team toughness that I’m hoping we get here.

“Maybe we’ll get there by changing some personnel, adding a little more toughness, we’re at .500, I’m trying.”

Trade: Rangers acquire Beach from ‘Hawks

Kyle Beach

While the flipping of AHL forwards normally doesn’t raise eyebrows, this one does… a bit.

On Friday, the New York Rangers acquired Chicago farmhand Kyle Beach, the 11th overall pick at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. In exchange, the Blueshirts sent Brandon Mashinter to the ‘Hawks.

Beach, 23, has spent his entire pro career with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate in Rockford. Last year, he scored 16 goals, with 10 assists, in 66 games while amassing 204 penalty minutes.

He signed a one-year, two-way extension with the ‘Hawks this summer but was placed on waivers in September, then spent a month playing for HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League before returning to Rockford.

A star in junior, Beach scored 52 goals for the Spokane Chiefs in 2009-10; however, questions about his attitude have followed him from his days in the WHL (see: this article from 2007 for background).

He was taken between Buffalo’s Cody Hodgson (10th overall) and Tyler Myers (12th) at the ’08 Draft.

Making room for Nash? Rangers send Mashinter to AHL

Rick Nash

From the Daily News:

The Rangers sent seldom-used depth forward Brandon Mashinter back to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Monday morning, likely meaning Rick Nash is prepared to play Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins.

With Mashinter gone, the Rangers would have only 12 healthy forwards going into Tuesday’s game unless either Nash (concussion) or Taylor Pyatt (concussion) comes off injured reserve. Nash said on Saturday in Montreal that he plans to play either Tuesday at the Garden or Thursday in Dallas. Pyatt is not believed to be anywhere close to a return after suffering his concussion Nov. 7 in Columbus.

Nash has only appeared in three games this season. The 29-year-old suffered a head injury Oct. 8 when he was hit by Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart.

To their credit, the Rangers (10-10-0) have managed to right the ship after a nightmarish start. If the playoffs started today, they’d be in them.

That said, goals have remained in short supply, meaning Nash’s return will be a most welcome one. Only three teams — Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Carolina — are averaging fewer goals than the Rangers (2.10).

Related: Rick Nash hopes to return Tuesday or Thursday