One day later, the euphoria surrounding “the Rangers newest acquisitions”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070702/SPORTS01/707020347/1034/SPORTS is still intact.
Call me crazy, but those line combinations you’ve all been toying with for years seem more appealing now that you have the names Drury and Gomez to work with as opposed to Krog, Hall, and Isbister.
This was a bold, and largely succesful sweep at the free agent market, and yet given the size of the deals, there is obviously some risk involved.
Glen Sather was firm last night that the Rangers would still be able to lock up their own free agents in the next days and weeks even in committing so much to Drury and Gomez (the team is believed to have $12 million still available toward the cap). This pertains to restricted free agents like Henrik Lundqvist and Sean Avery, but also the unrestricted free agent Brendan Shanahan.
As I mentioned last night, the Rangers might not have been able to be so bold had Shanahan said he wanted to test the market. Knowing that he’ll likely sign Shanny below last year’s salary (my guess is he’ll get $3 million range) they could up the ante toward Drury and Gomez.
The other risk has to do with paying superstar money to two players who are not necessarily superstars. Don’t mistake: both are phenomenal, upper-tier NHL players. But in both cases, a lot of their contributions aren’t measured in goals and assists as they are in areas you might not see right away. Which is fine, as long as people realize that Drury’s 37 goals were a career-high last year and might not be easily duplicated; and that Gomez isn’t necessarily going to double his 13 goals from last season just because he’s now making $7 million. But we’ll see.
Some more notes: