Sean Avery and Marcel Hossa’s decision to go to arbitration could conceivably delay whatever else the Rangers are working on — be it negotiations with Henrik Lundqvist, Brendan Shanahan, or dare I even say it, Sheldon Souray.
That at least is one theory, but the other part to consider is that since the Rangers are permitted to venture over the salary cap before the end of training camp, Avery and Hossa’s contracts shouldn’t affect things dramatically one way or the other (seeing how neither player is going to command a roster-altering salary).
Meanwhile, as Rangers fans perhaps you lament the existence of the salary cap since it means your team can’t just as cast a wide a net as possible and bring in whatever players they choose. I happen to think it makes much things more interesting. And for the Rangers especially, I think it’s been a blessing.
The reason is simple: the cap forces teams to balance themselves with a healthy mixture of high-priced stars and role players. It turns the young players the Rangers used to ignore into players they desperately need to round out their rosters. In other words, it means the Rangers have to be creative as opposed to just throwing money at every problem that surfaces.
The irony is that the cap theoretically was introduced to protect small-market teams. And yet I can’t think of a team that’s benefited more than the biggest one of all.