Wake me when it’s free agency

106

As juiced as I was — and I guess still am — for this Stanley Cup final between Detroit and Pittsburgh, I’m not sure this long gap between series is helping. By the time the series starts I will be in full-on Memorial Day barbecue mode, and I may temporarily forget whether Brooks Orpik is a forward or a defenseman.

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Moreover, filling the void hockey has left, I find myself actually caring that the Yankees are going to move Joba Chamberlain to the starting rotation — and I hate the Yankees (on a related note, my 3-year-old son has defiantly told me he’s a Yankee fan despite my mandate that he root for the Mets. Of course he doesn’t really know who any of these people are, although I’m proud to say he can easily identify Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, and Bobby Orr).

In other news, the early results from the poll are telling. The vast majority of you would like to see the acquisition of an upper echelon defenseman be Glen Sather’s priority heading into agency, with the re-signing of “an otherwise occupied Sean Avery”:http://www.jossip.com/sean-avery-is-figuring-out-vogues-copy-machine-20080521/ coming in second. I suppose I agree, although given my well-documented indifference for all things defense, I would put re-signing Jagr up there as well.

Here’s the question: are there really any defensemen out there that make your mouth water? Sure, Brian Campbell is intriguing, but he’s flawed as well and going to make a team overpay for him, and after that, I feel there’s a lot of only secondary talent. Surely the Rangers will target at least one of those players, but I’m not sure you should expect any of them to be saviors.

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106 Comments

  1. Sam, I agree wholeheartedly. There aren’t too many guys in free agency at all – forwards or defensemen – that seem like sure things to help the Rangers towards winning a Cup next year. I think they need to continue to build through the system and add solid free agent additions along the way. They need someone to quarterback the power play most importantly, and I think Mark Streit might be the right guy for that job. Defensively I think the young guys will continue to grow and can be coached to play a little tougher. I think Girardi can definitely become a “shut-down” type guy, as can Mara. I think us impatient Ranger fans are quick to forget that Girardi and Tyutin are very young and will benefit from each year of experience and each playoff series.

  2. I hope Detroit in six, however with the youth 7 quickness I think the Pens have the cup in 6 or 7. Anyway, I wish everyone a Wonderful Memorial Weekend, it’s time to breakout the BBQ’s.

  3. You are so right, Sam. The NHL, once again, missed their opportunity to keep their hockey fans from turning to summer mode, baseball & bbq’s, by waiting almost a week to put the Finals on TV. That is, if you can call VS coverage, TV. Not that NBC is any better because IT’S NOT!!! I’m not going to watch many of the games like I’ve been watching the whole playoffs! I am now in Yankee mode. And your son is a very smart boy.

  4. i wouldn’t say a “top tier” defenseman is what the rangers need. However, I do believe defense should be our #1 priority. Defenseman like Brian Campbell won’t help the softness factor that has plagued the Rangers for the past couple seasons. Just imagine if a player like scott stevens were on the rangers this past season, how different things would/could have been. Then again, if a player like scott stevens were in the league still, Danny Brierre would be crippled opposed to flourishing in this sissy boy new nhl. And for the record, i hate the devils and hated scott stevens while he played, but damn he was a beastly man.

    oh yeah, sign Avery and Vally. let jagr, straka, shanny, rozy, malik, struds, hollweg go. give gomez the C, he earned it. and with the freed up cap space, sign a defensive bruser, and a top tier forward to put with gomez. save remaining funds for trade deadline.

    and in my opinion, with the lineup we had this past season, the power play should have been our biggest strength, and it ended up being our biggest glaring weakness all season long and into the playoffs. fire pearn.

  5. onecupin67years on

    Mets ? That’s funny…your kid is smart..listen to him!
    The only ice hockey I’m interested in right now is men’s pick-up. VS channel plain sucks.The NHL coverage sucks.
    The NBA is ridiculous as well with the finals going well into June and BB sucks as well.
    As far as defensemen ,why can’t the Rangers develop instead ,pick ups like Buekeboom are a rarity.Over pay and you have a team of FAT CATS enjoying the e z life in NY

  6. Sam,
    I’d take Orpik in a heartbeat…Is he “top tier”, I’m not sure, but I do know he is a physical crease clearing defensemen. Something we need more than anything else.
    I think next season our offense will be better than this past season…

  7. If the Rangers can pick up Brooks Orpik at a reasonable price for a few years he would be the best case scenario. He has been solid defensively in the playoffs and plays a tough game. Unlike the rest of the Rangers defense.

  8. we can’t let hollweg go, hes signed for another year. haha.

    briefly i’ll go over what I’d do based on the lack of cap room we have thanks to overpaying Toots, Henke, and Drury as well as bringing in Backs for over 2.4 and Shanny reaching his bonus for another 2.8 (no idea what the bonus was). We start with 18.65 million to work with thanks to Shanny’s bonus. haha.

    Pretty much I’d sign our RFA’s first. Moore and Parenteau I’m not concerned about since they’ll be in the AHL. Dawes I’d give .9 mil and Sjoie I’d give .8 mil, both for two years so we can re-sign or let them walk later on.

    Next I’d sign our UFA’s that I think we should hold onto. First is Vally at 1-1.25 mil and Mara at something along the lines of 1.75 mil. Overall this leaves us with 13.95 mil left.

    Now its pick Jagr or Avery…but I say why pick? Just let them both go. Avery is not worth the 4 million he wants and the fact is our team isn’t soft anymore. These guys from the Pack all follow the same mold of grit and toughness along with skill. Jagr is not going to get anything less than 6 million so forget that.

    First I’m focusing on a PP QB, I go after Liles who after having a down year will probably be looking at around 4.5 mil. Next I’d go after Orpik at about 2-2.5 mil, if not then maybe a guy like Jason Smith. Now I’m going after wingers and I have 4 that I’m looking at. Ryan Malone, Ladislav Nagy, Radim Vrbata, and Michael Ryder (heavily targeting Malone and Ryder with Nagy and Vrbata as secondary options). Malone I figure will be looking at at least 3.5 mil and Ryder about 3-3.25 mil just because he had a pretty down year. If Malone gets more than 3.5 mil, then due to lack of cap room I’d go after Nagy first (even though he’s injury prone, then Vrbata since I think both are very underrated players.

    Leaves us with 23 players and about .7 mil in cap space left. For the year it looks kinda tight, but we lose Backs 2.4 and Shanny’s 2.8 bonus so immediately that frees up 5.2 million for next year, and assuming the cap goes up to even 60 million, thats around 9 million to spend on a scorer like Kovalchuk, barring we don’t trade anyone away to free up more room. Here’s what the team would look like:

    Malone – Gomez – Ryder
    Prucha – Drury – Sjostrom
    Dawes – Dubinsky – Callahan
    Byers – Betts – Orr
    Hollweg/Korpikoski/AHL player on the bench

    Liles – Orpik
    Staal – Mara
    Toots – Girardi
    Pock/Backman (I’d love to see pock play over Toots or Girardi to be honest).

    Henke
    Valiquette

    No real stars on the team, but I think they’d have a much better work ethic. Plus without the old guys on the PP, people will actually step up and shoot since they don’t feel the pressure of having to give the puck up to a 600 goal scorer. Just my opinion on how to make this team somewhat competitive next season since we’re strapped on cash thanks to Sather overpaying people. Plus in this scenerio, we can bring up some guys from Hartford and have a real gritty team that fights in the corners, something that couldn’t happen last year with softies like Jagr and the new Shanahan, as well as Straka and Rozy and Malik.

  9. oh yeah my numbers are all guesses by me. I have no idea what these guys will go for. But thats my best case scenario is everything goes right.

  10. Jonny – some of Shanny’s bonus was able to fit into this yrs cap (I think 1/2 approx). re the pp qb they’ll have one in another year so why pay a guy big bucks for 4 yrs when we don’t need to. I agree we overpaid the guys you mentioned.

  11. Every forum I go to (from teams around the NHL, hfboards, etc) are all raving about Orpik. He’s going to be way too expensive.

    Stuart would be pricy, but he’s been solid this post season.. someone suggested Kurt Sauer as a cheap bruiser… how is he defensively?

    As for a PP QB, Streit impresses… esp because he can fill in the forward position when necessary.

    Liles shouldn’t be too expensive and he’s fairly young.

    As for forwards, obviously Jagr/Avery are a must, but if both are not possible, go for Vrbata or something.

  12. Jonny – Add Hollweg to those that are overpaid. I would waive him or buy him out. He does not deserve to wear Ranger red white and blue.

  13. “Jonny – some of Shanny’s bonus was able to fit into this yrs cap (I think 1/2 approx). re the pp qb they’ll have one in another year so why pay a guy big bucks for 4 yrs when we don’t need to. I agree we overpaid the guys you mentioned.”

    You talking about Sanguinetti or waiting to sign someone else. I wouldn’t put the bank on Bobby right now. He’s good, but he hasn’t proven anything at this level. You know Liles has done reasonably well and hes only 26. He can be a 50+ point d-man at some point. And plus these are all my most extreme cases, like if we paid them a bit more than what I think they are worth. I think we can get Liles for 4 or maybe a little under, but just to be safe I added it as a little more than that.

    “Jonny – Add Hollweg to those that are overpaid. I would waive him or buy him out. He does not deserve to wear Ranger red white and blue.”

    He makes like .515 million, so he can’t be that overpaid. haha. However if I’m not wrong, he DID sign a two-way contract so we can send him to Hartford no problem. Thats personally what I’d like to do with him and Girardi. I really think Girardi needs to go back to the AHL for a little bit to get his game back to where it was or maybe put him with Staal, although the inexperience there is asking for trouble.

  14. Stay away from Campbell. IMO he’s one of those players who will get a lot of $$ for little value added. I watched him toward the end of the reg season and thru the playoffs and saw a ton of negatives, especially in the playofffs.
    I’m of the opinon, if it ain’t out there then don’t buy something that isn’t really going to help. Don’t try and piecemeal it but spending $$ on a semi-fix. There will be plenty of good talent available next year which will be worth the investment.

  15. “Stuart would be pricy, but he’s been solid this post season.. someone suggested Kurt Sauer as a cheap bruiser… how is he defensively?”

    Considering we have his bro, that might be a discount in itself. haha. He’s pretty good defensively, nothing to write home about. The problem is that we aren’t going to find a true mash it up bruiser D-man like the NHL used to have.

    The new type of physical D-men are just now entering the NHL. They are fast, can hit, and don’t hook and hold. Thats one thing that was tough before is that the older guys who hit hard also hook and hold and get called for penalties that way since its hard for them to adjust to the new game. The young guys are kinda used to it since they are growing up with rules similar (a little more lenient though) than the NHL.

  16. NYR-Domination on

    Sam,

    The NYR don’t need “Top-Tier” free agents to make this a better team! I agree the signing of campbell doesn’t make much sense, but there are alot of quality young defenseman that can add a fast physical element to this team.

    Dumping Malik/Mara or Malik/Backman/Rosival for any of the available FA defenseman would be a serious upgrade for the NYR Defense.

  17. “Stay away from Campbell. IMO he’s one of those players who will get a lot of $$ for little value added. I watched him toward the end of the reg season and thru the playoffs and saw a ton of negatives, especially in the playofffs.
    I’m of the opinon, if it ain’t out there then don’t buy something that isn’t really going to help. Don’t try and piecemeal it but spending $$ on a semi-fix. There will be plenty of good talent available next year which will be worth the investment.”

    Yeah I liked Campbell until the playoffs. His weakness of losing the puck when pressured hard on the forecheck were really exposed in that Calgary series. In the East it was easy for him since teams didn’t do that to him. But it proved how much farther he needs to go to become a true complete d-man.

    As for your second comment, I’m spending money on young guys that are quality players. Is Orpik a top 2 d-man, probably not, but neither was Beukeboom. If he hits hard and is playing with a solid skater who can move the puck, then its fine. Plus with what I’ve done, it frees up money for other FAs for next year like Kovalchuk.

    Lets also not forget that just because now guys are listed as FAs for next year or the year after doesn’t mean they will still have that status when this time comes around next season. I’m sure teams will lock up certain guys that they want to keep and/or trade them at the deadline. So we can’t say “wait for next year” when we don’t know what the situation will be.

  18. I dunno about you guys, but I hope Detroit absolutely EMBARRASSES the ice chickens.

  19. I really don’t want Campbell or another softie on D. I think you can get a 2nd tier D who knows how to throw the body. As for the PP, I think Staal can grow into that role along with Girardi. Girardi and Tyutin showed major flaws last season, lets hope a new year and some good coaching help them further develop. Leave a spot for someone in Hartford to jump in, Pock or whoever.

    I really don’t know about Jagr. At first I definitely want him back, then you think about the $$$ to Drury and Gomez and think when do you make this their team? Sather made alot of noise last July, I think this summer will really show if he’s a GM or another NYR fat cat collecting big $$$.

  20. Here’s the question: are there really any defensemen out there that make your mouth water? ”

    Orpik.

    There’s very much a need for a stay-at-home physical (aka ‘nasty’) d-man to counter the crease crashing that HL has been subjected to since his arrival.

    And if that wasn’t enough, how about the way opponents establish themselves in the slot causing deflections off their own equipment and/or intimidating (mentally as well as physically) the Rangers’ deflection/’panic pass’ happy defensive pussycats?

    Detroit – Pittsburgh?

    Detroit, I guess.

    Maybe makes it a bit easier to pry Orpik away from Pitt.

  21. I wouldnt go for Campbell. I have always like John-Michael Liles. I would like to see either him, Brooks Orpik or Marc Streit.

    I am excited to see Bobby Sanguinetti up in the next few years too. He obviously isnt proven NHL talent, but he sure is growing in that direction.

  22. Sather’s going to have to find some bargains this year – the money he spent on Hank, Gomez and Drury means we can’t afford top-tier $6-7m players we are shopping in the $3-4m range which is why names like Orpik, Liles, Streit, Malone, Ryder, Nagy etc.. keep getting mentioned.

    This off-season will depend on Jagr, if he re-signs then you have to expect Roszi and Straka to follow, hopefully not costing us too much money.

    I wouldn’t pay Vallycat more than 750k and Mara $1.5m if they are coming back. Dawes will get about 750k, Sjostrom 900k. Moore and Parenteau will get about what they are on now and probably start the year in Hartford. Korpikoski is $780k and probably the favourite of the prospects to make it next year i think.

  23. Orpik is no longer under anyone’s radar, and I don’t think anyone is going to pull this guy for a bargain. That in mind, I say chase him anyway. I’d like to see a dman willing to knock someone’s teeth out of their head for parking in front of the King too long.

  24. its better to go after the $3-4 million guys with shorter contracts cuz they’ll played harder to get paid more. That’s why I targeted the guys that I did. I don’t want to spend most of the money on one guy. I’d rather spend it on a couple guys that are solid players with potential to blossom or find themselves again (Ryder) here. It also keeps us in line to free up money in the future when the cap increases again and we lose some contracts.

  25. This years UFA crop is NOT going to net the Rangers more talent than Pittsburgh…

    Rather than the marquise names, the Team should be seeking to be Bigger, Faster, Younger, and Tougher.

    Try these names after re-signing Avery:

    Rolston to play with Gomez
    Huselius to play with Drury
    Orpik to play with Staal
    Salvador to play tough on the 3d pair D
    Liles to Quaterback the PP

    Say goodbye to the slower, older guys…..

  26. There’s really not a word out of the Ranger organizational meetings in Palm Springs?

  27. goose – Rolston is 35

    jonny – if Hollweg was paid $ 1 he would be overpaid. He should buy a ticket if he wants to attend a game. And I felt that way well before the playoffs.
    I did mean Sanguinetti although I don’t necessarily trust Sather to find a pp qb. His track record of Ozo Poti Backman does not bode well. So whether he tries the outside or his own draft pick usually his favored pp qb is very soft defensively.

  28. Why cant Staal become the PP QB? He’s smart with the puck, big and strong, and will only get bigger & stronger before next season, and has a good shot. Remember he was on the PP ONCE that I remember, so instead of looking for the QB, we may actually have one already in hte making.

    And can everyone get over Beukeboom, he was a rare find and we will never find another like him.

    This is our likliest scenario:

    Whose Definitely/Probably Coming Back: Jagr, Avery, Drury, Gomez, Dubi, Hank, Orr, Toots, Girardi, Mara, Sjoestrom, Dawes, Cally, Backman, Orr, Betts, Valli, Prucha.

    Whose Gone: Straka, Rosi, Malik, Hollweg (trade away or back to Hartford), Struds, Shanny (maybe takes Perns Job?)
    (and no matter what anyone says, even if Jags comes back, it aint gonna be the czech squad anymore)

    6 spots open – say 2, maybe 3 from hartford make the team, the rest were shopping or trading for.

    So we’ll be looking for:
    3 Defensmen
    2 Wings
    1 Center

  29. Malone and Ryder? No thanks. Ryder — a 3 million dollar healthy scratch for Montreal all season. Malone — cheaper, but just slightly above average. Just because you’re a free agent, doesn’t mean you’re any good.

  30. Ryder had a problem with the system there. He was a 30 goal scorer in his first three years, actually 2 out of the first 3 but I think he was close to 30 in his rookie year. Malone is a guy for in front of the net. Both of them are around 3 mil IMO. We’re not asking them to be 40 goal scorers or anything but just fill some spots and play solid hockey until we do get a chance at that superstar forward.

    “goose – Rolston is 35

    jonny – if Hollweg was paid $ 1 he would be overpaid. He should buy a ticket if he wants to attend a game. And I felt that way well before the playoffs.
    I did mean Sanguinetti although I don’t necessarily trust Sather to find a pp qb. His track record of Ozo Poti Backman does not bode well. So whether he tries the outside or his own draft pick usually his favored pp qb is very soft defensively.”

    See my thing with Sanguinetti is that he kinda jumped up out of nowhere pretty quick from when he was drafted. Plus defensively I heard he isn’t all that great, which he’ll need to work on. And to be fair to Poti, he wasn’t all that bad. He did have 48 points his first year here which was better than anything we’ve had the last 2 seasons.

  31. jonny – but defensively Poti was very very weak. can’t have guys like that on a team vieing for the cup.

  32. Poti wasn’t THAT bad defensively. At least he threw the body. I think he was better than Malik or Rozy back there.

  33. I disagree re Poti especially vs Rozy. In fact Poti cost us this yr 1 round in playoffs or we could have beaten Montreal

  34. “I disagree re Poti especially vs Rozy. In fact Poti cost us this yr 1 round in playoffs or we could have beaten Montreal.”

    Ok, thats a pretty absurd statement. Nothing says we would’ve beaten Montreal, although we may have had a more evenly matched series. And that was a complete BS call based on the previous play. The same thing happened, possibly even worse by another Caps d-man and that wasn’t called, but Poti’s was so I’m hoping thats sarcasm. People just booed Poti because it was the cool thing to do. Most fans didn’t even know why they were doing it.

  35. I was semi sarcastic re Poti on the ot penalty. I still don’t like the guy at all and his style of play. never booed him in person – nor did I boo Malik. came close on Ozo he was the one I disliked the most.

    I don’t necessarily just follow the crowd. was never as anti Malik as many are although he certainly had his moments. in my opinion it became a self fulfilling prophecy since his confidence was shot. I was also anti Hollweg way before many others joined in.

    so I think for myself re which players I admired vs those I wanted gone. and there are shades of gray. like Drury and Henrik but don’t like size of their contracts. like Straka but if he’s gone I’ll be ok with it – a year ago it would have bothered me. still probably want him back though.

  36. “People just booed Poti because it was the cool thing to do. Most fans didn’t even know why they were doing it.”

    Agreed. The same fans yell “shoot” when there is no shot or its like a 1% chance of scoring.

  37. re yelling shoot never did that except a couple of times to be sarcastic like when we have the puck at our own blue line.

  38. for the last time hopefully, kovalchuk isnt a free agent until 2010, ie two years away. that being said i still dont want jagr but i dont want malone or nagy either, neither are very good.

  39. I’ll wager anyone on this board: MALONE SIGNS WITH THE PENS. Name your dollar amount, I’ll take it. The dude is a Pittsburgh native, he’s on a team with Malkin and Crosby and their in the finals right now. What would you do in his position?

    Let his former teacher answer that for you:

    ‘Malone’s former teacher, Leslie Leeds, said Malone found a way to inject hockey into his foreign language studies.

    “We teach introduction to a variety of languages, and Ryan and his hockey friends chose French, because they were all Mario Lemieux fans at that time,” said Leeds.’

    Second, I’ll make a healthy wager Orpik joins him. The Pens have wiggle room this year as long as they don’t sign Hossa, who they really don’t need to sign as much as Orpik and Malone(who are both younger than Hossa incidentally).

    And lastly, Wings all the way. Anyone who doubts it obviously hasn’t watched this team deconstruct a defense. I’d say Wings in five.

  40. “for the last time hopefully, kovalchuk isnt a free agent until 2010, ie two years away. that being said i still dont want jagr but i dont want malone or nagy either, neither are very good.”

    Nagy is a pretty damn good player when healthy. Thats his downfall though. The guy was a PPG player for awhile with the Yotes but couldn’t stay healthy. Thats why Vrbata would be better than him.

  41. Agreed, Malone & Orpik’s value will be inflated and why would they not sign with Pens young stable of talent. I would go after Orpik, regardless. If we don’t go get him, we drive up the price. But defense is where we should concentrate the UFA $$. Streit would be one guy to look at. If I’m Slats I’m looking at D-men first, but then again, I;ve had a couple of Scotches, but then again Slats probably has too…he did extend Tyutin at a crazy number and pretty much give Shanny a ridiculous contract.LOL.
    Happy Memorial Day, Ranger Fans!

  42. I love the Rangers, but any player who isn’t an egomaniac or a greedy bastard wouldn’t leave the Penguins now…

  43. i mean nagy has never scored 25 goals in a year, nothing that special if you ask me. id definitely rather have prucha playing than nagy and if malone were to leave the pens it would prob be for around 5 a year which would be way too much as he isnt gonna be the same player if he isnt with malkin

  44. Nagy was one of the “stars” on a Phoenix team that made the playoffs like 3 times and never got out of the first round; stay away from him.

  45. “i mean nagy has never scored 25 goals in a year, nothing that special if you ask me. id definitely rather have prucha playing than nagy and if malone were to leave the pens it would prob be for around 5 a year which would be way too much as he isnt gonna be the same player if he isnt with malkin”

    Nagy isn’t a scorer, hes a playmaker. have you ever watched the guy play? he’s got a lot of skill. 52 points in 55 games a couple years back, then 56 in 50 two years ago.

  46. also he had 24 goals in the year he played 55 games. he plays a full season and he can come close to 40. no free agents out there this year have scored all that many goals.

  47. last years needs -a puckrushing playmaker pivot

    Sather Says—try 2 Drury(Captain material IMHO) and Gomez(maybe trade him to CBJ for 2 2nd round picks+Voracek)

    this years needs a pair of Tough hitting Dmen

    How about moving Backman mid season after he gets on a hot streak and promoting M.Sauer to take the #6 spot

    as for the the 2 hitting Dmen…pick 1 A.foote/J.SMith/M.Commodore @ 3.65 mill

    and then pick 1- Orpik/Pitkanen(requires trade)@ 4.6 mill

    is orpik worth 4.6 mill No way…but then again neither was S.Hannan worth the 4.5 mill but he got it… make either deal a 2 yr deal…and let Avery sign a 1 yr deal and prove he can stay healthy prior to expecting a multi million $ deal.

    As for Roz…sign him prior to draft…and trade him for a 2nd round pick. this years top 70 players are better than last years top 30…quality draft…just hope Sather doesn’t pull another H.Jessiman on us. Decent player but a project.

  48. Pens finally are playing a real team and it shows. they are having plenty of trouble with the Wings.

  49. Commodore or Salvador.

    Ryder if Shanahan is not coming back.

    Nagy was dumped by Dallas and it seems to me he was a healthy scratch at LA during some periods.

  50. that was i have to say one of the most satisfying things to watch last night.
    Detroit slapped shittsburgh right across the face with a shutout, shorthanded goals, etc etc.

    I mean the NYR are my team for life, but God the Wings are something else this year. there jsut too damn good in every area. PEns dont stand a chance, maybe they win one game if Detroit decides to take a night off.

    Go Red Wings, I hope they take this series in 4, make a disgrace of Crosby and Co, and show Bettman your little show pony isnt getting his cup yet.

  51. the only cup for the crybabies is a sip cup, let buttman wipe their tears, blow their noses, and change their dirty diapers after they get the crap kicked out of them in a sweep. That’s if he doesn’t keep changing refs until he gets ones that will play ball completely in his slightly fixed nhl.

  52. sved – no offense, but I don’t think there’s a team in the NHL that would trade for a guy the Rangers just inked(re: Gomez or your speculation on Rozsival). Any team that would trade for the later would just offer him a large salary that the Rangers wouldn’t top. And if they didn’t, then they certainly wouldn’t trade a pick or prospect for an enormous salary.

    Also, there aren’t to many puck-moving pivots in the NHL that would top the skill of Gomez. The guy is a rocket and has probably the softest hands on the team. What the Rangers really need is someone to complement his speed and skill. Kicking Shanahan off his line would be a great start.

    Also, say no to Foote and Smith. Anyone who watched how useless Smith was in the playoffs should realize how washed up this guy is; ditto with Foote. The names Lefebvre, Ward and Karpa come to mind when I hear talk of signing those guys.

    Nagy, In one word, NO. Washed-up has-been. I’d rather see anyone on the Hartford roster given minutes.

    Commodore, on the other hand, is an interesting prospect. He’d make a great replacement for the size this team is undoubtedly losing when Malik signs elsewhere. Ryder isn’t a bad idea either. Although I have a feeling he’d get chased out of NY after going through one of the funks he’s suffered in Montreal.

    Re: Sauer, he had a rough year in Hartford. I don’t think he progressed nearly as fast as the organization expected. He’s probably got at least another year in Hartford before he’ll be ready for a call-up.

    Chris F. – You hit the nail on the head. The only guy leaving is Hossa. And pretty much, I think you’ve described him to a ‘T’ as a player.

  53. Tony from AZ on

    I’m not rooting for the Wings to win as much as I’m rooting for Shitsburg to get their asses kicked.
    Go Rangers !

  54. Mark Streit from Montreal is UFA and was third in defenseman scoring this season.

    I’d look at him, plus we have Sanguetti and Staal as puck movers.

  55. I really like Sauer but the dude has to prove he can stay healthy for a season, it’s been his downfall. Maybe he can turn it around, but he’s already had knee/shoulder/concussion problems at such a young age. He might make it, but he’s gonna be a “bonus” player, I don’t think he can play more than 50 games a year a la Barr Beck later in his career.

  56. sangu is going to spend a year in hartford.

    anyone else feeling like avery isnt going to be a ranger next year?

  57. Concerning your question, Orpik is not the be-all-end-all answer, neither would Brian Campbell be. In an admittedly thin free agent market, I agree they will draw a lot of interest and therefore a lot of money. But I love to think of having at least one defenceman who actually enjoys hitting someone so hard his teeth rattle. I mean, how many times do you need to see a Malik or a Roszival pass up the hit…pass it up for what? Why do they avoid it? The answer is that they are missing a core component of a real hockey player, so let’s dump them. Staal and Tyutin hit, but you know what I mean.

    So, Orpik or otherwise, lets toughen the blueline and enjoy ourselves!

  58. This is why Mike Commodore is essential; he’s not Chris Pronger, but he’s a big guy who will hit, can play 20 minutes a game, and is not too young nor too old.

  59. I told you guys PIT was going to get chokedslammed.

    This is my final testament to the entire East being a complete joke, and the Rangers…well… you don’t win titles by not playing to win. Drop Jagr. Drop Shanny.

    And I know this would never happen in a million years, but I would entertain trade offers for Drury… that’s a whole ‘nother conversation though.

    Where’s Beer Me? Still making babies in the Bahamas?

  60. :) :) :)

    So great seeing the Pens get absolutely schooled by the WIngs. Especially after all the s-talking by the bandwagon Pens fans who flooded the blogs with their asshattery.

    I can’t tell you how much glee I’m feeling by knowing these Pens fans are miserable now, and deservedly so. HAHA!!!!

  61. Salt, I am right there with you. I knew this was going to happen too. In the middle of the season I said we would not win a cup with a team that was Good at best, going on to say that Detroit was then and is now a “Great” team. I am glad to see I was right. Well not glad, because I always want the Rangers to somehow rise to the occasion, but you know what I mean. I was also right is saying that Kronwall was going to destroy everything in his path. That guy plays like he is 6 foot 5 and 255 pounds. Love it.

  62. Speed Ranger on

    Here’s hoping these two games stop all this nonsense talk of poaching the Pens’ D. Rangers should limit their blueline search to the Western conference.

  63. I hope someone on the ranger’s staff is taking notes. Detroit plays the best hockey I have seen in a very long time. It is like science how they play. They play as a “team” on every shift. It is amazing to watch them shut down the Pens and then create scoring opportunities. It is really amazing.

  64. SINK THE $$$$$ INTO THE “DEE”

    Two years in a row the team with 2 or 3 very good “two-way” defensemen are going to hoist the cup (dont worry Chris F dupuis will not be hoisting anything)

    Staal, Girardi, Tuytin joined by Cambell, Commodore and free agent from St Pete….Cant remember his name?????

  65. After watching these first two games with Detroit/Pittsburgh it highlights the need for defensemen that can skate in the “new” NHL. These guys are shutting down the run and gun of Pittsburgh. We’re going to be playing Pittsburgh eight times a year against Crosby for the next ten years, thats the defensive style our team should be emulating.

    I certainly agree that you need some grittyness on the blue line, after all Detroit has Stuart, Kronwall and Chelios. However, it seems like most people on this board want another Beukeboom – who sadly in this day and age, would probably not be very good.

    If I look at our defensemen now, I think Staal and Tyutin can both skate and will only get better positionally with experience. Girardi and if we resign Mara can provide enough of a physical presence. What we really need is a #1/#2 defenseman that has a transition game.

  66. How about no to Campbell or Rozsival. Commodore is a good hitter, but he’ll be overpaid. Stuart is looking good at this point.

  67. Trade Drury for what?

    ….

    Please read what I said and that I’d be entertaining offers for him if it were up to me.

    I like Drury. Of course I do. But…I don’t think he’s worth what we’re paying and I dont think he’s a natural fit in NY. His contract is going to handcuff us for a long time, it already is starting to. Gomez needs an elite wing to feed, and with Drury getting paid $7m to play defense… you do the math. It’s a bad contract. “Impulse buy” if you will. The guy is worth a solid $5M tops and shouldn’t have been signed for anything more than $6 in the market that it was. $7M is just a bad deal for Drury, and that is going to hurt us down the line. It will be an invisible hurt, because he’ll always be a “good player”, and we’ll never know what else we could have had for him instead. When we’re still trying to get one of these euro kids to learn how to bury a Gomez pass instead of getting a proven puck burier, Drury will still be there blocking shots and taking slapshots on his breakaways…The bottom line is he’s taking a huge chunk of our salary and he’s not the elite player on either side of the puck that we need for that cap hit.

  68. Speed Ranger on

    Salty – Impulse buy. Hilarious!

    Think we could move him to defense? Or convince him to semi-retire until February? Otherwise trade him for a ham sandwich.

  69. sorry to change the topic to go back to how bad the coverage of the finals are but i live in staten island(which is a part of new york city for those who do not know)and i do not get the vs channel, neither does my gf who lives in nyc. I guess butman’s new idea of promoting the game is to remove it from one of the biggest hockey markets in the nhl.

    sam is absolutely right there are no great free agents out there this year. we have to get rid of the dead wood (rozi, malik) on our team so the young guys dont learn the stupid shit from them. then we can show tapes of how leech, bookaboom, and ulfi played. then renney should give each guy a role (stall=leetch, gerardi=book, toots=ulfi)

  70. Komrade Salt

    Be positive man! We could have listened to those “stat-attics” who were praying we signed that statue Souray last summer….remember them? Don’t hear from them anymore…I watched that guy play all of 2006-07 with Habs and knew habs would not re-sign him….only money-bags out in Oiler country would…he had all that money to spend and no-one wanting to go there…

    With mediocrity being rewarded perhaps…just perhaps in a year or two 7 mil a year for a 25 goal scorer who PKs, checks and blocks shots fearlessly well be a good deal

  71. Speed Ranger on

    YAN – in Manhattan on T/W cable, VS = ch 122. Agreed coverage is bad… after a week’s wait too.

    OPEN QUESTION: does anybody know what the penalty is for exceeding the salary cap?

  72. Cindy was having nightmares last night of doing his spin-o-rama and then being flattened by Kronwall knocking out all of his little baby teethe.

    What if the Ranger had just one player like that intstead of Malik, Rozy, or Backman, our core or eurotrash D?

    I’ll take Commodore and Streit on our team next year of Commodore isn’t too expensive.

  73. I’ll be positive when the Rangers look promising. They don’t look promising.

    Think about what the Penguins did to us, and then think about what DET would do to us if we played them.

  74. “Think about what the Penguins did to us, and then think about what DET would do to us if we played them”

    Simple! Renney would employ defense first strategy of no attackers and 5 men back ( as opposed to the 1 and 4 he and detroit always use); the two teams would bore us to death for 59 minutes; Then Renney would send Hollweg out and his “hi spirit” cross check of Holmstrom would knock the big PIA out but lead to a PP goal by Datsuk as Rozival tries clever stick check; just then Osgood feels a breeze and flops to the ground in agony; the refs call a double minor and charge Avery with aggravated assault ( even though he’s not playing in game) They let Gary Roberts onto the ice though to hit peiople in the head who have had concussions and they vote him “President of Players Association” while hanging Avery in effigee outside bettman hheadquarters

  75. I assume you simply can’t go over the salary cap since the NHL has to approve ever transaction before it’s official.

  76. here’s an interesting little bit of something… thefourthperiod.com is reporting that the NY Post said that the Rangers haven’t contacted Avery or his agent yet. They also say the Isles might be interested in him. And lastly that the Rangers are negotiating with Rozie to re-sign him. I went on the post’s web site and saw nothing of the sort… thefourthperiod is usually a pretty good website and usually has some interesting stuff that rings of truth.

  77. WeWantFishStix on

    does anyone know if they started the garden renovation yet, or if they are derfinately starting this summer?

  78. Slats is playing that hard ball junk again with Aves, dont trust a site anymore unless it is July 1st. There should be some kind of rule in the contract for Rosy if you give the puck up this many times you will be fined

  79. no need to go to free agent marketplace for d-men, rangers system has solid defenders like – baranka and hutchinson in hartford…call them up…now!

  80. oh yeah let’s include corey potter in the rangers system blueline consideration…he had a big year with the wolf pack, combining good aggressiveness with outstanding defensive instincts on his way to a +33, best among AHL blueliners and second overall in the league

  81. Salty, how can you want to trade Drury and yet usher in the Drury/Gomez era? I agree with the cap hit he comes with for what he does, but trading him? BAd Idea. Cant have your cake and….

    He’s a core guy,and will be even more so once JAgs is gone (which prob wont be until next year and he gets the C or the A)

    I still say this year Drury was getting used to being in a differnet role on a different team as was Gomer. Next season will be the real test. Even if JAgs stays, they both have 82+ games under there belt in NYc, and it will only help them. If they get the right players around them, and again Im not sure Cally and Dawes are right for Drury, he can and will show his worth.

    But in the end he’s not going anywhere, even with his huge hit on our cap.

    I’d want to see Drury with two different wingers, even Prucha. I could see him and Drury flourishing together given the chance.
    But then again who know what Debauchery SAther wil wreak upon us all come July 1st. And Rosi better be gone, or if he stays WAY discounted.

    Again I would dump the following:
    Rosi,Malik, Hollweg, Backman, Shanny, Straka.

  82. Salty, how can you want to trade Drury and yet usher in the Drury/Gomez era? I agree with the cap hit he comes with for what he does, but trading him? BAd Idea. Cant have your cake and…

    …..

    The Gomez/(Mystery Winger) is just fine with me too. Gomez/Hossa, Gomez/Ilya era makes way more sense to me.

  83. “Where’s Beer Me? Still making babies in the Bahamas?”

    I’m Baaaa….aaaack!

    Hopefully no babies yet…I need some time man.

    I will sum up the time I have been gone in a word: Perfect.
    Wedding was awesome, honeymoon was amazing.

    Though the rooms at the resort we were at had no phones or tv’s (on purpose), they had internet access near the reception area. Didn’t expect it, so at least I got to see who won American Idol…oh, wait, I mean I got to see the little hockey news there was ;) lol

    I checked in on the blog, but it was strange that there was no comments section link. Not sure why. So I cant even say I missed the blog, b/c I read it anyway.

    So now it’s onto moving back to my old neck of the woods in central jerz. I’m off of work till monday, and have already moved 1/2 my sh!t into the new one.

    Finaly got to watch some good ‘ol Finals action last night. It seemed like months sinced I watched a game. I won’t lie…I had way too much stuff going on to read anything other than this blog and any news on tsn.ca.

    Congrats to Toots on his gold medal.

    Glad to be back….sorta.

  84. I’ve had this thought in my head, not sure how valid it is or what… But in the new NHL, you get hit for salary cap based off the average of the contract. The Rangers front-loaded Drury’s contract, so he gets paid the majority the 1st couple years, then it tails off. Now, if after 2 years, he gets traded, is the cap hit for the new team, his remaining contract, or the overall average of the entire contract?

    Reason I ask is, they could trade him to a team who can’t spend to the cap. so they’re using up 7M of cap, but only really paying like 4M. that kinda stuff could help the rangers land some nicer trades down the line…

    (not that I’m looking to trade Drury, as much as we overpaid for him, I love the little guy).

  85. Dougk – Baranka has signed to play in Europe this year (with no NHL get-out clause) and Hutchinson is a UFA.

    As for Drury, he will shine through – its up to the management team to find wingers to play with him. We are set at center for years to come, so we need to concentrate on signing or producing wingers to fit the system.
    I still think priority #1 is the defence, we need a physical D-man (is Potter in that mold?) and a PP quarterback (not Sanguinetti this year – maybe next)

  86. welcome back beer me. I’m happy to hear the wedding (and honeymoon) were a success. HOw’d it feel walking in to the goal song?

    Where in Central Jersey are you? I am too, moving to Piscataway.

  87. Doodie Machetto on

    “is the cap hit for the new team, his remaining contract, or the overall average of the entire contract?”

    average of the entire contract

  88. So does anyone still want Malone? He was HORRENDOUS last night. I know it’s only one game and yes Malone is a nice player, but I am certainly not a fan and he was Goat #1 last night.

  89. I think JovoCop had a pretty good season and I doubt Phoenix would be willing to deal him. However, if they were listening to offers, and if the Rangers are bringing back Jagr for another season, I would go after him this summer and unload Prucha and Hollwegg and a pick in order to get him and then sign him long term.

    Jovo would give us some snarl on the back end and Dawes/Callahan/Moore would fill-in up front.

    I would also look at Brunette from Colorado, Streit from Montreal as well as Gratton from Tampa.

    As a matter of fact I would make make signing Gratton a top priority to give the Rangers some added muscle on the wing.

  90. its not necessarily the players game as it is their willingness to feed into babcock’s system. Stuart washy anything special since he left SJ. The fact is they attack opposing teams before the red line. I mean Crosby and Malkin are frustrated because in the east teams respect their speed and give them time and room to build up speed in the neutral zone. The wings and the west in general don’t do that and make you earn every inch of ice. Therrien is calling it interference…which I didnt know was possible when the guy has the puck. They also react as a team. They skate hard 100% of the time backchecking and then in transition to offense. Pens D is slow just nobody challenged them until now so you can see the trouble hal gill and crew are having with them.

  91. longtimerangersfan on

    I hope the Rangers are watching Detroit…(that’s) the way to play hockey!!!!!!

  92. welcome back Beer Me
    Congrats again on the wedding.

    And to quote a movie
    “And let your first child, be a masculine child”

  93. thanks guys. Moving to Watchung. Actually grew up in Piscataway though. The DJ did a great job with the goal song too.

    I came up with a new nickname for Crysob while I was away. I will call him ‘Splinter’. Anyone get it?

  94. Beer – Watchung, nice, that’s a good area… congrats again.

    hey Nasty – you around? I finally found that watch I mentioned to you last week… I’m having a hard time finding info as to a model# or something. don’t know if you wanna discuss it here, or over e-mail?

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