So here’s “my newspaper story”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080910/SPORTS01/809100346/-1/SPORTS on Brendan Shanahan’s return appearance at the MSG Training Center, and his hope of rejoining the Rangers for season No. 3.
Larry Brooks at “the Post”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/09102008/sports/rangers/shanny_in_wait_mode_128388.htm and Andrew Gross at “the Record”:http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/hockey/other_nhl/view/2008_09_10_Brendan_Shanahan_hoping_to_remain_with_Rangers/srvc=sports&position=also also chimed in with stories on the matter, and it’s worth noting that we all have slightly different takes on the Rangers cap situation.
A couple of thoughts on this: One, it doesn’t help that the NHL doesn’t allow teams to disclose their cap situation (in part, the theory goes, because it would expose those teams trying to operate on the cheap, even though we all know who those teams are); and it also doesn’t help that I am an admitted mathematical idiot (which is why my wife, who I used to sit next to in math class in high school, balances the checkbook in our family).
But there’s also room for interpretation based on what the Rangers do with their roster. For instance, the $715,357 in cap space I’ve been quoting includes Thomas Pock’s $667,500, but it’s more likely that Pock starts the season in Hartford and the Rangers only carry six defensemen. And that number also includes Dan Fritsche $875,000, who is also a question mark for the opening-night roster.
Of course, while Shanahan and others told me yesterday that the contract number isn’t a huge obstacle, there are other considerations. For instance, if the Rangers really do want to clear both cap and roster space for Shanahan so he actually has a prominent role this season, the team might want to explore trading other forwards (I don’t know who, so don’t ask). And yes, that’s where Mats Sundin comes in, because even if the Rangers aren’t necessarily interested in the Swedish center, other teams are, and they’re not ready to commit to other moves until they know where Sundin stands.
So in other words, it’s complicated…