And then there’s that other guy

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I’ve said all along the worst thing the Rangers could do would be to play just well enough to mask some of their flaws, thus eliminating the urgent need to try to upgrade.

With that in mind, this most recent rocky stretch could be coming at the ideal time.

According to TSN’s ever-plugged in Bob McKenzie, “Mats Sundin has set Dec. 15 as a soft deadline for deciding where he wants to play this season”:http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/bob_mckenzie/?id=259021. McKenzie lists the Rangers as one of four teams that are believed to be in the mix for Sundin’s services.

It’s believed the four prime candidates with great interest in Sundin that is mutual are the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens.

Of that group, only the Canucks currently have the ability to sign Sundin to a market-value contract – the Canucks have a standing offer of $10 million per year on a two-year deal – without having to make significant moves to accommodate the contract under the $56.7 million salary cap.

So (agent J.P.) Barry is clearly focusing on what the Rangers, Blackhawks and Canadiens could offer Sundin and what they would have to do to fit Sundin under the cap. Sundin has told a number of NHL clubs he’s not interested in money so much as a chance to win the Stanley Cup, but he’s not looking to re-gain his amateur status either. It’s not enough for Sundin to just know how much money he would get from the teams; he needs some idea what elements of their team they may have to give up in order to fit him in because that may affect their standing as contenders.

In monitoring this story for several months now, I’ve always been given the sense that if Sundin really wanted to play for the Canucks, he would have jumped at the chance by now. Clearly financially it’s the best offer he’s going to get, but there are other considerations at work, one being that at his advanced age he might not want to subject himself to Western Conference travel.

That could eliminate the Blackhawks, too, although the travel isn’t nearly as bad with Chicago, and if the Hawks do succeed in unloading one of their high-priced goalies, they will have a lot more cap room to work with.

Then there’s the Canadiens and the Rangers. Both teams would have to clear up more cap space, and in the Rangers’ case, it could be as simple as finding a taker for Michal Rozsival or Petr Prucha (like it or not, I don’t think Glen Sather could move Wade Redden at this point). As for where Sundin would play, you would think this would mean Chris Drury would have to permanently take a spot at wing (the Rangers could always trade one of their centers, but I don’t see that happening).

Adding to the intrigue is that Sundin will be in town on Friday for a promotional visit. The Rangers haven’t yet requested a meeting, but there’s still time.

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61 Comments

  1. He is coming!!!

    Here is a good read as well.

    http://hockeyrodent.com/

    I have to say that I agree with him.

    But it is my own opinion, and I totally respect anyone elses take on this.

    Had to add that, so I don’t get crapped all over.

  2. Another Sundin deadline? If he wants his best chance at a cup, Montreal is his spot. The Rangers need something and Sundin would definitely help but I don’t think he makes them Cup contenders.

  3. I read in the Ottawa Sun this past weekend that Redden has a strong no movement clause…. WHY!?!!?!??!?!?!!??!?!!?!?!?!

  4. I don’t want Sundin. I’m tired of this team going after quick fixes. I’d rather the team make deals for tomorrow instead of big names that are 30+.

  5. This is such a no-brainer. Prucha is useless, Rozsival needs a change of scenery in a hurry, Potter looks like a capable 5/6 defenseman, and the power play is actually a disadvantage. Adding Sundin is what they need to compete for the division/conference title. They wouldn’t be giving up much either other than some dead wood.

    As far as mortgaging the future, they still have their top prospects in the system. But, it can’t be understated how huge the loss of Cherepanov will be in seasons to come.

  6. The salary cap is not going to increase, so one of the big contracts has to go… Rozsival seems the most logical but he’d have to be part of a package in order for another team to take that contract… then again we got Zherdev for Tyutin and Sister Christian!

  7. BillyDeeWilliams on

    I’m not gonna argue against Roszival leaving, but to say Potter looks like a capable NHL ready defenseman after 1 game is pretty crazy. What happens when he has a few giveaways in his own zone?

  8. I agree with Dan on Cherepanov. I really think Sather was counting on having him in the line up next year, and made moves based on that.

  9. beer me, three regulation wins since November 1st. Three. with the 29th offense in the league and a power play that allows as many goals as it scores. with a million too many men penalties. with a team playing self-shorthanded on sunday night for thirty seconds because the coach is not in control of his bench.

    At least other Renny fans can recognize dreck when they see it, and can see why the coach has to be responsible. you have clearly sold and drunk so much kool-aid there is no turning back. unfortunatley, there’s no getting back your credibility either.

  10. If the Canucks get Sundin, would they have to free up some space and could we then get one of their D-men?

  11. Pavel

    I have no idea. His contract borderlines insanity… Betch Glenn is probably gonna kick himself in the ass for that deal. Ok Im saying it now. Im gonna give him another 10 games after his injury. If he hasnt improved at all, then there is a HUGE problem.

    Rodent was right about Zherdev. Like with Jagr and past offensive threats who have come to the Rangers. STOP putting strict defensive pressure on our offensive threats !

  12. Freeing up cap space would be relatively easy:
    Trade Kalinin:2.1 million
    Trade prucha: 1.6 Million
    Send down Korp: 1.1 million
    On top of roughly 1 million we have left

    I’d say we could give him a five million dollar contract that 30 games into the season would pay him out 3.77 million dollars

    And I don’t think potter could be any worse than Kalinin at this point. I’m hoping he turns into girardi(rookie season) called him up and he played pretty sound defensive hockey.

  13. of course as mentioned- we could trade rozsival and prucha- and hopefully get a physical defensemen in return- we could still even send down korp and that would be around five million

  14. Dan

    You have no idea how right you are about Cherepanov. I said the same thing when he passed.

    TrueBlue

    Canucks have $8mm in cap space alone to pay a salary for Sundin. But if he isnt interested in $$ which is impressive as hell to me. Then I guess the only two places he can go is MTL or here. But if he wants to win a Cup LOL then he should go to Detroit LOL

  15. I have been saying this for the past 2 weeks. Dubinsky, I love him, but he still needs time to mature and would make a SOLID 3rd line center. Bring in Sundin and have play top line or 2nd line center. Move Prucha if possible. If not then try anyway to rid Roszival. Send Korpikosi down, hes brutal. Sanguinetti, Saur, or Del Zotto will be ready in no time. PULL THE TRIGGER SATHER..PLEASEEE……..
    Either that, or bring back jagr haha

  16. wd – I don’t remember bringing up coaching. Can you show me where in that post it mentions it? Please?

    This is a team. From Dolan to Wiikman, it’s a team.

  17. MAKO,
    I think I already accounted for him..
    We had something like .35 million at the start of the season
    and Rissmiller was paid for the 20 games so it’s something like .65 cap relief so that’s where I got the 1 millionish free space.. But I’m certainly no capologist.

  18. I know a team that would gladly take Redden. They even have Ranger logos on their jerseys.

    Hartford.

  19. “three regulation wins since November 1st. Three.”

    “with a million too many men penalties.”

    Funny how you can get certain #’s right, and exaggerate others.

  20. Thanks. I didnt know what his concrete situation was. If they were gonna bring his back up & tinker with the lines & players again…

  21. I think Rissmiller’s contract makes sense now.. think about it… our entire 4th line is RFA next season… as much as I like them, they’re all due for a raise and we’ll probably lose 1 or 2.

  22. Newsday reports that Sundin will infact be in attendance on Saturday @ MSG. Part of the Poker Stars thing he’s got going on. BeerMe! will be there as well. Just not in a luxury box. But pretty friggin close to them.

  23. Pavel,
    If I’m not mistaken, I think they were all free agents last year as well..but you’re right- they’re certainly due for a raise, I can’t see it being by that much.
    I would love to keep Betts. And I still think Sjo could move up to the third line. But he probably doesn’t fit into the grand scheme of things

  24. I don’t think trading Dubi should be a thought at all. He has went in to the shit tank as of late, but he is still a kid.

  25. take Lundquist away from the Rangers like Fleurey was taken from the penguins and Martine from the debbies, and you are looking at disaster. And Sutter and therien have had many more injuries to important players too —- just no comparison with the leadership displayed here.

  26. ChrisS

    I know that Sjostrom isnt a 4th liner. He has a lot of talent and would probably fit in a 3rd line or a 2nd line role. Again, mismanagement of players runs rampant in this organization. And if Sundin does by change come to the Rangers they have 5 centers now? And if anyone has read Drury’s comments “I feel much more comfortable at center than wing”

  27. Dubinsky, while not as offensively gifted as Mike Richards, is still the same kind of ‘heart and soul’ player. I think he’ll mature and turn into a solid Second line center. I hope we hold on to him for a long time.

  28. wd

    LOL come on. The Rangers dont have Cindy or Malkin on their team. The Pens would survive without Fleury, they have Sabourn. Lundqvist IS the Rangers. Sad aint it? This team has no identity at all.

  29. The cap is not going up and the following players are either UFA or RFA in the summer:

    Zherdev
    Prucha
    Korpi
    Fritsche
    Sjostrom
    Dubi
    Betts
    Orr
    Dawes
    Callahan

    Kalinin (oh no!)
    Mara
    Valliquette

    That leaves 9 contracts signed through next season at 40m.. FORTY F’N MILLION FOR 9 PLAYERS…

    That leaves 16.7m to fill the other holes in the roster.

    Go for it this year.

    Firesale in July.

  30. Mako,
    Haha, no question about mismanagement. Hey, if we get sundin we could have the swede line Nalund-Sundin-Sjo.

    I ‘t think drury is better suited for a 3rd line center anyway. Ideally, I’d like to put Dubinsky on the wing. He has some size and grit and he ultimately protects the puck well against the boards(to compliment his skill)

  31. Pavel,
    I don’t think it’s THAT bad considering that our whole fourth line will be making less than million each. As well as spare parts like fritche and prucha won’t be around next year. However, it is a cause for concern and they would be good in shedding on of the big four contracts.

  32. Anyone notice a few shifts of Dubi Gomez Zherdev the other night. It seemed that when that line was on the ice, we had our best scoring chances, even though Gomez decided to not pull the trigger. Remember when he was with the Devils, the year before he came to us, the fans would be on his case for not shooting the puck.

  33. MAKO –
    Sjostrom? Not a fourth liner? Are you sure? Lets take a look at his career goal scoring stats…
    7, 6, 9, 10, 2 this season. What about him makes you think he “has a lot of talent” and could play on the SECOND line? In all honesty, watching the guy in warmups just makes me cringe…the guy has no shot whatsoever. Go ahead, put him on the second line…thats what we need to jump start the scoring on this team.

  34. Dubi and Zherdev are an absolute must to re-sign.. Z can easily get a 5-6m offer and Dubi possibly 3-4m depending how they finish out the season… so that’s a possible 50m for 11 players with 7m left for a backup goalie, two d, and a bunch of wingers… the AHL contracts are what, 600k’ish a pop? We’re screwed.

  35. The ONLY way to shed a Redden or Rozsival contract is to add in a top draft pick… i.e. Redden + 1st, 2nd for blah blah + 3rd, or something like that.

    I can’t imagine what it would take to move Gomez or Drury (although they have NTCs of some kind).

    NTCs should be banned.

  36. It may not help next year but I bet the CBA expires and we have either A) anotrher lockout or , to avert one B) Massive give backs by the spineless NHLPA…including one time buy-outs, roll backs, etc…..

    Come on! why else would there be like 15 contracts digned for 6+ years???

  37. All the signings in the world will never help this team. I would prefer the headline…Rangers entire staff and management fired…

  38. nhlnumbers.com has the accurate cap status for NYR.

    We have $1.365m left in cap room – which means we could take on an extra $2m (pro-rata), without shifting any players, although we’ll get a cap charge of about $7k per game for Corey Potter.

    I think we can all see Sundin would add some needed size and scoring depth BUT he’s not going to take £2m a year (i presume he would want a 2yr contract also) so we would have to shift a big contract who doesn’t have a no trade (Roszy?) and also demote/trade a forward to make room and balance the roster. I don’t see Redden, Dru or Gomer going anywhere so you’d have to find a taker for Roszy and his contract. Dru would also have to move to wing i presume.

  39. ChrisS

    HAHA that would be a great line :) Dubi would look good on the wing. He does protect the puck well and really needs to take the body more. That was a great part of his game that is really missed.

  40. It seems hard for me to see how any of the four big contracts get traded. Particularly if your view is that the players aren’t playing well, which they aren’t. Any team could have signed these guys when they were free agents. The only one I could actually see getting traded is Rozsival, who honestly might have signed for a slight hometown discount.

    You could throw Kalinin into this arguement too, anyone could have had him prior to the start of the season for not a lot of money. Now that his play “sucks” – someone will definitely trade for him…. not likely.

  41. Kryzstof-

    first off he was drafted in the first round 11th overall. He was on a SH*T team in Phoenix. Had a pretty impressive WHL & AHL record. If you cant see that he doesnt have talent, then there is nothing I can say that will make you see that. But, He is a power skater, doesnt usually pass up the opportunihy to hit, and handles the puck well when he gets a chance to get the puck. Again, he is on the 4th line with Colton Orr! He should be given a chance to produce on a better line with better line mates.

  42. cwgatti – weren’t you the one advocating the trading of dubi both here and on BB.

    someone above thinks Dubi will be getting up to $ 4 mm next yr. based on what? he is on pace for low to mid 40’s points and has 1 goal in like 20 games.

  43. This team has so much money tied up in enormous, dead end contracts that I doubt the next season or two is going to be any better than this one. I was at the Calgary game on Sunday, and I haven’t seen the Rangers play that badly in about a decade. I can’t decide if they’re in a really bad slump, or if they were playing out of their league for the first seventeen or so games of the season.

  44. Sundin isn’t the answer. The tools are here. It’s the system that needs changing.

    I hear Laviolette is available?

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