Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to be on vacation the next two weeks and not available to blog at all for at least the next week.
Unfortunately, Jane is also off this week, so I don’t know if we’ll have any posts at all. We’re still working on getting somebody to fill-in a couple of times. I hope to chip in the following week, at least a couple of times around the draft.
In the meantime, as we approach the draft and the July 1 free-agency period, the Rangers are sure to be attempting to move some contracts and find a way to squeeze more skill onto the roster. I don’t know how that will happen, though.
Some things I think will or won’t happen:
Chris Drury: Not going anywhere. Full no-move clause and loves it here, and I think the coach really likes him.
Scott Gomez: There will be interest around the league for him to a degree. The Rangers would have to take back a big contract, in all probability, to move him, and you have to wonder if the Rangers will be worse off if they lose one of the few skilled players they have. Gomez isn’t a first-liner, at least not unless he has big-time wingers. But he is one of the Rangers’ best offensive players. Can they lose one of those?
Wade Redden: Not going anywhere … at least not for a while. The option of putting him in Hartford and eating his contract so he comes off the cap has been considered, but I don’t think the Rangers will do that right off the hop. Rather, they’ll see if John Tortorella can get more out of him. If not, then the Hartford option becomes a possibility. He played better under Tortorella down the stretch and in the playoffs, but he’s never going to live up to that contract.
Michal Rozsival: A team that thinks it is close, has cap space, and would like a veteran defenseman with some skill to play on a second pair could want a guy like Rozsival. Whether Glen Sather can make that happen is arguable.
Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan: Will be re-signed. I guarantee it.
Nik Antropov and Nik Zherdev: They might be only able to sign one, and Zherdev is sure to be more affordable. I don’t know if they think he’s a project worth pursuing, though. If I had to guess, Antropov’s out, Zherdev could be back.
Paul Mara and Derek Morris: No way they can afford to keep those two.
Steve Valiquette: There’s been a lot of misinformation, that he re-signed. Actually, the contract he signed last summer was for two years. So he’s under contract.
Blair Betts, Colton Orr, Fred Sjostrom, Lauri Korpikoski: No idea how they can fit any or all of them back into the roster. I’m sure they’d like to sign as many of them as possible.
Moving up in the draft: Don’t see it happening.
Getting a Heatley, Gaborik, Cammalleri, Havlat or Hossa: Will require some interesting maneuvers. Of course, you already knew that. Long before I did.
Moving up from Hartford: Artem Anisimov definitely. Grachev and Del Zotto will have a great chance to do so. The Rangers really like Corey Potter (who must be re-signed) and think he’ll be a solid, if unspectacular NHLer. Whether Gilroy can make the jump right away remains to be seen. Sanguinetti will need a huge camp.
Behave yourselves while I’m gone.