Bad signs

217

I got to thinking a little bit about Chris Drury during my 50-minute commute home last night.

Specifically, about a Sunday in the summer of 2007. I was on my way to work that evening when I heard the news that the Rangers had signed Drury AND Scott Gomez to massive free-agent contracts. I walked into the office and proclaimed that the Rangers would be the 2007-08 Stanley Cup champs.

Those contracts — while not quite Reddenesque — turned out to be dreadful. I should have known better at the time. These are the Rangers, after all. (Actually, these WERE the Rangers. I think we’re now all enjoying their commitment to building a foundation with young, homegrown talent.)

Anyway, a few hours after I got home last night, I happened to see some highlights from the hockey game that broke out at the fight between the Bruins and Canadiens. Watching Tim Thomas and Carey Price wrestle made me think of our Islander friend Rick “Glass Jaw” DiPietro. Brent Johnson’s speed bag easily has the worst contract in NHL history. He’s basically getting paid thousands per save, and he’ll be collecting until his Social Security kicks in. Where do I sign up?

That, of course, got me to thinking about another brutal Islander contract, the one handed out to Mr. Carol Alt. Alexei Yashin, of course, was the Daniel Boone of bad NHL contracts. He was largely a waste thereafter, although I’m sure he’s living happily ever after somewhere.

I stopped thinking too much after that, because I never would have gone to bed, and I wouldn’t be able to get any work done today, so I’m throwing this open to all of you. What are some of the worst contracts you can think of? They could be in any sport — I don’t discriminate. The puck drops now. Play nice.

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217 Comments

  1. Ryan Leaf
    Neil O’Donnell with the Jets
    Jamarcus Russell
    Any Detroit Lions contract post Barry Sanders

  2. Noah-tenko-rury, 28 on

    The Kevin Brown contract pretty awful and I believe that was the first $100 million contract in professional sports? Someone may need to confirm that.

    Redden.

    Carl Pavano.

    Kei Igawa.

    Brashear.

    Boogaard.

    I’m seeing a trend here.

  3. And I have my own list of Mets deals:

    Mo Vaughn
    Roberto Alomar
    Vince Coleman
    Basically any player from 1991-1996, then 2002-2004 aside from Mike Piazza.

  4. The Rangers contracts handed out to Malakhov, Quintal, Lefebvre, Kamensky and Theo come to mind. Theo was the best out of all of them obviously but his demons got the best of him.

  5. wicky(grating CCBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    wow, the first to ever get “mayered”…..I feel honoured! I’d like to thank the academy……….

    on that note, thanks sean!!

  6. My countryman, one of the best strikers in the world, Andrei Shevchenko (soccer) when signed with Chelsea for 30.8 million pounds! Which was biggest amount given to any player in PL at the time…Shevcheko’s career in England was very disappointing

  7. I wouldn’t give you Gilroy for Karable, unless it was turn Karable around for Brayden Schenn of course! ;^)

  8. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    I know it was already mentioned. But DiPietro’s has to be the worst contract in sports EVER. But of course, that’s 47 injuries of retrospective talking… at the time Islander fans MIGHT have thought it was ok… but any other GM would say 15 year contracts are brutal… until the loophole cap circumvention contracts started showing up.

    but really… 15 years? Now, with all his injuries, he’s unmovable. No team will trade for him. His contract now, as well as his play, sums up the Islanders franchise… pathetic.

    If there is a worse deal in the land of sports, i’m open to hearing about it.

  9. CCCP, I see the problem is that Chelsea got Shevcheko instead of who they thought they were getting, Shevchenko.

  10. billybleedsblue on

    Eric Lindros. Remember him? He probably doesn’t…I remember listening on the radio to the arbitration results as they were announced…boy was I upset. Hahahaha, now I am so very glad! The Flyers gave the Nordiques Lord Stanley’s cup in Colorado! Hahahaha, you stink Lindros! No cup for you! I booed him at the Garden when he was wearing blue!

  11. How about Sathers contract ? Forget about the money involved look at the power and stupidity to wreck a franchise, bring heartache to its fans and most of all sit ontop of a perch without any accountability from a Summers Eve owner. NOW THATS BAD

  12. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    haha… hilarious Lindros comment.

    You think he’s like 10 second Tom from 50 first dates?

  13. lol Gabby. “hi I’m Eric. I’m a retired hockey player”…..how many goals did you score in 1998-99?….”hi I’m Eric..”

  14. Im going to use my first ever post to this website to prove you all completely and utterly wrong.

    Albert Haynesworth – Washington Redsins

  15. billybleedsblue on

    Welcome to the fray oli3268!

    I’ve never heard of the Washington Redsins…are they a basketball team? Hmmm…

    :P kidding, kidding

  16. I don’t know how far back you want to go, and whether the totality of the dollar amounts are significant, but the oldest and the most whined signing in my earlier times was the New York Giants and Tucker Frederickson.

  17. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    oli,

    nice addition. That has gone horribly, but could be a better situation. He doesn’t want to play for them, and it shows. But he CAN be a good player.

  18. Here are some of worst contracts in the histroy of sports, just in NYC alone:

    Redden
    Drury
    Holik

    DiPietro
    Yashin

    Pavano
    Igawa

    Vaughn
    Alomar

  19. how bout alex Rodriguez for the two worst contracts in baseball history… count em.. TWO.. get ur popcorn ready!

  20. I dont think we should expect a Ranger trade today. I think they will go into the ATL game with what they have, and if they lose, a deal will be made in the days leading up to the next game.

  21. Nashville gets some scoring touch. Carrie Underwood gets to live in Nashville with her husband. It’s a win-win.

  22. Hideki Irabu: The fat pu**y toad. That’s a quote, so it’s not inappropriate.

    I loved Krazy Kyle. I always hoped that he’d drill someone and the batter would charge him, preferably against the Red Sox. I always wanted Krazy Kyle to infict severe pain on someone with his power bombs or right hooks!

  23. Who is Alex Rodriguez? I know a mystical legend named Alex Godriguez!! :)

    Out to the city today to enjoy the greatest place in the world! ♥ New York

  24. I think Kyle inflicted the most pain on himself when he had to crane his neck looking at the “it is high, it is far, it is gone” flyballs he gave up.

  25. Nashville obviously wants him long-term on their team and in their community because of who his wife is. Great deal for them. Their motivations for getting him are different from ours.

  26. Good afternoon all! Carp, even when you’re not here, you crack me the hartnell up!

    Hey Sean! Nice job……..gotta run. ta for now!

  27. Their motivations for getting him are different from ours.

    ***
    Wining hockey games is not Nashville’s priority?

  28. LOL I think you’d be right about that, CTB. I just always had this craving for a bench clearer b/w Krazy Kyle and all 25 Red Sox + coaching staff. Im pretty sure Kyle would have won and hurt a bunch of ’em. Too bad I never got my wish! fwiw, kyle always had a lot of upside, but could never harness his emotions and command. Too bad, I like the guy….unless he goes to the Red Sox :)

  29. CT : If we got him it would probably be as a rental until we could sign Brad Richards which makes no sense. Nashville wants him long term.

  30. “Eric Lindros. Remember him? He probably doesn?t”

    HA!

    Stephon Marbury and any Knicks free agent contract for the past decade.

    Sheldon Souray

    Joe Sakic’s RFA deal with the Rangers (indirectly caused the 05-06 lockout)

    Stan Fischler’s MSG employment contract.

    Vs.’s NHL broadcasting rights contract.

    MSG’s contract of sale to Cablevision.

  31. Blue Seat Horror on

    Worst contract: The rest of Steppenwolf signing away their rights to John Kay just so they could use the name Steppenwolf on tour.

  32. Nashville has him for another couple of years. Then he’s a UFA, so who knows whether he stays. If he puts up his career average numbers and gets around the same $ he’s getting now then he can be indifferent to location and probably stay. If he blows up down there and is suddenly worth more on the open market, no guarantee he stays.

    But I think the point is that Nashville paid a 1st rounder for him because that’s what the trade market dictates at this point. There are so few sellers at this point of the season that they can dictate the price of a trade. Look back at the trade market in around the deadline since the lockout, any player that produces at an above average rate (relative to their position) is going to cost a decent amount in picks and/or prospects. I’ll cite Dominic Moore again, he’s gotten moved for 2nd round picks two years in a row. And I don’t even think he’s above average. The Rangers paid a 3rd round pick for Brian Boyle who had done nothing in his career at the draft a couple of years ago. Fisher was going to always cost more than a 2nd round pick, and since he’s not a pure rental player it was going to take giving up a prized asset or two to get him.

  33. For bad contracts:

    Briere with the Flyers was pretty bad until last season.

    Jovanovski with Phoenix.

    Jason Blake with TO.

    Holik with us was bad, we got cap amnesty when we bought him out.

    Kovalev and Gonchar with Ottawa.

  34. Sakic’s deal probably led to the ridiculous deal the Canes gave Fedorov with the absurd bonus clause of if the team reached the conference finals.

  35. I did read, in a few places last night, that Alex Kovalev is the most sought after player on the trade block. LOL.

  36. Kovalev will NOT becoming back. It wouldnt’ be a matter of how many games before he and Tortorella clash, it would be a matter of SHIFTS!

    I said a player and a top prospect/pick for Fisher.

  37. True Blue Mike on

    CCCP, i used to love Schevchenko. I wish he hadn’t disappeared off the face of the earth.

  38. The Panthers are such a mess. To take Hugh Jessiman in a trade – Ranger reject. Big and slow with no offensive skills. Can Rangers pry Wideman from the Putty Tats???

  39. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    Besides Redden and Drury….I would say the two worst I can think of off the top of my head?

    1) Jamarcus Russell 1A) Albert Haynesworth

  40. Apple’s iPhone exclusivity contract with AT&T.

    Just got my Verizon iPhone, so this was the first thing I thought of.

  41. Now there’s talk that Ottawa is trying to get rid of Spezza too?

    Do we want that guy or will it be “wait for Brad Richards?”

  42. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Spezza’s contract is no good.
    I’m not sold on Richards being a cure for us either.

  43. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Lot’s of cap speculation to be had.

    UFA’s after this season- Frolov, White, Prospal, Fedotenko, Eminger
    RFA’s after this season- Callahan, Dubinsky, Anisimov, Boyle , Gilroy, Sauer (At the very least, 3 of those players will command much bigger salaries)

    UFA’s after next season- Drury, Christensen, Prust, Avery, Biron

    What happens with Redden’s, Boogey’s, and Drury’s contracts after this season has a big impact on their roster moving forward.

    Cally@ 2.3 mil, Dubi @1.8… they will be in the 3-4 mil range i imagine.
    Artie @ 821k. Yea… he’ll be going up… probably high 1’s low 2’s.

    I could go on, but you get my point.

  44. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    buyout of Drury would still count against the cap. I forget the exact amount, but if i remember correctly somewhere in the 4-5 mil range.

  45. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Oh… and Boyle=Monster… he just happens to be having a career year, so his checks are gonna get fatter too.

  46. Shoot the puck, Barry on

    Bobby Bo’s contract was pretty ridiculous– and he’s still getting the deferred payments!

    So is Cally getting the “C”? Or will the fact that there’s a (slim) chance Dru comes back by the end of the year cause Torts not to make the switch.

  47. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Speaking of Boyle… is there a better player for $525k? Best bargain of the YEAR. Possibly decade.

  48. Blue Seat Horror on

    $525k was right for Boyle, based on how he had been performing. Good on Boyle to put in the time and effort to improve, especially in a contract year.

  49. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Based on his current points, and projections for this season, it’s costing the Rangers $11,931 per point from Boyle.

    It will cost $150,000 for each of Gaborik’s points.

    I won’t even pick on Drury.

    $825,000 for each of Boogey’s points.

    Oh and speaking of Boogey… this math is hilarious.
    From ESPN…

    GP G A PTS
    Reg Season 22 1 1 2
    Projected 32 1 1 3

    Anyone else figure out how 1 and 1 equal 3?

  50. Geez, you guys are monsters. Does anyone work, btw?

    Anyway, can’t help much because I have no clue about other sports’ contracts. But don’t you think the latest given to A-Rod should be up there too.

    Anyway within the hockey:

    4. Lindros
    3. DP
    2. Yashin.
    1. Whatever Sather is prepared to give to Richards.l

  51. As much as the odds are against him, I don’t see Drury letting himself end his career like this. I think he thinks he has a lot left to prove in NY (or even the NHL for that matter). Whether he actually does or not is another issue entirely.

    If he really cares about the his hockey future and leading this Rangers team to the promised land sometime in his career, he should Naslund for a year or two and try to make a recovery. If he has anything left after a recovery, he would be a good guy to add to the team during a potential playoff run. I don’t see anything wrong with that. If we have to buy him out with 1 year remianing on his deal, that would be an atrocity for the organization and for Chris Drury. It would be essentially wasting nearly $5 million in cap space and a PR embarrassment.

  52. GOALS- Drury’s buy out will leave a $3.7M dent, but will clear $3.3M cap space next year. No- brainer.

  53. Gabs, a few of us have run the potential salary cap calcs under a few varying assumptions. My main assumptions have always been that all the RFAs are retained (I used comparable players to figure out contracts for them), none of the UFAs are and Drury and Boogaard are still on the team. Allowing for a 3% increase in the cap and the Rangers get about $3.5M in cap space.

  54. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    CT,

    that’s a pretty fair assumption. I would agree that’s the most likely scenario… though Prospal is still a wild card to me.

    Being able to retain our RFA’s and still have $3.5 in cap space would be nice.
    Though under that scenario, acquiring Richards or Spezza doesn’t seem likely unless a significant piece goes the other way. (i’ll say again in don’t think either of those are the answer)

  55. what I don’t get is the love for Drury from the coach and some players. I don’t mean respect, I know they respect him. But I am talking about personality. he has none. So, putting the hockey captaincy aside for a minute, I just don’t get the slobbering over a guy who has zero personality, and is, as far as I can tell from the outside, not a buddy type guy who you love kidding around with. more like a wallflower who distances from others with grim detachment and grouchy unease.

    I admit I don’t like the guy, don’t want him as captain, and am not happy with his contract.

    But, just from the friendly person perspective, I don’t get the phony pretense that he is a guy people like.

  56. ntc- I don’t think any of us knows him close enough in real life to assume he has no personality. What we see on TV is far from real life.

  57. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Speaking of salaries…

    Poor Jered Weaver.

    PHOENIX (AP)—The Los Angeles Angels have defeated pitcher Jered Weaver(notes) in salary arbitration.

    The pitcher will get a raise from $4,265,000 to $7,365,000 instead of his request for $8.8 million.

    go cry about your $3 million dollar raise.

    Seeing stuff like this pisses me off.

  58. I think Sather will do enough to fit $7+M next, CTB….unfortunately.

    What worries me even more is that by the trade deadline the Rangers will have very close to $10M to burn. Or even more if they decide to use LTIR.

  59. No, I certainly have never seen him do anything but mumble, grumble and grouse. scowl and sourfaced grump who is having no fun at all. Not just with the press, but at any time.

  60. I don’t think Sather is totally running the show anymore with personnel moves. Too many smart draft picks is one clue. I think they let him have one FA signing a year and then cut him off.

    And there are very few guys with big cap hits ($6M +) and multiyears left on the deal that get moved. Rentals or guys with one year left, yes, but more than 2 or 3 years, very few of them change teams.

  61. since noboday has done this calculation yet i figured id contribute.

    Since Dipietro Signed his contract he has gotten paid $14,186.63 for each save that he has made.

  62. NTC… I agree 110%… such a clown… honestly he’s basically a douchey baseball player who happened to make it in hockey…but everything about him screams “boring/baseball”

    he’s been the biggest scam going in the NHL for a long time, just look at how he’s been quietly jettisoned from every single team he’s played on…why else do you think a No Movement Clause was mandatory in the contract? He is so used to being “found out” and quietly passed on to someone else… same exact thing has happened in NY, we just wish we could him off on some other poor sucker…

  63. the trades are certainly under way now. First the Beauchemin deal, then the Hawks trade, then the Fisher trade to Nashville today.

  64. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Worst NBA contracts were all those paid by the 76ers to “Hot Dog” Iverson, in lieu of selecting home town hero Kobe Bryant in the same draft. They took a 6-foot, 22-year old wild hair over a 6-6, 18-year old superstar. And don’t tell me Iverson was a superstar. Putting up a disproportionate number of errant shots every night for a living is not production, it is selfishness. This wretched decision cost the 76ers the 2000 NBA title as they lost to Kobe and the Lakers in five games.

    See the boomerang when a franchise discriminates against enormously talented players “because they are too young?”

  65. I’m not that current on my CBA, but couldn’t the Rangers just waive Drury at the end of the season? I don’t think being waived counts as being moved. No team would pick him up through re-entry, even for half. The Rangers could then clear his cap space with him in Connecticut and be done with him at the end of the season. No reason to double the term of the cap hit. Pay him once and it’s over, and he’s off the team.

    Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong in this assessment

  66. Doodie, because Rozy was better than people gave him credit for. He’s absolutely worth half of his contract.

    Drury and Redden aren’t worth a tenth

  67. Joe, ilb pointed out yesterday the explicit clause in the CBA that says waivers can be blocked by a NMC.

  68. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    haha, Mike Lupica taking a shot at Sather in the Daily News talking about the Knicks and Donnie Walsh…

    “Last year, neither the Knicks nor the Rangers made the playoffs, and the place was dark in the spring. Now one is a No. 6 team and the other is No. 7 and ticket-holders are supposed to feel as if the glory days have returned.

    Somehow Glen Sather stays and stays, at a time when there is at least a chance that Donnie Walsh may be going.”

  69. I think ilb pointed out yesterday that waiving without the player’s permission is not permitted under a NMC.

  70. Holik wasn’t bad with us, Holik was overpaid. He produced just like he did in NJ, just we paid him like 7 million more to do it.

  71. Mash the Thrashers on

    Somewhat cruel topic as most of the bad contracts in the NHL came out of the Cigar Room on 33rd and Bwdy

    dreary
    Rozy
    Redden
    Gomez

    Just think of the Leadership out of Hartford next season with dreary and redden mentoring our up and comers.

  72. I could totally see Sather conducting business out of Macy’s. Some of those decisions he’s made certainly don’t reflect a guy that actually watches games.

  73. From Canadiens blog, Habs Eye On The Prize:

    “The Bruins are also a team that will go to the net on any opportunity, something the Canadiens forwards are often criticized for not doing. It was noted on Twitter that a Habs scout was spotted in Edmonton tonight, and that Dave Semenko (former tough guy and now a scout) for the Edmonton Oilers) was spotted at the Bell Centre on Sunday. Could those Dustin Penner rumors be more than just that?”

  74. I would rather see them try to create the cap space to make a run at Richards than give up anything of value for Penner and have his cap hit for another year.

  75. Richards is 30, Penner is 28. At that stage of their career they’re pretty much on the same physical trajectory. They’re both durable and Richards as a playmaker probably incurs less wear and tear on his body than power forward type like Penner.

  76. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    he’s a UFA at seasons end. I don’t want to give anything up for him when we can sign him over the summer… and only sign him if the $$ is right. Knowing Sather, it won’t.

  77. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    And Penner… didn’t we just trade for a ‘one time’ 30 goal scorer?
    Wolski is fitting in nicely… I say let it be.

    We could use a top center, this much i admit. I just don’t want another long term 7mil a season guy. Gomez is gone, Drury is on his way… don’t start the cycle again.

  78. The argument can definitely be made that since Richards will require the larger and longer deal he’s the bigger risk, but what are you going to trade the Oilers for Penner?

  79. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Miked,

    i agree 100%. Stepan already has shown great vision, can score, and is a great playmaker. This kid can be special.

  80. I wasn’t suggesting trading for Richards, if you’re going to use excess cap space, I’d rather it before him than Penner. Preferably I want neither.

  81. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    The Oilers have wanted Dubinsky forever. Dubi will want a salary close to Penner I imagine… so on paper it makes sense. but i’d MUCH rather have Dubi than Penner.

  82. Goals- Richards will not settle for $7M….It’ll be closer to what he makes now, and for 5 or more years. He is on the pace to have his career year..

  83. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    all the more reason i want no part of Richards. No way do i want him for 7+
    He’s looking for his last contract, and i don’t want it to be with us, so we have another declining, old, overpaid center on the roster.

  84. The optimal situation with Richards is a 2 year deal. And if the Rangers could make it work cap-wise, you can lure him by offering $9M per. Move AA or Stepan to the wing for a bit. Let him help our young guns go deep in the playoffs. EC or even SC finals.

  85. Yeah, I could be on board with a 3 year deal simply because I think even if Kreider were to start next year he’d need a breaking in with his rookie year, another year to grow and by his 3rd year could be an impact player (something along the lines of a Claude Giroux).

  86. Richards is a PPG guy and Torts made him an Conn Smythe winner with his system. Stepan’s going to be good, but I don’t see Steps getting 90 points in a season. Probably will max out at 65-70 tops (which is good). He doesn’t have the speed to be a 90 point guy IMO.

  87. His money is off the books in 2 years, they will be able to add an important player or two, and our young core is mature, has experience going deep into the playoffs. They are ready to contend for many years. And Richards will still be only 33 then….Who knows, it may work.

  88. Mash the Thrashers on

    Won’t Richards command more tha n 2 or 3 yr deal in market?

    Do we need to make the Amisinov or stepan decision? Both are most likely good second line centers. Do we see one raising their game to be first line? If no, do we want 2 2nd line centers. If keeping Boyle as 3rd line center, we need to consider packaging one of them for a winger to play with Richards and Gabby to form a legit #1 line.

    All speculation, but better than thinking about work, eh?

  89. Jonny, agree with your points re: Richards v Stepan. Stepan I like him as much as any other fan, but point per game players are pretty rare these days. An on fire Gaborik last year scored a “only” 86 points last year.

    And Stepan doesn’t have the speed that Gaborik has (or had depending on if you think he’s declining) nor the shot. Stepan will get stronger and probably a little bit quicker with a harder shot, but I think he’s got a 60, career year of 70 point player ceiling.

  90. What type of winger are you looking at? An established guy, 30 goal type scorer like Patrick Sharp. That’s going to cost you more than AA and Stepan’s salaries combined.

  91. The truth is, no one really knows what Stepan or AA will be able to produce. But both deserve a chance. Both have great potentials, even though they seem to be two different type of players. If one decides to give up on them too early, it may easily turn into Marc Savard situation.

  92. stepan is still a rookie…he will only get better. take dubinsky for instance….
    also, NO WAY on dubisnky for penner.

  93. During the Red Wings game, Dave Maloney compared Derek Stepan’s game to Pavel Datsyuk’s. I think it is an interesting comparison, considering how well they both play in their own zone and the deliberate way they each control the puck. I think Steps’ potential is limitless. He has special talent. You can’t accurately predict his production ceiling now with him only being 20 years old.

  94. Mash the Thrashers on

    CTB – re salary difference – need to create package with girardi. I do not want to get rid of either at this point. I just know the Rangers are low on top line talent and you do not win the Cup without it.

    Who are their top 3 prospects to potentially be a 30 per yr scorers?

  95. I don’t know if other teams view Girardi as highly as I think the Rangers do. A lot of measures of his performance suggest that while he’s good at blocking shots, he’s not that good at preventing them. I think if you played Girardi away from Staal for long stretches you’d see he’s more of a 4th or 5th D. Would AA or Stepan + Girardi be enough or too much for a 30 goal guy? I don’t know.

    I think AA or Stepan already on their own are 15-20 goal guys in the 1st or 2nd year of their careers so after the next 2 years when the Rangers are more primed to contend they could be reasonably close to 30 goal/60 point type players with more reasonable cap hits.

  96. “During the Red Wings game, Dave Maloney compared Derek Stepan’s game to Pavel Datsyuk’s”

    And now I know why Maloney doesn’t have the job Michaletti has. . .

  97. Stepan will be a 70-90 point a season player maybe even as soon as next season and the process continues with him putting on more muscle in the offseason. He knows exactly what he has to do to be an NHL star and is actually willing to do it.

    Anisimov is trade bait IMO. Too inconsistent and not assertive enough on the ice.

  98. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Artie is way too soft for my liking. If he keeps going up the middle with his head down, and trying those drag moves… someone is going to knock him silly one of these days. He’s a big kid… he needs to toughen up.

  99. DJK, there are very few players in the league that hit 70, let alone 90 points in their 2nd season in the league. Those are the elite level players, Stepan doesn’t possess the explosiveness (something you can work on to improve, but at some point you either naturally have it or you don’t) in either his skating or his shot that most of the top end centers (Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Backstrom, Kopitar, etc) have. I would be thrilled to see Stepan become a point per game player, but that is a very high mark to hit these days. That sort of potential gets players drafted in the top 10 in most drafts.

  100. AA is in his 2nd full year in the league, 1st season skating top 9 minutes. For all the fuss made about Brian Boyle, they have the same amount of points. Boyle just has more goals. At 22 Boyle wasn’t even in the NHL. If AA hits about 40 points this year he’ll be on track with about what Dubinsky produced at the same stage of his career. And I think in some ways AA is more polished than Dubinsky was at 22.

  101. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Diamonds in the rough CT.

    Look where we found Hank, and how that turned out.

    Step has great instincts, which you can’t teach. Speed is good, but overrated in most cases. Once you gain the zone it’s about offensive awareness, hands, and vision. He’s got all that and then some. He may not beat Gaborik in a foot-race, but he’ll know where to send the puck once they cross the blue-line.

    I’m not going to go as far as to say Stepan will have a 90 point season next year. But he can come damn close if he draws top line duty consistently. If the Rangers PP ever clicks… he can pick up alot of points along the way.

  102. CTB: Stepan captained the USA WJC team to a win over Canada which was thought to be unheard of. He was the leading scorer in that tournament I believe. If he played junior rather than NCAA he would have been a top 10 pick that year.

    He’s the most talented forward we’ve drafted in the last 15 years. He’ll have “it.”

    Anisimov I’m not so sure- at times he shows flashes of Mats Sundin-type one on one play, other times, well….

  103. Anisimov has improved steadily year after year. He is already one of the better defensive centers on the team. This year he’s shown flashes of brilliance with his stickhandling, deceptively hard wrist shots and lateral movement. He is 22. Perfect timing to give up on him.

    The situation with Girardi is more complex, I think. He may well be number 4 on our team next year, behind Sauer and McD. He is turning 27 soon. His main assets next year will be his veteran presence and the fact that he works well with Staal. The latter can be replaced by pairing Staal with Sauer. In fact, that may allow Staal to join the attack more.

  104. Anisimov demonstrated that he could make a big jump in production between his 1st and 2nd years in the AHL. While the jump might be a larger in the NHL, I’m willing to bet he’s got the tools to grow in the NHL.

    As far as inconsistency goes, lets not forget that Stepan went 19 games without a goal after his hat trick debut.

  105. Girardi is an excellent defensive defenseman with a modest ability to produce points, but I wouldn’t say he’s untouchable.

  106. Drury was an absolute failure as a captain. Time to move the C to Dubi or Cally and symbolically represent was has been going on all year; the new era. Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of Drury in a Rangers sweater.

  107. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Seriously though… Artie should be solid from here on out. Just wish he played tougher, or as Torts would say “with jam”. He’ll be more effective if he get’s grittier.

  108. Mash the Thrashers on

    AA actually played more physical last game – skating to the goal hard without puck on some O rushes. If he continues to do that he will open up space for others as he has good hands and size.

    Love stepan vision and instincts. Def needs to get some add’l lbs of muscle to take the wear and tear of full season and PO run…

  109. avery is garbage on

    girardi gets no love. i think he plays better away from staal, i really liked him with del zotto. especially with his favorable cap hit, he shouldnt be going anywhere anytime soon.

  110. I’ll say it again: If Artie put on say, 15-25 lbs, he would be a hockey god in the NHL. All he has to do is put on some weight and learn to how use his size better. He has shown an elite offensive touch and excellent defensive responsibility. He already is one of the better 2-way centers in the game and will only get better. Trading Artie would be a monumental mistake when he is only 22 years old. Fools only see him as trade bait.

    Please remind yourself of who you are proposing gets traded…see below

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ1QaO7nqaE

  111. “I’ll say it again: If Artie put on say, 15-25 lbs, he would be a hockey god in the NHL. All he has to do is put on some weight and learn to how use his size better. He has shown an elite offensive touch and excellent defensive responsibility. He already is one of the better 2-way centers in the game and will only get better.”

    A hockey God? elite offensive touch? Excellent defensive responsibility? One of the better 2-way centers?

    Are you sure you aren’t Joe Micheletti?

  112. NYR_FAN (Greg) on

    Doodie:

    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.

    Controversial position, I know. But I stand firm on my conviction and believe he possesses more natural talent than guys like Callahan and Dubinsky. Doesn’t mean he will be a better player but the risk/reward of keeping him versus trading him is no brainer to me.

  113. Paul in sunrise on

    Don’t fall in love with Boyle. He should be shopped and fetch a decent return in a package deal with prospects. Sather prefers to trade out west. Hates to see his formers too often. Look at the history. Don’t fall in love with Boyle part two. This is a career year and he is fourth at best center on team. Prospal/stepan/AA. I like him but not over AA the perfect 3rd line center. Step is the second line center. Richards will sign in July as #1 center. Torts will grind on those three. The fourth line will be young depth like this year.
    Dubi/Richards/Gabby
    Zuke/Step/Cally
    Wolski/AA/Prust
    Avery/EC/Boogy/Newby/Dupont

    Keepers and Hagelin will also compete. Grachev is packaged with Boyle.
    I would trade today Boyle/Grachev/Thomas/Borque/Horak/Warek (2nd the latter 4) for Richards.

  114. NYR_FAN (Greg) on

    Now we’re giving up the farm and Boyle for Richards, as well as signing him to a mega-deal in July. Wow, first time I have ever I heard that.

    Where can I buy some of this Kool-Aid?

  115. Paul in sunrise on

    Not the farm. Just some of the farm hands. I am just saying. Boyles value would never bs higher. Rangers need Richards now and have to make Dallas do it. This is how. You don’t change the team at all and yes you give up players for some that can be had for only money later but you don’t know how the team will be next year. This years version has a legit chance with the inclusion of one player. A top center that can QB the power play. I want to win. This is a way.

  116. NYR_FAN (Greg) on

    Paul, I want to win too but it is not worth mortgaging the future of this team. I don’t want us to be hamstrung again with an albatross contract for an aging vet. Richards is not a guy I see as a franchise player. He is a good player with a offensively talented supporting cast around him.

    We are not close to winning the Cup this year. But in a couple of years, I think NYR will be a powerhouse if the master plan stays the course. I think next year’s team will be better if all our RFAs come back, including Boyle.

  117. NYR_FAN (Greg) on

    I am glad we agree on AA, Paul. And I think we both want the same thing…

    I want the Rangers to be favorites for the Cup every year. The only way you do that is if you develop your youth; look at Detroit. Some guys take longer than others. Take Johan Franzen as one example of many from that franchise. Did they trade him after his second year? The guy had two 10 goal seasons in first two seasons before he put up 27 and then 34. Don’t give up on talented youth! Develop and nurture!

  118. Paul in sunrise on

    Adding Richards now or in the summer does not change what is being built. Adding Richards only helps. Richards already got his bog contract. Depending on length his contract wll not be unbearable. Plus if sign him then there must not be nag of those handcuff clauses. He can be moved. Gabby signed one of those. So will Richards. By the way. I will take gabby and dubi over Neil and erickson. Richards would be the next Adam oates playing with gabby.

  119. Paul in sunrise on

    We do want the same thing. But Hank won’t be the king forever and there is not one legit goalie prospect in the system. I just feel Richards would put the rangers over the hump. I think Chicago is a better example. Pick your core and develop around them. Detroit handed out lifetime contracts let’s not forget. And Step is good but sorry Dave Maloney he is not Datsuk

  120. NYR_FAN (Greg) on

    Thanks Lin :)

    Hank will be fine and Biron is becoming a big part of this team in the locker room. Both guys have good years ahead of them.

    I just thought the Stepan-Datsyuk comparison was interesting. Not too far off as far as the types of games they play. Look at Datsyuk’s stats from his first two seasons:

    70GP 11G 24A 35PTS

    64GP 12G 39A 51PTS

  121. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    going back a few posts to ILB’s… I loved how Staal and Sauer were together, and can see that may be a pairing next season. I think Sauer has surprised a lot of people with his play, and you know I call him SauerBoom ;-)

  122. No to Richards now or later. as far as Boyle goes, I was so down on him last yr. and thought I was really wrong judging by the early part of this yr. but you know what and I know it’s not popular I may have been more right the first time. His trade value will not be higher, ship him if you can mix a package to get a hitter on D or a real center. Still extremely soft, played over his head the first half and like water he will eventually seek his own level.

  123. Paul in sunrise on

    Sauer was the 2nd rounder after Staal. At the time the thought was they would be a pair. I am all for it and happy for Sauer. He was hit with injuries but has finally shaken the bug. He will be a stud. So will McD. The defense is awesome and young. They will be great for years. Add in Valentenk Pashnin and McIlrath. Nice stuff there. Keep gilroy and mdz. Just get a center.

  124. Mash the Thrashers on

    Girardi not terrible but not great either. If we get a stud D man to play with Staal it would be an elite pairing and allow us to keep Sauer/McD and Gilly/MDZ together along with pups coming up as well from the Pack.

    Boyle is going to be fine – not as good as first half – but learned he can score if he goes to the net and Jams with his bud Prust.

    LGR!

  125. Jim I wouldnt even cooment on the comment Girardi is terrible it comes from someone who took his name from a TERD and comments as such

  126. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    nice post Paul, and i’m not just saying that. looks like we could be set at D for a while, and we all know wicky will be happy when McIrath comes up.

    Hate having left all these points on the ice recently. Mostly winnable games, the scoring drought and mostly ineffective power play are killers.

  127. NYR_FAN (Greg) on

    haha, kurt!

    Yes, well said Paul. Sauer has been one of the best d-men for this team all season long. He already is a stud.

  128. Sabres and Debbies win again tonight – the floor is rising to meet us…..we need to win some games here!

  129. Good evening all!

    4ever, excellent analysis :)

    Paul, don’t fall in love with Boyle??? too late buddy, and I don’t just mean that in an Eddie Haskell kind of way :) ….(name that film reference, win nothing!)

  130. I know what you mean, 4ever – I was watching the Isles game, and I honestly could not bring myself to be happy when they scored – and that Debbies game was really miserable – Leafs really suck!

  131. The White Plains Batman on

    Bad contracts that haven’t been mentioned here;

    Gotta go with Wilson Alvarez on Tampa and Jose Guillen in Kansas City; two small market teams devoted 1/3 of their payroll to mediocrity. You can’t do that if you have budget restraints.

    That Holik contract was pretty bad too. $9 million and they don’t match him up against the oppositions best players? Damn…..

  132. Brian Skrudland
    Mike Keane
    Stephane Quintal
    Sylvain Lefebvre
    Pavel Bure
    Eric Lindros
    Theo Fleury
    Bobby Holik

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