Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Here are the 2nd Period highlights:
20:00 - Blair Betts - not sure if he's still on the Rangers - takes to the ice on the penalty kill and makes sure no one else touches the puck and no one scores (Rangers included)
08:54 - Zherdev has the puck on a break away with an empty net in front of him. But suddenly he realizes that it's time for his arbitration hearing and leaves the arena without taking a shot.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Odd question, Mike. But your friends at Blueshirt Brothers will do our best to answer it.
Okay - if the season started today - what would the Rangers do?
Well, first of all - they'd be really really surprised because the NHL season usually begins in September and the players haven't been through training camp yet. And they’d have trouble because MSG isn't set up for hockey yet. And since the rest of the league doesn't play games until September - the Rangers would have to play thier games with no opposing team.
But, since you asked Mike, this is how we imagine the game would go - if the Ranger's season started today.
The Rangers starting lineup steps out on the ice. And discovers there is no ice - MSG's ice surface won't be ready until September.
20:00 - the Rangers win the opening face-off. But Gaborik, trying to skate across the blue line, finds himself clumping along an ice-less surface in skates. He trips and breaks his ankle. Gaborik is injured and play stops. The injury-free portion of his Ranger season lasted 5 seconds.
19:55 - Rangers win their 2nd straight face-off. Sean Avery, playing in a 3 piece suit becuase that's how he dresses in the summer - begins complaining about the ice surface to the referee. In the course of the discussion, Sean discovers the ref is dating an ex-girlfriend of his - punches him - and is given a game misconduct penalty. Rangers go on their first penalty kill.
19:45 - shorthanded - the Rangers dump into the opponent's zone, fall back, and the puck remains in the opponent’s zone for the rest of the period.
3:34 - Dubinsky shoots the puck wide.
1st Intermission - Rangers are tied 0-0
We’ll be back tomorrow with the 2nd period highlights.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Ever since the lockout - In the NHL regular season games - when after 65 minutes (that's 3 periods and a 5 minute 4 on 4 over time period) you still have a tie game - we go to the Shoot Out (or "SO" for short). The teams line up and take turns with penalty-shot style breakaways. It's one-on-one - the goalie versus a lone offensive player. It's the most exciting play in hockey - And what's at stake is a point in the standings.
3 - And returning on the SO defense in goal we have Lundqvist - one of the best goalies in hockey and a great defender against breakaways and in the Shoot Out. In fact - if I could pick any current NHL goalie to defend my goal in a shhotout it would be Henrik.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Fri, Oct 2 @ Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Sat, Oct 3 Ottawa 7:00 PM
Mon, Oct 5 @ New Jersey 7:00 PM
Thu, Oct 8 @ Washington 7:00 PM
Sun, Oct 11 Anaheim 5:00 PM
Mon, Oct 12 Toronto 7:00 PM
Wed, Oct 14 LA Kings 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 17 @ Toronto 7:00 PM
Mon, Oct 19 San Jose 7:00 PM
Thu, Oct 22 New Jersey 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 24 @ Montreal 7:00 PM
Mon, Oct 26 Phoenix 7:00 PM
Wed, Oct 28 @ NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Fri, Oct 30 @ Minnesota 8:00 PM
Sun, Nov 1 Boston 1:00 PM
Tue, Nov 3 @ Vancouver 10:00 PM
Thu, Nov 5 @ Edmonton 9:30 PM
Sat, Nov 7 @ Calgary 10:00 PM
Thu, Nov 12 Atlanta 7:00 PM
Sat, Nov 14 @ Ottawa 7:00 PM
Tue, Nov 17 Washington 7:00 PM
Sat, Nov 21 Florida 7:00 PM
Mon, Nov 23 Columbus 7:00 PM
Wed, Nov 25 @ Florida 7:30 PM
Fri, Nov 27 @ Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Sat, Nov 28 @ Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Mon, Nov 30 Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 5 @ Buffalo 7:00 PM
Sun, Dec 6 Detroit 7:00 PM
Wed, Dec 9 @ Chicago 8:30 PM
Sat, Dec 12 Buffalo 7:00 PM
Mon, Dec 14 Atlanta 7:00 PM
Wed, Dec 16 NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Thu, Dec 17 @ NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 19 @ Philadelphia 1:00 PM
Mon, Dec 21 @ Carolina 7:00 PM
Wed, Dec 23 Florida 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 26 NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Wed, Dec 30 Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Thu, Dec 31 @ Carolina 8:00 PM
Sat, Jan 2 Carolina 1:00 PM
Mon, Jan 4 Boston 7:00 PM
Wed, Jan 6 Dallas 7:00 PM
Thu, Jan 7 @ Atlanta 7:00 PM
Sat, Jan 9 @ Boston 1:00 PM
Tue, Jan 12 New Jersey 7:00 PM
Thu, Jan 14 Ottawa 7:00 PM
Sat, Jan 16 @ St. Louis 8:00 PM
Sun, Jan 17 Montreal 7:00 PM
Tue, Jan 19 Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Thu, Jan 21 @ Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Sat, Jan 23 @ Montreal 7:00 PM
Mon, Jan 25 Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Wed, Jan 27 Carolina 7:00 PM
Sat, Jan 30 @ Phoenix 8:00 PM
Sun, Jan 31 @ Colorado 8:00 PM
Tue, Feb 2 @ LA Kings 10:30 PM
Thu, Feb 4 Washington 7:00 PM
Sat, Feb 6 New Jersey 7:00 PM
Wed, Feb 10 Nashville 7:00 PM
Fri, Feb 12 @ Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Sun, Feb 14 Tampa Bay 1:00 PM
Tue, Mar 2 @ Ottawa 7:30 PM
Thu, Mar 4 Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Sat, Mar 6 @ Washington 7:00 PM
Sun, Mar 7 Buffalo 7:00 PM
Wed, Mar 10 @ New Jersey 7:00 PM
Fri, Mar 12 @ Atlanta 7:30 PM
Sun, Mar 14 Philadelphia 3:00 PM
Tue, Mar 16 Montreal 7:00 PM
Thu, Mar 18 St. Louis 7:00 PM
Sun, Mar 21 @ Boston 3:00 PM
Wed, Mar 24 NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Thu, Mar 25 @ New Jersey 7:00 PM
Sat, Mar 27 @ Toronto 7:00 PM
Tue, Mar 30 @ NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Fri, Apr 2 @ Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Sat, Apr 3 @ Florida 7:00 PM
Tue, Apr 6 @ Buffalo 7:00 PM
Wed, Apr 7 Toronto 7:00 PM
Fri, Apr 9 Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Sun, Apr 11 @ Philadelphia 3:00 PM
Friday, July 24, 2009
The announcement just glows there like a beacon telling the faithful: yes, brothers and sisters, there will be a hockey season again. Lundqvist will slide between the pipes again. Torts will start yelling his head off again. Avery will "interact" with opponents and referees again.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
So here's what I meant:
Scotty's gifts were completely wasted here. And at nearly 7.5 million a year he was a huge lump of our salary cap. So getting rid of him was a master stroke for Sather. And dumping Gomez feed up enough fund for our second great offseason move: getting Marian Gaborik.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Lundgvist will be better.
In his first 3 years in the league, Henrik was a top 3 goaltender - a finalist for the NHL award for the best netminder of the season.
But last year he was not - and his game - while still very very good - over all seemed to slip a notch. For the Rangers to get further in to the playoffs next year - Lundqvist has to reclaim his elite status. And here at Blueshirt Brothers we think he can do it. Here's why:
Henrik's flaw is not high on the glove side. It's not that he drops to his knees too soon. These criticisms are baseless. It reminds me of a star pitcher (like Johan Santana) who pitches very well but whose team can't score runs for him (again, like Johan Santana). What happens is that each run (or goal) he let's up is magnified because his team can't score. When Johan loses 2-1 we look at the 2 runs as a breakdown. But put Johan on the Yankees - he wins 7-2 and everyone just talks about how great he is.
It's the same with Lundqvist. When the Rangers don't score it puts tremendous pressure on Henrik - and magnifies all the goals he does let up.
So Reason 1 - if the Rangers can score more next year - and with Gaborik and Tortorella's up-tempo style they will - this takes pressure of Henrik.
Reason 2: That up-tempo Tortorella style does more than score goals - it keeps the puck far away from Lundqvist. That too will make things easier for our Swedish backstop. Under Tom Renny the Rangers fell back on defense and tried to win 1-0. As a result it was a shooting gallery with Henrik in the bulleye. With a full season under coach Torts, Lundqvist will face less shots and less pressure and should hold up better.
Reason 3 - Tortorella will rest Lundqvist. Tom Renny rode his goaltender ragged all season. Henrik had more starts than any other goaltender in the NHL last year - and he simply ran out of gas at the end. Torts tried to rest Henrik - but the Rangers we're fighting for that last spot and Valliquete kept losing his starts. With a full season to work with Torts will have Lundgvist rested and ready come playoff time.
Henrik is one of the NHLs top goalies ever in save percentage - better than that Marty Broeder guy for example. With the changes we expect next year we think we'll see Lundgvist return to elite status and the Rangers will rise again.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Today we're going to talk about another aspect of the physical game - toughness.
Toughness can be looked at more than one way. There's physical toughness and mental toughness. One feeds off the other.
In a article by our favorite local Ranger writer Steve Zipay of Newsday, Tortorella pulled no punches in explaining the problem he's trying to fix:
"We're a soft team," the Ranger coach explained, "I don't think we're physical enough on the ice ... and it's got to change. It's a disease if you let it go on."
There is that aspect to hockey - if one team can physically intimidate the other - if your stars are swiveling their heads looking to avoid hits instead of looking to make plays - if the game becomes a brawl and you can't defend yourself - this leads to a loss of morale.
There's also a mental aspect. You want your team to never quit - never give up. There will be adversity in hockey games and hockey seasons - you have to keep working - keep your legs skating - until you can turn things around.
How will Tortorella and Sather install some toughness? Replacing Orr with Brashear - as much as we hate this move - will make it harder for other teams to target our stars. And the general move to younger, larger players ups our toughness level also. And the physical conditioning we spoke about yesterday - this also adds to our physical and mental toughness. And finally - they way Torts runs camp - full speed ahead - toughens up the players.
So we are expecting your 2009-2010 Rangers to show a lot more toughness than we've seen in years.
Again though - time will tell.
Monday, July 20, 2009
But this year, at least some of us at Blueshirt Brothers have reasons to believe that your hockey team will be better next year than it was last year.
The first reason is :
Coach Tortorella knows how important that is - he helped design it as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. And in his first full season as the Rangers leader - in his first Ranger training camp - Torts is going to make sure the Rangers are much better conditioned athletes than last year. The focus on physical endurance is already showing up in the Ranger Rookie camp - held soon after the NHL draft for our top picks and prospects. Several players noted that the camp was very demanding physically. The players were worked. Hard.
And the Rangers have sent each player a letter stressing the importance of keeping their workout going in the off season.
Slats and Torts have also made their off season moves with this in mind. If they feel a player has a tendency toward laziness and getting out of shape, well, that player is no longer on the Roster. (Watch what happens to Nik Zherdev after arbitration.)
The final piece of the puzzle will be training camp - where the Rangers will be given the hardest workout they've seen in years.
It's going to pay off for a couple of reasons:
- Tortorella plays an up -tempo physically demanding game. If the Rangers are going to survive their own system - they will need to have the energy and conditioning to out-work their opponents.
- Because of the Olympics this year - the NHL season is even more grueling than usual. There are going to be a lot of back to back games and a lot of games bunched together to clear out the 2nd half of February for Olympic Hockey
It will all come down to conditioning. I'm betting the Rangers and Tortorella will pull this off.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
- He's a Unrestricted Free Agent
- The Rangers have apparently made no move to sign him
- Tortorella has not mentioned his name to reporters
- Sather's only comment on Betts this offseason is that he thought Tom Renny would try and get Betts to go to Edmonton (which so far has not happened)
- The Rangers hired the thug that put Betts out of the playoffs with a vicious cheap shot - Donald Brashear. We hate this move - but it was done. And it would be hard for these two to become teammates after what happened the last time they met.
Still, in spite of all of those reasons - Betts is still out there on the market. He earned 615,000 last year. So if the Rangers want him - he can still be had.
So Glen, Torts, think about it. This guy made us the best PK in hockey - the lone category that this team achieved greatness last year. He was injured in the line of duty - he was hurt trying to help us beat the Capitals. The least we can do is make him an offer.
It's just the right thing to do.
Friday, July 17, 2009
As you know, UFAs are Unrestricted Free Agents. And like the similarly named UFOs they can fly mysteriously from place to place - landing on any NHL club who wants to pay them.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Coach John Tortorella will be reunited with his former assistant at the Tampa Bay Lightning as Sullivan will become a Ranger Associate Coach. (An associate coach - as best we can figure - is like a fancy assistant coach).
John and Mike teamed up to win a Stanley Cup a few years back - the first ever by a US born coach. The question is - can they do it again?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
[Editor's note - Dave Pucks you are an idiot. The Rangers signed Corey Potter, not Harry Potter.]
Let me start again.
Rangers Sign Corey Potter
In a move clearly timed match the release date of the latest Harry Potter movie, the Rangers have signed a Potter of their own - Corey Potter. Who is Corey Potter? Let me refresh your memory (and mine)
It was December 27th, 2008. Our president: George W. Bush. Our opponent for the evening: our hated cross river rivals the Satanic Cult of Trenton (also known as the New Jersey Devils). Out onto the ice skates Rookie defenseman Corey Potter. And he manages to not only play good defense, but also notches a goal and an assist.
And then, flash forward to March, and the Rangers were fighting for a playoff spot. Coach Tortorella finds himself short a defenseman and reaches out to their Hartford affiliate to get .... Mike Sauer. [Editor - where are you going with this?] (Don't worry Ed - I'm getting there.)
But anyway, after Mike had a disastrous outing against the Penguins - going minus 2 in 4 shifts - Tortorella sent Mike back to Connecticut and re-summoned - that's right - Corey Potter. And Corey played well enough to stick around until the defense got healthly.
Anyway - the 25 year old, 6'3" defenseman (Torts likes big players) has been signed by the Rangers for what is assumed to be $588,500.
Now all Corey has to do is make the team. He's got some guys ahead of him, but with Mara's departure and Morris' UFA status - there's some room there now. Still, Potter will need to have a good training camp and some good luck. A magic wand wouldn't hurt either.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
It's a lot more fun around the Blueshirt Brothers offices when Nugs jumps ugly about the Rangers. Like us, he loves his team and when he feels something is wrong - he let's us know exactly how he feels about it.
Usually Nugs has more hockey smarts than I do - but on a couple of points here, I have to disagree.
- First of all, Yin and Yang? Weren't they the starting defensemen for the Chinese Olympic Hockey team in 1996? I think Yin was the pure defeseman and Yang used sneak up and get involved more in the offense.
- You want more consistency in our roster? You've got to be kidding me. You want to go to war with last year's team? You're upset that we're remaking our team this year? Honestly - you'd rather skate out for a do-over of game 7 against the Caps with last year's team? I don't like Brashear one bit - but if he was on our side we'd have fared better against the Washington. And with Gaborik we'd have a chance to score a couple of goals. And with Higgins and Kotalik don't you think we'd have notched a powerplay goal or two? Next time the Rangers are in a fire fight - it sure would help to have a few guns.
- Gaborik a bad move? I will grant you he's fragile - but who did you think the Rangers were going to get? Ovechkin? Malkin? When Gaborik is healthy (a big if I know) he's right up there with those guys.. If Gaborik came without flaws - he wouldn't be available for 7.5 million. And the Rangers could sit back and wait for his price to come down - the other teams were waiting - that's why we got him. I know with his health it's a crapshoot - but Gabby was one of the top 3 UFAs out there and we got him. He gives us a punchers chance against anyone. Hell, I'll take 40 games with him - if that includes the playoffs.
- Keep Zherdev? He played 7 playoff games - he stayed healthy for the whole series - and contributed zero goals. Nothing. And this is a series when one more goal could have gotten us into the 2nd round. Look, the guy can play - but he can also disappear for shifts, games, and weeks at a time. He's just not a good fit for Torts - who had to bench him once for not hustling back on defense. So I'm fine with letting him go. The Rangers tried to sign him - he just priced himself out of our market. And if we had signed him - he would be another Glen Sather overpayment.
- On building a champion over time - I understand this - but you could have kept last year's team together for 10 years and I don't see how they could score enough goals to win. Last year's team strength was our Penalty Kill. This year we may actually score some goals. If we get a good nucleus in here and then Sather rips that apart - then I'll agree with Nugs. But you can't blast last year's team and them blast Sather for breaking them up - that's not fair.
- But on the plus side I am 100 percent with Nugs and Ray on Betts and Brashear. It is a horrible message to send to the team - hiring the thug and firing his victim. And worse - as I've mentioned - it sends a message to every goon in the NHL: injure a Ranger and you'll get a contract from Glen. Betts was our best PK guy - maybe ever - and letting him go is just dumb.
Okay that's enough for starters. Let's hope that Nugman sees this and Yins us another one out the Yang. It's more fun that way.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I am loving this move. Say what you will about Sather - and I have - he has very done well this off season, despite starting with the cap mess he created for himself.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Brian is 24 and a former first round draft choice. On the Rangers he will most probably be fighting for a spot on our 4th line. But the Rangers must have seen something they liked to give him a try. Last year he played only 28 games for the Kings - notching 4 goals, one assist and 42 penalty minutes. This begs the question: How will the Kings replace those 4 lost goals next year?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
But we have not talked much about our UFAs (Unrestricted Free Agents). On July 1st the UFAs (which include Mara, Morris, and Betts) gained the right to make a deal with any NHL team they choose. This means those players aren't really Rangers any more:
- They can talk to any previously Unidentified team they want to.
- They can start Flying out the door to the team they sign with.
- And unlike RFAs - where the Rangers can "match and snatch" the players offer - in this case the player can leave and the Rangers have no right to Object.
And so they are UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) as much they are UFAs. And like UFOs, they may be sighted on un-updated Ranger roster lists on the web - but from a Ranger standpoint, do they really exist?We've mentioned before that Blair Betts, who we really like, is probably gone. Sather recently spoke about Betts possibly ending up in Edmonton - where an assistant coach named Renny seems to like him.
As for Mara and Morris - Sather had one ominous statement. When asked about the defense, Glen said we were going "in another direction". So for Morris and Mara - most probably that "direction" will be to mysteriously disappear off the roster and into the night never to be seen again.
Sort of like a UFO.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
So that's one RFA converted into a signing. Now that we got Higgy, we need to make some progress on Cally, Duby, Korpi, and Nikky Z.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Here's what will happen next;
- A hearing date with an impartial third party will be scheduled to occur for both players - sometime between July 20th and August 4th. The player and the Rangers can continue to negotiate up until the arbitration hearing.
- If they get to the hearing with no deal - then the player and the Rangers each propose a salary and present their case to the arbitrator - who reviews the information and decides on a fair salary.
- But the team gets a huge advantage here - if they choose to - they can reject the salary. If that happens, the player then moves from an RFA to a UFA. And as an unrestricted free agent - the player can make his own deal with any team he chooses with no remaining options for the Rangers.
So, what does this mean? First of all - it means that Nik and Ryan are not accepting the Rangers' qualifying offers. It also means they have not yet gotten an offer from another team. But of course - other teams are often reluctant to spend time working with a RFA player when the original team can just "match and snatch" the player back. The hearing date serves as a negotiation deadline. And of course there is the danger that the arbitrator sets a salary level the Rangers won't want to pay - so it can result in the player leaving.
Also - there can be an emotional effect on the player. Hearings can get a little nasty as the Rangers have to make a public case against their own player as a way of keeping costs down.
We like Ryan a lot and hope the Rangers keep him. One factor on our side - Callahan will cost a lot less than Zherdev - making him easier to keep.
But will Sather, having already lost one Russian Nik (Antropov) decide to let the other Nik walk as well? Time will tell.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
- Brandon Dubinsky - our 23 year old Center - born in Anchorage Alaska - 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points last year. May get to center Gaborik's line next year. Restricted Free Agent
- Ryan Callahan -Right wing - 24 years old - born in Rochester New York - 22 goals and 18 assists for 40 points last year. Restricted Free Agent
- Chris Higgins - born in Smithtown New York - new acquisition in the miraculous Gomez trade - left winger - 3 time NHL 20+ goal scorer with good power play offensive skills. Restricted Free Agent
Hopefully we can keep these guys. Sather is working on it while you are barbecuing burgers on the backyard grill. And here are the non-free agents American Born Rangers:
- Coach John Tortorella - the only US-born coach to ever win the Stanley Cup.
- Chris Drury - 33 year old center - born in Trumbull Connecticut - 22 goals and 34 assists for 56 points last year. Also may get to center for Gaborik - and made the first phone call to Gaborik on the Ranger's behalf on July first that got the puck rolling for his acquisition.
- Donald Brashear. 37 year old thug - born in Bedford Indiana - broke Blair Bett's face last year - ending the Ranger's Playoff run - Rangers rewarded him with a 2 year contract - holds a lifetime NHL plus-minus of -84. (Why is he on this team?)
Enjoy your the rest of your 4th of July weekend. We'll see you Monday morning
Pucks - out!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Not so fast, folks - Higgins is an unsigned free agent. If the Rangers can't sign him - he's not a Ranger after all.
But the encouraging news is from Higgins himself. Here's what he had to say Thursday:
"I don't see any problems. It's not done yet, but I want to play here - I really want to play here."In fact, we here that Higgins is really happy to have been traded here. And we want you here too, Chris. We can really use a 20+ goal scorer who can light the lamp on the power play. The lack of Powerplays goals was a huge part of last year's problems - and I think Chris Higgins, the Long Island native, can help us there.
And it's always nice to hear that a Long Island native wants to play for us - and not the 'slanders. Come on Sather - you're on a roll - work your magic and let's get this done!
Friday, July 3, 2009
The Atlanta Thrashers signed him today - to a 4 year contract at $4 million per year. Playing for Toronto and New York last year Antropov netted 28 goals and 58 points - career highs. So the 29 year old winger is now a ex-Ranger - which means:
- We lose his offense, and
- we free up more cap space
Farewell Nik. You were only here a short while - but you had some fine moments wearing the BlueShirt.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Say goodbye to:
- Scott Gomez - a playmaker with no one to pass to. A former Devil who didn't live up to expectations here. A guy who really liked being a Ranger - maybe enjoyed the trappings a little too much. But most of a - a $7.4 million dollar deadweight in our salary cap that had to go.
- Colton Orr - Our tough guy, who, in Tortorella's eyes, wasn't quite tough enough
- Fred Sjostrom - one of our best skaters
And say hello to:
- Marian Gaborik. The first real "red light" shooter - still in the upside of his career - that we've had since.... uh - well it has been a while since we had a really good goal scorer in his 20s on this hockey club.
- Chris Higgins. A powerplay goal scorer. Again - something we haven't had in a while and something we really need.
- Donald Brasher. A tougher tough guy - but I don't like him and can't get behind this one.
And a 3rd category: Probably going:
- Blair Betts - we love the guy - but we're hearing he may land elsewhere
- Nik Antropov - Our enigmatic Russian Nik forward. At least we'll have a spare in Zherdev - or will we?
Our Prime Directive today? Get Centered! With Gomez out the door - we need a Center who can get the puck to Marian G. Hopefully Sather is working on that right now. So we're expecting plenty more action to come as Free Agent Day 2 gets going....
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Gaborik was injured last year - missing several months with hip surgery. But when healthy the 6'1" Czech Right Winger adds some big time offense. Look at his 2007-2008 stats (and for fun I will compare them to our best player from last year):
- Goals: 42 (in 2009 - our best was Naslund with 24)
- Assists: 41 (Gomez had 42 last year)
- Points: 83 (Gomez and Zherdev had 58 points last year)
- Plus Minus: +17 (Callahan led the Rangers with +7)
In his NHL career Marian has 437 points in 502 games. In other words - if he stays healthy and returns to form, Gaborik instantly becomes our best offensive player by a wide margin. Think of his salary as a trade for Gomez. We went from $7.4 to $7.5 million per year and, man, did we ever upgrade.
A good move by the Rangers.
And for the record - I completely agree with Nugman about Brashear. The man is a thug. And after what he did to Blair Betts - how can you let this man in our locker room? How can you pay him? And how in the world can you ask Blair Betts to come back to NY and play alongside him?
Terribe, terrible move by Sather and the NY Rangers. I love what they did with Gomez, I like what they did with Gaborik, but this is really bad.
They made these so-called qualifying offers to the following players:
- Dubinsky: $633,333
- Callahan $575,000
- Potter $535,000
They may have made offers to these guys:
- Boyle (we got him in a draft-day trade) something over $750,000
- Korpikoski $1,017,000
The players can accept the offer or reject it. If they reject - they become free agents - BUT - the Rangers have the right to match any other offer they get to keep them. As we reported before - it appears Sjostrom did not get a qualifying offer from the Rangers and is likely gone.
We'll be back with more info as we get it. But rest assured - your next year's Ranger team is being put together right now.