Jaromir Jagr is.. happy.. and that's a great thing for the Rangers. It was evident that he missed Nylander up until Straka got back.
Last year, it was Straka - Nylander - Jagr on our first line. A year prior to that, it was Rucinsky (Straka later in the season) - Nylander - Jagr. Both of these lines had great chemistry, but I think that Straka had a bigger impact than Nylander.
Let's look at stats from 06/07:
Nylander, Straka and Jagr all alternated on their goals and assists, meaning all three of these players had a first assist or secondary assist or the goal. What does this mean? Straka and Nylander are just about equally important.
Straka was out for a while because of a broken finger, but since he's been back, Jagr is playing like he was in 05/06.. he's fast, he's shooting! Dubinsky has really stepped it up for the centering job.
Now, on the powerplay, we had Straka, Jagr, Drury, Shanny, Roszival on a few cycles, and they scored some big goals, and you can sub in Gomez in there for when Shanny wasn't on the PP.
Now, I wish Nylander the best because he played great for us, but it just didn't make sense to sign him to anything other than a deal equal to Jagr's remaining years as a Ranger (this is his last season because the Rangers declined the option aka Jagr = 8.36m cap hit next year). This is also Straka's last year.
Straka has now played 4 games since returning from his injury, and Jagr has had a definite extra step.. scoring 3 goals in this time. Dubinsky has also had a couple of points from the 5 on 5 play, and Gomez and Drury have been consistently scoring or getting the helpers.
Welcome back, Straka!
The question is what will happen by the deadline or in the off season. Jagr, Straka, and Shanahan are probably retiring (Jagr may sign elsewhere, though).. then we have Roszival, Mara and Malik going UFA..
Do you think that Sather will try to go after Lecavalier? Ovechkin? We have so much depth and NHL-ready players coming up next year, who knows what will happen. Yes, yes, I know, the cap.. but it's probably going up to around 55m next year, so who knows what can happen?
These are just a few names of the players that will make an immediate impact in the NHL..
Personally, I can't wait for Leetch version 2.0, I mean Sanguinetti. Like myself, he is a Trenton, NJ native, and this season in the OHL (same league as Tavares) he has 17g-23a-40p in 28 games... goosebumps!
Tyutin, Girardi and Staal are another example of our young core. Staal has been an absolute stud.. maybe we should pry his brother away from Pittsburgh?