I have always thought I had a good head for hockey, but I never knew I should have my own 5 minutes on the MSG network to speculate. Take a look at a collection of my three favorite posts over the past few months. You have to admit, I did pretty well in my statements. My one true errata that I sadly must admit is the fact that Jed Ortmeyer is no longer in the equation, but besides that, these posts are pretty good. Enjoy!
Post #1 - This was when we were involved in the Pavel Datsyuk debate about free agency. He was taken off the market by Detroit during the season, but I think this can be applied to the current situation anyway.
First problem I have heard about is the idea that this would not fit under the Rangers cap space. Take a look at our numbers right now. We will gain an approx. 2 million when we let Nylander go so you can bring some much needed energy to the first line. Shanahan will be re-upped for .5 million less. Kasparaitus is done in the NHL, so he is not a cap hit for us next season. The money is there, don't worry about it.
Post #2 - On the debate of where Shanny will sign. Keep in mind that when I speak of the $4 million mark, he will get that with his bonus once he hits 10 games played.
This one is really simple. There is no need to go into much detail. Shanny loves being in New York. He gives the team the veteran grit that breaks up the monotany that can happen when everyone focuses on getting the puck to Jagr. He gives a second dimension to the power play and makes the 2nd line very threatening. Glen Sather knows this. He will give Brendan approximately the same contract as last year, and Brendan will be happy knowing that he can still pull in the money, especially after his injury. The number will hover around $4 million. It will be another one year deal. Shanny doesn't want to keep moving his life from city to city at this age. He also doesn't want to learn a new teams system. On top of all this, being in New York keeps him near the major NHL office where he will start frequenting more when he is ready to retire and take a league job.
Shanny will sign with New York for approx. $4 million for 1 year. Possibly with a player option for the next.
Post #3 - This post was in reference to where the top free agents were signing. Scotty Gomez was m y big pick, and I had some reservations on Drury, but hey, I can’t always be right. And by removing Nylander from my lines, you can see that is still looks pretty good.
No question, hands down. Scott Gomez to the Rangers. I am not saying anywhere in this that Drury would not be a great player in New York, but Gomez is much better.
First of all, Gomez is a spark plug that the Rangers are missing. Not in the Sean Avery way, but in the way we all want Prucha to be. Prucha is flashy and speedy and gets in every spot the puck is going. He also gets thrown around and hits a lot of posts or shoots the puck above the glass. Pruch would learn a lot being on a team with Gomez, who has taken that same style of play and harnessed it into something that can kill any other teams momentum. Ideally, Gomez takes Prucha under his wing and they create one hell of a dual threat. Not so ideal but still worth thinking about is the fact that with Gomez in that role, Pruch becomes stronger trade bait. Imagine the lines for the Rangers:
Straka - Nylander - Jagr
Shanahan - Gomez - Prucha
Avery - Cullen - Callahan
Ortmeyer - Hollweg - Hossa
I love it!
Second is the fact that Drury is a great leader. So is Brendan Shanahan and Jaromir Jagr. The dynamic in the locker room and on the ice is pretty strong and also a delicate balance. Drury may not be on the same page or want to take a back seat to these vets. Gomez doesn't pose the same threat. He just brings life to the team on the second line, on the powerplay and on the odd man rush.
It is a natural fit for Gomez to make this team step up to the next level and bring them closer to being an elite team. Gomez is clutch, he has been with champions before and he can do it again. He is the "closer" that Jagr has been talking about, the one who will "bring the heat."
Plus, what would be better than scorning the Devils by stealing a piece of their team. Gomez knows the system of defense first followed by an odd man rush to score and give a 2-1 lead to protect for the rest of the game. The Rangers now have the goalie to run the system with. The beautiful part would be watching the Rangers do it in the brand new Prudential Arena in Newark.
Gomez....lock'em up Slats!!!
Post #4 - Now this post is missing from my threads for some reason, but the final free agent comment I had dealt with Sheldon Souray. It was brief and to the point. We (as in the Rangers, and yes I believe that fans are just as much a part of the team as anyone who gets paid to be in the org) do not need to shell out more money to another guy who will not produce for us. We have been there before. I simply said we need to let Souray go.
So, with that, I am awaiting my contract offer from the local sports networks to be an analyst. Surely, I will use them as leverage so I can begin working with the Vs. Network, even if I dont get it in my house.
Keep your stick on the ice my friends.