Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
"Talking New York Rangers Hockey, since 2007"
New York, NY • United States • 23 Years Old • Male
Since July 1st there has been much discussion regarding the signings of Chris Drury and Scott Gomez by the New York Rangers. It is true that Gomez and Drury are both very talented hockey players but it is also true that they were overpaid by the Rangers. This begs the question: Was it worth it?

The Rangers needed to add (or resign) two free agent centers in the offseason. There were four top-tier centers on the free agent market. They were: Michael Nylander, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez and Daniel Briere. Nylander was the oldest and least talented of the four but had enormous upside when considering his proven chemistry with the team's best player, Jaromir Jagr. Drury was known for his leadership abilities in addition to a great hockey sense and an ability to come through in the clutch. Gomez was the speedy playmaker who seemed like a great fit to feed pucks to the puck-loving Jagr. Briere was the most talented scorer who, with a wicked wristshot, was a major threat, especially on the power-play. In my opinion he was the best center available and I envy the Flyers for getting him at a lower price than the NYR did. Glen Sather planned to pick up two of these four centers and he did just that. But did he pick up the right ones?

Nylander, who did not become a free agent until July 1st had the most time to officially negotiate with the Rangers. He was clearly the best short-term choice for the Rangers having proven chemistry with Jagr and coming at a considerably lower price than the other three centers. However, being much older than the other players, it was not worth it for the Rangers to sign him for more than three years. When Jagr and Straka retire, he loses his status as a first line center. Nylander was made by Jagr and not the other way around. And when Nylander fired his agent who had an independent agreement with the club, it was understood that Nylander would not take the "hometown discount" that the Rangers wanted him to take. At that point, it was clear that the Rangers needed to make a splash in the free agent market and sign two new centers. Obviously, best case scenario was to sign Nylander for 2-3 yrs, keep the chemistry going and keep money free. But a long term deal was not worth it for the Rangers. It was certainly worth it for the Caps, though, who would put Nylander on a line with the YOUNG Alexander Ovechkin. So they made the splash by pursuing these three players. Briere made it clear early into free agency that he had narrowed his options down to four, the Rangers not being one of them. Sather then had to go 2-for-2 in order to accomplish the offseason goals. So he offered contracts to both Drury and Gomez. Both in the vicinity of 7 million per year because of the already inflated market. Both lasting until each respective player turned 35. And the both accepted. And with that the Rangers acquired two excellent hockey players approaching the prime of their careers. Yes, almost 15 million per year for two players is overpaying but with the market price so high, there were certainly other teams who would have signed the two free agents for similar deals, both in value and years. But they chose to come to New York because that is a place that they felt they could win the cup. And thus, they enabled the cup to be won in New York.

Many people have claimed that the signings of Gomez and Drury were detrimental to the Rangers. It is not a given that Gomez or Drury will have good chemistry with Jagr. That is something you gave up with the loss of Nylander. But good chemistry with Jagr is a short-term goal and the Rangers were looking to improve long-term. If Gomez and/or Drury do not find chemistry with Jagr, the next two years will be disastrous. After that, who knows? Gomez did not have good stats and 13 goals isnt enough to be paid over 7 mil per year IF he was being signed by a defensive-minded team, i.e. the Devils. But just as Nylander is more valuable to the Capitals, Gomez is more valuable to a more offensive-minded team, i.e. the Rangers. However, he will probably not produce as well offensively as his salary indicates he should. Drury is a better player in my opinion and if Drury is worth his deal, then Gomez is being overpaid. His play may prove me wrong and may prove me right but that is yet to be seen. And if he is not better than he was last year, Sather will be crucified by the fans because, after all, hindsight is 20-20. However with the limited sight we have now, Gomez may be worth the 7 million dollars. If he is, great. If not, its the same old Rangers and I understand why people are saying that. But the fact is, the Rangers had holes to fill, needed two top-tier centers and got them. If they only got one, wouldnt the team look alot worse?

Those who believed that the Rangers needed a defenseman more than a center are mistaken. Because the under-rated defense of the Rangers ended the season with the second-best goals-against in the eastern conference, and that being done with the likes of Sandis Ozolinch and Aaron Ward playing half the season. Tyutin, Girardi, Mara and Staal are young, solid defensemen who will only get better. Defense is not an issue, especially with Lundqvist playing great in goal.

Drury is known for his leadership on and off the ice and anyone who questions his ability is either foolish or jealous. The guy has been successful wherever he has gone. He was well worth his contract. And there might be no worries about locking up a lot of money for the future because with Jagr, Straka and Shanahan leaving within two years, and with the salary cap going up, there will be plenty of cash to go around. Then again, with Lundqvist geting an extention this summer, Jagr's cap hit 4+million more next season (if he opts to stay) and most of the defense becoming free agents next summer, the Rangers may find themselves strapped for cash in 2009. If the Cullen trade was not to make a trade, than Sather may have realized that he reverted back to his old ways and tried to correct himself. And if the salary cap doesnt go up for whatever reason, they are definately in trouble. At this point, however, this doesnt seem to be the same old Rangers MENTALITY because the old Rangers would be so focused on short term goals that they would overspend for old, big name players. Now, granted they are overpaying, but at least they are paying MARKET VALUE prices for young players. Will the result be the same as when Holik, Lindros etc. were signed? Possibly.

All I can say now is that we will see how Drury and Gomez play this season for the next 5-7 seasons and how the Rangers manage with less cap room and no big-name defensman. After all is said and done, we can decide whether it was worth it or not. All of my justification of the signings may be wrong and this offseason may have been awful for the future. But until then, the Rangers SEEM to have had the best off-season of any NHL team. But for anyone to give the cup to the Rangers now or to say Sather ruined the team again is wrong. You can say that five years from now. See you then.
Filed Under:   flyers   free agency   rangers   gomez   drury   rags2riches  
July 24, 2007 11:33 PM ET | Delete
Not sure about Gomez but I think the Drury signing was great, and would be for any team. He will become the face of that team which is aggravating as a Flyers fan because I hate the Rangers but have always been a Drury fan. There isn't a more perfect player to wear the "C" in the NHL. You guys may not reap the benefits of that signing right away with Jagr around though. He is kind of the anti-Drury. I'm looking forward to Briere vs Drury for years to come.
July 24, 2007 11:56 PM ET | Delete
I dont understand that entry. It's Titled 'Drury and Gomez: Good Signings or Same Old Rangers?', making it sound like you were going to cover both sides of the signing, the good and the bad, and explain how the Rangers may have made a mistake with the signings, but, all you did was toot your own horn and talk about how anyone who doesnt think the Rangers had a 'top 2 offseason needs to have his head examined'. Sound to me like that whole rant was just you chastising anyone who isnt a Rags fan or doesn't agree with you.
July 25, 2007 12:05 AM ET | Delete
very lopsided lam post
July 25, 2007 12:11 AM ET | Delete
You may be right about Gomez and Drury, two class acts. And maybe the Rangers had the best offseason; Philly fans will feel otherwise and they may be right, depending on how they manage their cap.But I made a bet with myself 10 years ago, and will make the same bet with ANYONE, that Jagr will never win another Cup unless he's still around at 40 and someone trades for him at the deadline a' la Bourque. He is one of the most talented players there ever was, and it was a pleasure (for the most part) to watch himin Pittsburgh all those years but he always ends up dragging a team down in the end. If, as I've heard, he's whining about Nylander when he has just been handed two of the best centers in the NHL, that proves my point. And, if he's not whining about Nylander then just wait--he'll find something.I think this post has it right that in the sense that Gomez and Drury are strong parts of a good LONG range plan. The Rangers will not win the Cup while Jagr is still a "leader" on the team.
July 25, 2007 12:14 AM ET | Delete
Admittedly I only read about half and posted just to be nice, but cut the kid a break. He's only 15.
July 25, 2007 1:41 AM ET | Delete
Wasn't it Gomez who Jagr tried to punch in the 2006 playoffs and instead injured himself? Hopefully they end up getting along, or else Jagr might injure himself again.In all seriousness though, the Flyers and the Rangers definitely came out tops as far as this off season went, but the main issue with both teams now is chemistry. Both teams acquired some major talent, but now everyone needs to jel. Either way, it should only increase the rivalry between the two teams. Can't wait to the Rangers come to the Wac...things should get pretty heated!
July 25, 2007 5:46 AM ET | Delete
The Rangers still need a veteran defenseman. If Lundqvist goes down, there's a TON of pressure on a talented, but inexperienced, defense corps.
July 25, 2007 8:26 AM ET | Delete
lets just hope the cap continues to rise and doesnt go down otherwise alot of teams will be in trouble....more then just the rangers!
July 25, 2007 10:30 AM ET | Delete
I'm just surprised its not an OLDER Ranger fan. lol
July 25, 2007 11:31 AM ET | Delete
Ten thousand words to say "we have to see how it works out?"
July 25, 2007 2:38 PM ET | Delete
It's been going around the rumor mill that the Rags are quietly shopping Jagr around. I guess just to see what they can get for him. Possibly a defensemen? Drury can step right into Jagr's role if something goes down and Jagr is shipped off. I don't think he and Gomez are going to gel as well as everyone thinks. Gomez has been overpaid......good player, but not worth it. The Rags are paying him $500,000 a goal for the next 7 years....LOL. Great job Glen.
July 25, 2007 3:32 PM ET | Delete
S.O.R.Cap hell 2009.
July 25, 2007 3:43 PM ET | Delete
Drury is worth the money, he's a highly talented and rough player. He got blasted in the eye last year in the playoffs by one of our own guys on a slap shot lol. He bleed, got up got some stuff to put on it and continued to play. The guy is a dedicated, skilled hockey player. I would pay him as much as anyone else deserves in the league.
July 25, 2007 3:57 PM ET | Delete
I want to know why the islander fans are so jealous..... Jealous of our acquisitions, jealous of our goaltender, jealous of our arena/fan base, maybe their just upset because no player in their right mind would want to play in the biggest dump in the nhl aka nassau coleseum..goodluck atttracting players to the lime light of uniondale long island.
July 25, 2007 6:28 PM ET | Delete
dengler, your whole post sounds like YOUR the hater thats just looking to start an argument. So, for the sake of argument I'll respond your fantastic bit of journalistic artwork.First off we're not jealous of your acquisitions, upset that you've improved?; well of course, your our rivals we dont want you to get better no matter how big or how small the improvement is. Secondly, we ARE NOT jealous of your netminder, not in the slightest(btw, DiPi had a higher save% and less goal against last season), DiPietro is the cornerstone of our franchise and will continue to be for many years to come, the guys a fan favorite and if he continues to improve as he has, for 4.5 million per season, that sounds like a steal. We're not jealous of your arena, especially the stench of urine surrounding it. Our we bummed that we play in an arena that falling apart?; sure, but I don't think we're 'jealous' of your arena. And as far as being jealous of your fanbase...........HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
July 25, 2007 8:41 PM ET | Delete
what happens with this INCREDIBLE defense has to be signed to real contracts? where does the money to keep their solid defense come from when the entry-level contracts expire? more likely than what you outline in your post is that rangers management doesn't understand the term long-term, and this HAS to be the year form the rangers or they're screwed. do you think roszival is going to fetch 2.3 next year? what about lundqvist he's do for a REAL raise. this post is a joke, and it's most definitely the "SAME OLD RANGERS".
July 25, 2007 8:43 PM ET | Delete
and as far as shopping jagr... that would be the biggest mistake the rangers could make. he was your whole offense last year, especailly in the playoffs.
July 26, 2007 9:14 AM ET | Delete
Chemistry Nightmare. Shop Jagr. Zubrus showed how to Shut him down. Look for more of the same tactics from other teams. Loko for Rangers in 2008/2009. They should have found their stride by then
July 26, 2007 11:47 AM ET | Delete
i completely agree with everything you said except that the rags were the best off season team so far and ill have to say i think its the flyers and thats an unbiased opinion coming from a die hard wings fan.
August 26, 2007 1:29 AM ET | Delete
Gomez isn't being paid by the goal. He's being paid by the assist. Well, I guess he is being paid by the goal after all, it's that he gets paid to create the play in which the goal is scored. Few do that better than Gomez.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.

Blog Archive

20 Again