Its been a great offseason for the Rangers. They signed two top tier centers to long term deals and retained their core group of players, with the exception of Nylander and Cullen. But its not too late to botch the job. Critics have already labeled this offseason as a return to the "Same Old Rangers". I dont believe that to be true but that is a dicussion of its own. What I know to be true is that NOW, Sather must sit on his hands and do nothing but re-sign Avery and Hossa. There has been talk of the Rangers trying to bring in either Redden or Jovanovski to improve the D but I hope these potential trades do not pan out.
Nobody really knows what the Rangers will give up in either of these deals but it will almost certainly include Mara and prospects/young players. Don Maloney of the Coyotes has expressed interest in bringing Al Montoya, the Rangers top goalie propect, to Phoenix as part of the Jovo deal. Anyobody in their right mind can see that it makes no sense to give up a goalie, who can be used as major trade bait to acquire a NEED, for an injury prone defensman coming off a bad season with a huge 4 year 6.5 million per contract. Even if Montoya is not included in the deal, who will the Rangers give up? Prucha? Staal? I hope not. Redden would be great for the Rangers and a considerably smaller risk than Jovo but his 6.5 million deal lasts for only one more year. He has also said that he has no plans to re-sign with the team he is traded to and will almost certainly test the free agent market in 08. Why give up a player of the future for a one year rental? That buisness is left to the other New York hockey team.
The defense may be lacking a top tier defenseman but as a whole, they are very good. Last year they finished second in the east in goals against and whether that was caused by Lunqvist or the defense, there does not seem to be any pressing need for change. After revamping the offense to some degree this year, it would be wise to see how the season goes without altering the D as well. If anything goes wrong, there will be plenty to trade for come the deadline. Unless Sather goes crazy and picks up Redden or Jovo. Then the Rangers will be truly stuck with nowhere to go.
As of now, the Rangers are about 1 million under the cap. It is a given that Kasparitis will be sent down at the start of training camp which will free up an additional 3 million. There is also an ability to go 2.8 million above the cap and let Shanahans bonuses take effect next season, although that is far from preffered. So assuming the Rangers can spend between 4 and 7 million, they still have Avery and Hossa going to arbitration, two players who I believe contribute alot to the team. Hossa should get no more than 1 million and Avery around 2.5. If Avery is too costly, Peca looks like a good replacement for 2 years and around 2 million. That leaves 1 to 4 million to sign Lundqvist to a long term deal, a MUST for this season, and plently of wiggle room come trade deadline if the need arises. This way, there is plenty of security cap-wise, not too much of a change in chemistry and a team that looks set for the long term.
So Glen Sather, give yoursef a pat on the back and call it a day. Dont prove the naysayers right. Dont bring back those "Same Old Rangers".