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Oceanside, CA • United States • 33 Years Old • Male
The big news in Ranger-Land yesterday was obviously the signing of former Minnesota Wild star sniper Marian Gaborik to a 5 year, $37.5 million contract. Here is the superstar forward that we need to help get us deep into the playoffs. The kind of offensive threat we missed from our lineup last year after the departure of Jaromir Jagr to the KHL. Look, $7.5 million-a-year is a lot to pay for anyone but Gaborik has the goods to make it worth it. The only question mark with Gabby is his health; can he stay healthy? Of course we won’t know the answer to that until the season starts so I am going to keep my mind open on this signing until then. What I want to know is where do we stand now and what are we going to do the rest of the off-season?

After the Brashear and Gaborik signings, the Rangers have a little more than $13.6 million worth of cap space. Of course that doesn’t account for our RFA’s. If the RFA’s all accept their qualifying offers then that is another $8.5 million of cap space. I’m not sure if Sather will be able to re-sign Zherdev, Higgins or Korpikoski to longer terms with a lower AAS than what their qualifying offers would be but I am quite certain that Dubinsky and Callahan deserve more than the $635,000 and $600,000 respectively that they were paid last year. Basically we are looking at less than $5 million of cap space to add at least 1 defenseman and a back-up goalie.

I suspect that Steve Valiquette will be re-signed for a sum less than $1 million for 2009/2010. I’d also like to add a veteran defenseman on a 1-year deal that can help on the PP since I am not comfortable going into the season with Mike Sauer and Bobby Sanguinetti holding down regular spots. A few of the options left on the market are former Rangers Paul Mara, Mathieu Schneider and Sergei Zubov. Both Schneider and Zubov are nearing the end of very good careers but could certainly help us on the PP. If either would be amenable to a 1-year deal at around $2 million then I would be interested. Mara was re-signed at a $1.9 million salary last year when the market didn’t materialize for him. Another candidate would be Derek Morris who finished the season with the Rangers after a deadline deal with Phoenix. He’d have to accept a short term deal with a sizable pay cut to come back but if the market doesn’t work out for him then I would be interested.

With all of our RFA’s back on board, we have 13 forwards on the roster. We are thin at Center with Drury, Dubinsky, Anisimov and Boyle expected to occupy the 4 spots. I would like to try to acquire another Center and move either Drury or Dubinsky to wing. One possibility might be Brad Richards of Dallas. He has an exorbitant contract that has 2 years left at an AAS of $7.8 million. There was reportedly interest on the part of Dallas in Michal Rozsival last season when the rumor mill was churning about the Rangers re-acquiring Sean Avery. I wonder if a fit might exist there. If that deal were made straight up and we dumped Rismiller or Voros to Hartford then essentially all of our cap room would be gone and we’d look at this for our team:

LW Gaborik C Richards RW Callahan
LW Drury C Dubinsky RW Zherdev
LW Avery C Anisimov RW Higgins
LW Brashear CBoyle RW Korpikoski/Rismiller/Voros
D Staal, Girardi, Redden, Sanguinetti, Sauer, Schneider/Zubov/Mara
G Lundqvist, Valiquette

A little thin on Defense now but more scoring depth up front. Of course Sather could always just sit on his cap space until mid-season and see what develops on the trade market. At least there are lots of possibilities to hash out and re-hash. Well, what do you think Rangers fans? What would you do with the cap space?
Filed Under:   Gaborik   Rangers  
July 2, 2009 4:54 PM ET | Delete
Where is Gilroy?
July 2, 2009 4:55 PM ET | Delete
July 2, 2009 5:02 PM ET | Delete
You are right about Gilroy. He should make the team but nothing is guaranteed; he may need a little seasoning in the AHL. That's a big jump to go from Junior directly to the NHL. He should probably start at Hartford unless he blows us away in camp. Even with Gilroy, we're a little light on experience at D.
July 2, 2009 5:02 PM ET | Delete
It's a big jump for Grachev to go from Junior to NHL. I meant to say Grachev.
July 2, 2009 5:28 PM ET | Delete
I've seen the recent Rangers on demand videos of Grachev and hes a monster. i wouldn't be surprised if he really gets close or gets a spot on this team after camp. Can't wait for preseason games so I can watch Grachev and Del Zotto. I think DZ will make it.
July 2, 2009 5:37 PM ET | Delete
There are quite a few young guys that should be close to forcing their way onto the roster. DZ, Grachev, Sanguinetti. Anisimov is a virtual lock to make the team this year, Hopefully he flashes some 20 goal potential on the 3rd line.
July 2, 2009 6:09 PM ET | Delete
I know eklund says that the Rangers are out of the race for Heatley, but from what I'm hearing elsewhere, they are still very much in contention for him.Sens get:Michal Rozsival Nik Zherdev Artem Anisimov 2010 first round Rangers get:Dany Heatley2010 5th rounderLet me know what you guys think....
July 2, 2009 6:20 PM ET | Delete
I'd hate to have to include Anisimov as he slots as our 3rd line center currently. As much as I'd like to add a player like Heatley there would still be no one to center either Heatley or Gaborik. All of the other pieces work for me. I think Sather bowed out of the race out of respect for Edmonton.
July 2, 2009 6:28 PM ET | Delete
i think we should sign some one like Robert Lang or Viktor Kozlov for that role. Then you are looking at about 60pts a year.... fills what gomez did for a lot less money
July 2, 2009 7:11 PM ET | Delete
Didn't Kozlov sign already in Russia? I know there was talk of it. Lang wouldn't be a bad fit depending on the money.
July 2, 2009 7:32 PM ET | Delete
July 2, 2009 7:32 PM ET | Delete
Yeah i know. check out my blog about an offseason gameplan. just posted it
July 2, 2009 9:22 PM ET | Delete
also i have a question. how come when ever you post a blog, it is under the rangers blog links. whenever i do this, it's not there. i ama season ticket holder too
July 3, 2009 4:54 AM ET | Delete
whoopie dooo..you guys have gabby.this was stupid..you should done a deal sending Drury or Redden..and kept scotty in the line up now that would of dominated..and if i was glen sather at this point i will stop wasting time and go and sign alex tanguay
July 3, 2009 12:06 PM ET | Delete
Uh Drury has a NMC and who was going to take Redden?? Any ideas Sharkfan? We don't have a lot of space to go out and grab another high profile guy right now.
July 3, 2009 3:34 PM ET | Delete
Drury is a great faceoff man... much better than Dubinsky, Anisimov or Boyle... if anyone was moved to wing I would think it would be Boyle... he screams Nik Antropov to me... big, slow, hulking but with good hands... also Boyle, like Nik Antropov is 'capable' of playing centre but ultimately is hugely more effective on either wing.
July 3, 2009 3:38 PM ET | Delete
I think Dubi has the potential to be a solid face-off guy. I'm not real sure of Anisimov or Boyle. Drury is the better face-off guy true but he can still play some wing but take the important draws when needed. Plus the above post has us acquiring Richards from Dallas.
July 6, 2009 6:12 PM ET | Delete
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