Hey everybody, i've been on hockeybuzz for a while but rarely post. But after reading EVERYWHERE about all these "offseason plans" that people are coming up with its just ridiculous. Lets get real. We have no money to spend. The odds of trading Drury, Gomez, Redden and/or Rozsival are very slim to say the least. The only realistic one that could be moved may be Rozsival. Don't get me wrong, i'd love to trade them all and bring in Heatley, Komisarek, Cammalleri, Gaborik, JoBo, Kovalev and all those guys. But it will never happen. So lets get real. Unfortunately, Sather is an idiot. I will say he has definitely done some great things. He has drafted SOMEWHAT well. We've had a few early round busts but we've also had some late round bloomers. He pulled off trades last year that i thought were very good and before the lockout he re-tooled our youth through trading all our vets. So he does have an idea of what its like to be a good GM.
I'm not even going to touch the Drury, Gomez, Redden situation because we all know that their contracts SUCK and there is a very slim chance we can move them. This isn't NHL 09, we can't trade Rozsival and Drury for Heatley because their overalls match up. Here are a few things i'd like to see. Again, not what Sather will do, just a realistic hope.
For our own players, its obvious we need to resign dubi and callahan. I think korpikoski has potential for sure, he can fill a sjostrom role, but in that sense, korpi is set to make over a mil this year. For that same mil who would you rather have? Sjostrom or Korpikoski? I'd take sjostrom. The Boyle deal was the stupidest thing. I'd rather have Betts for almost and identical deal. But maybe there is something there we don't know(lets hope). Orr has to come back, without his grit we will be so soft. Callahan and Dubinsky try, i'll give them that, they check hard and are willing to drop the gloves but they couldn't touch Brashear if push came to shove.
Lets move on to Zherdev. Originally, i was like...DUMP this guy, but now, i'm thinking maybe just maybe he will shine this year. He had 22 goals i believe in a defensive minded tom renney system. He struggled under Torts but i believe most of our players were not used to the gring of torts system and thats what caused the struggles. I say he is worth a shot. If it works out, we may have found our scoring threat. If not, he's gone after this year. The kid is 23 or 24, lets not give up all hope.
As far as our UFA's. As far as Antropov goes, he's headed to see-ya-later city. I love him, he is EXACTLY what we needed, a big guy who can pound the net. But we simply don't have the cash. Morris, another guy i like, but money is an issue. I truly hope we find a way to keep Mara. He may not have the points, but the guy is full of intangibles. He sticks up for his teammates like nobody else and is quite the leader. Get him signed.
Flat out, we can't afford a top flight free agent. There is no way Gaborik signs a one year deal with a low base salary and incentives. SOMEBODY will offer him better then that so he is off our radar unless we made some trades. So i'm gunna target a few second tier guys i'd like to have:
Mikael Samuelsson - We used to have him, he came over in the adam graves trade from san jose way back. Another former Ranger who went on to do good things. Still fairly young at 32 years old, maybe we can get him for 2 or 3 years for 3 mil per. He had 40 points last year and the year before with Detroit and i believe that was while being shuffled from 2nd to 3rd line all year. He only made 1.2 mil last year so will 2.5-3 mil get him? Maybe, it depends on the market, but its more realistic then Hossa or Gaborik.
Jed Ortmeyer - Remember him? I loved this guy so maybe this signing is a little biased. This guy was a work horse much like Sjo and Betts. If one of them aren't resigned then here is a guy who would sign for cheap that can fill that void of a hard working 4th liner. If he outplays Boyle, Boyle can be sent to the minors.
Mike Knuble - We've heard his name mentioned a lot regarding our team. He is a hard worker with a nose for the net. Another former Ranger who went on to make a name for himself. Knuble has posted over 45 points each of the last 6 years. He made 2.8 last year so we'd have to atleast match that, maybe 3 mil. Again, depending on the market.
Here is what our fowards would look like:
Avery(1.9)-Gomez(7.3)-Zherdev(3.5) = $12.7 million
Samuelsson(3.0)-Drury(7.0)-Callahan(900k) - $10.9 million
Knuble(3.0)-Anisimov(800k)-Dubinsky(900k) - $4.7 million
Sjostrom(1.0)-Betts(1.0)-Orr(500k)/Ortmeyer(500k) - $3 million
Total Salaries - $31.3 million
Not a bad set of fowards huh? So lets move to defense. We don't need to make a big splash here. Lets stick with what we have. If anything I would bring back Mara. Nobody else. Lets stick with what we have, unless we're able to unload one of our big contracts.
My friend, Keith Kinkaid, is an undrafted goaltender who was invited to participate in the prospects camp going on right now. He said that Gilroy and Del Zotto are the real deal. I am very excited to hear that. So we can figure atleast one of them will make the team next year. The rest of our defense will remain.
Total Salaries - 16.9
Lundqvist(6.8) - Vally(800k)
Total Salaries - 7.6 million
Add all of that up and what do we have??? $55.8 Million. Somehow we fit nicely under the cap. This may be wrong, the free agents we bring in may demand more, or our own free agents may demand more. Who knows, i'm just speculating and I wanted to give a more realistic feel on our offseason. Hope you enjoyed the read, let me hear your comments. And I guess we'll know a lot more about our Rangers within the next 24 hours.