by Patrick Hoffman on 07/01/10 at 09:42 PM ET
As always, it was an interesting first day of free agency for the New York Rangers.
Olli Jokinen is gone. Jody Shelley is gone. Vinny Prospal resigned for one year and in the team’s most interesting move of the day, they signed Derek Boogaard to a four-year deal at $1.625 million per year.
The team also signed UFA goaltender Martin Biron to be their back-up goaltender and also resigned Erik Christensen for two years.
The Vinny Prospal deal is definitely a good one. He racked up 58 points this year and was the club’s second most consistent point producer next to Marian Gaborik. He worked hard, was not afraid to speak out and say what the team needed to do and provided veteran leadership in the locker room. He’ll bring all these intangibles to the team for at least one more season.
As for Derek Boogaard, it certainly raises a few eyebrows. This is a pretty long-term deal for an enforcer who doesn’t score a lot of points.
Folks, this guy wasn’t signed to score goals. He was signed to be a fourth line guy who will go into the corners, dig the puck out, stick up for his teammates and be a good role player.
Boogaard played the part well with the Minnesota Wild and I’m sure once he throws his first big hit and gets into his first fight at Madison Square Garden, Blueshirt fans will love him.
The Blueshirts were smart to sign Biron. Biron is a guy who can play 20-25 games and if Henrik Lundqvist gets hurt, he can step in and be the starter. He’s also a great guy to have in the locker room and is very well liked by members of the media.
With Erik Christensen, the team resigns a guy that was able to produce on Broadway and also had some chemistry with Gaborik. Now, Christensen needs to do it on a consistent basis as this could very well be his last chance in the National Hockey League.
I know many of you Blueshirt fans will question the signings that Sather acts on but what will be, will be. That’s all Ranger fans can do right now.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.