Entries with the tag: free agents
From Jonathan Willis at From the Rink:
During the present kerfuffle over the Nikolai Khabibulin signing, one of the points consistently raised is that he was the best available option and that he will be, at worst, a top-fifteen NHL goaltender if he’s healthy. One of the points raised on the opposite end of the spectrum is that there were plenty of goalies out there for the role and the Oilers invested too heavily in term and dollars.
All of this got me thinking: where has Khabibulin ranked as an NHL goaltender? And how many legitimate starting options were out there, anyway?
To answer that question, I’ve made a list (courtesy of hockey-reference.com) of every NHL goaltender who has played at least 60 games over the past three seasons. There were 49. I’ve listed them below, ranked by save percentage, with this summer’s free agent crop in bold.
Click here to see which goalies made the list.
As was mentioned on a previous post here on KK, the New York Rangers have signed Ales Kotalik to a contract. He played with the Edmonton Oilers last season and posted 43 points (20 goals and 23 assists) in 75 games. Over the past four seasons, he’s averaged over 20 goals so at least Blueshirt fans know he can put the puck in the net.
The question, of course, will be if he can score on Broadway. Sure, the Blueshirts now have Gaborik to go along with guys like Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Sean Avery but if one were to really take a look at the current makeup of this team, he or she would clearly see that they still lack a scoring stud at center. When will GM Glen Sather realize this?
Update 4:30 p.m.: Just to clarify something - it’s 3 million per year. Hmmm, what exactly is Sather doing?
Update: There’s more on the Kotalik signing from TSN.ca:
The New York Rangers signed forward Ales Kotalik to a three-year, $3 million contract on Thursday.
The 30-year old split last season between the Buffalo Sabres and the Edmonton Oilers, putting up 20 goals and 23 assists.
In the 2005-06 with the Sabres, Kotalik had his best season in the NHL, scoring 25 goals and adding 37 assists.
The 6’1, 227-pound native of the Czech Republic was selected 164th overall by Buffalo in the sixth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
Click here for more.
From SNYRangersBlog.com and the New York Rangers:
New York, July 3, 2009 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a two-way contract with free agent forward Tyler Arnason.
Arnason, 30, skated in 71 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season, registering five goals and 17 assists for 22 points, along with 14 penalty minutes. He finished seventh on the team in scoring with 22 points, and tied for seventh on the Avalanche with 17 assists. He also ranked third on the club with 58 takeaways. Arnason recorded four multi-point games on the season, including a three-assist performance, which tied a career-high, on March 8 at Chicago. He posted a season-high, four-game point streak from January 10 against Pittsburgh to January 16 vs. Edmonton, collecting four points (one goal and three assists) over the span.
Click here for more. Obviously, not a big signing and certainly not a No. 1 center. What exactly is GM Glen Sather trying to do here?
From Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:
And, really, who wouldn’t be after getting a five-year deal worth $37.5 million which includes a limited movement clause after a season that consisted of 17 games because of groin, back and a hip surgery. Marian Gaborik, speaking on a conference call from Slovakia that introduced him as the newest Ranger, said he feels 100 percent healthy and believes he was able to prove that with his performance (13 goals, 10 assists) after returning for the end of last season with the Wild.
If Gaborik remains healthy - which still must be considered a big if given his track record, particularly over the past three seasons (48 games in 2006-07) - this should be a great move for the Rangers, who will marry Gaborik’s elite goal-scoring ability with John Tortorella’s aggressive, push-the-puck-up-the-ice brand of hockey.
There’s little doubt the Rangers have finished retooling their roster but Gaborik needs a top-line center to play with. In the media room today, I was making a case for the Rangers pursuing Saku Koivu but the ex-Canadiens captain seems destined for parts West - Los Angeles, Anaheim, Minnesota?
Gaborik said the Rangers pursued him heavily the moment the free agent market opened. He added the Wild made no attempts once noon struck yesterday to retain him. Gaborik said he spoke to several players and ex-players about playing in New York, including current Rangers Chris Drury and Aaron Voros (his former teammate in Minnesota) and ex-Ranger and fellow Czech Martin Rucinsky.
Click here for more. Hopefully, “Gabby” won’t be another free-agent disappointment for the Blueshirts.
As you would imagine, the New York Rangers’ beat writers were all over the first day of NHL Free-Agency yesterday. Check out the links below for their coverage and some of their reactions to the team’s signings:
If I had to grade New York Rangers General Manager Glen Sather on yesterday’s performance on the first day of free-agency, I would have to give him an incomplete. Yes, he signed two players and yes, one of them has a lot of potential to succeed on Broadway but we’ve all seen Sather do stuff like this before and nothing ever come to fruition.
Signing Marian Gaborik was extremely risky. On one hand, Sather managed to sign an offensive superstar who has scored 30-or-more goals in five of his eight seasons, including a career-high 42 in the 2006-07 season. He totaled 437 points in 502 career games, all with the Minnesota Wild, and he’s just 27 years old. If these were the only things that Ranger fans knew about him, there’d be no problems and even Sather thinks that the team improved with this signing.
“Gaborik is an exciting guy to watch play,” Sather told Jim Cerny of NewYorkRangers.com. “He can skate, and he does a lot of great things. He’s a great player, and he’s young. I certainly think he’s in the top ten in this league.”
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
On Sept. 12, 2006, the New York Islanders signed goalie Rick DiPietro(notes) to a 15-year contract worth $67.5 million. Anyone else want to climb into the time machine to tell them they’d be desperately signing a soon-to-be-40-year-old starter to a two-year contract worth $5 million in 2009?
Dwayne Roloson(notes) joins the Islanders, and if that doesn’t speak volumes about their concerns about DiPietro’s heath then nothing does.
Click here for more. Why can’t the Islanders just come out and say what is wrong with DP? Would that be so hard to do?
Not sure what Glen Sather was thinking when he signed Donald Brashear, do you? Yes, he’s an enforcer who can fight but that’s about all he can do, unless Sather and the rest of the Rangers’ brass saw something else.
What do you folks think of this?
As you read it here on KK, Colton Orr has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, which makes sense since Leafs’ GM Brian Burke loves that kind of player.
What do you think this means for the New York Rangers? Who is going to step up and be their enforcer? Sure, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan can hit but I’m not sure Blueshirts’ head coach John Tortorella wants them fighting.
What do you think?
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
When news was floating around that the Sedins were close to inking back with the Canucks, we delayed this ranking. Taking Daniel Sedin(notes) out of the equation does affect the rest of the wingers, albeit minimally because he’s obviously a package deal. If the Sedins are re-signed before noon, then add Steve Sullivan(notes) of the Nashville Predators to the list.
It’s an intriguing list because there are some real risk/reward situations here. Marian Gaborik(notes), in particular, could be the signing of the year if he can stay healthy; yet there’s a better chance that the new “G.I. Joe” flick wins Best Picture than that happening, based on Gabby’s track record.
Click here for more. Will any of these players be New York Rangers by the end of the day?
From Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy:
Many National Hockey League general managers are of the belief that you should build a team from the goal out and, to use a football motto, defense wins championships.
As we’ve seen many times before, it doesn’t take six superstar blue-liners to hoist the Stanley Cup. A mix of some offensive flair with defensive-minded bodies along with a touch of brave souls willing to give up the body to block shots is a blueprint that wins championships.
This year’s free agent defenseman class features players that fall into each of those categories, with most looking for a significant raise in salary.
Here’s a look at who we see as the Top 10 UFA defensemen, pending buyouts and re-signings. No Niedermayer, because he’s coming back as a Duck.
Click here for more. How many of you wish the Blueshirts didn’t sign Wade Redden?!
From SNYRangersBlog.com via ESPN.com:
ESPN.com is reporting that the agent for Nik Antropov has said that his client will become a free agent because the Rangers have no room to sign him.
ESPN is also reporting that Antro’s agent asked the Rangers for a contract in the neighborhood of five years and $5.25 million per season.
It was nice knowing you Antro. The deal Antro is looking for has such an NBA feel to it. A talented but enigmatic player who can put it together from time to time gets a big deal. Only problem is that by December you are looking at every which way to get rid of him. Also known as a Wade Redden contract.
Click here for more. It was nice while it lasted I guess.
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
The best centers available at the Frenzy this week sadly aren’t unrestricted free agents. They have names like Lecavalier and Gomez and Marleau. They cost a lot of money, and will cost talent going back the other way. But comparing them to most of the free-agent centers on the UFA market is like comparing the grosses for the new “Transformers” explosion-gasm with those for the new Larry-David-as-Woody-Allen flick. In the sense that there is no comparison.
The problem with this summer’s crop of pivots isn’t just its depth; it’s the details. Joe Sakic(notes) proved he had something left in the tank last season, though not much; but it’s the Colorado Avalanche or daily rounds of golf and afternoon naps for him.
Click here for more. Ranger fans: Do you want Gomez to go?
From Steve Zipay at Blue Notes:
So the Rangers retain negotiating rights to those players.
Brandon Dubinsky ($633,333), Ryan Callahan ($575,000) and Potter ($535,000) all earned less than $660,000, so the minimum raise they were due to receive was 10 percent. Boyle, obtained Saturday from Los Angeles, earned $750,000 and is due a five percent hike. Lauri Korpikoski, at $1.017 million, had to be matched.
If a player rejects an offer, he becomes a free agent. If another team makes an offer, the Rangers have a right to match.
Click here for more. Dubinsky and Callahan were no brainers. We’ll see what Korpikoski can do with having his ice time potentially increased during this upcoming season.
From Stan Fischler at Game On:
Not that anything too serious should be read into it, but Colton Orr and Aaron Voros accompanied Glen Sather to last week’s Canadian Society annual hockey dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria. Does this mean either – or both – will be back with the Blueshirts? Not necessarily. Now that the hated Flyers have Chris (not so Mr. Clean) Pronger, Orr might be the best bully-deterrent on Broadway.
Lou Lamoriello, to the surprise of most, didn’t demand that former head coach Brent Sutter sit out for a season or ask for anything in return from the Flames. Instead, he had this to say: “Once you give consent, because of the new rules in the NHL there is no recourse and no compensation.”
Says Lamoriello, “There should be compensation in situations like this for all the obvious reasons, but there isn’t. That’s a league rule and you accept it.”
Click here for more.
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
What’s at play with this group is a combination of salary and experience; and both for some of the bigger names at play. The contract figures for some of these keepers might have to come down based on their age; in other cases, goalies that will come cheaper simply are untested in pressure situations. Is a leap of faith worth a few million saved?
Click here for more. Who would you take?
In a time where there isn’t much New York Ranger news being thrown around, the fantastic Scotty Hockey gave Blueshirt fans a bit of a preview on who he thinks the team should go after:
1- Steve Sullivan, Nashville: Let’s get this right out of the way, no matter how well he says he is, Sullivan is an injury risk. He missed basically two seasons of hockey due to back problems and is beholden to Nashville for their patience in letting him take his time to make a comeback. He is also 34 and undersized at 5’9. However, he is a gritty hard worker who puts points on the board. He can score timely goals and kill penalties while setting a good example for teammates - basically a better version of the Chris Drury we had last season and he was only paid $3.2m. At his age and with his history, he should be willing to take a big pay cut while getting an incentive-laden deal.
2- Johnny Oduya, NJ: Sure the Rangers are deepest at defense, but you can’t pass up the opportunity when a well-rounded player like him becomes available. Just 27 years old, the Swede is solid in all situations being smart in his own zone and a smooth puck mover. He made just $600k and even with a deserved raise should still be a bargain. And just think about how great it would be to take such a valuable asset away from the Devils! Poor Lou, it would be sweet justice for letting us take Gomez away (more on him later).
Click here for more. What do you folks think about his picks?
To see the list of other free agents that will be available this offseason, click here.