Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News,
The Rangers have lost five key contributors from last season's Eastern Conference championship team through trade, buyout or free agency, including two capable centers in Brad Richards and Brian Boyle, even if Boyle played left wing most of last season.
The Blueshirts again will have Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard and Dominic Moore down the middle, once restricted free agent Brassard re-signs, but they will need to be deeper and more imposing at that position if they wish to return to hockey's ultimate series and compete with the best in the West.
Unfortunately, Glen Sather didn't have the money to throw at a top free agent center such as Paul Stastny (four years, $28 million, Colorado Avalanche), and the rest of the pool either has been underwhelming (Mike Ribeiro after his Coyotes buyout) or overpriced (Mikhail Grabovski on four years, $20 million to the Islanders).
So instead, the Rangers seemingly are planning to fill their need internally, which means they would be counting heavily on lefthanded rookie Swede Oscar Lindberg, 22, to take the next step.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Two years at $4.5 million per season for such a player constitutes a bargain in an environment in which Nikita Nikitin got the very same deal from Edmonton; Brooks Orpik got five years at $5.5 million per from Washington; Anton Stralman got five years at $4.5 million per from Tampa Bay after initially asking for considerably more than that to remain in New York; and, astonishingly, Deryk Engelland received three years at $2.9 million per from the always fiscally responsible Brian Burke and Calgary.
And it’s not just the number, not just the talent — explosive, game-changing talent when at his peak — that combine to make this Boyle’s addition a coup.
It’s this, as articulated by George Bazos, Boyle’s agent, in a phone conversation within an hour of his client’s signing: “We told teams [during the five-day interview period preceding Tuesday] that if the Rangers made an offer, the decision wasn’t going to be about money.”
The Islanders, who had obtained Boyle’s rights from San Jose last month, offered three years and $15 million. The Red Wings offered three years at $12.5 million. The Sabres are believed to have come in with what essentially would be described as a blank check.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Break up the NHL Eastern Conference champions? You betcha, for the combination of free agency and life in a restrictive hard-cap world will ensure the Rangers’ 2014-15 team photo will look significantly different from the one that was snapped during the Stanley Cup finals.
At least five, and perhaps six, of the 18 skaters who competed against the Kings in the elimination Game 5 double-overtime defeat in LA on June 13 were all but gone on the eve of Tuesday’s opening of the free-agent market, with Brad Richards (buyout) and Derek Dorsett (trade to Vancouver) already out of the picture.
Second-pair right defenseman Anton Stralman, second-line winger Benoit Pouliot and fourth-line winger Brian Boyle all are likely to be receiving their mail at new addresses following a lead-in to free agency during which management concluded the market would be too rich in these cases for the club’s liking.
from Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants,
Rangers GM Glen Sather provided a realistic assessment on the Rangers’ chances of retaining all their free agents after the team made its seven selections in rounds 2-7 Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.
To paraphrase, they’re not good, and that was even before Sather said the NHL general managers were taken somewhat by surprise by the salary cap being set at $69 million instead of the previously expected $70 million.
“We already traded one guy (Derek Dorsett) to give us some relief,” Sather said. “We didn’t know then but we had a real good idea that it wasn’t going to be $70 million so we had to make some room. We’ll see what happens here in the next week.
“I’d like to have everyone back,” Sather added. “Realistically I think it’s going to be complicated for the two reasons I said: One, the cap is not going up and the other one is where we ended up at the end of the year (in the Stanley Cup Final).
“We didn’t win so I think, realistically, some of these guys have got to pull the horns in a little bit,” Sather said.
added 5:25pm, Watch ten minutes of Glen Sather from the draft floor below...
via the New York Rangers,
“Tough last few days ... I loved being a Ranger and living in New York and playing at MSG in front of great fans. I've met many new friends, excellent teammates and staff and I have memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. Glen Sather, the management and owner, Mr. Dolan, are all class acts. I want to thank them for letting me be a part of New York life and the Rangers family. With this decision finalized, I can now look forward to starting the next chapter in my career.”
"We would like to thank Brad for everything he has done for our team on and off the ice during his time here. This was an extremely difficult decision to make because of how much respect I have for him. Brad's leadership and guidance for our young players was invaluable to the organization. We are grateful to have had the professionalism and experience he brought as an example for our team to follow. Brad has been a very good player for us and an even better person. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Also removed "Report" from the headline.
added 12:51pm, from Capgeek...
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
If the Rangers return most of the same roster, with Martin St. Louis, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard and Carl Hagelin as the forward core, the Rangers will likely be a playoff team next year, but there are enough free agents that it can't be assumed the Rangers will have the same roster. Mix in a buyout of Brad Richards, and potential free agent departures of defenceman Anton Stralman along with forwards Benoit Pouliot, Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore and others and that will present an opportunity to make some changes.
Additionally, the Rangers are known for being big-game hunters and, in a summer in which many big names are already being floated in trade rumours, it would come as no surprise if at least one of those big names found its way to Broadway.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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