Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Joe O’Connor at the National Post,
In parting, Avery’s most inflammatory barb was a muted blast at the Rangers’ archrivals in New York.
“If they were smart,” Avery said of the Islanders. “They probably would have tried to sign me.”
The Islanders did not even bid for Avery’s services, and the Rangers backed away from the big money the super-pest was going to bring on the open market, despite the fact the team was 33-14-10 with him in the lineup last season and 9-13-3 without.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
Although the departures of Avery and Jagr, in particular, will disappoint a bloc of fans, the Maven sees only positives coming out of the transformation.
No matter how you shake it, Jagr was a questionable captain with a capital Q. This was evident when he turned down the leadership role after the lockout, only to eventually change his mind.
While he did have a strong home-stretch this past season, and a solid playoff, his performance in the first few months was far below what had been expected of his talents.
more on the NYR…
Update 11:22pm ET (Alanah): John Dellapina at the Blueshirts Blog has an interview with Jaromir Jagr tonight, reflecting on his time with the NYR.
From the CP via Sportsnet:
During a conference call, general manager Glen Sather said that the Naslund signing means that Jaromir Jagr will not be back with the Rangers next season.
Update 5:31pm ET: The link at Sportsnet.ca has changed the content we cited, noting that Jagr will be back now. Numerous other sources contradict this (agreeing with Sportsnet’s original wording) and so it seems likely that Sportsnet or the CP have just made an error.
Steve Zippy at Blue Notes in Newsday notes that the Rangers are hosting a conference call at 4:30pm ET with “deals/signings imminent.”
Is it Markus Naslund?
That’s what one source tells me….but no confirmation
Update 4:42pm ET: From The Fourth Period: “Rangers sign Dmitri Kalinin and Markus Naslund”. Says Naslund:
“Initially, there was quite a few teams contacting us. Me and my agent, I gave him instructions early on that there was only limited number of teams I was interested in playing for and the Rangers were on top of that list.”
Confirmed also by Steve Zippy:
Swedish left wing Markus Naslund, who played in Vancouver for 12 years is the newest Ranger, inking a one year, $4.5-million deal. They also added defenseman Dmitri Kalinin from Buffalo.
Update 4:47pm ET: More at theNY Rangers site—
Update 4:52pm ET: TSN notes that the Naslund contract is 2-years, Kalinin is 1-year
Update 5:26pm ET: TSN’s tracker notes the contract for Naslund is 2 years for $8 million, not $4.5 per as previously reported.
from John Dellapina of the NY Daily News,
“I think they’re happy with what they got,” Jagr said of the Rangers. “The guys they got are what they feel they needed.”
Asked if he thought he could return to the Rangers, he replied: “That’s a tough question. To be honest, at times like this, I don’t think you should think. Because you might think something and get hurt. This is a business.
“First of all, I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not angry because I always believe that everything that happens happens for a reason. It’s possible. Everything is possible.
“But it doesn’t look to me like I was their first choice. And I don’t know if I was No.2 or No.3.”
more on the Rangers…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
And so, with options on the market all but exhausted and the team lining up as the ultimate in helicopter squads (no wings), the Rangers instead pulled off a trade with Columbus, acquiring the very talented but equally erratic and thus far underachieving 23-year-old right winger Nikolai Zherdev (and throw-in pivot Dan Fritsche) for Fedor Tyutin - a third-pair D following the addition of Wade Redden - and Christian Backman.
“It’s going to be on Chris and me now, and that’s what we wanted when we came to New York,” Gomez said by phone yesterday from his home in Alaska. “If I’m playing with Zherdev, it’s going to be up to me to see that it works, and I’m up for it.
“We’re going to go be an in-your-face team that moves and pressures the puck. I’ve been talking to Chris and he feels exactly the same way I do.
“We’re ready for the responsibility.”
more on the Rangers…
via Puck-rakers, Columbus Blue Jackets Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche have been traded to the New York Rangers for Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman.
Update 4:32pm ET: And from TSN (link not yet available)—
Sources tell TSN the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers have completed a trade. The Rangers will receive Nikolai Zherdev as part of the package. Details to follow.
Update 5:19pm ET: TSN has more now.
Update 5:30pm ET: Puck-rakers has more, explaining the reasons for this deal from the Blue Jackets’ perspective.
Update 5:37pm ET: Comment from GM Scott Howson—
“The addition of Fedor and Christian to our lineup has really improved our puck moving ability from the blueline. All strong teams are built from the backend out and we feel like we made significant strides in that area today.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Glen Sather wouldn’t give Avery an extra $4M over four years - Page Six Sean is believed on his way to either Detroit or Dallas - but the GM instead lavished a six-year contract worth $6.5M per on 31-year-old Wade Redden, a reasonably dependable puck-moving defenseman who had a dreadful 2007-08 in Ottawa and has never been regarded as a game-changer over 11 seasons with the Senators….
Jagr, meanwhile, is on hold. Unless there’s a new math by which Sather is operating, it would seem impossible for the Blueshirts to make an offer to No. 68 that he’s not going to refuse.
Jagr laughed when asked about whispers from the underground that the Penguins will invite him back to finish where he began -Boo! - if the lure of Broadway proves greater for Hossa than the opportunity to skate with Sidney Crosby. leaves Pittsburgh.
Sam Weinman at Rangers Report:
Valiquette re-signed as well
A couple of other quick hits: Sather said he’s talked to Jaromir Jagr’s agent several times and they’re still interested in bringing him back.
Sather also mentioned he called Sean Avery’s agent Pat Morris and Morris never called him back.
Perhaps the end to the NYR spending day. Glen Sather is currently on a media conference call and Weinman will probably be adding more to that post shortly.
We’ll note a confirmation of the Stephen Valiquette re-signing when available.
Update 10:01pm ET: TSN notes the Valiquette re-signing. No info on terms at that link yet.
Sources have told Sportsnet that Wade Redden has agreed to a deal with the New York Rangers.
Update 4:36pm: TSN television confirms the deal. Six years at $6.5 million per (average).
Update 4:39pm: TSN online—
One of the NHL’s top free agent blueliners is off the market, as the New York Rangers have signed defenceman Wade Redden to a six-year contract worth $6.5 million a season.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com