The Replacement Rangers: A Look At Some NYR Alternatives
This offseason is shaping up to be one heck of a roller coaster ride for the NY Rangers. As news continues to break that Anton Stralman talks are going poorly, Benoit Pouliot has 10 teams interested and Sather loves Dan Boyle, what’s next?
FullTilt Rangers Magazine would like to explore some “alternatives” that are out there. Let’s have some fun…
I think we have all come to grips with the reality that Anton Stralman will be hitting the UFA market come July 1st. Take in the news that Brian Boyle is also looking for a lofty pay raise and he will be out the door too. So what to do Mr. Armchair GM?
$23,774,167 IN CAP SPACE!
At first glance you say to yourself…$23 million is a lot of money! Well, it isn’t – not when you only have 11 players signed going into next season and you need to fill out a roster of 23!
Up front, Stepan, Nash, St. Louis, Hagelin and Dorsett are locked in. On the backend it’s McDonagh, Girardi, Staal and Klein. Both Lundqvist and Talbot are signed. Now you need to sign 12 players with 23 million dollars.
HOW MUCH OF THE TEAM CAN YOU KEEP?
Answer, not much if you want to also try and improve. Let’s retain the services of our RFA’s first and re-sign Zuccarello, Brassard, Kreider and John Moore to the tune of $12.75 million. Great, now you have 11 million left to sign 7 more players.
How do you find a center to replace Richards, add some scoring on the wing and maybe get a defenseman who can help the PP? Let’s play.
Let’s start at finding a bonafide center that won’t break the bank.
This 30 year old center comes in at almost 6 feet tall and once scored 29 goals! He was also bought out once before, oh joy! He signed a one year deal with the Caps for 3M and posted 35 points in 58 games.
Seeing as how the NYR really can’t throw 7 million to Paul Stastny, this cheap alternative could center a decent line with Hagelin and St. Louis.
What happened to this guy? The former 50 goal scorer is a shadow of himself. He only potted 12 goals and 28 points in 76 games last year. He is coming off the final year of a contract that paid him 6 million. He will never see that again.
Still at the age of 33, there could be some hockey left in the guy. At 6’4″ and 220 lbs, he’s a big boy and could replace Pouliot for less than or equal to what he’s asking for. Plus as per TSN’s Darren Dreger, he may be willing to take a 1 year deal to prove himself.
Yes, I know he’s 39 but beggars can’t be choosers. Plus he still has one of the hardest slapshots in the game. Salo posted 4 goals and 17 points in 71 games for Tampa last year.
Salo could come on the cheap and possibly for a one year deal. The allure of playing for a team that just went to the Cup Final could be enough to entice him to sign for just a little over 1 million.
THE REAL COST
The Rangers would be saying goodbye to all three of their big UFA’s in Brian Boyle, Anton Stralman and yes – Dominic Moore.
In order to upgrade the positions they lost, the Rangers would be taking a hit on the 4th line and depth. They would also be hoping that JT Miller or Oscar Lindbergh can emerge as a 4th line center. Plus Jesper Fast must be ready to mature in a 4th line role.
There is no doubt that some hard decisions await Glen Sather and his staff. Something tells me that a shocking trade is also in the future. Maybe Dan Girardi or Marc Staal? Or could it be Derick Brassard?
Bottom line, when you take the time to play armchair gm, you realize just how difficult it is to field a competitive team in the salary cap era.