Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Free Agents For The Rangers?

I have nothing against free agency, per se. It’s just that it doesn’t seem to work very often for the teams I root for. If I was a general manager of a sports team I would pay my own guys whatever they were worth, but I would have a real tough time bringing in someone that achieved success elsewhere and paying them to be a mercenary. The draft is the way to go and especially in the N.H.L. when the best players don’t necessarily come out of the first round only. Just go see the Detroit Red Wings and some of their outstanding later round picks for evidence. Still, tomorrow at noon is when unrestricted free agents can start signing on the bottom line, so who do I think the Rangers should get or could get. Let’s have a look:

N/A. They are all set with Lundqvist and Valiquette.

The Rangers have a great crop of young defenseman both on the roster (Dan Girardi, Marc Staal) and even younger d-men ready to make the jump to the N.H.L. (New Jersey native Bobby Sanguinetti, Michael Del Zotto and last year’s Hobey Baker award winner, Matt Gilroy). I am slightly intrigued about bringing in Chris Chelios for a year as a mentor for the young blueliners.

The Rangers need scoring and more scoring, but who is out there and worth signing? Injury prone Wild forward Marian Gaborik is too risky; Alex Kovalev = been there, done that, don’t get fooled again; I suppose that 37-year-old Mike Knuble seems like the most likely addition. Brian Gionta's goal scoring has dropped every year since he scored 48 in 2005-2006. Gionta would eat up way too much salary for a team that can ill afford to make their cap situation worse than it already is.

What about just standing pat? Who says the Rangers should do anything? For me, Chelios is intriguing but I wouldn’t go out of my way to sign him. As far as Knuble, he’s a big guy that gives them a solid physical presence on the power play, but I’m not sure that he makes a huge difference in the standings.

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