Their have been some significant changes made to the New York Rangers since I last wrote an article. It’s nothing huge enough to blow your mind but significant to say the least. Nikolai Zherdev finally had his case heard for arbitration and basically won. Even though it wasn’t the reported $4.5 million he was looking to get but he still received a better offer than what General Manager Glen Sather was willing to pay. Mr. Sather had qualified him at a respectable $3.25 million considering he was a 60 point player.
After it was all said and done, Zherdevs ruling of a one-year $3.9 million contract was rejected allowing the mercurial and often disinterested player to sign with another NHL or KHL team. At least the drama is over and the Rangers can now set their sights on signing the blossoming Brandon Dubinsky. That was on August 4th when Zherdev was released and still there is no word on Dubinsky by the wee morning hours of the 19th. To fill the void made by Nikolai’s exit the Rangers sign Vaclav “Vinny” Prospal to a surprisingly smart deal.
Vinny will join the Rangers in camp coming at the low bargain price of only $1.1 million for only one year. That’s a pretty good deal since Tampa Bay bought out the remaining three years of his $14 million dollar contract. This signing puts the Blueshirts in a very good position for the upcoming season as well as has next year’s off season. It’s only a one year commitment to a proven, strong, versatile player who can also play center if need be. Prospal has played under John Tortorella before in Tampa Bay when they won the 2004 Stanley Cup. Because he knows Torts’ tough but fair coaching style, Vinny will know what’s expected of him and his game.
Last season Prospal played 82 games which is a big factor putting up 19 goals and 26 assists. Anytime you can add a veteran goal scorer at a cheap price then I say go for it. He’s not a 30 or 40 goal scorer but that’s fine. The Rangers have added enough offense with Chris Higgins, Ales Kotalik and Marion Gaborik. Also they brought back Ryan Callahan who is only going to improve. If Prospal has a bad year so what, it’s only for a year. He’s only filling in until the Rangers can bring up Evgeny Grachev or even Derek Stepan. This isn’t the Rangers of old where you hope to have one or two go-to-guys for your goal scoring. This is a team where you can find goal scoring on any line including the power play where it’s very much needed.
To top off the recent news of the New York Rangers, I’d like to mention some more unrealistic rumors floating about. The first rumor I’ll mention is the possible trade involving Brad Richards. Dallas is looking to acquire Brandon and give up Richards but the Rangers want to dump Michal Rozsival remaining three years at $5 million a year contract as well. I don’t blame the Rangers for wanting to do it since Richards comes at the steep price of $7.8 million. But I also don’t blame Dallas for refusing the deal because of Rozsival’s contract.
The last rumor I’d like to mention caught my eye in the forums of OutsidetheGarden.com. A new user named Gab10 started a thread which has started quiet a bit of chatter amongst the fans…
Hey everyone. Big die hard fan like all of you. I was on something called senschirp.ca and supposedly someone on there is friendly with someone who works in the Rangers organization and they heard of this 3 way trade...tell me what you think
NYR 1st round pick
Edmonton’s 1st round pick
Now I will admit that is an astonishing move but it sounds too good and too silly to be true. I don’t know any team that would be willing to take Wade Redden or his contract especially since Edmonton has been trying since before the draft to get Dany Heatley. Rumors are always, “I heard it from someone who is close to this guy who gives a back rub too…” and so on and so on. I will gladly eat crow if the deal does go through but I am willing to state right now that Heatley will not be trade to New York. Also I don’t for see the Rangers giving away a top prospect like Michael Del Zotto but it would be worth it.
The Rangers may lose Del Zotto but they have an over abundance of talented defensemen waiting for there chance in the NHL with Corey Potter and Bob Sanguinetti. Schubert would only be a risk for a year since he’s entering into the final year of his contract but would still allow us to have that third veteran presence on defense. The Rangers would also add another 40 to 50 plus goal scorer. But the biggest point of all is that we dump Redden. To me the deal would be worth making if it meant getting rid his horrible game play and a contract to match.
What you see on the Rangers is what you’re gonna see opening night with the hopes of Dubinsky signing. This team has improved so much this off season and although I may be nervous about the defense I’m also excited to see who the new faces will be and how it will all come together. Get ready fans because the season is coming fast and it’s gonna be fun.
In Avery We Trust