Where's the optimism?

Oh no, there's no more Zherdev!   Lest we forget, Gaborik is Zherdev w/o having to live up to potential.    He's reached it.   He's a pt per game player who is among the best players in the league, who also happens to have PP talent, something Zherdev never showed.   Rangers fans though have seen first hand what he can do.    Ok, he has health issues.   He's never played a full season.   That's a concern.      But he's a difference maker.     And that's just for starters.

But what about Redden you say!.   He's overpaid!   But last year could certainly be considered the aberration.   He's a career 10-30-40 per 82 games with OTT, 46% of which is PP points.    With a year of Tortorella pushing him, he can get back to those numbers.   Does it justify 6.5m?    Of course not.     But if he can play like a 4m D-man instead of a 1m one like last year, the PP and subsequently the team will be better for it.

Drury is overpaid!    Sather likes to overpay for 2-way centers with 50pt potential, it's almost his trademark.   But he's a winning player than can play the PP, SH, and 5 on 5, is versatile enough to play wing when needed, and you need a player like him to go anywhere.   

And look at the rest of the roster:

We're replacing Mara and Morris (not exactly Coffey and Chelios) with some young kids with potential to be top flight d-men in the league.   We're a year or three away from having 6 homegrown, talented D-men protecting the area in front of Lundqvist.    (ok, McDonagh isn't homegrown....but close enough)

Naslund was replaced with a faster version who can kill penalties in Higgins.

Korpikoski was replaced with another Zherdev - a kid with all the skill in the world but hasn't put his game together.

Avery is here for a full year.    And there's no debating the impact he has on the Rangers W-L.

We have a group of young kids - Anisimov, Dubinsky, Callahan, soon Grachev that are or can be impact players.

Oh, and we just happen to have a perennial Vezina nominee guarding it all.

This is a better team as constructed.    They will score goals.   They will prevent goals.    And they'll be exciting to watch, much more so than last year's plodding, defensive first team.    And the future is very bright.

For all the bitching about Sather, he's at least trying to correct his mistakes.    If he unloaded Gomez for a quality wing AND a teams' best prospect, there's no telling who he can't fleece.   Plus I hear good things about the kid Hanzal in Phoenix, so I'm sure he'll be here soon.

Summer heat makes people cranky.    Let's all sit back, let the team break from camp, and wait til October 3rd to start bitching that the team stinks.

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