[Note by Jim Schmiedeberg, 03/22/10 9:32 PM EDT I know many of you have done your version of an off-season moves post, so I figured from now on we would feature some of the best of them on the main page. First up will be "From Rags to Riches":
To me the goal is to add at least 1 solid defenseman, a good forward, and get a guy who is big enough to fight and
actually wants to (that means no thanks Shelley, I'd rather keep the fifth rounder).
If they can move Michal Rozsival which is possible, they’d have about fifteen million to spend. I’d start by resigning staal as long as possible for (2.5m per), auld (1 yr. 1m), Christensen (2 yr. 800k per), and prust (1 yr. 550k). Then I would go after T. Plekanec (4 yr. 4-4.5m per), Z. Michalek (5 yr. 3m per) and either D. Seidenberg (2 yr. 2.5m per) or S. O’Brien (3yr. 2.5m per), to fix up the d a little. I’d finish by signing S. Thornton (3 yr. 800k per) as the enforcer and calling up D.Byers or P.A Parenteau to fill out the lineup. These moves however would add about 16.2 million to the cap and I think they may have around 16 to spend, so there is some overage. If they can somehow get rid of brashears contract the problem should be solved. I think these moves could make them good enough for the 6th or seventh seed next year, but they are mainly focused on providing a solid foundation for 2011-12 and beyond. Then next offseason you’d have to move drury, who will be in the last yr of his deal so it is possible. At worst it may mean letting someone claim him off re-entry waivers for half price. If they want to be taking seriously they’d also have to send redden to the minors for his final 3 seasons. Those two moves would give them an additional 13.5 million for 2011-12, and by that time a couple of forwards should be ready to be called up, stepan and grachev at least.
What if Plekanec gets a better offer elsewhere? I’d resign prospal to a 1 yr deal, and try to get svatos on a 1 yr deal. In this scenario I’d also look at R.Torres, L.Stempniak, and C.Armstrong.
What if you can’t afford two, or don’t want two dmen? I would go after either Michalek or Volchenkov. Then I’d try to trade girardi’s rights with a prospect or something else for Dustin Byfugien, if that didn’t work I’d try to offer his rights to anyone for a draft pick. Then I’d fill his spot with either sangs or mcdonaugh to save some cap space and see what they can offer.
If you are interested, here is the reasoning I used to select these moves to make in the offseason.
More after the jump........
(Note: I left players off the list if I had no interest in them or thought there was absolutely no chance of getting them. Ex. Niklas Lidstrom-(no chance, and age), Tomas Holmstrom-(no chance, and age), Illya Kovalchuk-(can’t afford, not a team player), ray whitney-(old, wants too much), maxim afinogenov-(in my opinion the last thing nyr needs is another heartless, small, soft player) and so on.)
(in the order I like them)
1. Zbynek Michalek- very solid dman, both offensively and defensively. I like him more than Hamhuis and with all the hype Hamhuis is getting, Michalek could probably be a bargain as well. Unfortunately, I expect Michalek to resign with the coyotes.
2. Anton Volchenkov- I like what he brings to the table, my concerns though are injuries and not being able to live up to an over-priced contract. I’d be very weary to give him more than 4 million but I think he might get more then that somewhere.
3. Dennis Seidenberg- big, fairly physical and has a hard shot. As long as you don’t overpay, he would be a nice addition to this team. Would probably be the rangers second best defenseman.
4. Shane O’Brien- solid defensive dman. Plays physical and drops the gloves on occasion, I’d be happy to have him as well.
5. Carlo Colaiacovo- a lot of offensive potential, and puck moving ability, is good defensively but has room for improvement. He has some injury concerns but I’d take him over Girardi.
6. Dan Hamhuis- in my opinion he is a similar but not as good as Kimo Timonen. He doesn’t have much offensive upside and isn’t physical at all. He is solid positionally and understands the game, and is very good, but not worth the money he is going to get. I’d be willing to bet most rangers fans would suffer buyers remorse if nyr gave him 4 mil or more a season. I say let someone else over pay. STAY AWAY FROM HAMHUIS.
7. Andy Sutton- very big and physical, I like how he plays but I don’t see nyr signing him.
8. Willie Mitchell- I’m not the biggest Mitchell fan. He is similar but not as good as Hamhuis, I wouldn’t sign him if it was my decision.
1. Kurtis Foster- has a lot of offensive ability. Could tear it up on the pp along side del zotto, but I don’t think nyr can afford another defensively weak dman.
2. Garnet Exelby- with all the softer than butter defensemen the rangers have had in recent memory, he could be a nyr fans wet dream. However he has too many brain cramps defensively and has no offensive ability so I’d pass.
Overview: in my opinion there are several very good d-men out there but no superstars, not counting lidstrom whom I left out.
1. Tomas Plekanec – in my opinion he is the best offensive player available that the rangers could actually afford. His size and strength are the problems, but he is an excellent playmaker and would be great for their power play. That being said I wouldn’t go over 4 years at 4.5 per.
2. Patrick Marleau- other than kovalchuk he is the best offensive ufa available. That being said, because of his age and lack of cap space, I wouldn’t sign him for more than 2 years 5 mil per, and I don’t see why he’d except that to come here.
3. Raffi Torres- physical player with a good net presence. would improve the team grit but doesn’t have high end talent and I don’t see nyr going after him.
4. Lee Stempniak- good two way player with scoring ability. Not sure why it didn’t work out in Toronto, I am a little worried that the pressure of large markets might get to him, but I usually don’t put too much stock in that. if you can get him with a two year deal it may be worth considering.
5. Matthew Lombardi- small and weak with above average play making skills. I’d avoid him, but if prospal doesn’t resign there may be a chance that Lombardi would be considered.
6. Alexander Frolov- well known for having a lot of talent. however is equally well known for being inconsistent and not living up to said talent. I like him a lot more than afinogenov but I still wouldn’t sign him unless I couldn’t get anything better.
7. Colby Armstrong- physical player that could add toughness to the team and if he finds some chemistry could add a little offense as well.
8. Adam Burrish- having him and avery on the same team could be very interesting to watch.
9. Marek Svatos- has shown a knack for scoring goals but has injury problems and has gone into a prucha like funk. A 1 or 2 year deal could be a steal and if not you could send him to the minors.
10. Shawn Thornton- he fights a lot more often than Shelley, is a good teammate and a hard checking, high energy player. I’d like him to be their enforcer next year.
11. Derek Boogaard- my second option to be their enforcer. A monster of a man and a better fighter than Thornton, but is a dirty player and pretty useless except for the intimidation.
Overview: Overall I’d say this is a pretty weak class of forwards, once again not counting those I left out.