Rangers Analysis: The Curious Case of Michal Rozsival

When you have a guy like Wade Redden burning your crops, attacking the townsfolk, killing your cattle and causing a ruckus (wait, he doesn’t do that?) it’s easy to forget about the other problems that the Rangers have. While Redden should be, and probably is, the biggest issue on the burner for the New York Rangers right now, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other questions that need answers.

Michal Rozsival is one of those questions. With the Rangers in limbo, trying to figure out how they were going to wipe Redden's atrocious contract from their cap space, one has to wonder if they are going to look at anterior moves to "make some money back." At the end of the day who knows what is going to happen to Redden. No one in the NHL is going to touch him for a trade, no not even for a 7th round pick. Because when you trade for Redden, you aren’t just getting Redden, you’re getting his 6.5 million dollar cap hit as well.

So what other options do the Rangers have? Michal Rozsival.

Rozsival would have been the Ranger fans whipping boy this year had it not have been for Redden. And let’s be honest, during the first half of the season Rozsival was doing everything he could to make Redden look good. But as the season progressed he began to shore up defensively, and after a while he looked like a rookie out there, which was a huge improvement. And while I happen to be in the minority I think that his final 20 games of the season were very solid.

Regardless there is no denying that his contract is also a bit of an issue, and would do wonders if it was removed from the cap. This is actually possible, join me after the jump to find out why.

For starters let’s look at his salary. Rozsival is owed 4 million dollars this year, and 3 million dollars next year; his cap hit for the next two years is 5 million dollars per year. This automatically makes him more attractive to certain teams, because the big bulk of his paycheck had already been paid off. Some teams, granted teams closer to the cap floor then the cap ceiling, might be willing to take on his cap hit for a lower salary to actually pay.

The other thing that Rozsival has going for him, is that he only has two years left on his current deal. Teams that did want to deal for a veteran defenseman but don’t want a huge contractual commitment—which is what they will be forced to do if they bulk up through free agency—might be interested in Rozsival.

Now obviously you can’t expect any team to take on Rozsival not to give some salary back. But for the right team, the Rangers might be able to save a few million dollars. The Rangers are going to be big-time players when it comes to defenseman this free agency period, especially since—one can only dream—that Redden will certainly be gone.

Then there is the defense that the Rangers should hold onto Rozsival. Marc Staal can’t do it by himself, Dan Girardi’s return to Broadway is a question mark, Michael Del Zotto should be much better but we don’t know for sure yet and John Tortorella probably screwed with Matt Gilroy’s head enough last year to have given him permanent confidence issues. So would it make sense to hold on to Rozsival to keep at least one veteran on the blue line aside from Staal?

Obviously this is still a complicated situation. So what do you guys think? The floor is all yours.

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