First off, let me put it out there than I am in a great mood and I have nothing to do for 3 hours. I hurt my ankle pretty bad so I've had time to think all day. And naturally, i thought of the Rangers.
Theres a lot of talk about trading Mr. Gaborik. Now, I'm not in favor of shopping him, but if an offer comes our way that we like, I believe we should take it. Hopefully Gaborik can get back to his form at this year, but at this point no one can say if he will. We all have our ideas as to why he's not performing, but none of us truly now.
It is my opinion however that Sather will target Brad Richards this summer. I believe he will throw 7.5+ mil at him for the next 5 years. Now, whether I am in favor of that or not I'm not sure, but I honestly wouldn't be shocked if he's not here next season. Lets assume for sake of discussion that we are going to sign him.
Many believe that it isn't productive to trade Gaborik and sign Richards. I completely disagree with those people. A player of Richards caliber can make good players great, and great players all-stars. He also plays the point brilliantly on the powerplay, so acquiring him would solve two of this teams biggest problems.
Sather is listening to offers for Gaborik. I'm of the belief that no player is untouchable. I dont think the Capitals want to trade Ovechkin, but if Stamkos, Hedman, and 2 1st round draft picks are offered for him, i doubt they would say no. One of the main teams (supposedly) attempting to acquire Gaborik is the LA Kings. They have been searching for a star player for the last few seasons, and they might be getting desperate. As of now LA is 3 points out of a playoff spot in a very close western conference. With the trade deadline approaching, this is the best time to get value over them.
So lets conjure up a possible trade, for the sake of discussion atleast. How about a trade that centers around Dustin Brown. He is a 50-60 point gritty player signed at a great price of 3.175 mil until 2014. Thats a great contract. Very efficient. How about Gaborik and Gilroy (Ill explain why trading him is beneficial soon) for Brown, a top prospect (Hickey or Teubert), and a draft pick. Would any be in favor of that? I personally would. Moving on.
The key to the offseason is convincing our captain to retire. The man has a lot of heart, a lot of pride, and a great history. But at this point he is barely a top 12 forward on the team (if that) and his contract is crippling us. A possibility would be a job in the front office. He can stay in the area (which he loves), continue to make money, and we get to erase his 7 million cap hit. Lets move on saying he retires.
At this point we have a boat load of cap space, with a pretty solid core. I'm almost 100% sure Sather will throw 7.5-8.0 mil at Richards for the next 5 years. Whether I want him or not, I'm not sure, but I honestly believe he will be a NYR next year. I would than make another splash by signing Christian Ehrhoff for around 4 mil. He's a 28 year old defensemen that can put up 40 points a year, play the point on the powerplay, and has learned to play very solid defensively.
I would then turn to resigning our core guys who are free agents. Dubinsky, Callahan, Anisimov, Boyle, Sauer. Then I would resign Eminger and Fedotenko as depth.
Below, I show the lines and cap hits for each player (Thank you cap geek).
One question. Would a PP with Richards and Ehrhoff at the points, Boyle/Anisimov in front of the net, and Dubinsky and Brown on the wings struggle? I honestly doubt it.
CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR
Brandon Dubinsky ($3.800m) / Brad Richards ($7.500m) / Dustin Brown ($3.175m)
/ Erik Christensen ($0.925m)
Marc Staal ($3.975m) / Christian Ehrhoff ($4.000m)
Daniel Girardi ($3.325m) / Mike Sauer ($1.000m)
Steve Eminger ($1.200m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $59,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $56,500,000; BONUSES: $1,487,500
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $2,900,000
So, what do you guys think? The floor is yours.