News hit the Rangers wire last night that Glen Sather and a few scouts had been in attendance for a Hershey Bears game recently. That likely means the Rangers are taking a look at Sheldon Souray. It seems like Sather has been trying to throw a blue sweater on him for years now. So unless there's a deal to be made with the Capitals, it's safe to assume Souray was the player of interest.
The availability of Souray likely isn't an issue. Nobody is crazy (or stupid) enough to acquire him via trade, so the only option is for the Oilers to put him on re-entry waivers where he can be had for half price. With a $2.7 million cap hit, Souray has some value and the Oilers can clear him from their organization; which they may try to do.
For the most part, it's clear that the Rangers could use a veteran defenseman who can be a threat on the power play. There is a contingent of people who think otherwise, but for the sake of argument let's say it's unanimous that the Rangers need one.
Souray is the first option to fill that role. The second option is Bryan McCabe who likely will be made available by Dale Tallon at the trade deadline. Both Souray and McCabe can launch bombs from the point and they both play a similar style of game. A case can be made for both players.
Look at the breakdown after the jump.
Assuming he was to be placed on re-entry waivers and he fell to the Rangers, they would be on the hook for next season at a $2.7 million clip. The cap hit isn't an issue this season, but it will throw a big monkey wrench into the idea of acquiring Brad Richards this winter as Wade Redden and his albatross contract will return to the summer cap. However as far as next season goes, he does not have a NMC and if he is an absolute flop there is an exit strategy; Hartford.
Souray has battled injuries on and off ever since he signed with the Oilers in 2007. He's broken his hand fighting (twice), had a concussion, separated his shoulder, and re-injured his shoulder. Even though he broke his hand (the second time) in a fight this season in the AHL, he's healthy again and back on the ice. He has 10 points in 19 games for Hershey and all indications are that he hasn't complained a bit about being exiled to the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania.
He has always had a legendary slap shot from the point and would add an important missing element to the Rangers power play. He would only require cap space and salary to be acquired but the opportunity cost can very well be Brad Richards if you really want to pull out the crystal ball.
His health around the time of the deadline is going to determine whether or not he's traded. McCabe had his jaw broken (and only missed two shifts) when he was hit in the face with a puck against the Devils in mid January. He had surgery and is estimated to return right around the time of the trade deadline (last I saw). If he's close to returning or is already back on the ice, it would make sense for the Panthers to unload him if they're still out of the playoff picture.
McCabe has an expiring contract and the Rangers can afford his $5,750,00 cap hit. Before he broke his jaw, I speculated that maybe it would take Michael Sauer or Matt Gilroy to get a deal done. With his injury though, the price will likely drop and if he still isn't playing at the deadline I'd expect the cost to be insignificant.
Bryan McCabe is the better option for the Rangers. If Souray had an expiring contract, hands down I would say the Rangers should acquire him tomorrow if possible. But the second year poses a problem and even though he would have a greater impact than McCabe, he wouldn't have enough of an impact to make the extra risk worthwhile. McCabe may not have a dramatic impact, but he would be well worth a try for a mid to late round draft pick if that situation presents itself.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to email me canyonofblueshirts (at) gmail.com.