New York Rangers Rumors: Are The Rangers In The Market For A Defenseman?

Jim McIsaac

Will the Rangers be players this summer when it comes to getting a defenseman?

Sometimes other teams show you what certain paths are going to look like. The New York Rangers have made it clear they're looking for a righty defenseman with a booming shot, mainly to help boost the power play. This ideology was furthered along by the fact that Alain Vigneault power plays generally create a lot of one timers and shots from the point.

This isn't a new thought process. The Rangers have been linked with pretty much every single offensive defenseman with a big shot the past few years, regardless of whether or not said player is even available.

So it's no surprise the Rangers are interested in a player like that. The reality of the situation is, like I said above, sometimes opposing teams give you a good idea of what the road is going to be like. Let's look at the two big offseason moves for offensive defenseman:

1) The Dallas Stars traded a sixth round draft pick to the Ottawa Senators for Sergei Gonchar. The stars then signed Gonchar to a two-year $10-million contract.

2) The Philadelphia Flyers traded a fourth round pick to the New York Islanders for Mark Streit. The Flyers then signed Streit to a four-year $21-million contract.

Take a look at those two situations. Gonchar is 39 years old, is a $5-million cap hit and is signed for two years. The Streit contract makes even less sense. Streit is 35 and got four years for a $5.25-million cap hit.

So, to review, not only did both teams have to shell out draft picks (arguably not high picks, but still) and then sign both players to pretty massive deals. The Flyers, who already have cap issues, made huge strides to close the gap with Streit that the Islanders couldn't. The Stars did better in terms of length, but that's still a big cap hit.

What does this mean for the Rangers? The market on available UFA defenseman is think. Remarkably thin. The best players available right now are Marek Zidlicky (36) and Joe Corvo (35). There have been rumbles Sather is interested in Zidlicky, but considering the contracts both Gonchar and Streit got he might be too expensive -- especially since his services are going to hit the open market.

So who is available on the trade front? I'm not sure. There haven't been many reports about defenseman on the block at all. But if the UFA market is any indication the price for a defenseman is going to be pretty steep. I doubt the Rangers make a move but I'm sure Sather is kicking tires around the league.

What do you guys think? Who are you interested in seeing the Rangers go after? Should they look at the UFA market? Do the Rangers even need to bring on a defenseman?

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