As we come to the seventh day of NHL free agency the New York Rangers' roster is slowly starting to take shape. We have a comprehensive recap of all the moves the Rangers made here if you're interested.
Since then, we've entered what I like to call silly season. Silly season is where people "hear things" about "real rumors" that are going on within the organization. These rumors usually find legs, as people find themselves starving for more information, and we get to the point where bad information is circulated like oxygen.
Here's two things that are being rumored but aren't happening: A Joe Thornton or Eric Staal trade. Thornton at least had some true legs, since there were originally reports the San Jose Sharks were looking to offload the big center. It has, however, been confirmed Thornton doesn't want to leave San Jose and he has not been asked to waive his no movement clause. It's also pretty much known he doesn't want to waive it himself.
As for Staal, I don't know where this came from but it doesn't make sense on any level. Staal's cap hit is $8.25-million for the next two years. There is no reality where that works unless the Rangers gut their roster to send that money back to Carolina. And no, the Rangers will not be trading Rick Nash for him to do so.
So what can you expect to happen?
Well, it's quite clear the Rangers are looking for a replacement for Benoit Pouliot. We've speculated about this already, but the Rangers are going to have to take a look at some riskier options. A guy like Dustin Penner seems like a perfect replacement who would come on the cheap, but so far there's been no indication about how interested the two parties are.
A source has confirmed to Blueshirt Banter that as of this weekend the team has not reached out to either Dany Heatley or Mike Ribeiro as potential third line replacements -- although that could change if the market continues to thin out. The Rangers could also throw J.T. Miller on the third line and try to solidify the fourth line with a guy like Ryan Carter to replenish some of the depth that left with Brian Boyle. A lot depends on which need the Rangers think is more important.
Can Miller withstand a third-line role with such heavy expectations for that line to produce? Or will having Martin St. Louis on the team for a full season relieve some of the expectations that fell on the third line? Those are the questions that are going on in the Rangers' war room right now.
Not thoughts about Thornton or Eric Staal.