While these past few days have been rather quiet in Rangerland, that doesn't necessarily mean Glen Sather isn't doing his homework. With the free agent interview period opening up at 12:00 AM this morning, there have already been calls made on some anticipated unrestricted free agents. Probably one of the biggest names out there at the moment is Paul Stastny, who is expected to test the market, and of course the New York Rangers are involved.
According to Adrian Dater, the Rangers, along with several other teams, have already reached out to Stastny this afternoon. Joe took a look at the potential risks and rewards of signing a guy like Stastny, and obviously the rewards outweigh the risks, but there is one issue: money. In terms of giving up assets, Stastny comes "free" if you will, but the money is where it starts to get a little tricky. He is coming off a deal that was paying him just shy of $7 million ($6.6 million) per year, and will likely garner a hefty pay raise in the event that he starts listening to outside offers.
Even at his previous salary, the Rangers would be in a tight squeeze, especially with a handful of their own UFA's/RFA's to worry about. At this point, Sather is just doing his due diligence as he's expected to do at this time of year. If he circles back, that's where you can start to either worry or get excited.
Another interesting note from this afternoon is that the Rangers also have a considerable amount of interest in Dan Boyle. With Anton Stralman's status still up in the air, I'd assume Sather is already piecing together a possible backup plan in the event that his top-four defenseman walks to the market. Boyle is obviously an interesting case, mainly because he is on the wrong side of 30, but is still a very effective player in the right role.
The Rangers have sorely been lacking a booming point shot from the blue line, and while he isn't a long-term option, Boyle is a nice stopgap. He would be leaned on heavily in the offensive zone, and operating primarily as the Rangers power play QB. Although, just as Stasnty, Boyle is still commanding a hefty paycheck on the open market, and will likely have tons of suitors lining up his doorstep.
We are likely going to be hearing a lot of the same stuff for the next week, and with the NHL Draft coming up on Friday night, we're in for quite the ride.