Rangers Analysis: Boogaard Signing A Ludicrous Mistake

When the July 1st free agency door opened many Ranger fans sat by their computers holding their breath. Not because they were waiting for a big name player to land on Broadway, but because they were waiting praying that their general manager didn’t screw up.

Enter Derek Boogaard, well actually, enter Glen Sather. Reports originated out of twitter that Boogaard’s agent was floating around a 4 year 1.65 million dollar a year contract that his client was offered. In the open thread we prayed that it wasn’t the Rangers; we prayed that Sather would have learned from his mistake with Donald Brashear. But most importantly we prayed that Sather would not, once again, snub his own team in favor of a glorified position that John Tortorella underutilizes anyway.

Once again Ranger fans were torched. While Sather continues to snub Marc Staal—refusing to budge from his original 4 year 14 million dollar contract—he goes and throws a 4 year 6.6 million dollar contract at a man who hasn’t scored a goal in 222 NHL games. This coming right after Erik Christensenhad to refuse a lowball contract from Sather, and hit the open market before Sather agreed to give him a two year 1.95 million dollar contract. So the logic is that Christensen, who will probably play on the top line with Marian Gaborik, basically makes the same amount of money in two years that Boogaard does in one. How do you think Christensen feels right now?

It gets worse after the jump …

For a Rangers team that is looking for every possible way to save money, to get farther away from the cap ceiling; this move makes no sense. Jody Shelly was on the table at 3 years 1.1 million dollars per year, but apparently that was too expensive for Glen Sather. Last year Brandon Dubinsky wanted 1.85 million dollars a year, and had to hold out all through training camp (which brought bad blood between the two) in order to get it. And while Dubinsky was getting no attention from Slats, he kicked Blair Betts so far onto the curb that he found his way to Philadelphia and then signed Brashear to a two year contract. Brashear was, of course, an utter failure, and was removed before the end of the season, and subsequently waived again two days ago.

But I digress, back to the disaster sitting right in front of us. Boogaard, while bringing toughness and a nasty streak to a team that is surrounded by hard hitting and big division rivals came at the wrong price. Yes, he and Brandon Prust will be able to deal with the Jody Shelly’s (who is now on Philadelphia), the Matt Cooke’s and the other flies that annoy Marian Gaborik (who he is apparently good friend with). He is a top enforcer in the league, and he can certainly throw down with the best of them, but at what cost?

He brings one thing and one thing only to the table, a "punch people in the face first, ask questions later" attitude. An attitude that the Rangers do need, but also had in Jody Shelly; and had at a much cheaper and shorter contract. The ideology that Boogaard should be paid anything near 1.65 million dollars for four years is ludicrous, and here is why.

For starters Boogaard is not a hockey player. Fans who curse the name of Aaron Voros because he: "skates like he has weights in his skates and shoots like he has cement in his gloves," should be aware that Boogaard (in terms of hockey skill) makes Voros look like Mario Lemieux.

Secondly, Tortorella doesn’t play the fourth line, and when he does they average 5 minutes a night. So while Sather low balled Staal, Dubinsky and Christensen—guys who play over or close to 15-20+ minutes a night—he goes out and throws all the cash he can muster at a guy who will play 5 minutes a night. Reports are that Edmonton was in on the Boogaard sweepstakes until "the money got silly." I’m not making that up, that’s what Edmonton team officials actually said.

For those of you that think that Boogaard is going to make a difference because he is going to be able to take the body and through his weight around for the Rangers now, please consider this. Tortorella has no patience for stupid penalties. Voros saw the bench most of the time he was playing for taking dumb penalties. So I say by game 3—if he lasts that long—Boogaardtakes a cheap shot and is no longer in Tortorella’s favor, and thus never plays. And even if Boogaard prove himself to be useful, he will play 6-7 minutes a night, worth 1.65 million a year for the next 4 years? I didn't think so.

And the highest reason, and the last one I will address here, that this signing is a problem is that it sets a dangerous precedent for the Rangers from here on out. Why would Vinny Prospal sign for anything less than 3 million dollars if Sather is shelling out 1.65 million dollars to thugs who have no hockey sense? Why should Marc Staal ask for anything less than 5 million dollars, if Boogaard gets to make 1.65 million dollars? And next year when both Ryan Callahan and Dubinsky are free agents, why should they expect anything less than to be thoroughly overpaid since Boogaard gets to be?

So when Sather tells Callahan and Dubinsky--and maybe even Staal and Dan Girardi this year--that they are asking for too much money, they will point to the Boogaard deal. And when Sather says "that's a completely different situation," I won't blame our free agents for walking out the door.

So here we are one year after the Brashear debacle and here we are again, sitting at our computers, ripping our hair out of our head, reading scathing articles about Sather’s consistent failures and hearing laughter from every other sports fan on the planet. Every time you think Sather has done his wost, he hits another "home run." Well let's just call this signing a "grand slam."

Here are some things you all might be interested in seeing:

Nathan Eide of Hockey Wilderness sent this out to the SBNation Hockey group:

Metrics on Boogaard's deal

He had 350 1/2 minutes of TOI last season. At his new rate, that is $4707 per minute.
Compare that to:
Zidlicky: $2122 / minute
Koivu: $1958 / minute
Alexander Ovechkin: $4991

And something from Scotty Hockey:

It would be alright that Boogaard hasn't scored a goal in four years if he was a big fighter but he had just nine fight majors last season - not enough to rank in the top 40 tough guys in the league. Sure he went 8-1-1 according to Hockey Fights but who cares? The guy plays three out of every four games, skates just over six minutes per game and adds nothing offensively. Sounds just about right for someone getting a four-year contract worth $1.65 million per. Right?

The only comfort is that it’s not surprising; it’s just another typical July 1st in Rangers land.

Are you happy with the signing of Derek Boogaard?

Yes, he fills a need, Ranger fans need to chill out293
No, it's business as usual on Broadway809