Category Archives: New York Rangers
THIS N’ THAT
If the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to deal for Roberto Luongo they’re going to have to sweeten the pot. League sources say Leafs GM Brian Burke and his Canucks counterpart Mike Gillis haven’t spoken about the possibility of a Luongo trade since September. Contrary to popular belief, Gillis isn’t going to give Luongo to the Leafs just to get the goalie’s $5.3 million cap hit off the roster. It’s believed the Canucks want good prospects in return and Burke might not be prepared for that kind of deal. Luongo won’t be dealt to the Florida Panthers, which is where he really wants to go, unless they, too, sweeten the pot. The asking price: A player who can help the Canucks immediately, a top prospect and a draft pick in exchange. It would make sense for Gillis and Burke to get together … Two defencemen getting raises: You’d have to think, depending on the length of the deal, that Montreal Canadiens blueliner P.K. Subban will get a contract with a salary in the area of $5.5 million while New York Rangers defenceman Michael Del Zotto will get around $4 million. Both are restricted free agentss. Habs GM Marc Bergevin spoke with Subban’s agent Don Meehan on Monday. Del Zotta spent part of last year in the minors and doesn’t have quite the same bargaining power as Subban.
The Rangers have made their interest clear in Doan, the 6-2, 228-pound right wing who recorded 50 points (22-28) last year before adding nine (5-4) in 16 playoff matches for the Western finalists. Doan, a right-handed shot who could move to the off-wing, has scored 20 or more goals in 11 of his past 12 seasons and has a career 788 points (318-470) in 1,198 career matches.
Doan, whose time with the organization predates by a year the move from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996-97, will decide his future next week after the situation regarding a lease between Glendale, Ariz., and prospective ownership comes into clearer focus.
Signatures are due by Monday on a referendum that would refer the recently reached lease agreement between the city council and prospective owner to the November general election. Seven candidates for the Glendale city council, including two contenders for Mayor, recently endorsed the referendum.
“As we’ve stated previously, Shane’s priority is to make a decision based on his loyalty to the club, but he wants to get a clearer idea regarding the franchise’s long-term future in Phoenix,” Bross said of Doan, who is coming off a five-year contract worth $4.75 million per.
Rather than throw Monopoly money at marginal players — e.g., Jason Garrison — the Rangers might revisit a deal for the Coyotes’ Keith Yandle if the price becomes right as the summer evolves.
Ryan Suter, who will be the object of much affection, plays the wrong side; The Rangers believe they’re strong on the left lining up with Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto.
Brandon Prust is all but gone, the valuable support player apparently in line for a contract under which he might earn at least $2.5 million per for three or four years.
Prust may give the Blueshirts a right to match, but it’s extremely unlikely the Rangers would commit that kind of money to a winger who gets less than 12 minutes of ice a game, no matter his intangibles.
Instead, the Blueshirts are likely to at least investigate the possibility of signing Jordin Tootoo, the 29-year-old, eight-season Predators veteran with the checkered history who could play a role similar to Prust.
Sather is likely to check in on Shane Doan, but it is believed the long-time Phoenix captain would prefer to remain out west even if he does not re-up with the Coyotes. The GM probably will check with Alex Semin of the Capitals, Jiri Hudler of the Red Wings, Brad Boyes of the Sabres and Ray Whitney of the Coyotes, but is unlikely to offer lucrative multi-year deals to entice any of them.
Parise would be different. Parise is different.
Indeed, on this day, Parise is unique.
Could be some big NHL news today. Stay tuned NY Rangers fans.
— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) June 30, 2012
The question in light of Rangers general manager Glen Sather’s declaration yesterday that the Blueshirts intend to be “as aggressive as possible” in the free agent market essentially can be distilled to this:
Do the Blueshirts necessarily believe Devils captain Zach Parise meant what he said on his team’s breakup day — less than 48 hours after losing in the Cup finals to the Kings — when the impending free agent three times renounced interest in crossing the Hudson, once using the words, “No way”?
Stymied thus far in his attempts to acquire the offensive force the Rangers likely need in order to take the next step following their so-near-and-yet-so-far 2011-12, Sather indicated his team would dive into the free agent pool that isn’t all that deep.
“The closer to the top you are, you have to be a little more aggressive if you want to get better,” the GM said. “If you trade, you have to give away assets, but in free agency you’re just giving away money and [taking] the chance the cap might shrink.
“I think we’re going to try to be as aggressive as possible in the free agent market.”
The Blueshirts appear to have approximately $20 million available in summer cap space, some of which would be devoted to re-signing restricted free agent Michael Del Zotto and impending unrestricted free agent goaltender Martin Biron.
Parise is the lone elite forward coming up on unrestricted free agency, and the Devils have vowed to attempt to sign him before the market opens on July 1. The Penguins, who cleared cap space by dealing Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek, are expected to make a strong bid, as are the Red Wings, Wild and several other clubs.
Alexander Semin is perhaps the most skilled sniper on the market but it’s difficult to imagine the Rangers engaging in the type of long-term deal the impending Capitals free agent is believed to be seeking.
SIEGEL: BURKE INTENDS TO USE FIFTH PICK; TRADE NOT IMMINENT
Penguins’ Shero not listening to Staal offers
Backstrom going nowhere
Wings will be ‘aggressive’ in pursuit of Justin Schultz
Ducks expect Parros to test free agency
SIEGEL: BURKE INTENDS TO USE FIFTH PICK; TRADE NOT IMMINENT
The New York Post writes that for the second time in four months, sources have confirmed the Rangers are engaged in a high-speed pursuit of Rick Nash.
Just as was the case during the chase leading up to the Feb. 27 trade deadline, general manager Glen Sather remains unconcerned about the cap implications of the Columbus winger’s contract that runs through 2017-18 at an annual $7.8 million charge that is exceeded in the NHL by only Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Eric Staal.
Rather, the GM is more apprehensive about the Rangers’ lack of offense during the playoffs, in which the team was limited by Ottawa, Washington and New Jersey netminders to two goals or fewer in 15 of 20 games and could score as many as four only once, that in the opening game of the first round.
The question now, as it was in late February — when Columbus GM Scott Howson got greedy and demanded a combination of players including Chris Kreider; Derek Stepan or Carl Hagelin; Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto; plus Brandon Dubinsky and a first-rounder — is what the Jackets will be willing to accept and how much Sather will be willing to yield in return for the 28-year-old winger, whose numbers on the ice have never quite matched the hype attached to him.
The question within that question is how much Nash, whose average season yields 35 goals and 31 assists, has been weighed down trying to carry an inferior franchise through the entirety of a nine-year NHL career in which his team has made the playoffs once, only to be swept?
Up to a half-dozen teams — including Philadelphia, San Jose, Carolina, perhaps Toronto and perhaps Boston — are in the race, but the Rangers could end the derby in a heartbeat by agreeing to send Kreider to Columbus. There is less chance of that occurring than of Sean Avery returning to the team as an assistant coach.
The question might not be whom to select in Friday’s NHL draft, but this: To trade or not to trade?
The combination of a relatively even distribution of talent among the first-round prospects, certain needs for teams selecting at the front end and a new collective-bargaining agreement looming has the potential for some big deals this week and into the weekend, when all 30 general managers will be in Pittsburgh, ostensibly to make their teams deeper through the draft.
Oilers GM Steve Tambellini said this past week he has no plans to trade the No. 1 overall pick, but he listened to offers, a new development from the past two seasons, when Edmonton did not hesitate to make Taylor Hall and then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the top selections of 2010 and 2011.
Edmonton — like several teams, including the Islanders — has a crying need for help on defense.
So it might be more of a difference-making forward who gets dealt this week. Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash heads the list, having nearly been dealt at the trade deadline, although he still has a no-trade clause to determine where he’ll go.
The Rangers could be the biggest movers this week. Nash, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks, and defensemen Shea Weber of the Predators and Tobias Enstrom of the Jets could be targets, with the Rangers using their No. 28 pick and/or some of their deep prospect pool to swing a deal.
Under GM Garth Snow, the Islanders have refused to deal picks and/or young players for established NHLers. This year is no different, although Snow is trying hard to land a defenseman to shore up a thin mix. Only Mark Streit, Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald will be back from the team’s regular 2011-12 defense corps.
A restricted free agent such as the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban would have gotten Snow to strongly consider dealing the fourth overall pick, but new Montreal GM Marc Bergevin isn’t moving Subban, according to those who’ve spoken with him.
The market for Columbus Blue Jackets winger Rich Nash is heating up ahead of next week’s NHL Draft.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, as many as seven teams have had ‘significant discussions’ with the club in the last 10 days about acquiring Nash.
The report adds that the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes are among the teams that have expressed interest.
Blue Jackets’ general manager Scott Howson said that the club had, “significantly more discussions this week,” but would not comment directly on the most recent trade talks regarding the team captain.
The Devils captain, scheduled to become the most coveted commodity of this summer’s free-agent crop on July 1, broke his season-long silence on his pending unrestricted free agency Wednesday. He said he would not consider crossing lines in the heated Hudson River rivalry.
Instead, Parise insisted he has never imagined himself wearing a sweater other than that of the Devils, the team he led to the Stanley Cup Finals this spring in his seventh NHL season.
“I’ve said all along, I’ve loved playing here,” Parise said. “I’ve always appreciated everything that this organization’s done for me. My feelings have never changed.”
Several teams, including his home state Minnesota Wild, are expected to bid for Parise’s services once he hits the market, but when asked if he could ever see himself playing in a Rangers jersey, the 27-year-old laughed nervously and said: “No.”
When asked again about signing with the Blueshirts, he said no three times.
Parise’s agent did not return calls, but such comments are not exactly the way to attract a high-spender such as the Rangers to the bidding war.
If the Blueshirts do not pursue Parise, they would likely have to make a trade to acquire their stated need of a star scorer.
Most notably, Blue Jackets captain and top-line winger Rick Nash remains on the trading block