The Sather Experiment has Failed!…AND NEEDS TO END!

A quick look at this offseason, my take on the Gomez deal, and why Slats, and not Bob Gainey should be the first GM fired.

Glen Sather, GM of the NY Rangers has assembled a playoff roster each season after the lockout. While GM of the low budget Edmonton Oilers, Glen once said that he could build a winner if he had the money the Rangers had. Well, thus far, mission unaccomplished. He has signed targeted players and pulled of deals that only he could. But if you were to ask, which team is in the most trouble, who would it be?

I would like to start off quoting pezzz123.

“Sather has fallen into the trap, once again. After shedding Gomez’ salary in a great trade, he overspent AGAIN come July 1(st). 7.5 (million) to Gaborik?? 1.4 million to Brashear?? He now has 40 (million) committed to 11 players, more money in less players than with Gomez on board. Dubinsky, Callahan, Higgins and Korpikoski are still not resigned. Their D is suspect at best, and it would be surprising to see Morris or Mara stay for less money, especially knowing that Mara did it last year. Losers, losers, losers.”

Well, Pezzz, I don’t think you have anyone disagreeing with most of those points. I am not sure what team you cheer for, or which teams you watch the most, most your posts seem to always have some logic to them and never really biased. Are the Rangers the big losers, its tough to say, but I think any GM who had any bit of foresight wouldn’t have done with Glen did. The Rangers have a tough offseason ahead with several RFA’s as you mentioned. Since starting this article, Callahan was resigned (but only 2 years), Higgins for 1 – and he’s eligible to be a UFA, and Dubinsky think they are worth more. And the Rangers will be tight against the salary cap. Even better, Slats trades Korpikoski for an underachieving scorer.

There are many Ranger fans who are on the edge with the Gaborik signing. It has a lot of potential. He is an offensive presence the Rangers lacked this season. Will he gel with new faces? Will he play with the over used Aaron Voros? I hope not! Will he stay healthy!? This new contract for Gaborik is probably it in the NHL. This is financial freedom. What happened when Rick DiPietro got his contract? He became unmotivated. I’m not saying he doesn’t want to win, but it appears he stopped with rigorous offseason training and he is brittle. What happens with an already injury prone forward when they decide ‘I’m set?’ I will guarantee he doesn’t play 82 games next season. The fact is the Rangers have limited cap space, and should and probably need to look from within. But what happens to a team when they have too many bad long term contracts and the economy struggles? Glen, how are you going to resign Marc Staal next year? Brandon Dubinsky long term? Do you have any young “homegrown” players you do want to keep? Even better question, how will you convince Marc Staal’s agent that he isn’t worth a 6 year, 39 million dollar contract? And how is your chemistry with Brashear going to work? Are you siding with Brashear and saying you tolerate that sort of behavior? Blair Betts is just going to be kicked to the side and walk to a smart team who wants him? How’s that #1 penalty kill looking? How will not having Gomez and having Gaborik on the IR help our horrible power play?

Glen, you started this offseason with limited cap space and holes to fill. I agree, if Torts doesn’t believe Gomez is capable of playing his system, it’s time to part ways. You got a very solid return for him. I like Higgins (even though I don’t think of him as highly as I once did), and I think McDonagh is a solid prospect. He needs some work, and I am not sure what his intentions are in regards to school, but he could be an NHLer very shortly. Pavel Valentenko is a wild card. I believe it’s a deal with 2 more years. If he wants it, he has a solid NHL career when contract is up. From what I read he is regarded like Ulf Samuelsson once was. Not a good thing for opponents. And he has a blistering shot. Again a nice pull. Bob Gainey had needs and hoped to finally be able to attract free agents to MontrĂ©al. He did, but in my opinion overpaid for Gianta. I think Gomez and Gianta will work for all you Habs fans. Valentenko had no future for the Habs after what happened, and Higgins wasn’t in the plans anymore. Why Gainey parted with McDonagh is a little puzzling right now, but we will see in a few years. Remember when he parted with Josef Balei? He turned into Fedor Fedorov and both panned out!

So Glen, you still are able to swing great trades. That’s all you can do in this new era NHL. This isn’t the 80s Glen. Or the 90s. When you came to NY, you spent money like no other. What did it get us? Mediocre draft spots and no playoff appearances. You and Dolan agreed post lockout it was time to rebuild! Excellent! And it worked! You had a young team, and instead of letting this team grow old and gel, you went back to your ways of signing bad contracts. Who would disagree that Wade Redden can’t be moved? Or that he has THE WORST CONTRACT may be in professional sports. Chris Drury is overpaid and his contract isn’t going anywhere. Rozsival’s deal won’t have many takers. And what happens if Gaborik gets hurt? Who would take that if it turns out to be bad?

The fact about Free Agency is this: It is a weakness. It is an unnecessary evil. Free Agents, especially Day 1 Free Agents are grossly overpaid. Is it worth it? How many Day 1 free agent signings are you happy about Glen? Or even other teams. Free agents disrupt team chemistry in most cases. They inflate salaries, and worse they give soon to be free agents more bargaining power. “The hardest part for everyone will be to stay patient and understand that we are committed to building a team from within that can have long-term success in New York” -Slats. How? A team from within includes 2 goalies, bottom 4 defensemen, and 3rd and 4th line players? Prospects can only stay in Hartford for so long before they realize there is more money and opportunity in Europe. Free agency is the death of teams. Look at Detroit. Model of the NHL. How many free agents did they overspend for? They picked up Hossa. 1 YEAR! ONE! UNE! That 8 million they had room for and is now OFF THE BOOKS! Cap space should be used for RESIGNING CORE PLAYERS! That would be your Lundqvist (which was done) your Staal’s (good luck), Del Zotto, McDonaugh in 3 years. Dubinsky who is desired by many teams should be in that list too.

So Slats, you finally hired a good coach. You think you are more competitive with Gaborik. And you feel much better about the 09-10 Rangers than last years. You know what? I still don’t like our chances getting by Pittsburgh or Washington. Why not bond as a team? “We will be looking at players who can help us through this transition period while we are developing a core group of home grown players,”-Slats. This transition mentioned was after the lockout. How long does it last? The past two seasons, the Rangers have had A HUGE ROSTER TURNOVER? How does that develop our kids? How does that lead to success? IT DOESN’T! But you shouldn’t be constantly having a new scoring and secondary scoring line. I don’t have a problem with having 3-4 new guys a year. I don’t have a problem with letting a player like Colton Orr walk. Find guys who can get it done. Let them get ice time and experience and let the kids grow. A good company is constantly hiring new, young employees so that there is a smooth flow and a team roster will not get too old altogether. Not everyone is retiring at once. No youngster is expected to do too much, but in time are groomed for a role. A hockey franchise should be exactly that. How does a hard working employee feel when an outside hire was brought it because they didn’t think you could handle the job (though you felt you
were more than qualified with minimal training)? Are you going to stay? It disrupts the workplace, and it disrupts the locker room.

So to recap, Glen your last two coaching hires have been solid. You can trade with the best of them. How about the draft? Rockstrom found Henrik Lundqvist, not you. You decided to go with Al Montoya when goaltending was clearly not a need. How’d that work out? And Hugh Jessiman? Truth be told, you found some late round hard working 3rd line wingers, and that’s it. Your record in round 1 is disappointing. Second round isn’t any better. Dubinsky was a solid selection. How about the rest? The only thing that you can find in a draft are players who fall. Many of those are Russians (like Grachev) who fell because of sign ability. That’s never an issue for the Rangers, but teams are catching on. It’s just too bad you are completely irresponsible when it comes to managing a cap and building a “team” I won’t even touch the Kotalik signing, but someone tell me how he fits into this team or Torts system? Oh yeah a 3 year contract that we can’t move either!

Glen you are 65. Time to retire buddy. Let someone with foresight handle the mess you created.

Here is my solution – and/or player roadmap.

Name Age Salary Years Remaining Role Role within 2 years
King Henrik | 27 | 6.875 |5 years left Allstar goalie Elite netminder
Steve Valiquette| 31 | .725 | 1 year Mediocre backup AHL/Europe goalie
Miika Wiikman | 24 | .543 | 1 AHL Split Duty AHL Starter/3rd string
Matt Zaba | 25 AHL Split Duty 3rd string goalie
Chad Johnson | 23 AHL/ECHL Potential NHL backup

09-10 Cap hit: 7.6M (Lundqvist, Valiquette)
Analysis. The Rangers don’t have a goalie in case of something happens to Lundqvist. Ideally, I’d like to see someone who could get 20 starts down the road. Valiquette’s potential is realized and he probably isn’t good enough for 20 starts that I want. I am not sure which of the 3 prospects would assume the role. Benoit Allaire is one heck of a goalie coach and I am confident he can mold one of these three into my backup next year. I still would look to draft a couple of college or European goalies in the next few years. Let them play at a high level or elite league and gain experience because there isn’t a need in Hartford. May be another diamond in the rough like Lundqvist???

Name Age Salary Years Remaining Role Role within 2 years
Wade Redden | 32 | 6.5 |5 years left 2nd pairing D/PP Aging Dman, buyout scenario
Michal Rozsival|31 | 5 | 3 2nd pairing D/PP 2nd pairing D
Dan Girardi | 26 | 1.55 | 1, RFA Overplayed 1st pairing 2nd pairing D
Marc Staal | 23 | .827 | 1, RFA 1st pairing Top Pairing/Shutdown D
Bobby Sanguinetti 22 .855 | 2, RFA AHL, PP QB Potential 3rd pairing NHL D/ PP
Michael Sauer | 22 | .846 | 1, RFA AHL, 7th D 3rd pairing NHL
Matt Gilroy | 25 | 1.75 | 2 AHL, 7th D Potential 2nd pairing
Michael Del Zotto |19 Juniors Potential PP QB, top pairing
Ryan McDonagh | 20 College Potential 1st, 2nd pairing
Corey Potter | 26 | AHL, 7th D 6th,7th D
Pavel Valentenko | 21 KHL NHL bound in 11-12? 3rd pairing D
Tomas Kundratek | 19 Juniors Potential 3rd pairing
Ilkka Heikkinen | 24 AHL/6th, 7th, D Makes the team or Europe
Brian Fahey | 28 | .500 | 1 AHL/7th D AHL

09-10 Cap Hit: est. 17.3 (Redden, Rozsival, Girardi, Staal, Del Zotto, Gilroy, Sauer)
Analysis. To state the obvious, there will be two contracts that will hurt this team. One was an somewhat understandable resigning in Rozsival. He can be solid and we did need someone. I question if he or Redden fits into John Tortorella’s system. Rozsival could probably be dealt for minimal return. Though he has a strong cap hit, his salary is less than that thanks to a front loaded deal. I could see Atlanta or another team (who has an owner induced salary cap) interested. Redden can’t be moved. We could theoretically send him to the minors one season but that’s it. A buyout is a last resort. Hopefully Wade can turn his season around and be stronger mentally. Fans shouldn’t boo him because we can’t get rid of him. Boo Sather when shown. Chant FIRE SATHER! HIRE HTR’s RANGER_FAN! Anyway, lets suppose we can sign Staal. He would probably get 3 million next year in arbitration. Then long term would cost 5-7. Can we really be paying 17 million on a mediocre top 3? And have like 38 million tied up on only 6 players? And if the cap dips to 52 million? See Slats – foresight! Add Dubinsky next year and its probably 41, Callahan 44. Oh, that’s 44 million on 8 players. 8 million for another 15 players seems like a challenge! In a couple years, I think we are set with homegrown talent with Redden still on the roster, then Staal, McDonagh, Girardi, Gilroy, Sauer, Del Zotto, and possibly Sanguinetti on the roster. That is 7 definite roster players, and a wildcard in Sanguinetti. Not to mention Potter may still be in the system, Rozsival could still be on the team – though I think he will be dealt to get salary flexibility. Valentenko might opt to try North America again and could be NHL material. And I really like the kid Kundratek. So to all the rumor people, if it was up to me, expect Dan Girardi to be dealt in the upcoming season – depending on how camp goes for some rookies. He has reach his potential and isn’t worth much more than what he’s getting now.

Name Age Salary Years Remaining Role Role within 2 years
Marian Gaborik| 27 | 7.5 |5 years left 1st line RW 1st line RW
Chris Drury | 33 | 7.05 | 3 2nd line center 2nd line center
Ales Kotalik | 30 | 3 | 3 3rd line wing/PP 3rd line winger
Sean Avery | 30 | 1.938 | 3 3rd line LW agitator 3rd line LW agitator
Donald Brashear| 37 | 1.4 | 2 4th line LW goon Not on the team in 2 years
Aaron Voros | 28 | 1 | 2 13th forward/punching bag AHL/4th line
Artem Anisimov|21 | .822 | 2 3rd line center 2nd line two way center
Patrick Rissmiller|30| 1 | 2 Borderline winger Borderline winger
Ryan Callahan | 24 | 2.3 | 2 2nd/3rd line RW 2nd/3rd line RW
Christopher Higgins|26| 2.1 | 1 2nd line LW 2nd line LW
Brandon Dubinsky|23 | (2.5) 2nd/3rd line C/LW 2nd line C/LW
Nik Zherdev | 24 (3.5) 2nd/3rd line RW potential 1st line or KHL
Brian Boyle | 24 (1) 4th line center potential 3rd line center
Enver Lisin | 23 (1) 3rd line forward potential 2nd line
Evgeny Grachev |20| .875 | 2 AHL/scoring line LW/C potential 1st line LW/C
Paul Crowder | 24| .975 | 1 Possibly 4th line C potential 3rd line
Dale Weise |
21 | .700 | 2 AHL/4th line energy RW potential3rd/4th line RW
Dane Byers | 23 | (.7) AHL/4th line potential 3rd line

09-10 Cap Hit: est.: 32.71 (Gaborik, Drury, Avery, Higgins, Dubinsky, Callahan, Anisimov, Lisin, Voros, Boyle, Kotalik, Brashear, Rissmiller)

But uh oh! That totals 57.61M. How will that work? Are the Rangers yet again only going to carry 20 players? I don’t like Rissmiller can be buried again, it depends on his contract. If he can, we are at 56.61. We may also have to carry 6 D. Take away Sauer and we are just under 56 million. Notice Zherdev is not included.

I think Zherdev won’t be back. At best we may be able to get a conditional pick or he’s leaving for the KHL. I hope we can sign Dubinsky long term, but it might be wishful thinking. Lets say he gets 2 years totaling 5 million. That means our contracts that are up next year are Staal, Girardi, Higgins, and a few other less significant players. That is about 4.5 coming off the books with those three. How are they going to be resigned with lower cap?? Glen, what is done is done. But please stop with the signings. I want Derek Morris back – but WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD IT! Was Kotalik really necessary? No. Brashear? HAHA yeah right. I think Gaborik’s best option is Anisimov at center which is very sad. I hope Dubinsky can do it but I fear they won’t gel. I want to see Grachev at some point this year get important minutes but that may have to now wait for Gaborik to get hurt.

Anyways our outlook:
Avery Anisimov Gaborik
Higgins Drury Kotalik
Lisin Dubinsky Callahan
Brashear Boyle Voros

Staal Girardi
Redden Rozsival
Del Zotto Gilroy

The most amazing part of that is each line is different than last year. No line will have instant chemistry between the 3. Dubinsky/Callahan and Drury and Kotalik have played together and may be the only constants. As mentioned, look for Gaborik out and Grachev in at some point. Even better is Slats dismantled our #1 PK. Out are Sjostrom Betts and Korpikoski. How are we going to stop Pittsburgh and their PP? And don’t give me the refs will not be giving them the benefit anymore now that he has a cup.

So our PK may be Dubinsky and Callahan along with Drury and Higgins??? Weak! I know Anisimov can contribute too, and Avery if he must but Sean will be in the sinbin.

Our PP will focus around Gaborik instead of Gomez or Jagr and will still be largely ineffective unless Redden and Rozsival SHOOT THE PUCK!

If I am GM and restrict stupid signings, in 3 years I hope to see this lineup! (Most bad contracts are done in 3 years)

Grachev Anisimov Gaborik
Kreider Dubinsky Callahan
Byers Stepan Weise
Hagelin Crowder Soryal

In 3 years, Gaborik is still making 7.5, Dubinsky will be a 5 million dollar player, Callahan 4 and other than that, young relatively cheap talent! This offense could cost only 25-27 million compared – at least 5 million cheaper!

If Anisimov doesn’t develop, or Kreider, look to resign some players we would lose to free agency OR make a trade for someone who fits the coaching style and fills the role.

Staal McDonagh
Del Zotto Gilroy
Redden Sauer
Kundratek Valentenko Sanguinetti

I said I would trade Girardi for salary reasons above. Solid D core. What do don’t see is Sanguinetti until 9th! Might he be bait? Staal would probably command 5, Redden still making 6.5, and a defense that might cost 20 million.

Still solid and costing about 7.5 So my plan would call for this roster – and an estimated 54.5 million cap hit.

So am I missing something? Why should Slats buy talent that doesn’t work when he could have a young healthy team, capable of competing. I know the offense doesn’t look strong but hey, that’s what trades are for! Find a weakness? I have assets I’m willing to part with! As of right now they’d include Girardi, Sanguinetti, Lisin, as well as may be Bourque, or Werek if they develop.

So to all the Gainey haters, how has this man screwed up more than Sather?

44 Responses to The Sather Experiment has Failed!…AND NEEDS TO END!

  1. habswinthecup-again says:

     I did not read your whole story (it looks pretty intense), but I have said many times already, Sather is one of the 3 worst GM's in the NHL and never was very good.

  2. billypilgrim says:

    Wow. You really needed to vent, didn't you?
    I think Sather is kind of in the same position as Gainey is. Last chance. He probably felt pressed for time when he signed Gaborik  before anyone else could (because someone else was sure to offer the same money). No way to predict how this one turns out but with his history of injuries I'm glad he didn't end up on my team.
    The rumours say Sather almost had the deal together for Heatley but it would've involved Dubinsky and he wouldn't give him up. Looking at it that way he probably did the right thing getting a scorer (however injury prone) without weakening what was left of the team. Think of center position without Dubinsky.
    If Higgins is signed for one year(which is news to me) this is good news as he really needs a motivational factor to kick his game up a notch. Chances are you won't be too upset about it a year from now and if you are, at least he's happy about playing in NY and may decide to sign a reasonable contract to stay. Oh and Higgins gets the job done on PK. That's a Guarantee.

  3. Kramer says:

    He ain't done nothing to protect his players from alien kidnappings.

  4. paulieplatypus says:

    I respect your opinion, many Rangers feel exactly as you do – thanks for the posting.  But I completely disagree with just about everything you wrote.  In my opinion Sather has completely rebuilt the Rangers since the lockout ended with only Rozsival and Lundqvist remaining, while still putting his team in the playoffs in each of the last four years since play resumed.  I absolutly see no reason for this trend not to continue for a very long time. 

    The Rangers are stacked right now with lots of good young tallent at every position that should keep getting better and better as they develop.  The players who don't develope, will quickly get passed on the depth chart from all the talent thats coming up from even behind them.  The Rangers, unlike most other teams, can afford over spend on free agents (if need be) because of all this young $ inexpensive tallent thats already on the team as well as about to come up to the NHL.  Not that Sather has ever had any problems with keeping players he wanted too because of the $$$ cap, like most other GM's have had trouble doing.

    In my opinion Sather has done a remarkable job since the trade deadline the last season before the lockout started.  It amazes me how many Rangers fans, as well as most others, completely disagree with me.       


  5. cam7777 says:

    Now the real kicker would be if someone put in an offer sheet on Dubinsky right now.  I could really see Gainey doing it.  6 years, 24 million.  Can Sather afford to match that?  probably not. 

    There's no reason to think that Sather can't move some of that salary around.  I think Redden is moveable; to the right team.  Also, Gainey could take advantage of some of the bad contracts other teams have.  They can afford to dump another 20 million dollars into the minors if they have to, they just can't do it with the likes of Drury and Redden because they are signed long term.  So take back a number of 1 year deals and dump those.

    To the Capitals:
    Wade Redden
    To the Rangers:
    Michael Nylander, Jose Theodore, Brian Pothier

    To the Avalanche:
    Chris Drury
    To the Rangers:
    Brett Clark, Ruslan Salei, Darcy Tucker

    These teams might prefer to have one player that can produce, but is overpaid, rather than 3 players who are useless and overpaid.

    Tell all the new guys they have to legitimately make the team out of camp, or they're getting buried in the minors.  Only Theodore really has to be buried (although, someone might claim him off re-entry waivers).

    Gaborik – Nylander – Kotalik
    Avery – Dubinsky – Callahan
    Higgins – Anisimov – Lisin
    Brashear – Boyle – Tucker

    Staal – Girardi
    Rozsival – Salei
    Gilroy – Sanguinetti


    Lundqvist – Valiquette

    CAP HIT – 55 million

    Problem solved.  Slats spends the season looking for a taker for Rozsival, and all the other bad contracts (except Gaborik, but that's not bad, it's just high risk) come off the books next year.  It's really not the most terrible situation at all.

  6. paulieplatypus says:

    As if the poster did not already have enough complaints about Sather to begin with… Alright, if you were an NHL GM – how would you protect your players from alien kidnappings???  Without putting them in an even shallower fish bowl? 

  7. trueblue says:

    I disagree with a lot of what you state…plus you have quite a few holes….
    You acknowledge Enver Lisin as a NY, yet you still state that Korpikoski is an RFA….Korpikoski is gone now…He was traded for Lisin who also is an RFA.  Rismmiller is not signed by the team…he is a UFA… Mara was a UFA who recently signed with another team… and Valiquette could hold 20 games and probably start or play a much larger role on some other teams.

    Plus you arent looking at the big picture with the Gaborik signing…Sather traded Gomez to make the cap room for a big name player…Gaborik…cause the organization hasnt had that type of player since Jagr…obviously Gomez is not a Jagr type player, but Gaborik is….the key to this whole thing is when Gaborik is healthy…his track record sucks.
    Its a big gamble by Slats…he has a set of brass ones…personally I would not have done it…i would be content with going with Callhan, Kotalik, and Lisin on the right side…bring up Grachev maybe on the 3rd line left wing spot vacated by Korpikoski and trade Zherdev for a conditional first round pick and pocket the cap space for now…i dont like how every year when free agency comes up or a big name comes up that the Rangers have to feel like they should be involved…sometimes its better to stay the course and be patient…hey but some of his moves are pretty good…the Gomez deal was a freakin killer good deal…kudos for that one!  I would consider at this point moving Rozsival in adeal that upgrades him or dumps him and brings back Morris cheap…that will have to happen soon though or we will be stuck till the trading deadline with him…thats ok though!

  8. paulieplatypus says:

    What you fail to realize that is perfectly clear to everyone else is that Gainey most likely won't last the whole season without getting fired regardless of what he does.  Thus it would be really really stupid for him to start pi$$ing off other teams by signing their restricted free agents, when he might soon have to come to them looking for a job.  Regardless, the Habs don't have the payroll to make such an offer to Dubinsky to begin with.  But even if they did had the cap room, the compensation for a $4 million RFA offer sheet contract would be; Two 1st round picks, a 2nd round pick, and a third round pick.  Also, the Rangers are not nearly as tied up with the cap as many people believe and could match that offer, but thats a lot of picks to be getting for Dubinsky.   

  9. cam7777 says:

    The compensations have changed this year.  For a 4 million dollar offer sheet the Rangers would now get only a 1st and a 3rd.  Small price to pay for Dubinsky if the Canadiens finish in the top 10 in the league.

    Gainey won't be looking for a job with Martin coaching a team that looks like this:

    Pacioretty – Gomez – Gionta
    Cammalleri – Dubinsky – D'agostini
    Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kostitsyn
    Moen – Lapierre – Laraque

    Markov – Hamrlik
    Subban – Spacek
    Gill – Mara

    Price – Halak

    I'm sure Gainey would try asking for him first.  And Sather did just rape him on the Gomez deal.  Plus, there wont be any ill-will towards Gainey if he comes looking for a job.  He was one of the most respected and beloved guys in hockey.

    And sure the Rangers could match, but at what cost.  They'd have only a million dollars left to sign 5 roster players.  It would be something they'd have to think about, for sure.

  10. nordiques100 says:

    instead of focusing on the bad, lets look at the good.

    he had built a young nucleus on defence under his watch, especially post lockout.

    girardi, staal, del zotto, gilroy, sanguenetti, mcdonagh, that is an excellent accomplishment. complain all you want about redden, but getting all these good young D is a good way to sustain some success.

    torts is a fine coach. given time, he will turn this team around. renney was fine too, but ran his course, a change was needed and i think the rangers did pick up one of the best coaches available (it could have been the crow or hartley which wouldnt have been so great).

    callahan, dubinsky, anisimov and grachev are very good draft picks. very unfortunate with cherepanov but hopefully kreider can make up for the loss. the others he's acquired of late, gaborik, zherdev, higgins, and prospects like boyle and lisin, its not bad. he at least filled a need on the wing while being able to get rid of a top heavy contract from one of their centres. yes he got lucky with naslund retiring, but he has done ok. he got younger. 

    kotalik, avery, they're effective players as well. there are other gms who've done worse.

    tallon lost his job over the huet/campbell albatross contracts

    lowe had to step down after ruining so many relations with his bad offer sheets

    we know well of the work of JFJ, waddell, doug maclean, have done. the jackson/hull experiment failed miserably, gainey has struggled, as has murray in ottawa. slats has managed to survive.

    he had an old team with guys like straka, jagr, malik, etc and turned the page. he has them younger, still quite skilled, and while i am not sure they are contenders for sure, lundqvist makes them close. they're a playoff team.

  11. NUCKINGFUTS says:

    It's July and the roster is not complete nor will it be until October and then more moves might be made during the season.We have a new coach starting with many new players and a new system.It is much too early to say this team is nothing.
    Take a look at the goal scoring we added,speed we have not had for some time now.
    Marian Gaborik

    Enver Lisin
    More on Lisin from Blue Seats Blog, who cites HockeysFuture and RussianProspects:

    Lisin is a talented two-way forward with a huge offensive upside and a significant defensive upside. The young forward was more than likely the fastest forward eligible for the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He is fully capable of developing into a top line forward in the NHL. He’s an amazing skater, who’s a good finisher, has a great wrist shot, is very precise and has a deceivingly quick release.

    Skating: An amazing skater…the fastest Russian skater and possibly the fastest skater in the world born in ’86…excellent technique.

    Shot: A very good finisher and has a great wrist shot…very precise and deceivingly quick release…has very good control over his backhand.

    Technical Ability: An average puck handler, does not excel in great puck control, who depends more on his speed…uses the stick well in defensive situations.

    Pass: Doesn’t pass the puck often, as he is more of a finisher than a set up player…when he does pass, his passing ability is above average.

    Hockey Sense: Sees the ice very well at both ends of the ice…developing into a great two way player…a natural finisher, able to be at the right place at the right moment.

    Defensive Play: Surprisingly responsible defensively…uses his speed effectively to get back into the defensive zone…uses his stick work effectively in the defensive zone.

    Physical Play: Grew an inch in the spring and summer of ’03…not a physical player, depending on his speed, but is durable and can handle pressure well in traffic…defensively delivers the pressure at the boards, showing a good level of toughness and physical play.

    Intangibles: Has a very good attitude and a solid work ethic…listens well to authority… effective on his own, but needs a talented center to take full advantage of his scoring ability and speed.

  12. ranger_fan says:

    I really don't care what these guys bring! Why not create new holes. Korpikoski may never realize his talent, which is fine. But Lisin has underachieved and at times many have question his heart and desire. And now he is going to play for Torts!? You have got to be kidding! This kid is going to have to work hard. He isn't versatile like Lauri, won't have the defensive mind he does – but may be a better sniper. I think this was done because Lauri will have about 300-400K more of a cap hit. When our PK is lacking and the Pens and Caps beat us on the PP – Slats may realize his mistake.

    And Gaborik is world class. But he gets hurt too much and I think its time we stop handing out blank checks to anyone with talent and build an offensive nucleus to succeed with. Gaborik also doesn't have a Gomez and certainly won't be playing with Drury.

  13. ranger_fan says:

    I wrote this over the course of about two weeks! So I did some editing. When I mention Lauri, I do quoting pezzz's article, and letting him go and allowing our PK to be more vulnerable.

    I think the same with Mara, I may have mentioned him in pezzz's quote. Valiquette will be lucky to see 15 total gamez – expect the King to start 70 again. I'd like to see him start 60-62. I don't have that much faith in a journeyman.

    The big picture I am trying to paint with Gaborik is just because there is cap room – it doesn't mean we have to spend it shortsightedly. Is he what we can use? Yes. Do I want him at 5 years? Not really, but I will tolerate the signing. It's more the other signings I question. Why Kotalik? Just because Zherdev is probably gone – we don't have a 3rd line winger and PP sniper somewhere in the system? My arguement is simply look at how much we have tied up next season with a lower budget, and tell me how we can keep Staal, or anyone else we trully need without buyouts.

  14. ranger_fan says:

    I was venting when I wrote most of a first draft 2 days after free agency. The Kotalik signing made me vent a little more, but I think I composed myself and not let my feelings get in the way of facts.

    I think Higgins will be a free agent that we simply can't afford no matter how well he does. I hope he too can stay healthy because we need him.

  15. paulieplatypus says:

    Tushay, did not know about the RFA compensation rule change and upon further review the Canadiens are about five and a half million $$$ under the cap.  Regardless, the Rangers would be able to match the offer with out too bad a cost to the team… 




    With the players listed above who are currently under contract the Rangers are about $5.5 million under the cap (assuming Boyle signed for $900,000 or less?).  But if Gilroy does not make the team, his $1.75 million contract would be replaced by someone making around $850,000 or less.  So if need be Gilroy could start the season in AHL Hartford and about another million could be added to sign the following… Dubinsky, Lisin, and Owens or Byers.  If Dubinsky signs for a little under $2 million per, Lisin signs for about $1 million, and with the league minimum going to Owens or Byers… The Rangers should have enough to then sign Zherdev if he loses his arbertration hearing.  But I have a very strong feeling that Zherdev will be traded before his hearing.  If he does win, the Rangers could always just put him and his contract in the minors for the year… What a statement Slats would make to other players who might think about going to arbertration against him in the future! Or allow him to become a UFA and get nothing for him.

    Anyway the Rangers would certainly be able to sign Dubinsky for $4 million per…  The cost to the Rangers would end up being, either walking away from Zherdev's contract or putting him in the AHL minors for the year.  But regardless of if Montreal signs Duby to an offer sheet or not?  The Rangers will most likely be forced to make this same dicision with regarding Zherdev no matter what. 

  16. ranger_fan says:

    I will try to back up what I said. I don't want to come off as someone simply venting. I have ideas about how things should be run and it gets frustrating when I look and see cloudy days ahead.

    I completely agree he has rebuilt the Rangers. I am not at all upset because it was a team that was too small and relied too much on an aging Jaromir Jagr. What is upsetting in my opinion is why finally have a group of kids who can be ready and step up and be a solid building block for the future. Did going out and spending money on free agents work for us in the past? No.

    So why are we trying to fix immediate holes with long term signings with will hurt us in the long haul.

    My argument is how will we be able to keep the guys we want? Look at Detroit! They have a young core of talent. They have made a couple of signings but never have been "big Day 1 players" They signed Hossa for 1 year. If we signed Gaborik to a 1 year 7.5 million dollar deal I WOULD LOVE THAT! I'd be all for it. Gaborik show he could stay healthy in 1 year, he could show us what he can do in the playoffs (is he Hossa?), and he could show us if he has chemistry with anyone besides Aaron Voros to see if NY should be the place for him.

    I am not content with being a 5-8th place team every year. It is time we become a borderline playoff team for a year or two, realize exactly what we have, and build a nucleus for the future. I don't see how this current Ranger team (new and improved) will beat Pittsburgh, Washington, Carolina, or even Philly in the playoffs.

    We have a lot of money tied up for the next three years and I don't see how we can possibly retain our young cheap talent!

  17. ranger_fan says:

    I did mention the good. Slats knows how to find role players outside of the first round, and he has a good sense of his assets when it comes to managing trades.

    We do have a solid group of D on the horizon. I am very excited about that as I mentioned in my Rangers team 3 years from now!

    Torts is a good coach. As was Renney. It almost makes up for Trottier and Low.

    But we are strapped when it comes to the future and funds needed. If you look at any salary cap website, please give me a team that is worse off.

  18. mojo19 says:

    Can you please post a link to the new compensation, cam?

  19. mojo19 says:

    I can see why you might be down on Lisin. He's 22 now and he hasn't really made any noise at all in the big show. But the few times I watched him play, i gotta say he's a pretty good player.

    That being said, i was pretty crazy about Korpikoski, who caught my eye during the Rangers-Capitals series. Overall I like Phoenix on this deal.

  20. njpenguins08 says:


    I think you fail to see what it means to rebuild. You are right that the Rangers have had a massive roster change since the lockout. However, the issue is that rebuilding requires the establishment of a core group on the team that can grow and bond as a team and great stronger over time. The Rangers don't do this because their players are constantly coming and going. This was supposedly the point in bringing in Gomez and Drury, two players that can serve as a kind of foundation for the club. As seen in the past seasons, this didn't work out. Gomez was not the player people thought he was and Drury has not really played up to expectations either. I thought it was a great move by the Rangers to get rid of Gomez as it opened up a whole new opportunity to them. Then they squandered it by signing Gaborik to a bigger deal than Gomez had. There is no doubt that Gaborik is a great player. However, he is also well known for being prone to injury and will probably not last this whole season, let along in the other 4 years of his contract. Think of it this way: the rangers could have signed two decent players for Gaborik money, but chose Gaborik instead. Now, the Rangers have to go into the season thinking Gaborik will play for them. But what happens if 30 games in the season Gaborik gets hurt? Sure the Rangers will get more salary cap space to make up to the loss of Gaborik, but how do you fill in a 7.5 mil void in the middle of the season? Point is that Gaborik was a dangerous risk for the Rangers to take and quite frankly, it was probably against what they should have done with all the talent they purportedly have in their system. It was almost like they spent the cap space because they had it to spend without considering what they were getting for it.

  21. pezzz123 says:

    Wow, what a text, you surely put a LOT of effort into it. Great job.

    And thank you very much for the wink. I really appreciate it.

    oh, and by the way, I cheer for the Flames đŸ˜›

  22. assman says:

    the rangers suck again, good to see, sather takes it thru the end, outta the playoffs this year, thats all i gotta say, for now

  23. I-BE-LEAF says:

    Instead of using an even shallower fish bowl, try a fish bowl with a tin foil cover and some cheese curds. Aliens hate cheese curds.

  24. trueblue says:

    Korps is more well rounded…excellent on face offs and pk….plus he has wheels just like Lisin…Lisin has more upside offensively then Korps…thats the trade off…you may be right when our PK doesn't do near as good as last year which was awesome…doesnt look like Betts is going to be back and Sjostrom is gone… Korps was one of our guys…the picture thats being painted for the PK unit isnt looking to good…Anisimov and Boyle will have to rise to the occasion…Callahan is good there…Higgins….Lisin will have to step up

  25. trueblue says:

    honestly, i dont think we had a right winger on the farm who could make the jump right now…Parenteau maybe…but i like him on the farm as a veteran

    They signed Callahan now all they have to do is lock Duby up.
    Next year the big contracts are going to be Staal and Girardi, but we got a year… my thinking is dont expect Rozsival to be around…by then they will have several right side defenseman already up or on there way…you get rid of his 5 million and you locked those two up…expect him to get dealt at the deadline for a top rated rental for the push for the cup and then not resign that player the following year….So relax…dont worry…it will all work out…if Slats could move Redden as well at the deadline by some miracle and i know thats pushing it….then holy shit

    ive been thinking….what if we packaged Drury, Rozsival as a base for Thorton or Marleau….what if we did it now and shipped Zherdev as the other player in the deal….

    hey several months back i suggested dumping either drury or gomez in a deal with montreal…everybody laughed and i said why they probably wont resign Koivu and will need an upgrade…guess what happened…
    how would thorton look with gaborik…holy cow…that deal could be tempting to San Jose with Zherdev in it, but there will have to be a conditional clause just in case they cant sign him…that would hurt us…

    How do you like our new third line

    Lisin     Anisimov    Kotalik

    nice russian line, huh!

  26. cam7777 says:

    Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia are all worse off.   Boston can't afford to let Kessel go without moving Bergeron for nothing (or a combination of lesser players like Kobaew and Wheeler).  If they don't move someone for nothing, Kessel will become a UFA in September.

    Chicago will be 20 million dollar over the cap if they ink Keith, Toews and Kane to extenion, and at that, they will still have to let Fraser, Hjalmarsson, Ladd, Crawford, Johnson, and Eager go without qualifying offers on June 30th next year.

    Philadelphia looks okay, but as it stands, they can't even afford to bring James vanRiemsdyk into the fold, because if he hits any of his bonuses, they will go over the cap.  Briere is a 3rd line center making 6.5 million.  THey have only Boucher in net past this year, and no number one on the horizon (unless Emery is their man, but even still, he will require a raise if he makes it work in Philly).  They have some mild cap relief next year with Randy Jones departing, but they wiill likely have to dump him into the minors this year just to make it all work.  Coburn, Parent and Carcillo will also need raises next year, and they have no 1st round pick from this year, and none from next year.

  27. cam7777 says:

    yea, I agree they could match it, I'm just saying, it's definitely an overpayment for Dubinsky.  they have to carefully pay their younger players with massive contracts like Gaborik's, Drury's, Redden's, Rozsival's and Lundqvist's.  I hope they can get him locked up to something like 2.8 million for 3 years.

  28. cam7777 says:

    Well, I'll say this about Lisin.  I've seen him play the last couple years when the Coyotes come to Winnipeg in the pre-season, and he was by far the hardest working, most noticeable Phoenix forward.  I was actually hoping he would end up a Leaf this year, on a one year stint.  He and Kulemin could have made some magic I'm sure.  Zherdev and he will work well together if you manage to retain him.

  29. ranger_fan says:

    I don't think Drury can be moved. First and foremost we would have to get a center back as you mentioned, but Marleau has a lot of question marks and Thornton doesn't produce at all in the clutch. I think Rozsival will be dealt next offseason. While we might not have any natural right wingers to take a spot, someone could convert. I know LIsin can play the right side. And we do have quite a few left wingers.

    And I think Kotalik will be with Drury. I think he is going to have to be. It's going to be either Dubinsky or Anisimov with Gaborik, and I have a feeling Voros may have another hot start and get first line time… unfortunately. He has played with Gabs before.

    The Russian line I wouldn't mind would be Grachev Anisimov and Lisin. I really which Cherepanov was still with us. RIP

  30. ranger_fan says:

    Boston can at least move salary. And they have 5 million to Savard coming off the books next season. Who can NY move now? Henrik isnt going anywhere! So other than him???

    Philly is close but they have a heck of a team without a goalie. We have a heck of a goalie and no team. Chicago may be able to shed some of their salary if they need to. I think Chicago and NYR are the teams worst off right now.

  31. wheresthesoda says:

    On hockey's future, they say the Rangers safest pick was Ethan Werek. So he will probably be making an NHL team before Kreider.

    And this guy Stepan, is a hell of a prospect, but that team you have is what, 95% ranger picks, does not happen. These prospects are assets that you trade to unload wade redden in a couple years.

  32. trueblue says:

    No doubt…if Chreponov was still with us…woulg gaborik have been signed?
    Doubtful…but would Gomer have been dealt…hopefully….

  33. nordiques100 says:

    the flyers

    44 mil committed for 2010/11 for 13 players. i guess the cap goes down 2 mil to 54 mil.

    they have 10 mil to sign 10 players to fill out their 23 man roster.

    they'd have to re-sign brayden coburn which wont come cheap and dan carcillo.

    they'd need a number 1 goalie. emery only signed for this year only.

    carter and gagne are on their last years of their contract in 10/11 and they will live to regret the pronger contract as they do now with briere.

    the big issue of course is if pronger retires, the flyers are still hit with his 7 plus mil cap number. brutal.

  34. paulieplatypus says:

    What are you talking about?  How the Penguins rebuilt or shall I say how the corrupt Bettmen shadely rebuilt for your team for you, by giving Pittsburgh the top #1 picks in back to back years?  The problem the Rangers have, unlike the city of Pittsburgh, is that whether NY has a winning team or losing team they will never move away to Canada…  Just like the Penguins were about to do just before the lockout, until Bettmen interviened by rigging the draft for your team in order to save his job.  So your clearly not the best person to be giving advice on how a team should rebuild… Especailly when you don't give the name of even one single player the Rangers traded away or let go, that they should have made part of the core of the team. 

    Here is the link to the Rangers 2005-2006 final stats before the playoffs started.  Only Lundqvist and Rozsival still remain with the Blueshirts.  Who would you (if you were an NHL GM:)  have kept to be a part of the core of the Rangers team?


  35. paulieplatypus says:

    The Rangers signed Gaborik because they needed a #1 line player.  The Rangers dont need two players instead of Gaborik, because they dont have any line openings except for the #1 line.  For the Rangers to sign two players for $7.5 million instead of Gaborik would have been retarted for Sather to do!  The two players you would have signed instead of Gaborik if you were the GM… would quickly be passed in the depth chart by the young up and coming tallent soon to be on the team. 

    As for if Gaborik (or anyone else on the team) goes down with an injury??? The Rangers will just bring up the player who's playing best in the minors at that time to replace him and will be fine. Even if Gaborik is out for a long time, the Rangers would then have lots of $$$ cap room to go out and get even a $10 million player (who's soon to be a UFA) at the trade deadline.   

  36. ranger_fan says:

    Most of the prospects I mentioned have succeeded at the next level though. I have weeded out several prospects we drafted. Kreider is obviously the biggest wild card – but by then someone else may already have stepped up. Anisimov in my opinion is the next big question. He made not translate but I think the rest of the lineup will be legit.

    If I could resign more talent I would and not have the 95% Ranger picks, but we have cap issues that will hurt us trying to resign players like Higgins. Defense looks very strong for the future too!

  37. paulieplatypus says:

    Well, not every NHL team could be as good as your Leafs…  But really now, maybe your team should stop acting like doormat that enjoyes getting stepped on and rolled over by every single NHL team they play, before saying another team sucks?  Especially a team thats as good as the Rangers are.

  38. leafy says:

    Is the chant "Potvin sucks" or "Potvin's cups"? lol

  39. cam7777 says:

    Yea, for sure, the difference between the Rangers and the Bruins would definitely be that the Bruins are edging very close to a Cup.  Still, you say Savard coming off the books as if it's a good thing.  He's arguably their best player.  I can guarantee you Lucic and Kessel don't put up anywhere near their numbers without Savard on that line.  Moreover, even if he does come off the books, Lucic, Wheeler and Rask are all up for renewals as well.  Tough spot for Chiarelli.

    Like I said, Redden and Rozsival can be moved, because the Rangers can take on bad contracts and afford to bury them.  Send Redden to the Caps, and take back Theodore, Nylander and Pothier.  Dump Pothier and Theodore in the minors, and you've got a top line : Gaborik/Nylander/Kotalik
  40. trueblue says:

    To all the people that think Sather does a bad job i ask:

    How the hell does he trade Fahey straight up for Nigel Williams?  How?
    I remember the '06 draft and Williams was one of the best available defenseman in that draft…last year was his rookie season in the AHL and this hulking defenseman did well offensively and defensively and played physically as usual…

    So again i ask how did Sather pull this one off…dont be surprised to see Williams next season at some point… Now i dont feel so bad about losing Mara….not at all….how the hell did he do that one….i just cant get over it….first McDonaugh and now Williams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. wheresthesoda says:

    Don't get me wrong, I would personally love to see our club of being even just 60% ranger picks, it means the scouts and the draft guys are doing a helluva job.

    The D does look great for the youth, love how they picked up Mcdonagh and Valetenko. Also drafting the Russian D-man that was the KHL 1st overall pick there, if he comes over then it was well worth the 7th rounder.

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