Friday, July 9, 2010

One Staying, One Coming, One Left and One Gone

One has to think that Marc Staal is a happy camper this weekend after seeing the contract that Dan Girardi signed on Friday with the Rangers. Girardi and the Rangers reached an agreement on a new four-year deal worth $13.3 million to avoid arbitration.

For Staal seeing that Girardi got the kind of money that Girardi wanted should strengthen his own cause to earn a contract along the lines of 4 million per season. Glen Sather is only fooling himself if he thinks that Staal does not have any leverage.

Staal is the Ranger's best overall defenseman as he is used in every situation and is still developing as a player. At just 23 and having not missed a game in his last 2 seasons; the Rangers have nobody anywhere who can replace their current number 1 defensemen.

Sorry Glen, forget the stats as if you think Girardi and Staal are similar players as they are not. Girardi is 3 years older and really has reached his potential as a player whereas Staal remains a player other teams still ask about.

At the same time one has to give Glen Sather credit for turning Aaron Voros and Ryan Hillier into a decent depth defensemen in Steve Eminger. Voros was waived by the Rangers at the end of June was viewed as on his way out of New York one way or another.

The other player in the deal forward Ryan Hillier had no future with the Rangers having not advanced from the ECHL after 2 seasons. Eminger is no game breaker but what he does give is a nice veteran depth presence in the lineup.

What he will not do is replace either Wade Redden or Michal Rozsival in the Ranger lineup but the one who does have to worry will be Matt Gilroy. Eminger can be used as a 2 way defender, is only 26 and makes 625,000 dollars less than Gilroy.

You can pray all you want to see Wade Redden disappear but for reasons that escape not only us but many think reality; Glen Sather still does not appear to see any reason to dump Wade Redden. The sad reality remains that the Rangers just do not have a decent enough replacement for either Redden or Rozsival.

Even worse is that Sather has to worry about sending an unhappy Wade Redden to Hartford where the possibility exists that his attitude could make the atmosphere down there very bad for the developing players. The Hartford coaching staff has a tough enough job trying to develop players that the last thing they need is a disgruntled exiled player who could poison the attitudes of players the Rangers are trying to develop.

As for saying good-bye to Aaron Voros; let us be honest it is no loss at all as Voros may be a popular guy in the locker room but he really did not offer much as a player. One also has to wonder if Voros helped seal his own fate when he posted some not so flattering pictures of Henrik Lundqvist via Twitter.

Having not seen the pictures myself I have no idea what they were just that it led to Voros apologizing and closing his Twitter account. As for Hillier, a 3rd round pick should do a whole lot better than the ECHL but Hillier did not advance and in this case one really can not blame the Rangers.

Hillier reportedly got himself on the bad side of Charlotte Checker's coaching staff and found himself exiled to Wheeling where he did not do much there either. Hillier had potential but something happened along the way that changed him and as easy as it is to blame the Rangers this is not one of those times.

So now the blueline depth chart looks like this:

Del Zotto/Rozsival

As soon as training camp starts expect McDonagh and/or Eminger to jump up past Redden and Gilroy. It will be really frustrating to watch the Rangers waste some serious cap space on Redden if at best he is a 3rd pair defender.

Start praying for a miracle now as that blueline is going to need one.

(Girardi courtesy of the New York Rangers)

1 comment:

Nat Loh said...

does Gilroy still get a year of waiver exemption?