Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Options Does Anyone Have Any Options
If you are even thinking that the Rangers need to move Girardi then understand this; get rid of Girardi and the chances of getting rid of either Redden or Rozsival almost totally disappear. As it is the truth is that of the 2 Girardi by filing for arbitration is actually the easier of the 2 restricted free agents to sign.
Either the Rangers work out a deal, win or lose arbitration or let him walk as an unrestricted free agent but Marc Staal one has to fear might wind up becoming a huge battle for the Rangers. If you think the contract problems with Brandon Dubinsky last season then boy wait until you see the case for Marc Staal.
Unlike Dubinsky who people felt had not really proven himself at the NHL; Staal has more than proven himself. If anyone on the Rangers has been grossly underpaid the last couple of years it has been Staal.
Staal has lived with his original Entry Level contract and never complained just went out and did his job. He has watched just about every other defenseman who has joined the Rangers get paid more than he has.
Even Matt Gilroy who wound up finishing the season in the press box made close to twice what Staal made so if I am Marc Staal then I want the money. Staal is the Rangers best defenseman right now and a long dragged out contract dispute will hurt the Rangers more than it will Staal.
The Rangers as it is are not exactly full of solid options for the blueline next season even with Marc Staal in the lineup. As badly as fans want to see Redden and/or Rozsival gone there is nothing in the system to replace them.
Right now you can see Staal/Girardi, Redden/Rozsival, Del Zotto/Gilroy/McDonagh and then you are in some trouble. Gilroy or McDonagh wind up in Hartford with most likely it being Gilory for cap purposes as Sather has not been carrying 7 defensemen unless he had no other choice.
To be honest as an NHL player; Gilroy might be better served as a forward than he is a defenseman. But what is scary is that the options the Rangers have in Hartford are not as wide open as you might think despite the 15 names you see listed (McDonagh basically has a Ranger roster spot by default).
Right off the bat scratch the names of Baranka, Williams, Heikkinen, and Gorokhov as even wearing a Hartford uniform next season. None of those 4 even want any part of the Ranger's organization anymore and will not be back.
Daniel Maggio and Dylan McIlrath are headed back to their junior teams as neither are either ready or eligible to play in Hartford. Jyri Niemi can play in Hartford but would be better served by returning to his junior team to work on his consistency.
Mikhail Pashnin has another 1-2 (or more) years left on his contract in the KHL which knocks his name off the list so what does that leave? Tysen Dowzak has not gotten the wake up call to understand what he needs to do in order to be a professional hockey player.
That leaves 6 names left on a list not including those who are on AHL contracts only and are not considered as Ranger prospects. Michael Sauer could wind up being the only member of the Hartford Wolfpack blueline who returns next season.
Sam Klassen and Tomas Kundratek are pure rookies having spent last season in the WHL. Lee Baldwin is joining the system from Alaska-Anchorage and Pavel Valentenko says he is returning to North America after having HIS contract bought out by his KHL team.
Of all the names listed only Sauer has every played with the Rangers but the poor guy cannot stay healthy enough to really develop. Valentenko has had cups of coffee with the Montreal Canadians but he is joining the Rangers with a bad rep after his refusal to report to Hamilton while last with the Canadians.
Now Valentenko really does not have anywhere to run if the Rangers say he has to report to Hartford. Still that leaves what once was a pretty decent bunch of defensive prospects almost empty so if I am Marc Staal; I can afford to sit out if need be.
If anything right now not even Wade Redden really has much to worry about as the Rangers simply do not have either the money or the prospects to replace him with. It looks rather ugly as the moment and it could get a lot worse before it gets any better.
(McDonagh courtesy of Melody Hasse)