We Can Dream Can't We" from the other day as it has gotten the most mixed reaction that I have gotten about a piece in a long time.
The best thing I liked about the reaction was that whether you agreed with the idea or not that you had your own dreams about the direction the Rangers should take.
It was pure fantasy of a piece and the error I made in it was giving off the perception that I never want to see a free agent or a trade made. That was my mistake which I will own as I should have found a way to say that it was not a piece against free agents or trades.
The hope was just to show how the Rangers could be built from within and not have to go after a big name free agent. I guess what I need to do is find a spot where I can put the motto "It is not how much your spend but how well you spend it."
Yes in order to build a cup winning team you are going to need to make some trades and you will need to sign a couple of free agents to make up for what you have not been able to develop from within.
Brad Richards I think I have made clear is a non-starter with me not because I dislike him as a player but he is the wrong player at the wrong time. If the Rangers had just come up short in the conference finals this year then I promise you that I would be the one leading the call for him to be signed.
But the team is not even close and no matter how hard you try to fit him in there are way too many reasons why he is wrong at this point in time. Let's go back to that dream piece and let us add some reality to it by adding Richards.
And the Rangers will keep Gaborik for Richards as well add another UFA in Jussi Jokinen to play on the left side. Anisimov is already gone as there is no place for him on the team if Richards, Stepan, Lindberg and who?
OK Are you going to give up on Dubinsky or Boyle? Dubinsky is not the biggest guy down the middle and you have Lindberg for the face offs. You want to move him to the left wing so now who are you dumping?
Hagelin is twice the skater as Dubinsky is and an even better defensive forward. You need someone like Wilson to take on the enforcer role or you will kill Brandon Prust in time.
Be realistic and if you want free agents then somebody loses out cause Chris Kreider is not going to be a 4th liner. You could have kept Dubinsky and not signed Jokinen as Dubinsky is part of your own core.
But what about Ryan Callahan does he stay and if so then who does not? Yes the guy who is such a Ranger fan favorite and first choice as the next Ranger captain.
Gaborik or Callahan or Thomas? If Thomas is the real deal and Gaborik has a new life with Richards then where do you have Callahan?
You are not going to carry him as a 3rd liner or 4th liner so can you accept losing him? That is the harsh realities of trying to build a team as sometimes the guys you like do not have a roster spot.
Dan Girardi I have already made a case for trading at this year's draft and as strangely the guy who has blocked all those shots was the only player nobody had a problem trading. Somebody has to go in order for McIlrath and Erixon if Del Zotto finds his game.
But you can put this in the bank that IF Del Zotto does not earn a new contract then no matter where the Rangers pick in the 1st round of the 2012 draft; it will be for his replacement.
Why you ask? Because Del Zotto was the reason why they drafted McIlrath in the first place so now they need a Del Zotto to make McIlrath worthwhile. If that just confused you then try being Gordie Clark and his staff trying to figure out who to pick on Friday.
Clark passed on Fowler because they had Del Zotto and never imagined that Del Zotto would have the season he did. As Clark will tell you even he has had his share of "BooBoos" (yes he really did say that to me).
The other part that people use and I can understand it is that Henrik Lundqvist is not getting any younger. Funny though but those trades that Neil Smith made after the 1994 cup was justified by saying "Messier is not getting younger"
Maybe rather than worrying about Henrik getting older that Benoit Allaire work his magic and cover the bases by developing a replacement just in case? They have 3 seasons before Lundqvist's contract runs out and even if it did here is another reason why you do not sign Richards.
Try this nightmare on with Henrik suffering the Mike Richter career ending injury next season. Marty Biron is a good backup and could handle the job for 6-8 weeks but could you see him as Lundqvist's replacement?
But the biggest question that has been asked is where did I trade Gaborik in my dream?
OK in the dream what happens is John Tortorella calls out Gaborik one time to many and Gaborik goes nuts and wants out. I will make it even better by saying that John Tortorella in his post game press conference after the Rangers are eliminated in the conference finals says Gaborik is why the Rangers lost.
Gaborik will waive his no-trade clause just get him away from Tortorella and Glen Sather does not like being shown up by a player. Sather might have taken Gaborik's side and fired Tortorella if Gaborik had not called the Rangers "the poorest run franchise in NHL history."
With a year remaining on his contract Sather has to find someone dumb enough (oops willing) to take on a 32 year old player with a 7.5 million cap hit while making sure Gaborik suffers and does not come back to haunt the Rangers.
Sather sends Gaborik to Calgary which if you have not looked at their franchise is teetering on becoming the 1998-99 New York Rangers. A team that aged as a whole overnight with next to nothing in their prospect pool.
Sather pulls off a Brashear Part Two where he takes on a bunch of expiring contracts and exiles them to CT. Hey it is my dream and I will trade you where I want to.
Thank you to all those who sent me their idea of what the Ranger roster looks like in their dream and they had a ton of imagination. Though I will not mention the person who had Glen Sather signing Sidney Crosby for the 2013-14 season.
There is no need to start that rumor up yet right?
(McIlrath courtesy of the Moose Jaw Warriors)
54 minutes ago