Friday, June 24, 2011

Sometimes Your Best Moves

Can we get a huge round of applause for Glen Sather and his staff for their efforts on Thursday to improve the Rangers?

OK sarcasm aside if you ever needed an argument why to not spend yourself into a hole then look at the Philadelphia Flyers. If you ever needed a reason why to think long and hard about moves then look at those same Flyers.

See what happens when you get you butt that badly kicked in the playoffs like the Flyers did? No matter how you want to spin it but you took a team that is just one year removed from appearing in the Stanley Cup Finals and you hit the mother of all panic buttons.

Remember how many times we have said "It is not how much you spend but rather how well you spend it?" Thank you Flyers for giving us a perfect example of what happens when do not spend your money smartly.

The Flyers blew up their team by trading their captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings and then their leading goal scorer Jeff Carter to Columbus. Why did they do those moves besides being in a panic mode?

They had to clear salary cap space so they could give Ilya Bryzgalov a 9 year 51 million dollar contract to be their goalie. A 31 year old getting a 9 year deal that has a 5.67 million dollar cap hit for each of those 9 years.

If Glen Sather ever made a move like that then the Dolan family would be able to build a brand new Madison Square Garden because the Ranger fans would burn the current one down to the ground. Not sure which side is making the worse move the Flyers or Bryzgalov as while the deal is front loaded, both franchise and goalie better deliver.

Then there is Columbus who say they are losing fans and 25 million dollars a year. They gave the Flyers the 8th and 68th picks in this year's draft as well as Jacob Voracek to get Carter. The team fearing they were going to keep losing fans could not wait for Ryan Johansen to become Rick Nash's center.

They got a good one no question about it but they also got themselves into a 11 year 58 million dollar deal (5.3 million cap hit) that includes a full no-trade clause for 3 years starting in 2012-13 then a modified one for the rest of the contract.

Columbus who has only 1 playoff appearance in their existence decided they could no longer wait on young players because of the red ink. Maybe if the team had done a better job with all those lottery picks then they would not be where they are today.

Jeff Carter does not guarantee a playoff spot in the super competitive Western Conference but if this backfires on them then they will lose a lot more than 25 million a year. Back the moving truck up to the dock folks we are moving on out.

Los Angeles also decided they wanted to win now as they got themselves the Flyer captain and the 9 years remaining on his contract at a 5.75 cap hit. The Kings had best hope this works too because Richards has a "no movement" clause that kicks in next July 1.

And let this also be a lesson to the players who thought signing a decade long deal would mean they were safe and secure where they were. Richards himself acknowledges had he known he was going to be dealt never would have signed this contract in 2007.

And all of this because the Flyers could not figure out how to develop a goalie. The team that has had some great goalies in their history has stunk up the place for a very long time.

Since the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the Flyer have drafted a total of 9 goalies. If you thought the Rangers have been bad in the draft then look at the Flyer record when it comes to goalies.

Of those 9 drafted, Adam Morrison has not finished his junior career and Nicola Riopel split time between the AHL and ECHL last year. The other 7 who were drafted have a total of 2 NHL games on their resume since being drafted.

They did not sign Jacob De Serres who they selected in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft and if you watched the 2011 Memorial Cup final then you know who was the winning goalie. I am sure Ranger fans everywhere are now shedding tears for the Flyers (in between laughing at them).

And seriously in a year where the free agent market is looking very weak the Flyers first paid for the right to talk then went out and gave a 31 year old goalie a 9 year deal 51 million dollar deal.

The Flyers did it because they wanted to win now so they sent their captain and leading goal scorer packing. If you can explain how you can expect to be a better team after giving up 59 of your team's goals then please tell Paul Holmgren.

Even the general manager of the Flyers can not call his own team better after these 3 moves. The best he could muster was saying his team was "different."

Oh sure the Flyers got themselves 3 picks (8 49, and 68) in this year's draft as well as two good young players in Wayne Simmons and Jacob Vorachek. By the way both players are RFAs this year and the Flyers have barely 8 million left under the new cap space.

That 8 million has to be divided up among 4 players just to fill a 22 man roster so expect the Flyers to be dumping more salary. Heaven help this franchise if they are not a better team.

They are turning over the leadership of their team to a player who played less games (35) than Jeff Carter scored goals (36). When Gary Bettman tries to tell you why they had to lockout the players next year please remember these kinds of moves.

Giving Ilya Bryzgalov at age 31 a 9 year deal is as lame as it gets. Did anyone happen to see how well Bryzgalov did with Coyotes in the playoffs?

When hockey fans are paying for the lack of common sense by NHL teams with another lockout please circle these trades. And make real sure that if anyone even thinks about pointing a finger at the New York Rangers; that you take that finger and stick where the sun never shines.

Wow 2 days in a row this space is being used to defend Glen Sather so either I am suffering some horrible nightmare or the truth about who is really to blame about the NHL's problems is showing.

Anyone who wishes to give Brad Richards the kind of deal he is seeking has to see that the problem is not wanting a talent that Richards has. No it has always been and always will be how the money is being spent.

If you can get Brad Richards to sign a 3 year 18 million dollar deal then please let me give you a pen to use. It is not the dollar amount but rather how long these foolish and poorly thought out contracts are for.

3 years means that at 34 then the Rangers can see if Richard is still worth paying 6 million a year for. Give him a 6 year deal and you wind up looking like the Flyers in a big hole of their own making.

Before we go, once again the great folks over at the Blueshirt Banter has invited me to join them for a Post-Draft look at how the Rangers did. Join me with 2 of my favorite people Jim and the Mouth on Saturday evening at 7PM EDT/4PM PDT

See you are the draft.

(Panic button courtesy of Brando)

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