I can play general manager just like the rest of you and I'm thinking that there a lot of options sitting out there for Glen Sather and some of them aren't going to cost an arm and a leg. From where I sit, Glen Sather needs to think not only about next season but he's got a look to maybe two years down the road as well.
Sure Sather has to find someone while Gaborik recovers from his shoulder surgery but what he doesn't want to do is add a huge contract not knowing where the next NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement will put the salary cap.
There's a player sitting on Long Island, who has played under John Tortorella before so why not bring him back? I'm talking about PA Parenteau who has averaged 19 goals a season for the last two seasons and his 67 points would have made him the 2nd-leading scorer on the Rangers last season.
Yes, this is my number 1 target on July 1, because he's comes at a very reasonable price. If one of the kids develops sooner than expected, then that reasonable price will make him more attractive to other teams.
Take a peek at this list of unrestricted free agent forwards from CapGeek and honestly tell me who out there you would want to sign? Sure Jiri Hudler would be nice but when was the last time the Detroit Red Wings lost one of their top players to free agency?
I see a gap coming of two years where other than Chris Kreider, the high-end Ranger forward prospects won't be NHL ready. So why not consider a PA Parenteau, who made all of 1.25 million dollars last year for 2-3 seasons?
Not to mention that of the top forward prospects that are expected to become unrestricted free agents, PA Parenteau is only 29 and other than Zack Parise and Jiri Hudler, the rest of the top forward free agents are 30 or older.
That's really a scary looking list especially when you got to remember the rule regarding players over 35 and their contracts. The Rangers do not want to be caught like they did with Brendan Shanahan who turned into a senior citizen during his second season.
A 2-3 year contract at 3 million per year is not a bad mid-range price for somebody who will be 32 when the contract is over. By then you can expect a Christian Thomas or a Michael St. Croix to be ready for the NHL.
And to put it bluntly PA Parenteau was a much better bargain than Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov or Brian Boyle were for the Rangers last year. The thought process here is rather than spend all the way to the salary-cap maximum that the Rangers think mid-range and save some money to see where the salary-cap really will be once the NHL and NHLPA settle the collective bargaining agreement.
And maybe the biggest mistake being made is simply looking for one player to make up all of Gaborik's missing goals and then some. The Rangers needed offense before Gaborik's shoulder needed surgery, so that's 41+ goals that need to be found.
If you get 19 out of PA Parenteau then you're already halfway there. I don't think it's unrealistic to expect Chris Kreider to chip in no less than 15 goals after scoring 5 in 18 playoff games.
Hagelin in his 2nd season should add more goals as should Derek Stepan and even Brad Richards can be looked at for a few more goals. Part of the reason the Rangers had offensive woes was because Dubinsky (-14) and Brian Boyle (-10) did not score like they did the season before.
That's 24 missing goals and you get that back then you should be in better shape offensively.
Another option to consider is target teams that are salary cap conscious and are facing difficult decisions in the next year or two. A team like Anaheim which over the next two seasons is going to be hit really hard with several key players eligible for unrestricted free agency.
Anaheim also looks like they don't know whether they want to rebuild, retool or simply stick their head in the sand. With the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup; the Ducks can't afford a string of missed playoff appearances.
Everybody says Bobby Ryan, but if I am Anaheim then he's the last guy I want to trade because I've got him covered at a good cap number for the next few years.
Can Anaheim afford to re-sign both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry? Getzlaf actually makes 6.1 mill while Perry will come in under his cap hit. In 2013-2014, you're looking at 5 of their core players becoming unrestricted free agents.
For years, I always advocated keeping the first-round draft pick but when you're sitting at 28 in the first-round then it becomes a reasonable option to consider trading the pick. It is not like you are going to get a franchise player here (you could but odds are against you)
If you're thinking of seriously challenging for the Stanley Cup in the 2012-2013 season and you are not wanting to move a top prospect then consider it as an option.
Give me a choice of keeping a Dylan McIlrath or a Tim Erixon versus the 28th pick, then it's a no-brainer to me. I use that as part of a trade package and see what I can get.
Put together a package of Dubinsky, the 28th pick and perhaps say Christian Thomas and let's see what happens. It sure sounds better than going after a Rick Nash with his salary cap hit.
Call it a gut feeling but I just can't see Rick Nash going from Columbus where nobody ever says a harsh word to New York City where somebody will rip Nash for picking his nose in public.
To steal a line from Gordie Clark, "the possibilities are endless" and to me that says rather than make one giant move, make a few mid-range where you still leave yourself enough wiggle room to add more players say at the trading deadline.
When word spread that I said not a chance of the Rangers picking Stefan Matteau, you would've thought that I was committing a capital crime.
First off all emotions aside, it was his father who scored that goal 18 years ago. It doesn't mean that the Rangers should draft his son because honestly you draft the son based on his own merits.
I see a player who just does not fit with what the Rangers are trying to do as I see a player who, like most young players today has skating issues. No biggie there.
But only 18 games this past season in the USHL is a red flag especially when part of the reason why was because Matteau was suspended on several occasions. I don't think young Matteau shows a responsible self-discipline in order to be worth a first-round pick.
I also think he made a mistake backing out of attending North Dakota in order to play in the QMJHL. He's joining the same team where his father is an assistant coach and most legacy players go out of their way not to play on the same team when their father is.
They do it in order to develop their own identity, that's strike two for me.
Finally no disrespecting his father but he was a third line player for most of his career and it's kind of sad that so many people are rating him so high because of what his father did. That's not fair to the kid and not a valid enough reason to pick him in the first round.
Sorry people strike 3 and he is out.