Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And your savior is ???????????

Such a nice Jewish boy (Blueshirts United)
Day one of the Shane Doan sweepstakes and the New York Rangers went out and signed Jeff Halpern, a 36-year-old center who played for the Washington Cpitals last season. A one-year deal for 700K that really isn't as bad a deal as some might think.

Yes, I understand Jeff Halpern is not what anybody was expecting and even I have acknowledge that Glen Sather going this long without making a key move is a puzzler..

But I for one am not going to lose any sleep over signing Jeff Halpern and nor should you. Halpern is going to be a nice depth player, a complementary player and perhaps even a mentor for some of the younger players.

The Rangers didn't sign Halpern to set up any kind of trade for Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan. They didn't sign him to be a major player on the team and he's certainly not going to replace Marion Gaborik while Gaborik is out injured.

Halpern is a good face-off guy and it never hurts to have somebody who can actually win face-offs on the Rangers. The Rangers really do need somebody who can consistently win face-offs especially those late game defensive zone face-offs.

It's not like Jeff Halpern is coming to the Rangers, to play some kind of major role, but there is a lot he does offer to the Rangers at a very cheap price. If Halpern can match his 58% win rate on face-offs then that means Brad Richards can be rested a little bit more especially on defense.

And maybe adding Jeff Halpern will light a fire under Brian Boyle who is supposed to be the Rangers checking center. Forgive me but I expect the guy who is supposed to be the checking center and first unit penalty kill center to win more than 51% of his face-offs.

Jeff Halpern can also pay dividends elsewhere as he could be a good mentor for Oscar Lindberg as he adapts to North American hockey. It never hurts to have a specialist teaching young players an important skill like face-offs.

$700,000 on a role player is a good price and as time goes on. If Lindberg develops then waiving Halpern to make room for Lindberg is pocket change.

But if you want to insist upon playing conspiracy theorist as to why the Rangers signed Jeff Halpern, then sure I can come up with a few decent conspiracy reasons why the Rangers had to sign Halpern.

Number one was that the Rangers needed a nice Jewish boy on their team. For far too long, the Rangers did not have a role model for the Jewish hockey players in the New York area.

Jeff Halpern addresses that very key need as the last time the Rangers had a Jewish player was Mathieu Schneider during the 1999-2000 season. 12 seasons is way too long for the Rangers to not have a Jewish player in the lineup.

If that doesn't work, then there's always the fact that while other Rangers were dating beautiful women; Halpern married a former Washington Redskins cheerleader. Hopefully this will encourage other Ranger players to stop dating these beautiful women and marry them.

Enough of this "Sean Avery love them and leave them" mentality among Ranger players, they need a role model to encourage more marriage (oh boy are the politically correct police gonna freak out on me).

Jeff Halpern is actually a double secret agent sent by Alex Ovechkin to spy on the Rangers and report back to him how he can finally play better against Henrik Lundqvist. Washington will stop at nothing to find a way to defeat the New York Rangers.

The Rangers are going to use Jeff Halpern to lure Shane Doan into signing with them. Jeff Halpern's presence on the Rangers will ensure that Doan will not be the oldest guy on the team.

And then there's my favorite, which is Glen Sather plans on signing 15 guys all making under $1 million a year in salary and then offer all 15 and Wade Redden to Columbus for Rick Nash. How could Scott Howson say no to 16 players in return for just one of his?

I'm telling you this is how the Rangers can get Rick Nash without coming close to touching any of their core players. It has to work because Gary Bettman approved this trade.

Yes, Virginia there is a screw loose upstairs.

Forgive the sarcasm and weak attempt at humor here but my wife and I are in the middle of the "house sale from hell" so my stress level is about 100 times what it should be.

Hopefully in a couple months I will sit back and have a great laugh about how stupid this whole experience has been. So forgive me if I don't think signing Jeff Halpern is the end of the world as we know it.

Selling a house in the middle of a recession sure feels like the end of the world.

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