Larry Brooks writes today in the New York Post that Rangers winger Markus Naslund has told his teammates that he will retire, a move that definitely helps the Rangers salary cap situation. The 35-year-old forward from Sweden was set to make $3 million next season, with just one year left on his contract. Once considered the best two-way player in the game, Naslund has steadily declined over the last 5 years, registering a mere 46 points this season. The move saves the Rangers from a buyout that would have likely occurred, seeing that Naslund didn’t fit into John Tortorella’s plan.
Even though he only played one season for the Rangers, I came to respect Naslund for the effort and class he put forth this season. His 24 goals were exactly what you expected from him at this point in his career. It was foolish to believe that he would step in for the departed Jaromir Jagr and as the season dragged on, so did Naslund. Rather than draw out his career at a relatively ineffective level of play, the winger saw best to skate off at this point.