In more bashing of the Rangers moves this offseason, Adam Proteau of The Hockey News mentions the Rangers
twice thrice in his Worst UFA Signings of 2009. Sure, Sather shelled out a ton of money this summer on Marian Gaborik (#2 on this list), who’s injuries are well documented and really seem to be the only argument everyone has against him. He gave questionable terms to Ales Kotalik (#4 on the list), but with Zherdev essentially gone, they needed to fill the void. Though, I do agree with Proteau on this one, and I have made it well known. He also gave two years to the 37 year old Donald Brashear (gets a dishonorable mention), ensuring that his $1.4 million cap hit will be there next year as well.
Just some notes about the contracts of Gaborik and Kotalik: They both signed at market value. I cannot stress market value enough. If you look at the contracts for comparable players, they all make that kind of money. And I’m talking about annual salary, not cap hit (or average annual salary). So omit the financial terms from your arguments for these two deals please. If you look at these two signings, each filled a void in the Rangers lineup. Gaborik filled the go-to game changer, and Kotalik is an attempt to fill the 2nd/3rd line RW spot that was vacated in the Nikolai Zherdev show.
Personally, I would swap Brashear and Kotalik on this list. If you look at the Brashear deal, he is making well above market value, is 37, and is signed for two years. Is the “Brashear-fear” worth the guaranteed $1.4 million cap hit? Maybe. But as of right now, I think he could have signed for less annually, and for one year.
Sather has done a fairly good job this year in managing the cap (so far) this offseason. Assuming Dubinsky signs for $1.75 million annually (high estimate), the Rangers will still have $1.2 million in cap room available, and that’s with a 13th forward (Voros in my scenario, could be Arnason though, which saves more cap room), and a 7th D (Potter/Sauer). Remember last year when the Rangers had no cap room and just one spare player?