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Scouting Forsberg

Peter Forsberg is making another attempted return to the NHL, and Larry Brooks has the exclusive that the Rangers are one of several teams scouting the 36 year old center:

“Yes, we have interest in Forsberg,” GM Glen Sather said. “From the reports we’ve been getting, the foot is much better than it was a year ago.

According to Brooks, the Forsberg signing would fill a gaping hole at center:

The Rangers….have scored five goals while losing three of their last four in regulation, are in desperate need of a playmaking center, of that there is no question.

This is a bit of a stretch. The Rangers aren’t in need of a playmaking center. They are in need of their current highest paid center to start producing. They are in need of some wingers to start producing the way everyone thought they would. They don’t need new players, they need these players to produce like they are expected to.

But I digress. I thought we were talking about Forsberg?

Right, so let’s say the Rangers are really serious about acquiring Forsberg. The main problem here is the salary cap. The Rangers have enough acquisition room to absorb $830,000 in full-season salary (the actual hit will be prorated, but the full season equivalent of $830,000 is what can be fit under the cap). Think Forsberg comes to NY for that? I doubt it. Plus, there will be a multitude of other teams that can and will offer him $1 million prorated. Among those teams:

…Flyers, Caps, Canadiens and Avalanche as well.

Now there’s an interesting issue. We can rule out the Flyers, they have less cap room than the Rangers. Same goes for the Caps and Habs (Habs have Markov on LTIR right now, so when he comes back, they lose the cushion). The Avs, though, were expected to be in a rebuild year. They have over $5 million in cap space. And if I remember correctly, didn’t Forsberg win a few Cups with the Avs? (insert sarcasm here) Seems like a good fit to me, assuming they don’t implode.

Back to the Rangers, the point is that any signings the Ranges make will be insignificant deals, such as a seventh defenseman. The only way a significant deal can be made is if the Rangers find a way to clear one of their major contracts (see: Rozsival, Michal; Drury, Chris; Redden, Wade). In short, it ain’t happenin’.

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