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Division Rivals Making Moves, Rangers Stand Pat

With juregnno already adding his insight on the recent developments in the Atlantic Division, it is now my turn.

There has been a flurry of activity leading up to the draft, especially in the Atlantic Conference. First, the Flyers acquired the rights to Dan Hamhuis from Nashville in exchange for Ryan Parent, helping shore up their defense. Ironically, Parent was originally a Nashville first round pick in 2005. Hamhuis is coming off the final year of a four year, $8 million deal a contract that paid him $2.5 million last season. Assuming the Flyers sign Hamhuis, and re-sign restricted free agent Brayden Coburn, the Flyers will have one of the best defensive units in the NHL next season with Hamhuis, Coburn, Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timmonen, and Matt Carle.

With Hamhuis on the roster, many are speculating that Jeff Carter could be on his way out via trade. However, the Flyers have $8 million in cap space this year with 17 players under contract. Assuming the Flyers spend smartly on Hamhuis ($3.5 million is a rough estimate of market value), and leverage their RFA negotiating rights on Coburn, it appears they will be able to get all players under contract without trading Carter. As for 2011-2012, the Flyers have $21 million in cap space with 11 players under contract. Carter and Claude Giroux are their main free agents to sign that year (excluding an aging Simon Gagne). Again, it appears they will be just fine with cap space, which is bad news for the Rangers.

Meanwhile, the Devils re-acquired Jason Arnott in exchange for Matt Halischuk and a 2011 second round pick. Arnott is in the final year of a five year, $22.5 million contract, that will pay him $4.5 million (with equal cap hit) next season. Arnott gives the Devils some more depth at center in an attempt to provide Zach Parise with some support for one of the NHL’s least potent offenses.

The Rangers have been standing pat thus far this offseason, which comes as no surprise, as most of Glen Sather’s moves tend to come at or after the draft. While some will surely have issues with Sather standing pat as division rivals get stronger, personally, I have no problem with it. The Rangers are not a few moves away from contending for a Cup, like the Devils and Flyers. The Rangers need a few years to let prospects develop and to let contracts expire. Patience is the key here.

Salary cap information provided by CapGeek.

6 Responses to “Division Rivals Making Moves, Rangers Stand Pat”

  1. Mikeyyyyy says:

    Bravo. Patience is the key here. Let’s also consider that Hockey’s Future ranks the Debbies and Flyers 26th and 28th, respectively in terms of their prospects.

    In actuality the moves by Philly hurt them because they actually have some prospects on the defensive front that will languish in the minors because of their depth at defense.

    The Devils on the other hand are pulling a Neil Smith in bringing back Arnott, this guy is on his way out and didn’t play but 63 games last season because of injuries.

    While on paper it looks good, these are desperation moves by both teams to try to make the playoffs instead of building within.

    Note to Glen, stay the course, stick to the plan, they will pay dividends in 2 years for the next 10 years.

    • Mikeyyyyy says:

      Sorry forgot to mention beacuse the debbies and flyers are ranked so low in prospects they don’t have the resources within to staff their needs…hence the trades. The Rangers are in a different boat completely. If they are looking for D they should have called to ask about Redden or Rosi….lol.

  2. Dave says:

    We are also going to see more trades this year because the free agent market is rather slim, so teams are going to look elsewhere to address needs.

    The question remains though, what position is considered a strength for the Rangers that fans wouldn’t mind dealing from to address a weakness?

    • brian says:

      we have no strength.
      You actually think Hamhuis will come that cheap? then we definetly are not finding any takers for Rozy, a worse player, older, and more money

      • jurgenno88 says:

        i agree that Hamhuis wont come cheap. If he could be had at 3.5 i think Nashville may have tried to keep him. I see him getting 4.5m long term.

        • Dave says:

          Nashville has an owner imposed cap that is around the cap floor, so they couldn’t keep him regardless.