Time to be bold?

June 5, 2012, by

This summer the Rangers can afford to be aggressive. They can risk a swing-and-miss mistake this offseason as they search to go one round further next year than this time around. There’s one caveat however (isn’t there always?) and that’s the pending CBA fallout.

The Rangers are not far from being a Cup team. The core is there, the youth is plentiful and in place, while the experience of the playoffs and the associated heartbreak of failure (an apparent prerequisite for future success) has been acquired. The organisation has depth at its disposal in almost every regard and if the cap doesn’t come down when the dust settles, then there is money to spend, as Larry Brooks discussed recently. This is where Glen Sather and the decision makers have the opportunity to be aggressive as they look to build.

The Rangers will pursue scoring this summer. Apparently, they will look at Justin Schultz to add talent to the back end and they may even sniff around Ryan Suter. Sather can afford to take on a financial risk because of the available cap space, depth, and youth on the roster. He can afford to be the highest bidder in any potential Parise sweepstakes or acquire an inconvenient contract if it means more scoring.

When you consider this year’s progression and the likelihood of Sather upgrading the roster, the Rangers are poised to have a relatively rare opportunity to go hard at a Cup next season . It’s the right time for Sather to go after the Cup. The club has been built the right way for the best part of a decade and have arrived at an opportunity that unlike the dark late nineties era, perhaps demands money to be spent.

Is bold best? The Rangers current situation is an instance where it possibly is. Gary Bettman has his parity stricken league where clubs like the financially insecure Coyotes can enjoy success and where the Kings can limp into the post season only to tear it up once they arrive there. With a hard cap in place careful decisions need to be made while a club builds in the hope of competing for the Stanley Cup.

If Sather thinks he can add a *gasp* PAIR of studs like Suter and Parise (unthinkable?) then maybe he should try and do it. He’s a master of trades, so it’s not unthinkable that he can make room for two. That kind of aggressive spending spree would make the Rangers a monster to deal with next year and a sure fire Cup favourite. When you have gone down the route the Rangers have over the past decade you can afford to make a move and deal with the outcomes later. This era and the 1997-2003 era aren’t even comparable.

Let’s just say Parise or Suter don’t pan out. You think they would be unmoveable? Or the Rangers wouldn’t have assets elsewhere (and veteran savvy Sather) to get out of a cap pickle? Please note: Scott Gomez and Wade Redden. The Devils beat the Rangers in part because of their higher end skill. Now is no time for resting on laurels or for pats on backs for a job well done. Now is likely a time for aggressive means.  When I say “aggressive,” I do not mean at the cost of the entire franchise future, but through calculated risk and proactive means. The Rangers have earned the right to be bold and a Stanley Cup could be the reward.


  1. Walt says:

    Agree with the need to be agressive, and there are options available to us for some good moves.

    Schultz should be the first targeted player, and if signed, then play havoc on the rest of the NHL, because with the monies we will have for FA, we could go after a Parise, and this will correct two needs.

    This truely is an exciting time for us Ranger fans, and in Glen we trust. I can’t believe I said that, because for years I wanted Sather sent to Siberia, but the man has changed, for the better.

    Today I’ll be going to the home country, Italy for 15 days, will miss the posts more than anything else. I hope upon my return that Sather made all the right moves, and then I can watch the draft, to fill in any other future needs. See one and all in two weeks, post on, it’s great!!!!

    • Chris says:

      Walt, I live in the UK, absolutely no excuse to miss the posts!

    • VinceR says:

      Have a great trip, Walt! And eat just enough that you manage to squeeze into the seat for the flight back!

  2. Zen says:

    I am all in on Parise. Give him a Richards deal if needed. BUT I an not sure Suter is the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, he is quite a stud on the blueline, but if the Rangers spend big money there, it HAS to be on an offensive guy who can improve the PP. We already have three incredibly strong defensive-oriented guys back there, so to me getting Suter would almost redundant and a poor use of cap room for the Rangers. In reality, we desperately need a guy in the mold of Shea Weber. That is why I believe Sather will target Parise and Schultz to start free agency. He will also keep VERY close tabs on Weber’s situation in Nashville as an RFA. My belief is that Sather would trade kids to get a player like that.

    • The Suit says:

      Agreed. Suter is a pass first type guy. He’s not the PP bomber we need.

      • TommyT says:

        One of the Biggest question marks is what is the Value of Weber, being an RFA an offer sheet would be a very high price for him. A trade on the other hand is a good chance to take him away from Nash, but at what cost. You have to imagine something along the lines of a solid D, young prospect, picks and Dubi for the cap space needed to resign weber.

        • The Suit says:

          Nashville is likely losing Suter to free agency, no chance they will risk losing Weber too, not with where their franchise is. Pipe dream.

      • Chris says:

        Suter may be a pass first guy but he’s so good both ends he’d easily get 40-50 points as a Ranger.

        46 points as a Pred this year on a v defensive club suggest he’d massivelu upgrade the pop from the back end. 4 years now he’s averaged 40+ points on that club.

      • Chris says:

        Suter may be a pass first guy but he’s so good both ends he’d easily get 40-50 points as a Ranger.

        46 points as a Pred this year on a v defensive club suggest he’d massively upgrade the pop from the back end. 4 years now he’s averaged 40+ points on that club.

        • TommyT says:

          Suit, what if we made an offer sheet that they could not match. I know that a huge risk and Nash will match it no matter what, unless they sign Suter b4 free agency

          • The Suit says:

            Nashville will keep Weber over Suter. His ability to put the puck on net and score from the blueline is invaluable, especially when you consider he’s also defensively sound.

            Pass first guys like Suter are more easily replaced. In fact, they likely have his replacement waiting in the wings with Ryan Ellis.

            Weber is the face of their franchise, an RFA, and actually wants to be there. Suter will chase UFA money and will end up with the highest bidder (possibly Detroit).

            • Sioux-per-man says:

              Garrison has a bomb of a shot from Florida, isn’t he a UFA?

              • Justin says:

                Yes he is, but unfortunately it looks like he is in line for a Mark Streit type payday (4yrs/4m per), which is a little too much for my taste when he only has one productive year under his belt.

                He’s only 27 and may have been a late bloomer, but it’s still quite a gamble…

              • The Suit says:

                Agreed. I think he’s another McCabe. Great shot, but not much else. I can’t wait to see which team is fooled by this guy and offers him a boatload of money.

              • Dave says:

                I don’t know about that. I’m inclined to disagree with both of you, based mostly on his metrics.

                BTN is blocked at work for me, but if I remember correctly his advanced defensive metrics weren’t terrible.

                GVT – 12.1 (6.3/5.7 splits for O/D).

  3. Dave says:

    I’m going to disagree with you on this Chris. Yes, they have the room to be aggressive, but they also have the CBA fallout and some key RFAs next year (Stepan, Hagelin, McDonagh). Need to plan for next year and this year.

    • Chris says:

      Dave, there’s plenty of space to play around with next year too so the results of any action this year can be braced by removing the 1.667m Drury cap hit, you also then only have one more year after next of Rupp and Boyle, which particularly in the case of Rupp may mean a buy out if needs be.

      There’s plenty of flexibility. And besides, Hagelin and Stepan won’t get significant money yet. Of the young core only McDonagh is in line for decent money – assuming he pens a longer type deal.

      Sather needs to go for it and bring a cup home. There’s a great chance with a bit of clever shopping

  4. Comnsnse says:

    For perhaps the 10th. time on this blog site,I ask the same questions. What depth? Aside from a few forwards this is a roster of third and fourth forwards. Prospect depth? Miller replicates by reputation our existing centers sans the overpaid Richards. Thomas is a smallish speedy wing who may help but does not satisfy the need for a much needed power forward. Which is also why I would not go for Parise. The D solid as technique D’d needs a big aggressive hitter wirh a mean streak. As for the Sather “the master trader” comment.nonsense! His best deal was made for a salary dump to sign Gaby with Higgins who he thought would score 25gls. a year,mistake! McDonagh was the throwin in the deal because Montreal wasn’t happy with his early development,and Gainey was out to lunch. Sather may be a “master”,use your imagination! This post seems like a direct hit from the MSG PR suits!

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      Comnsnse makes some sense don’t sign Parise. To small,will have to overpay him like BR and he’s not a stud period. Sign JSchultz.Loving JT,DylanMc development year or 2away.Don’t sleep on Oscar Linbergs bottom 6speed and skill.Bigger,faster,younger and a higher skill level it’s coming.

    • Chris says:

      Comnsnse… I sigh.

      Do you know through personal involvement that McDonagh was a throw in? You were in the offices or in on the conference call when the deal was made?

      …And assuming Sather did think Higgins was going to be a 20 goal scorer. Look at his career prior, there was evidence to suggest he’d be just that in NY.

      …And yes, Brad Richards is overpaid, 99% of the NHL free agents are but what is your point? He’s producing and had a good first year as a Ranger. Although I’m sure you see his playoff production and an Eastern Conference final appearance as a poor year as well… but of course there is no depth or prospect potential in this organisation hence they ‘only’ managed to get to the final four of the entire league……….

    • Spozo says:

      you asked that question 10 times and got 10 responses. Then you disappear until another story is written and repost your same argument. This is getting really old really quick.

      • The Suit says:

        It is indeed getting old. Antagonizing our readers & writers is a tired tactic and we’re not interested in having these type of people be apart of this community. Thank you Spozo for pointing this out.

        • Mikeyyy says:

          If you ignore them maybe they will go away.

          • The Suit says:

            We tried that as well. Then he accused us of avoiding him and not stepping up to challenge his ridiculous opinions, which left us with one simple solution.

            Michael Kay: C ya!

  5. Leatherneckinlv says:

    This is not the free agent pool to make a splash in. Justin Schultz is the prize for the Rangers and a solid 4th line player to make Rupp a platoon player and that player I would like to see is Guastaad. The scoring should be looked at internally with Thomas. We drafted him and it is time to see what he has.
    The splash in FA needs to be made in 2013 and even then it should not be a massive but 1 good quality player in Perry or Getzlaf,and me favoring Getzlaf. Miller, McIlrath, St Croix, Fogerty, Yogan, Talbot and Erixon should be ready to give the Rangers options.
    Biggest key for this year is the signing of Schultz and adding Scissions, Thrower, Wilson, Samuelsoonn or Matteau in the first round and a good solid 2nd round pick.
    In my opinion the push as suggested in this blog is still one year to early. Patience for one more year is a sound strategy. The current team has the ability to make another major push for the Cup

    • Kevin Baumer says:

      Leather: I think Thomas will need at least a full AHL season before knocking on the NHL door. Didn’t appear close to ready last fall and a rocky season did little to expedite his progress. I wouldn’t count on him making a major impact anytime soon.
      Will have a post coming on the ’13 free agent class later this week or early next!

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        I agree with you Kevin, my hope is that Thomas also realizes his predicament and works his butt off in the off season to improve his status. The potential is there for him to come in and make an impact like How Hagelin did this year.
        I also truly believe Dubinsky will have a much better year which will help. I also think Erixon, McDonagh and Girardi will put up more points than last year and the continued growth of Stepan will be a factor. My only concern is the development of Anisimov and if he can get it together then the Team as a collective will have a better Year.

    • Ray says:

      I think that the Connecticut lineup in the playoffs gives us good information. Thomas started, but actually got benched in one game to make room for Scott Tanski. McIlraith didn’t get into the lineup until Bell got hurt. Long run, this means little, especially in McIlraith’s case. Short run, I don’t see Thomas and McIlraith in Ranger uniforms in the fall.

  6. Rickyrants13 says:

    Thomas is not gonna make this team When you allready have Haggs and Stepan on it. The Rangers need to get bigger. And Thomas will more then likely be used to get that way.

    • Leatherneckinlv says:

      That is where Gaustaad will come into play. Trust me I am with you on tough team concept. I prefer a physical team over a bunch of skaters myself. However we still need to put pucks in the net