We’ve already covered some of the more intriguing players that will be available via free agency, but it doesn’t appear likely that the big-ticket guys like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter will end up in New York. The 2012 free agent class is extremely thin, but at the draft last weekend GM Glen Sather confidently stated the team would still be “fairly aggressive” in free agency. So who else could the organization pursue on July 1st?
Yesterday we looked at the forwards; today we’ll examine the defensemen.
The Offensive Defensemen
Jason Garrison – Earned himself a huge payday with a surprise season. Rocket of a shot could appeal to the Rangers. Is this what Sather means when he says he’ll be “aggressive” in free agency?
Matt Carle – In line for an unreasonably large payday, unlikely the Rangers will be interested.
Joe Corvo – On again, off again offensively. Can be a liability defensively. Not a good fit.
Sheldon Souray – Turned down a one-year, $3 million offer from the Stars already. Rangers have been interested in the past, might be again, but money and durability are concerns.
Sami Salo – Has a bomb of a point shot, something the Rangers would like to add, so there could be a potential fit. Has trouble staying healthy though.
The Stay-At-Home Guys
Greg Zanon – Still a pretty steady blueliner, but puck skills probably not up to John Tortorella’s liking.
Pavel Kubina – 35-years-old and not nearly as effective as he once was. Devils exploited him in the playoffs.
Jaroslav Spacek – Journeyman now 38-years-old, hard to imagine him on Broadway.
Bryce Salvador – Coming off a shocking playoff season that may have doubled his value. Can clearly still play, but will also want to be paid.
Hal Gill – Hulking D-man, but can’t really skate and contributes nothing offensively. Hard to imagine him in blue.
Adrian Aucoin – Production and health declining, will be 39-years-old on July 3rd.
The Decent Suggestions
Cory Sarich – Fell out of favor in Calgary but still a physical D-man at 6-4, 207 lbs.
Bryan Allen – Rangers have been interested before. He’s not flashy, but stands 6-5, 226 lbs and blocks a lot of shots.
Carlo Colaiacovo – Will forever be known as “the guy the Rangers wanted for Brian Leetch” (they settled for Max Kondratiev). Played 19 minutes a game for the league’s staunchest defensive club in St. Louis.
Chris Campoli – New York had interest last fall but eventually lost a bidding war. May be an option as a depth D-man again.
Brett Clark – Second in the league in blocked shots and can move the puck a bit, seems like a logical fit for the Blueshirts.
It’s important to remember that the Rangers are only looking for one or two depth defensemen this summer. Getting Suter or Garrison would be nice, but it would also be a poor allocation of resources, especially considering the young defensemen currently logging big minutes and the others well on their way.