Musings on free agency eveJuly 4, 2013, by
Welcome to the musings. It’s the day before free agency and on many occasions it has felt like Christmas Eve to Rangers fans – the day before the presents arrive. This year is likely to be different as the Rangers are set to be more cautious with the little money they have to spend. Or are they?
Scott Arniel seems like a logical choice as assistant coach. He has run his own bench before, has been in charge of multiple Rangers before and will help Alain Vigneault’s transition to New York because of his familiarity with the ex Blue Jackets. You have to assume Arniel is motivated to prove he’s worthy of another shot as a HC too.
Even if it wasn’t the ex-Ranger many hoped for, Ulf Samuelsson is a nice addition to the coaching staff. The Rangers need to be more physically imposing next year and if Samuelsson can get his style as a player across to the Rangers now he’s a coach it could be a smart move.
Scanning the scrap heap:
With the Rangers unlikely to be major buyers July 5th, there are several players who are no longer wanted by their current teams and are either on waivers or due to be bought out. Amongst those on waivers in the last 24 hours are the following guys who could be of interest to the Rangers in some capacity.
Tom Gilbert. The Minnesota Wild blueliner was highly thought of early in his career but a move to the Wild didn’t help reinvigorate his career. Unlikely able to demand much dollar or term, Gilbert offers a bit of everything on the blueline and as a 5th or 6th defenseman would offer excellent depth – if he doesn’t get greedy.
Sergei Kostitsyn. With John Tortorella out of town, maybe players with ‘character issues’ or known as one dimensional players could get more slack. In Kostitsyn the skill set is obvious but he’s always outstayed his welcome in the NHL. For teams needing more offense he could appeal. The question is whether the Rangers – as Sather out it – want to leave room for the kids to compete.
Jeff Schultz. Its widely documented the Rangers want to get bigger and nastier on the blueline so interest in Schultz wouldn’t be a shock. With Schultz due to be bought out by the Capitals, Schultz won’t cost a lot but his lack of mobility could be an issue.
Beat writer Andrew Gross had this comment to make from prospect camp:
McIlrath drove Jean hard into the boards, knocking him down head first…..then; McIlrath gave him a stick whack and drove him into the boards again…
Mcllrath’s skill set is exactly what the Rangers need on the back end. McIlrath brings a physical presence, massive size and nastiness. When Glen Sather referred to making sure that the club didn’t want to block anyone who was ready to play I wonder if he was referring to McIlrath as a candidate.
Have to like Sather’s addition of Danny Kristo. The winger dominated college (on a strong program), played well at world junior level and has familiarity with several current Rangers. Kristo has a chance to make the Rangers immediately because of injuries amongst the forwards. If he can make an impact during pre-season Kristo could surprise.
- Who would you rather take a chance on: Thomas or Kristo?
- Will Dylan McIlrath make the Rangers this coming season?
- If Daniel Alfredsson is indeed available in free agency, should the Rangers also enquire?
- Who has made a mockery of the Salary cap more: Pittsburgh or Philly? (you can answer both)
- Looking ahead: how many goals will Rick Nash score in season two on Broadway?