Thursday Musings: buyouts, contracts, pipe dreams, & moreMarch 13, 2014, by
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Before we jump into this week’s musings, I first want to thank everyone for their patience as our site’s server was recently upgraded and we were unable to post anything for the last 24 hours. As Dave stated yesterday, hopefully this upgrade will help the site run a little smoother and faster.
Back to business. Below are this week’s random thoughts on the state of the Rangers. As always, feel free to pop off in the comments section below.
The last Stral?
This past week Larry Brooks reported that Anton Stralman turned down a three-year, nine million dollar contract offer from the Rangers. Two thoughts on this. First, Stralman isn’t worth much more than that. While he’s been a dependable defensemen, Diaz and Klein – both right-handed shots – make Stralman expendable. Both guys were accustomed to playing around 18 minutes a night prior to their trade to the Rangers.
The other interesting thing about this news was that Stralman’s agent denied the report, which leads me to believe the Rangers leaked this to Larry Brooks and not Stralman’s camp. I don’t know how the rest of you feel, but I’m getting pretty tired of these public contract negotiations which seem to be happening more and more with our current players. I wonder if they’re getting sick of this too.
Speaking of contract situations, if you thought Girardi’s, Cally’s, Hank’s, Stepan’s, etc. were contentious, just wait till this summer when the rumor mongers turn their attention to Marc Staal’s situation. I know people are tired of the whole ‘Staal could go to Carolina to play with his brothers’ thing, but trust me, that narrative isn’t going away any time soon.
Next season the Rangers will likely have some $20-$25M in cap space dedicated to their blueline. I wonder if it’s even worth it to hand over another $6M or so in cap space to yet another defensive defensemen.
Richie’s Buyout Situation
A few people have mentioned that the addition of Martin St. Louis could persuade the Rangers to hold on to Brad Richards this summer. While it’s certainly possible, I don’t think it’s probably. At this point, Richards has not been worth his contract and falls into a large pile of UFA signings that didn’t live up to the billing.
This season he’s on pace for 56 points, his lowest of his career. AV has not been able to squeeze any more juice out of this guy than his predecessor. And that’s not a shot at AV, that’s the reality of a declining career. I don’t care if the Rangers win the Cup this summer off a GWG from Richie. He has to be bought out this summer.
Of course that leaves us short on top 6 centers, which isn’t an easy hole to fill. Perhaps the Rangers look at Statsny this summer. Perhaps Sather will sniff around Spezza since he’s a UFA in ’15, probably a pipe dream, but I’ve always loved Spezza. Maybe Lindberg will be ready for NHL action next season. Either way, I doubt our depth chart down the middle looks the same come October.
- What is Stralman worth?
- Will Staal be resigned?
- Will Richie be bought out?
- Who will line up at center for the Rangers next season?