Now the dust has settled after the draft, week of pre-free agency negotiation and free agency itself, a few days of quiet are upon us before arbitration hearings, contract negotiation rumors and the scraps are picked at in free agency. With that all in mind, let’s take a little look around the league and reflect on the Rangers this summer so far.
Patrick Kane and Jon Toews got identical contracts but that’s where the similarities end – in my opinion. Toews is a natural leader and figurehead. He’s not worth the money he’s just got but if either player is worth it, it’s certainly Toews and not Kane as Toews brings so much more to the table than ‘just’ offense.
Patrick Kane is a Star. He’s a point/game playoff player and is incredibly talented but he just got $10.5 million per year yet has only once scored more than 73 points in a year and has one 30 goal season in his seven years in the league. Sure, it’s not just about numbers and sure, the Hawks are paying to keep the faces of the franchise in town but the money getting thrown about is out of hand. Nothing we didn’t know already, right?
Every additional, major contract signing that gets announced makes me love the Ryan McDonagh deal that much more. Five more years of 25 minutes a game, elite defense and 40-50 points per season for $4.7m a season seems like a bargain.
So much negativity around what the Rangers did and didn’t do this summer. Sometimes you have to think – in the eyes of this teams fan base – the management can do no right. If Sather blows his load in free agency it’s ‘typical Sather’ or ‘typical Rangers’. If he doesn’t he’s chastised for not bringing in quality.
The Rangers have retained a strong, young core. They haven’t handicapped themselves for the future and they have left room on the current roster for young players to make the team. Barring adding an elite center I am pretty content with the summer manoeuvrings of the Rangers.
Breakout Candidate: J.T. Miller. Miller has a chance to nail down an important role on the Rangers given the departures this summer. Everyone knows how much skill he has but negativity and a lack of patience have followed Miller in the last season or so but we’re talking about a 21 year old still learning the game. With the right mindset there’s no reason Miller can’t be a 40 point player next year.
On Shaky Ground: John Moore. The Rangers top four appear set in stone. The bottom pairing however has yet to be decided. Given his underwhelming season Moore has a lot to prove. Is he the highly touted offensive defenseman the Blue Jackets took in the first round or is he a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none, bottom pair defenseman? The next 12 months are huge for Moore. A bad season and progression from any or all of Brady Skjei, Dylan McIlrath, Conor Allen and Calle Andersson and Moore’s future in New York is in danger.
So where is the off season bargain potential around the league? Anton Volenchkov represents no risk at all for the Predators at $1m on a one year deal. Same goes for Anaheim’s acquisition of Dany Heatley who is a shadow of his former self but if he has the right line mates could easily bag 20 goals on his $1m one year deal.
Again, not a star or even the same player he once was but Ottawa’s acquisition of David Legwand for two years at 3m per year is a solid add. Legwand would have been a solid addition for the Rangers given the contract and his two way ability.
- Which one free agent signing elsewhere in the league are you ‘jealous’ of?
- What are your expectations for Dan Boyle?
- Given the contracts both players received would you have preferred to have kept Dom Moore or Brian Boyle?
- Which player will make a bigger NHL impact in ’15: Oscar Lindberg or JT Miller?
- How many goals will Rick Nash score next season?