The Rangers made a quiet move today, acquiring 22 year old defenseman Matt McCue from Anaheim for young forward Tomas Zaborsky. McCue, an undrafted free agent, is 6’5 and 220 lbs, and was signed by the Ducks in 2008. Zaborsky was the Rangers 5th round pick in 2006, and will be playing in Finland after a year in Charlotte/Hartford. This is a very minor deal, aimed to address the relatively thin Hartford blue line.
The Rangers have made a trade today, sending Aaron “The People’s Champ” Voros and prospect Ryan Hillier to Anaheim in exchange for Steve Eminger. Voros, in the last year of his contract, had become expendable a long time ago, but the signing of Derek Boogaard made his exit from Broadway all but certain. In return, the Rangers get Eminger, a 27 year old defenseman, who is in the final year of a contract that will be a $1.125 million cap hit this season. The Rangers, believe it or not, take on more cap space in this deal than with Voros. Eminger is a solid blue liner who may not put up much offense, but will play decent defense. He had a 3.0 GVT last season with the Ducks.
This move could be another step in the plan of dumping Wade Redden in Hartford. With Eminger, the Rangers have six defensemen under contract, including Redden, but not including Marc Staal or Ryan McDonagh. This is a very interesting deal, because assuming that the Rangers sign Staal, that makes seven defensemen, and McDonagh. This just adds more fuel to the fire that the Rangers are seriously considering waiving Wade Redden.
Well, today is the day. At noon EST, the free agency period will officially begin, and we all watch with bated breath to see what General Manager Glen Sather will do. Sather’s track record on July 1 post-lockout is, well, uh, bad. With news that Redden is almost certain to be waived unless he has a tremendous camp, that will give the Rangers an extra $6.5 million to play with come noon today. That also worries many of us. Most of the prime free agents are gone, but guys like Ilya Kovalchuk are still available, albeit to the disdain of Rangers fans.
Personally, I would like them to avoid any UFA defensemen on the market. There is incredible depth in the system, and signing any UFAs might make Ryan McDonagh avoid signing for this season. As for forwards, I would prefer the Rangers get someone like Pavol Demitra or Vinny Prospal for a year at a relatively cheap price as a stopgap for guys like Derek Stepan and Evgeny Grachev. For backup goalie, I would like to see Johan Hedberg. He’s competent, and a real Rangers killer.
I’ll be updating this until about 5pm EST, at which point I have to head out to play softball. At that point, either jurgenno or Jeremy will be updating. So stick around for all the big news. Rangers signings/news will be in bold.
Kicking things off was a trade that happened late last night, as Toronto acquired Kris Versteeg and the rights to Bill Sweatt from Chicago for Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis.
Update 11:40am: Darren Dreger is saying that if he were a betting man, he would bet on Martin Biron to the Rangers.
Update 11:47am: Larry Brooks is reporting that Marty Biron will sign with the Rangers.
Update 11:50am: The Flyers have acquired Andres Meszaros from TB for a 2nd round pick.
Update 12:30pm: The Rangers have signed Martin Biron to a two year, $1.8million contract ($900,000 per). They have also come to terms with Erik Christensen at two years, $925,000 per. There are rumors of a NYR/CGY trade. Sergei Gonchar to Ottawa for 3 years, $5.5 million per year, at a 35+ contract.
Update 12:40pm: Alex Tanguay signs with CGY, 1/$1.7 million, NMC.
12:47pm: Anton Babchuk returns to Carolina for 1 year, $1.4 million.
12:51pm: Blues re-sign Alex Steen to a four year deal.
Update 1:02pm: TB re-signs Marty St. Louis to a four year extension at $22.5 million ($5.625m per). This will be a 35+ deal. Jesse Winchester re-signs with Ottawa for two years, $750,000.
Paul Martin Zbynek Michalek signs with Pittsburgh at 5/$20 million ($4 million per). Crap.
Update 1:30pm: Missed this, but Braydon Coburn re-upped with Philly for 2/$3.2 million. How’s Alexei Zhitnik working for you Atlanta?
Update 1:35pm: Alex Auld to Montreal, 1 year, $1 million. The Rangers saved $100,000 in cap room by signing Biron over Auld.
Update 1:38pm: Colby Armstrong to Toronto for three years $3 million per year (!!!), Antero Niittymaki to San Jose for $4 million a year for two years.
Update 1:40pm: Joel Perrault to Vancouver for 1 year, $510,000. Sean O’Donnell to the Flyers for one year, $1 million plus games played bonuses.
Update 1:50pm: Manny Malhotra to Vancouver for 3/$7.5M and a NTC.
Update 1:57pm: Derek Morris returns to Phoenix for 4/$11 million ($2.75 million per). That’s ridiculous.
Update 2:20pm: And I’m back after a quick conference call. Jody Shelley to PHI for 3 years, $1.1 million. Again, crap, but glad the Rangers didn’t give him that kind of money. Dan Ellis to TB on a two year deal, $1.5 million per.
Update 2:23pm: Joey Crabb to Toronto for two years.
Update 2:30pm: Paul Martin goes to the Penguins. So they lose Gonchar, and get Michalek and Martin. Crap.
Update 2:33pm: Larry Brooks is reporting that the Rangers are targeting Derek Boogaard.
Update 2:36pm: The Rangers have signed Derek Boogaard.
Contract details coming. Rumored to be Deal is 4 years, $1.65 million. That’s an awful lot for someone like Boogaard. (Update: On second thought, it’s only a $400,000 raise on last year for him. Though 4 years is questionable. Boogaard is an absolute monster though.)
Update 3:00pm: Toni Lydman to Anaheim, 3 years, $9 million.
Update 3:25pm: After a quick coffee break, Ray Whitney to PHX for 2 years, $3 mil, 35+ contract.
Update 3:55pm: Devils sign Henrik Talinder, 4 years, $3.375 per.
Update 4:00pm: Edmonton signs Kurtis Foster, 2 years, $1.8 million. That’s a great signing by them.
Update 4:10pm: Dan Hamhuis to Vancouver, 6 years, $4.5 million.
Update 4:20pm: Anton Volchenkov is headed to the Devils on a whopping six-year deal, $25.5 million total, NTC.
Update 4:26pm: Jeff Tambellini signs with Vancouver.
Update 4:30pm: Olli Jokinen to Calgary for $3 million per for two years (BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!!!!!). Chris Mason to Atlanta for two years, $3.7 mil total.
Update 4:40pm: Andrew Ladd has been traded to Atlanta for Ivan Vishnevsky and a 2nd round pick.
Update 5:08pm: The Rangers are apparently talking with Alex Frolov.
Update 5:11pm: Sabres sign Jordan Leopold to a 3 year deal. Rangers are closing in on a deal with Vinny Prospal.
Update 5:18pm: The Rangers have re-signed Vinny Prospal,
terms are en route. The deal is for $1 million base salary, with $1.1 million in incentives. It is a one year deal. This is a fantastic signing. Great contract.
Update 5:26pm: Johan Hedberg to the Devils, 1 year, $1.5 million (including bonuses), NTC.
Update 5:49pm: Anaheim signs Saku Koivu, 2 years, $2.5 million per, 35+ contract.
Update 6:25pm: Matt Cullen is signing with Minnesota.
In some unsurprising news, the Rangers have traded prospect Bobby Sanguinetti to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2010 6th round pick (for who the Rangers pick, see the post below), and a 2011 2nd round pick (originally Washington’s pick). Sanguinetti had not only fallen on the depth chart behind other prospects, but had fallen out of favor with Rangers management, who had passed over him for the likes of Anders Ericsson when the Rnagers needed another defenseman.
This is a bit of a bad return for Sanguinetti, who was a former first round pick in 2006 (#21 overall). Sangs was taken ahead of Claude Giroux, Milan Lucic, Patrick Berglund, among others. I don’t know much on the 2011 draft class yet, but let’s hope it’s a deep top sixty.
Well, yesterday was interesting. The Rangers surprised everyone by picking Dylan McIlrath, but that was a solid pick, and many will realize this soon. As we enter Day Two of the draft, the Rangers hold picks in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th rounds. The draft will be covered on the NHL network. For you Twitter bugs, @NHL will be tweeting the picks as well. I will be posting any big NHL moves, and all Rangers moves and picks.
Rangers 2nd Round Pick: The Rangers have taken RW Christian Thomas of the Oshawa Generals with the 40th overall selection. Thomas is the son of former NHL player Steve Thomas. Christian put up 41 goals and 25 assists in 64 games in the OHL this year. He seems to have his dads scoring touch.
Update 1:55pm: The Kings used the 70th overall pick, acquired from the Rangers for Brian Boyle, to select Jordan Weal. Good pick for the Kings, bad deal for the Rangers.
Update 2:30pm: As per Larry Brooks, the Rangers have traded Bobby Sanguinetti to the Carolina Hurricanes. Picks are coming back. No word on what picks yet. Update: Rangers get 6th round pick this year and 2nd round pick next year. The 6th round pick this year is #157 overall.
Rangers 4th Round Pick: The Rangers have taken C Andrew Yogan of the Erie Otters of the OHL with their 4th round pick, #100 overall. Yogan put up a line of 25-30-55 with 97 PIMs in 63 GP. Yogan is 6’3, 202 lbs.
Rangers 5th Round Pick: The Rangers have taken Jason Wilson of the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL with their 5th round, #130 overall. Wilson put up a line of 17-18-35 with 101 PIMs in 46 GP. Wilson is 6’2, 205 lbs.
Rangers 6th Round Pick: As mentioned above, the Rangers have acquired a 6th round pick, #157 overall, as part of the deal for Bobby Sanguinetti. The Rangers used this pick to select RW Jesper Fasth of the Swedish Juniors. He put up a line of 23-26-49 in 37 GP. The 6’0 176 lb winger could be a real sleeper.
Rangers 7th Round Pick: The Rangers have taken RW Randy McNaught of the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL with their 7th round pick, #190 overall. McNaught is huge, at 6’4, 222 lbs, and put up a line of 6-6-12, with 131 PIMs in 59 GP.
That’s it for the Rangers. I will post a draft wrap up of my feelings on the draft later this week, as will the rest of the guys, as we prep for July 1 and free agency.
That was a doozy of a trade that went down last night, right? In case you missed it, the Blackhawks shipped Dustin Byfuglien (1 year, $3 million cap hit), Brent Sopel (1 year, $2.3 million cap hit), Ben Eager (RFA, $1 million cap hit), and prospect Akim Aliu to Atlanta in exchange for a first round pick (originally the Devils pick, 24th overall), a second round pick (54th overall), Marty Reasoner (1 year, $1.15 million), Joey Crabb (UFA, $600,000) and prospect Jeremy Morin.
This deal was a necessary evil for both teams, and both teams came out winners here. For the Hawks, they gain much needed cap space, while gaining two additional picks in the top 55, a legit prospect in Morin (first round pick in 2009), and a cheap depth forward in Reasoner. Losing Byfuglien hurts, but the cap space created will help them fill out their roster needs. Sopel was a depth defenseman, and at $2.3 million, was expendable. The Hawks still need to clear some cap space, and many expect Kris Versteeg to be the next guy on his way out. The Hawks are reluctant to trade Patrick Sharp, citing depth at center as something they want to keep.
As for Atlanta, they still have their own first round pick (7th overall), so they were dealing from a strength there. They also picked up veteran leadership in Sopel, and some scoring depth to add to Nik Antropov, Evander Kane, and Rich Peverley. Of course, the Thrashers have about $30 million in cap space to work with this offseason, so they can very quickly add to any needs this team has (there are a bunch). The Thrashers may not be a legitimate Cup contender yet, but in a weak Southeast, these moves may help them sneak into the playoffs next season.
With juregnno already adding his insight on the recent developments in the Atlantic Division, it is now my turn.
There has been a flurry of activity leading up to the draft, especially in the Atlantic Conference. First, the Flyers acquired the rights to Dan Hamhuis from Nashville in exchange for Ryan Parent, helping shore up their defense. Ironically, Parent was originally a Nashville first round pick in 2005. Hamhuis is coming off the final year of a four year, $8 million deal a contract that paid him $2.5 million last season. Assuming the Flyers sign Hamhuis, and re-sign restricted free agent Brayden Coburn, the Flyers will have one of the best defensive units in the NHL next season with Hamhuis, Coburn, Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timmonen, and Matt Carle.
With Hamhuis on the roster, many are speculating that Jeff Carter could be on his way out via trade. However, the Flyers have $8 million in cap space this year with 17 players under contract. Assuming the Flyers spend smartly on Hamhuis ($3.5 million is a rough estimate of market value), and leverage their RFA negotiating rights on Coburn, it appears they will be able to get all players under contract without trading Carter. As for 2011-2012, the Flyers have $21 million in cap space with 11 players under contract. Carter and Claude Giroux are their main free agents to sign that year (excluding an aging Simon Gagne). Again, it appears they will be just fine with cap space, which is bad news for the Rangers.
Meanwhile, the Devils re-acquired Jason Arnott in exchange for Matt Halischuk and a 2011 second round pick. Arnott is in the final year of a five year, $22.5 million contract, that will pay him $4.5 million (with equal cap hit) next season. Arnott gives the Devils some more depth at center in an attempt to provide Zach Parise with some support for one of the NHL’s least potent offenses.
The Rangers have been standing pat thus far this offseason, which comes as no surprise, as most of Glen Sather’s moves tend to come at or after the draft. While some will surely have issues with Sather standing pat as division rivals get stronger, personally, I have no problem with it. The Rangers are not a few moves away from contending for a Cup, like the Devils and Flyers. The Rangers need a few years to let prospects develop and to let contracts expire. Patience is the key here.
Salary cap information provided by CapGeek.
2 big moves that affect the Rangers took place today. The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired Dan Hamhuis for Ryan Parent. If Hamhuis does not sign for the Flyers (here’s hoping) Nashville also give Philly a 7th. I dont see how the Flyers can sign him unless big ticket forwards are in play, out of Philly. A bold move by GM Paul Holmgren and although Hamhuis is a good player im not sure he addresses Phillys needs (goaltending, goaltending, goaltending).
In another move, Nashville have sent Jason Arnott back to New Jersey for prospect Matt Hallischuk and a 2nd round pick. Quite a price for a 35 year old but Arnott is durable, big, familar with New Jersey and did i mention big? Personally i dont like this from a Rangers perspective. Jersey just got tougher, deeper and simply better. Does this mean the Devils have given up bringing back Kovalchuk? You have to think so as no cap was moved to Nashville in the deal thus meaning Jersey simply took on $$$. It also tells me Jersey are going for it next year. Arnott doesnt represent the future and they give up a good pick (the 2nd is 2011) and Hallischuk was a good prospect who won WJC gold with Canada.
With Philly and Jersey active it will be interesting to see if the Rangers follow suit. The Atlantic just got harder.
In the first trade between the Rangers and the Islanders in 37 years, the Rangers have picked up Jyri Niemi for a 2010 6th round pick. The 19-year old, 6’3 210 lb
winger defenseman played for the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL last season, putting together a line of 8-21-29, with 67 PIMs and a +9 rating. Niemi was the Islanders 3rd round pick in 2008, and was not going to be signed by the Islanders. This appears to be a depth move by the Rangers , who are lacking forwards at the AHL level.
With this trade, the Rangers no longer hold picks in the third or sixth rounds of this draft.
I have read in recent weeks that several centermen are available. Buffalo are likely to shop Tim Connolly and his 1 year @ 4.5m, Derek Roy is not satisfying the same management and has a nice contract at 4m/year over 3 years. Then there are names such as Jason Spezza, Vinny Lecavalier, Rusty Olesz, Patrick Sharp and even more that aren’t secure of their current locations for next year.
It got me thinking about potential additions to the Rangers, not through the draft. Barring an unexpected move into the top 3 the Rangers are not getting an NHL ready player in the draft so can the team get immediate help elsewhere?
Now, back to Tim Connolly the much injured, mercurial centreman. Dependant on the price I think he would be a very nice choice for the Rangers. A reasonable salary, decent age (28), no distinct commitment (1 year) and the pass first playmaking center that Gaborik and insert left wing here could benefit from. I wouldn’t consider any of the others bar Roy.
Connolly hasn’t had a line mate of Gaborik’s standard consistently. The lines in Buffalo are as consistent as they are in New York yet over the past 3 seasons Connolly has 152 points in 169 games, including 65 (48 assists) this year. His playoff performance this year left alot to be desired but does seem to be a scapegoat for Buffalo’s struggles. A chance for a team to obtain a player below his true value?
Health is the main concern but a change of scenery could see Connolly become the elite center he was once touted to be, could that change be in New York? If the price is right I’d give him a chance.