With Dan Fritsche officially waived and probably on his way to Hartford in a few hours, you have to wonder what Sather and company have planned for the extra cap room. Are they going to use it to potentially make a trade for a missing piece? Possibly. I would certainly hope that Sather is at least kicking the tires on Keith Tkachuk, Nik Antropov, Denis Gauthier, and others mentioned here in previous posts. Sather’s most recent trade history has been pretty decent (Zherdev, Avery, Sykora), so let’s hope he can pull a rabbit out of his hat again.
We could also, finally, see a seventh defenseman called up. That defenseman would in all likelihood be Corey Potter. We have long wanted a seventh defenseman here, it will at least light a fire under the under achieving defense. But if Potter gets called up, who sits? There’s the obvious person, Dmitri Kalinin, who forgot how to take the body. The seventh defensemen creates some competition. And competition breeds improvement.
Or maybe both? Would that be too much to ask?
With new GM Brian Burke trying to rebuild in Toronto, seemingly every player on their roster is available via trade. The most notable players available are Nik Antropov, Jason Blake, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Pavel Kubina, Tomas Kaberle, and Vesa Toskala.
Only Nik Antropov interests me of this group. The others are either overpaid (Kubina), locked up for too long (Kaberle, Blake), or just plain bad (Toskala). Ponikarovsky’s an interesting case, as he is similar to Antropov, but I don’t think Sather can afford to have him locked up for next year as well at his $2.15 million cap hit.
As for Antropov, he’s that big body the Rangers desperately need (6’6, 230lbs) in front of the net on the powerplay (note: Aaron Voros does not count). He would almost certainly bolt for that $4 million contract he will get at the end of the year, so there’s no long term committment. And to top it off, the Rangers can actually afford him because he’s only a $2.05 million cap hit from the beginning of the year.
I don’t know what it would cost to get him, but I would assume a mid level prospect and a mid level pick, plus whoever is needed to clear space (Voros/Fritsche?).
This is another one where you would hope the tires are kicked around a bit. He would be a good pickup at the right price.