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Posts tagged: Pavel Valentenko

The Answer Within?

The Rangers problems on the blue line at NHL level have been much publicized and most people are of the assumption the problem will be addressed externally. However with Dennis Seidenberg’s recent deal setting the bar at an uncomfortably high level and with Glen Sather’s comments about giving those from within a chance, maybe the prospects can make New York…

Within the system there are several options that can help the team. How the Rangers progress as a team as well as deal with the blue line may be influenced by the level of patience the Rangers brass will be willing to show. Are they willing for guys like Mike Sauer, Corey Potter etc to learn on the fly, make mistakes at NHL level but indeed develop? Time will tell, early indication says maybe they are.

One option that hasn’t been given much air time is the curious case of Pavel Valentenko, the Russian ‘throw in’ from the (brilliant) Gomez to Montreal deal. Not seen actively in the organisation as yet, it’s difficult to know what to expect. Back in 2009 Hockeysfuture wrote these words about the young Russian, following his defection back to Russia:

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The Gomez Deal: Cap Analysis

Well, we all know that the Scott Gomez to Montreal deal was a salary dump. But how much of a dump? Gomez has a $7.357 million cap hit through 2013-2014.

Chris Higgins, an RFA, made $1.9 million last season, and it’s safe to assume he has been qualified for that amount. Considering how much time he missed last season, and his output from his previous seasons, it’s safe to assume that $3 million will be the going rate for him.

Doug Janik, well, he’s a journeyman, he won’t be back next season, unless it’s as the 7th defenseman, the Rangers have too much defense anyway. He would come cheap at roughly $500,000 though. That’s what you want from a 7th defenseman.

Ryan McDonagh is in college, just finishing up his sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He won’t be counting against the cap. I will be writing a prospect profile on him in the coming days.

Pavel Valentenko, well, if he comes to the US, he will start in Hartford. He bolted the AHL last year for the KHL, so it’s unlikely he will be back.

That’s a lot of words to just say this: The Rangers just gained $4 million in cap space*. They dealt from a strength (center) to fill a huge hole (LW), and they didn’t give up any prospects or current young NHLers. AND they freed up cap space. This trade was a huge win for Sather.

*-Actually number depends on the contract for Higgins, and if they sign Janik.

Just a note, I liked Gomez. I thought he would have done well under the Torts system with Avery and Callahan. But he was signed to be a leader, and he wasn’t leading, his contract was atrocious, and the Rangers needed to fill that hole. Good luck in Montreal Gomer.

As for the current lines, or my best guess at them:

Higgins-Drury-Zherdev
Avery-Dubinsky-Callahan
Korpikoski-Anisimov-
Byers-Boyle-Owens

Voros

Staal-Girardi
Rozsival-Redden
Gilroy-

Hank
Vally

Clearly, the Rangers have a need for a RW. They can go the RFA route (Drew Stafford, Ryan Clowe), the UFA route (Hossa, Kovalev, Knuble), the trade route (insert wild trade scenario here), or just see if they have someone in the system (Greg Moore, Dale Weise).

Personally, I would love to see Clowe in Ranger blue. But I don’t think the RFA route is a viable option. Without that 3rd round pick (used on Brian Boyle), the Rangers don’t have enough compensation for any RFAs (for more details, check the Cap Page).

My guess? Knuble, 1 year-$2.5 million.

As for that defense spot, it’s probably going to be one of Sauer / Potter / Sanguinetti.

All in all, it’s nice to have some cap room, eh?

Oh, almost forgot. The Rangers now have enough room to go after Hossa, and still keep Staal, Dubie and Cally long term.

Gomez for Higgins (UPDATE: Heatley (NOT) on his way)

That will shed some salary.

Wow. Way to go Slats.

More later, I’ll analyze the finances.

Guess this means no Heatley. Dubi stays for now.
Update 5:25pm: Details are in:

To Mtl: Gomez, Tom Pyatt, Mike Busto
To NYR: Higgins, Ryan McDonagh, Pavel Valentenko, Doug Janik

Salary dump, and a steal of one. Wow. Great job Slats.

Update 5:30pm: McDonagh was Montreal’s 1st round pick in 2007.

Update 5:35pm: Doug Janik in the deal too. Oh, and the details are on TSN, duh.

Update 5:53pm: Carp is reporting that Heatley is on his way (thanks Mike):

UPDATED, 5:31 P.M.: I’ve been told that Heatley is coming to the Rangers tonight. Not sure what the Rangers are giving up to get him, but they can fit him under the cap now.

Update 6:15pm: Lost in all this is the Rangers getting McDonagh, who was the Canadians best prospect. Sather absolutely fleeced Montreal.

Update 6:20pm: Expect more wheelin and dealin:

GLEN SATHER:

“We’ve got lots of cap room now, and it opens lots of options.”

Thinks Higgins will be a goal-scorer … was hurt three times last year. Likes the other two kids as future NHL players, too.

“Torts has talked about the young guys all year and we wanted to make some room for them, and we did.”

“Since this deal happened I’ve had three calls (from other teams), and it doesn’t take long for people to realize you’re going to make some changes.”

Update 8:50pm: It looks like the wheelin and dealin was just the Gomez deal. Doesn’t look like Heatley is coming to New York. I would rather the Rangers spend the cap space on a free agent scorer instead of dealing for one.

Just imagine how much more cap room they would have if they didn’t sign Redden. Sigh.