With Blair Betts still unassigned, and August being a naturally slow month, I’ve read some people calling to have Bettsy re-signed for next season. I am going to preface this by saying I am a huge Betts fan, and prior to July 1, would have welcomed him back this season.
That said, there is no longer a spot on this team for Blair Betts. There, I said it. Sorry if you don’t like it.
The Rangers, as currently put together, have a glut of Torts-style 4th line players that would undoubtedly come cheaper than Capt. PK (as so dubbed by myself). The 4th line currently is Brashear-Boyle-Byers. That definitely doesn’t instill offensive fear in any team (granted, subbing Betts on that line doesnt exactly do that either), but it definitely adds some physical fear. Mess with someone, you have Brashear coming after you. If he’s in the box, you have 6’7 Boyle coming after you. It’s a scary line when you think about it.
The Rangers’ salary cap situation doesn’t help matters either. Assuming the Rangers cut Nik Zherdev loose and re-sign Brandon Dubinsky for roughly $1.75 million, they will have roughly $2 million left to spend, and all they are really missing is a 3rd line RW, which will probably be put up for competition amongst the kids at camp. These numbers also include a 13th forward and a 6th and 7th defenseman (Voros, Sauer/Potter), which add a much needed sense of urgency and competition during the regular season for everyone. As much as I like Betts, 3rd line RW doesn’t exactly fit his motif.
No matter which way you slice it, the trade for Brian Boyle and the signing of Donald Brashear spelled the end for Betts. I wish him well, but wish him well for another hockey club.