Okay, so it’s not really a “conundrum” per se, but for entertainment purposes lets say the Rangers need to acquire a d-man to play the right side, since they will likely have four left handed defensemen (Staal, McDonagh, MDZ, Erixon) and perhaps three right handed defensemen (Girardi, Sauer, Gilroy) come training camp.
I am going to follow Dave’s brilliant format from his post, “The Left Wing Conundrum,” and talk about the three routes the Rangers can go in filling this need (in-house, free agency, or trade). For the purpose of cap permutations, I am also going to pretend that Brad Richards will be on the roster.
Now before you all go crazy with the comments, let me clearly state this post does not include ideas of poaching other teams’ franchise players or all-star talent. This is a quasi-realistic look at what the Rangers can acquire without sacrificing youth and/or cap space.
The Likely Candidate: To be honest, I don’t really see any internal candidates aside from Gilroy, and my gut tells me he’ll be traded for either a pick in this draft, a forward, or perhaps the rights to Brad Richards.
The Other Possibilities: Dylan McIlrath. He’s still likely two years away according to the “experts.”
The Dark Horse: Brian Leetch…just kidding, but I do wonder sometimes how he’d look next to Staal.
The Likely Candidate: Ed Jovanovski. I know he’s a left handed shooter, but he’s been playing the right side for years. He’s 34, but he still got it done for Phoenix and he helped out Yandle immensely.
Other Possibilities: Ian White. The little guy never put it all together in Toronto or San Jose, but he still has offensive upside and he’s just 26.
The Dark Horse: Anton Babchuk. The Flames would be idiots if they didn’t resign the 27 year old, but this is the Flames we are talking about. Babchuk has a great shot from the point and can trigger the rush. He could come at a slight discount, since everyone will likely be chasing and overpaying for Christian Erhoff, Tomas Kaberle, etc.
The Likely Candidate: Fedor Tyutin. His name has been linked to the Rangers far too often for me not to mention it. I never really cared for his game when he was with the Rangers to be honest. Why? He’s unspectacularly average. What the hell does that mean? I don’t know, but Sean Avery is spectacularly average.
Ahh now you get it!
The Other Possibilities: John-Michael Liles (30 years old). He’s a bit expensive ($4.2M), but he’s only got a year left on his contract with Colorado. Hey $4 mill for 45 points isn’t bad for a d-man. Joe Corvo. Four teams in 6 seasons is odd, but you have to admit, the dude puts up points (he’s topped 40 a few times). Drawback is he’s not great in his own end. He’s also 33, but he too has only one year left on his contract ($2.2M).
The Dark Horse: Corey Sarich. He’s more of a heavy hitter, stay-at-home guy for the Flames, but if McDonagh, MDZ, and Erixon turn out to be our puck rushers, can’t hurt to have another guy who can clear the crease too. Sarich has one year left at $3.6M. The Flames don’t have a whole lot of cap space, so I don’t think he’d cost us much. Sarich is 32.
The Final Word:
If I were a gambling man, I’d bet that Gilroy gets traded to Dallas so Glen has a nice window to negotiate a deal with Brad Richards. After Richards gets locked up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Glen then offer Jovanovski a contract or trade for some other veteran defensemen on a one year deal. If none of the above happens, I wouldn’t be opposed to that either. But it wouldn’t make for a very interesting post 🙂