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Don’t get caught looking ahead to the 2013 free agent crop

Now that Zach Parise is essentially off the table, you might be tempted to look ahead to the 2013 free agent class for potential offensive infusions for the Rangers’ lineup.  If you began to peruse the pages of CapGeek, your jaw might have dropped when you saw a potential group of unrestricted free agent forwards that could include a guy named Sidney Crosby.

Corey Perry is on the list, as are Ryan Getzlaf, Jarome Iginla, Jordan Staal, Scott Hartnell, Ryan Clowe, Joffrey Lupul, Valtteri Filppula, Patrik Elias, Nathan Horton, Travis Zajac, Mike Ribiero, David Clarkson, Stephen Weiss, Derek Roy, Teddy Purcell, and Viktor Stalberg.

You might be tempted to start wondering which of these guys could be worth pursuing, thinking that this year’s free agent crop feels like slim pickings and that Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan will be too costly on the trade market.

Of course, you should realize that most of these guys will ink new deals this year with their current teams.  You have a better chance of getting invited to one of Glen Sather’s golf outings than you do of seeing Crosby actually discussing a contract with another team.

It’s hard to ignore that the 2013 free agent crop does leave several intriguing possibilities, but before you go making premature roster moves in NHL 12, remember that it’s foolish to look ahead 12 months.  It’s impossible to predict which injuries might leave gaping holes (Mike Sauer and Marian Gaborik) and how the team will develop over the course of the next year (surprises like Ryan McDonagh and Carl Hagelin).  The Rangers will be in a far different cap situation than they are now, the CBA is set to change and New York will have to dole out cash to its own free agents: Sauer, McDonagh, Hagelin, Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan.  Also, it’s absurdly risky to bank on a player ending up on your squad and plan around a move that hasn’t happened yet.

The Brad Richards deal last year was actually a foregone conclusion in many experts’ minds during the season, but it’s a rare instance when a player and team are connected months in advance.

Take small consolation in the fact that if the Rangers fail to upgrade their offense adequately this summer, there may be a second chance on the horizon.  Just don’t pencil Getzlaf onto New York’s second line quite yet.

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  • Good article. Maybe 85% of those guys actually make it to UFAgency. There is a bit of window with this team as well, while Henrik is still in his prime… and Gabby/Richards are still producing at a high level. You can’t just skip years and ‘stay the course’. You have to upgrade your weaknesses.

  • I’ve rarely seen planning ahead like this work out. In fact, I’ve only seen it twice: Brad Richards and C.C. Sabathia.

  • But, the fact that they become UFA’s next year does open up the possibility that a team facing cap issues then might be willing to deal now, before they walk.

    • As is the case with J Staal. But for the most part, these guys belong to playoff teams who will want to keep them for as long as possible in an effort to win the Cup.

  • STOP SAYING THAT Parise is not for the taking. The only thing anyone should be talking about what he said is that he said the right thing at the right time. He had too.

    As for thinking ahead there is nothing wrong with it Because weather you have 15 months or two weeks way too many things can happen to change it. So you step back and start all over again.

    Hell I have changed My 2012-13 roster 10 times in just the past week lol.

    I dont want to spend $7.5 mill or more on Parise. And thats looking like the price it will take to land him. I also dont want to give away the farm to land Nash.

    What I am willing to do is go after guys like Kane. Who would cost us way less to land then Nash and is 7 years younger.

    My wish list for FA is like this. Kane in a trade. Followed by signing atleast. 3 of these players. Penner, Stoll, Gaustad, Kotitsyn, Konopka and Bryan Allen.

    If we could add Kane, Stoll, Kotitsyn, Konopka and not lose much in the Kane deal. We would add the depth that this team so sorely missed this year and make this team a much bigger faster team in the process. This is so doable being that one is a trade. Making it so we only have to sign three mid level FA instead of going after the big name. Cause lets face it thats all Parise is.

    • It’s not that he doesn’t want to play for new York. New York doesn’t want him.

      Pass on Parise. He can take a hike south on the turnpike and go to Philly for all I care.

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