It is definitely a concern that the Rangers’ association with the sad sack Blue Jackets has grown stronger this week. Putting that aside however and Glen Sather was right to exercise caution in a free agency period that may have been the most idiotic ever. The Rangers went out and added depth. They went out and acquired players who will not excite anyone but in Benoit Pouliot and Dominic Moore in particular, they brought in two players that should help the team down the road.
On a day when players who had just finished abysmal seasons managed to have their agents get them four year deals or significant pay rises based almost solely on availability Glen Sather spent minimally. Benoit Pouliot – whose 2012-13 season would have pro-rated to close to 50 points – got 1.3m while Moore got one million and Aaron Johnson got close to the league minimum. There should be no complaints over the money doled out.
The Rangers underachieved last season for a few reasons. However, depth was certainly a factor as was their ability to perform on special teams. Pouliot and Moore will slide into the line-up and give the team depth amongst the forwards while Moore will help improve a penalty kill that got in its own way at times last year. In Johnson, the blueline is solidified if only for when the likes of Dylan McIlrath, Danny Syvret or Justin Falk are in New York, the minor leagues system will still have capable talent allowing for continuity.
There’s a chance Glen Sather is being true to his word. He said he wanted to leave chances for the prospects to grab spots and none of these signings will have created road blocks from Connecticut or the juniors. There is definitely a chance for prospects to play there way on to this roster. However, this sensible spending from Sather (so far, at least) may also be a sign toward next summer.
With the core likely locked up long term this summer the Rangers will know what they have to spend next summer, will likely free up cap space from Brad Richards in one year’s time and will be well positioned to take advantage of a market that many clubs eliminated themselves from this weekend. This weekend that saw general managers nationwide act like drunk teenage girls running wild after members of a boy band. Sather and co were quiet, and we should all be thankful.