Looks like first big free agency shoe will drop today as Bob McKenzie at TSN reported this last night...
Free agent defenceman Justin Schultz will decide tomorrow where he's signing.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 30, 2012
ESPN Insider notes that Schultz apparently wants to play north of the border, which puts the Rangers at a disadvantage.
The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers are seen as co-favorites to land Schultz, while the Toronto Maple Leafs may have a legitimate shot. The Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Chicago Blackhawks are also in play.
According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post, a Rangers' delegation that featured head coach John Tortorella in a prominent role made its pitch to Schultz on Wednesday.
...just looking at that list of teams, I can't see how the Rangers aren't his #1 destination. Conference Finals last year, a roster spot to be had, plus two ex-Badgers on the team. What else does he want?
...if he does choose the Rangers, I don't see any other team in the NHL with a brighter future than the Blueshirts.
...i also see Del Zotto being very expendable if Schultz is brought in.
In other insanity news, Katie Strang at ESPN New York says that the Rangers are still keenly interested in acquiring Rick Nash.
However, Columbus GM Scott Howson says this about the possibility of Nash being traded this weekend...
"I am not sure that we will have any trade before free agency."
Strang adds that a trade for Anaheim's Bobby Ryan should not be ruled out for the Rangers.
Finally, Aaron Portzline at the Columbus Dispatch says the Rangers and Senators are best aligned to put together a package for Nash, but Ottawa is not on Nash's 'prefered' list.
...just started posting again & I'm already sick of the Nash rumors.
...both Nash and Ryan would cost a ton (think Stepan/Hagelin, McD/Del Zotto as well as JT Miller and a #1) and Parise has said he doesn't want to sign with the Rangers, so I think Sather needs to pass and bring in a lower cost guy like Shane Doan and hope the Rangers can hold down the fort until Gaborik returns from injury.
...i would really hate to see Sather blow-up a Rangers team that made it to the Conference Finals this year. Big mistake in my opinion.
...if worse comes to worse, Rangers could always look to bring back Rozsival and Parenteau. lol
Looks like Rangers might have trouble retaining some of their own free agents as Columbus is said to be interested in Brandon Prust, who is looking for $2.2 million per...
#CBJ would join a long line of folks interested in Brandon Prust. My sense is people will be surprised by the ticket he draws as a UFA.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) June 30, 2012
Larry Brooks at the New Yoork Post adds that if Prust attracts offers of upward of $2.4 million per on a three- or four-year deal, the Rangers are expected to pass.
...i'm sorry, I love Prust but he is not worth $2.2 million. If he doesn't budge, I'd love to see Rangers go after Konopka. Could get him for less than $1 million and he'd do the same job as Prust plus win faceoffs.
This past week was the Rangers prospects camp and Gordie Clark assesses what he saw...
...there is no other person I love listening to more in the Rangers organization than Clark. Have I mentioned this team has a bright future.
For video of the future scrimmaging click here. For prospect interviews here.
As you can see, I've now posted twice in the last two days meaning I'm starting to get that itch back. I can say with confidence that the blog will be back, but I'm looking for help.
Basically, I want to bring on 2-3 people to pitch in. Nothing major, I just need to lift some of the burden of doing the blog. Looking for people to create & post morning headlines, games notes as well as post game recaps when I'm not available. Will also need help researching articles.
Bloguin has offered to give me a small budget for staff so there will be some pay.
If you're interested, shoot me an e-mail with your qualifications to email@example.com.
Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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