Found July 03, 2012 on Blue Seat Blogs:
2009-nhl-entry-draft

As the third day of free agency begins, it’s hard to see how the Rangers have improved so far this summer.

GM Glen Sather has watched many of his depth players depart via free agency and has spent only $3.5 million total on a fourth-liner and a seventh defenseman.

But it’s a long offseason.

Sather remains engaged in trade talks with Columbus regarding 28-year-old left wing Rick Nash and is still surely targeting several unrestricted free agents, one of which is likely Shane Doan, who has a number of contending suitors ready to duel for his services should Phoenix’s ownership situation remain unresolved by Monday.

Though pickings are slim on the free agent market, there’s still a very strong chance that Sather will make a couple of significant moves in the coming days and weeks.

But for a moment, perhaps we should step back and consider the Rangers’ roster as currently constructed.

Obviously there are a few holes that must be filled by prospects or mercenaries, but for the most part, New York is in a pretty enviable position.

It’s easy to imagine “what if?” scenarios given how close the Blueshirts got to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012, but the reality is that the organization is way, way ahead of schedule.

There’s no rush to add that one missing piece today, tomorrow, or even this summer.

While there’s certainly an argument to be made that the Rangers are built to win now while Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Henrik Lundqvist are in their primes, each still has at least a few strong seasons left, if not more.

Even in the wildest dreams of Rangers’ executives, 2011-2012 was not expected to be a contending year and 2012-2013 would have been the very start of the window of opportunity.

Sather should absolutely do his due diligence and make inquiries on Nash, Bobby Ryan, Keith Yandle and a host of other superstars.  Any playoff team should.

But Sather should not feel pressured or rushed into making a move.  Thus far he’s held up very well and there have been no indications that he’ll make a panic deal.

And why should he?  Sather holds a number of chips.  He knows he already has a playoff caliber roster featuring the best goalie in the world, arguably the best top-four group of defensemen in the league, a couple of superstars up front and a young core that still has plenty of room for improvement.

Sather has the means to pull the trigger on a deal for Nash, but he doesn’t have to.  There will be other big names that come on the market and may make more sense for the Blueshirts both from a financial standpoint and that require lesser pieces in a return package.  While Columbus knows it has to dump Nash, Sather by no means has to cooperate with Jackets GM Scott Howson.

And if that means the Rangers enter the season without any major improvements, so be it.  The Rangers are still poised to be a solid playoff team and if things go well, there’s no reason they couldn’t surprise again just as they did last season.

Chris Kreider could become a 30-goal scorer in short order, Derek Stepan has only begun to scratch the surface of his offensive ability, Ryan Callahan has just recently established himself as a fearsome scoring threat, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov are both capable of far more production, Ryan McDonagh is emerging as a future All-Star, Michael Del Zotto is slowly developing into a deadly weapon from the blueline and the list goes on and on.

Sather knows all this and even if you believe that is a very glass-half full attitude, remember that New York’s core group is the envy of the league.

If Sather can’t get the player he wants at a reasonable price now and still deems a major acquisition necessary, then he’ll have plenty of chances to bring in another big fish in six months or next summer.  But he shouldn’t feel obligated to make a splash because the Blueshirts are on the rise, with or without a major addition.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Needs Must Still Be Fulfilled

The New York Rangers may have made three moves over the course of Sunday's opening of free agency in the NHL, but those three moves made them little progress in respect to what is needed by this club for the next season. The re-signing of Stu Bickel and additions of Arron Asham and Micheal Haley bring a degree of toughness to the team that they lost to the Montreal Canadiens...

Rangers Have Interest in Shane Doan

The Rangers went ahead and signed depth forward Taylor Pyatt on Tuesday afternoon - a signing that could potentially pay off considering the 30-year-old's size and weight, coupled with his proven offensive ability. That fills a spot in the bottom six for the Blueshirts, but they are still in search for top six forwards who can help boost the team's goal production, especially...

New York Rangers Sign Forward Taylor Pyatt

Press Release: New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent forward Taylor Pyatt. Pyatt, 30, skated in 73 games with the Phoenix Coyotes last season, registering nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points, along with 23 penalty minutes.  He ranked fourth [...]

Prust finds new home with Canadiens

Brandon Prust learned a universal truth about the business of professional sports. It is a business. "It was a sad, crazy, mixed-emotion day," Prust said in a conference call Sunday to announce his signing of a four-year, $10 million unrestricted free agent contract with the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens signed Colby Armstrong (one year, $1 million) and Francis Bouillon...

Rangers agree to sign Taylor Pyatt to two-year deal

Via Darren Dreger, the Rangers have agreed to sign winger Taylor Pyatt to a two-year deal worth $1.55 million annually. The 30-year-old spent the last three seasons with the Coyotes, averaging 13-11-24 while playing in at least 73 games each year. Pyatt has also spent time with the Islanders, Sabres, and Canucks. I’ll leave the in-depth analysis up to our resident experts.

Arron Asham Signs with Rangers

Arron Asham signed a two-year, $2 million contract with the New York Rangers over the weekend. The Pens re-signed him last June at a rate of $775,000 for one year of service, but the front office did not offer him anything this offseason. During his two year tenure with the Penguins, he tallied 10 goals and 17 assists. Asham  had previously played for the Islanders, Devils, Canadiens...

The waiting game

(New York Rangers) It is almost too quiet for free agency as July 2 comes to an end and the New York Rangers, one can say are making their fans very nervous by doing nothing. Maybe it's not fair to say that the team is doing nothing because nobody really knows what the Rangers are doing or not doing at the moment. It is a rather strange set of circumstances as the entire...

Aaron Musick: Avs day one overview

After one day of the free agency period, the Avs have added three players an $7 million to their payroll. First came fourth line center John Mitchell, formerly of the New York Rangers, to replace Jay McClement who would sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs later in the day. Mitchell is good at faceoffs, will play physical and won't be asking for the third line minutes that McClement...

Zenon Konopka Signs With Minnesota

Another depth forward comes off the market as Konopka inks a two-year deal with the Minnesota Wild. I was hoping Glen Sather would be working the phones to bring him in. A tough guy who can play big time penalty killing minutes and the big thing from Konopka would be his face-off capability. He was such a [...]

Stu Bickel Press Release

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH STU BICKEL NEW YORK, July 1, 2012 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Stu Bickel on a new contract. Bickel, 25, tallied nine assists and 108 penalty minutes in 51 games last season following his recall [...]
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.