This year’s free agency class lacked the big names that it has in recent years. As there are only two marquee guys on the market this off-season, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The Rangers haven’t been linked to either one too much throughout the day which I wasn’t exactly surprised. The Rangers, however, have been linked to Rick Nash but he won’t be traded until Zach Parise signs with a team just so that the Blue Jackets can make sure they maximize their return when teams come to them after they have lost the Parise sweepstakes.
The Rangers instead focused on re-signing one of their own guys, as they brought tough guy Stu Bickel back on a two-year deal. They also did dip their toes into the free agent pool as they inked Aaron Asham to a two-year deal. The latter deal spelled the end of Brandon Prust’s time with New York Rangers as he found a new home in Montreal for a ridiculous $10 million over four years. Yet through all of this Rangers fans have still found time to cry, which shouldn’t surprise me anymore, and I don’t think it does, it’s just irritating.
I get it, this team went to the Eastern Conference Finals and as it stands will be without their superstar, Marian Gaborik, for at least the first two months of the season. The Rangers need offense, we all know that, regardless of whether Gaborik was healthy or not. As I sit here typing this, it is 8:05pm on July 1st, so am I to understand since Glen Sather hasn’t made a big splash in the last eight hours and five minutes that the Rangers off-season is doomed and Sather is screwing up again? I mean, are you serious right now?
We all knew Zach Parise wasn’t going to sign today, and rewind to last year, Brad Richards didn’t sign until July 2nd…so what the hell is everyone freaking out for? The dominos haven’t even began to fall. Parise, Nash, Ryan, these guys are still all on the baord and in play. Why would you want the future of your hockey team to be rushed? Now I can understand if Parise comes off the board, Nash gets traded, maybe Ryan gets traded somewhere else, yeah the Rangers will be kind of caught with their pants down. But this team is still very talented, and quite honestly they overachieved last season anyway.
I’ve come to realize that the problems with the New York Rangers don’t stem from the players on the ice, the coaches, or management. Now, yes they aren’t the perfect group but the real problem with this team is the fan base. As a diehard Rangers fan I can flat-out say the fan base has become very uneducated when it comes to the game and the way things work. People are crying because the Rangers brought in Aaron Asham to replace Brandon Prust. So you’re telling me you’d rather pay $2.5 million for Prust when you can pay Asham $1 million for the same style of play? There were even reports that Prust wanted a contract that would give him $3 million annually, he had 17 points last season, 17.
Back to the Parise front. The Philadelphia Flyers have reportedly offered a 10 year contract that’s worth over $100 million. That’s a lot of money and a lot years, even for a 27-year-old. He’s a great player, no question, but haven’t we learned anything from Scott Gomez and Chris Drury? The bidding war for Parise is getting dangerously high, so the Rangers would need to be careful trying to go after him. Say they sign him to that kind of deal, are we going to be hearing in three years that he’s a waste and we should’ve never signed him from the same people who would call Sather stupid for not pulling the trigger on a deal? Looking at Rick Nash, he has six years left on his deal which carries a $7.8 million cap hit, not to mention they are asking for McDonagh, Stepan, and/or Kreider. Why rush to make that deal? Those young players are way too valuable to the future of this team.
Let’s take a step back from the ledge, and let Glen and his team do their jobs. We are a mere eight hours into free agency, it’s far too early to push any panic button. The Rangers have multiple options to pursue, let these next coming days and weeks play themselves out before we start going off the edge.
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