New York Rangers Should Pursue Ian Laperriere
Less then two days ago it was reported by TSN that Ian Laperriere of the Colorado Avalanche rejected their offer of a one year deal.
It has been said that the offer was less money than the contract he currently has, which is approximately $1.15 million. Because of this, Laperriere may be heading towards unrestricted free agency this July first.
With all the talk that the Rangers need to acquire a superstar, the team must also fill some holes amongst the bottom six forwards. With the strong possibilites that Freddy Sjostrom and Colton Orr will not return, the Rangers will need to acquire a role player who brings a certain set of skills to the table.
The perfect man for the job would be sixteen year veteran Ian Laperriere, who actually spent a quarter of the 1995-'96 season with the Rangers, before being traded to Los Angeles for Jarri Kurri.
In his short time on Broadway he became popular with the fans because of his hard work and grinding, but most of all because of his fighting. He may be too old to be an enforcer now, but he can still paw-off with some of the toughest fighters in the league, even at thirty five years old.
Not only can he fight, but he can score some goals as well. On a Rangers team that will be desperate for both offense and leadership, Laperriere brings a little bit of both.
He has averaged more then twenty points a season, which is a lot, considering his main role is to grind and stick up for his teammates.
He has also worn the alternate captain's "A" in both Los Angeles and Colorado, giving him a voice in the dressing room. If there was one thing questionable on the Rangers this past season, it was leadership.
He fits into John Tortorella's style of play, which employs big bodies that can crash the net. Although not the biggest player in size, he sure doesn't play that way.
He can always been seen going to the net and wreaking havoc. One can tell just by looking at his nose, which used to be straight.
Fans will be questioning this move since his age is not that of a spring chicken, but he can still skate and bring energy while bridging the gap for another season until a player like Evgeny Grachev or Dane Byers is ready to fill the void at the wing position.
Also, can you imagine a third line of Sean Avery, Brandon Dubinsky, and Ian Laperriere? The line would be damaging to the opponents from the size and hitting, and also be a threat to score some goals.
Of course, given the Rangers salary cap position, they will be hesitant to spend money on a winger that is not of superstar caliber, but this move will not break the bank. He was getting paid $1.15 million in Colorado and turned down an offer that was less then that.
It is reasonable to say that a fair contract offer would a one year deal for $1.2-1.5 million. That is an offer that he would accept, especially one that brings him back to a team that never should have parted with him.
Greg Caggiano is a writer on Bleacher Report covering the New York Rangers. He has a New York area sports teams blog called Metro-Sports, where you can read great articles about all professional sports teams that play in the area by a dedicated team of young writers.
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