New York Rangers

Ok Slats, So Now What?

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 21:  Patrick Marleau #12 of the San Jose Sharks warms up against the Anaheim Ducks during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 21, 2009 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CharlesContributor IJuly 1, 2009

No question Slats was the big winner for the period after the draft and before "Canada Day", but while dealing Scott Gomez for a winger that can score 25-to-30 and a couple of nice defensive prospects solve two problems, it still leaves three unsolved.

 

Problems solved

1) Rangers move an underachieving headache that never was the "answer". As talented as Scott Gomez might be, he's nothing more than a glorified seconnd line center that can play some on the first line.

2) He's eating up $7.35+ million of cap space for the next five years. The extra cap space allows the Rangers to be real players during the free agent signing season.

 

Problems not solved

1) As much as I believe that Gomez wasn't a bona fide day in and day out st line center, he was the best centerman on the team. The Rangers are left with a glut of 2nd/3rd line centers—Drury, Dubinsky, Korpikoski, etc.

2) Higgins is a great little addition, but he isn't a sniper. In fact the Rangers don't have one unless Nikolai Zherdev all of a sudden "gets it", but even then he might not be the type of player capable of scoring 40 goals. The Rangers need a player which instills some level of fear in the opposition—a pure goal scorer.

3) Although the defensive prospects are nice, you can never have enough...and although the Rangers are blessed with some offensively gifted D'men in the system, the Rangers don't have a nasty shut down D'man.

 

As good as many Rangers' fans might feel that Slats is showing some restraint this time around, we might not see another market quite so "depressed" as this one again in the near future.

Sather still needs to be a player in the market and resolve some of the issues surrounding the club. 

As day one of free agency almost comes to a close, he hasn't played. By allowing Komisarek and Cammalleri to be signed by Toronto and Montreal respectively, he's effectively put himself in a hole when it comes to signing a first line center and a good tough nasty d'man. There are none available through free agency.

Plus, until he has a front line center, getting a sniper for the wing is moot. Hopefully there's a master plan somewhere, but at the moment I'm failing to grasp what it might be.

 

UPDATE

Rangers sign Gaborik for five years at $7.5 million per year. Although the term is acceptable, the cap hit might be slightly high. We still need a frontline center to play with him and we just ate up a ton of cap space.

According to Rick Carpiniello, Glen Sather in a conference call stated that he thinks Dubinsky can be a No. 1 center.

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