I'll be turning seventeen this Wednesday and will be spending my week long vacation in one of my favorite historical destinations: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The one problem of being on vacation at this time is free agency will start the day I'm away and I'm sure that my cell phone will be vibrating all day long with texts and calls from friends who are telling me of the signings as they happen.
As most of you know, I've been openly campaigning for the Rangers to sign Brian Rolston for about three months now, even before the season ended. I was always a big fan of his and have always wanted to see him in Ranger blue.
Today, as I was reading through my favorite hockey sites and rumor mills, I came across the report that said that Brian Rolston has cut talks with the Minnesota Wild and could very well hit the open market on July 1st. I was so excited to have read this that I decided to write this article, even though there isn't much to report on.
The only details we know are that the Wild have made three separate contract offers to Rolston, who has declined them all.
We have no idea, but it is believed that Rolston wants a two year deal at $4-5 million per season, a price I'd easily pay him.
Now, the NY Post said sometime in February that "Glen Sather would be stupid if he didn't at least try to sign Rolston to some sort of deal." That tells me the Rangers will be one of the top teams interested in getting him and hopefully on July 1, my dreams for the past few months will come true.
Rolston is no spring chicken though and at 35 he may be a little past his prime. But why sign him then?
Well first of all, he is still as fast as ever and I would love to see him on the second line with Scott Gomez. He's one of the few wingers that will be able to keep up with the speedy, play making center.
Secondly, he has a great shot and plays a hard-nosed-drive-to-the-net North American style of hockey, something that the Rangers desperately need. He can also play the point on the powerplay and quarterback it, something else the Rangers need. I've said it before, how I hate having forwards play the point, but Rolston is an exception. He is also a great defensive forward.
Speaking of the defense in him, Rolston has always been dangerous in his career while shorthanded. With Straka done as a Ranger, Rolston will be right there to replace him on the penalty kill. He is also a product of the New Jersey Devils' farm system and knows how to play defense. As my dad always says, "Once a Devil, always a Devil."
Below, I will list line combinations that are very possible, especially with talks of Sundin heating up. I know these are probably the fourth set of lines I've presented to you in the past week alone, but as rumors change, so must the thinking.
Line One: Drury-Sundin-Jagr
Line Two: Dawes-Gomez-Rolston
Line Three: Callahan-Dubinsky-Prucha
Line Four: Byers/Orr-Betts-Sjostrom
So I tell you this, Mr. Sather. Every year on July 1st, you seem to get me an early birthday gift (birthday is on July, 2). In 2006 it was Brendan Shanahan and last year it was Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. So can you do me a favor and get me Rolston too? I would deeply appreciate it.