As Free Agents, Marian Hossa, Mats Sundin, Jaromir Jagr and, Sean Avery all were waiting for the New York Rangers to meet their demands for new contracts, Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival's demands were met. The New York Rangers went to work on their blue line during day one of the NHL Free Agency Period, by re-signing Michal Rozsival to a 4 year deal worth 20 million dollars and then signed Wade Redden, who had a down year for his lofty standards with the disappointing Ottawa Senators, agreeing to terms with the Rangers on a six-year deal that will pay him $6.5 million per season, totaling 39 million dollars.
“In our opinion he’s the best first-passer in the game,” Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. “He moves the puck up exceptionally. He’s somebody that we had targeted immediately. He was our No. 1 guy on defense, as well as Rozsival. We wanted to get them both signed, and we did. We’re quite happy that we’ve got them. We think that’s going to help us move the puck to the forwards as well as anybody in the league.”
The Rangers biggest problem last season was not having a quarterback for a power play that was largely ineffective during the season and into the playoffs, especially during their 2nd Round loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Wade Redden now solves that problem for the Rangers. With 51 Power Play Goals, 139 Power Play Assists, and a +159 over his career and only being a minus player once, -1 in 99-00, Redden brings leadership and a defensive ability unlike any Ranger defenseman since Brian Leetch was traded away in 2004. In bringing back Michal Rozsival, the Rangers bring back their number one defenseman, who struggled while trying to be both the Power Play QB andthe Shot from the point, now with Redden here Rozsival can focus on improving his defensive play and being only needed for his shot, one of the most underrated in the NHL. Overall the Rangers now have 5 solid defenseman in Redden, Rozsival, Marc Staal, Fedor Tyutin and Dan Girardi and could be set at the blue line for along time.
In other news the Rangers agreed to terms with left wing Patrick Rissmiller, who had been with the San Jose Sharks; agreed to terms with left wing Aaron Voros who had been with the Minnesota Wild; agreed to terms with right wing Andreas Jamtin, who had been in Sweden; agreed to terms with backup goaltender Steven Valiquette.
Nothing too special here, although with Rissmiller and Voros in the mix, where will 4th liners Colton Orr and Ryan Hollweg fit on the team? Training camp could be very big in determining the 3rd and 4th lines for the Rangers in the 2008-2009 season.
Overall a good day for the Rangers, and there could be more on the way as we head into Day 2 of the NHL Free Agency period. For the Bleacher Report, this is Matthew Falkenbury reminding you to, Let The Truth Be Told.