New York Rangers Sign Naslund and Kalinin, Say Goodbye to Jagr

Matthew FalkenburyCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2008

Longtime Vancouver Canucks' captain Markus Naslund has agreed to terms Thursday with the Rangers on a two-year deal. Naslund, who scored 25 goals and added 30 assists last season, leaves Vancouver after 12 seasons with the last eight as the captain.

The winger, who will turn 35 later this month, reached a deal with the Rangers on the same day the team agreed to terms with former Buffalo Sabres' defenseman Dmitri Kalinin.

Earlier this week, New York dipped into the free agency pool by signing defenseman Wade Redden and forwards Patrick Rissmiller and Aaron Voros.

The signing of Naslund likely ends the Rangers' career of captain Jaromir Jagr, who is still mulling his future as an unrestricted free agent. “It’s unfortunate that sometimes things like this come to an end,” Rangers general manager Glen Sather said.

Well, what can you say, an era that saw the Rangers go from laughing stock to Stanley Cup contender has come to pass. Jaromir Jagr will not be coming back to Broadway as the Rangers have decided to move on and give the keys to the team to Chris Drury, Henrik Lundqvist, and Scott Gomez.

The New York Rangers are a team in transition and have decided that getting younger and plugging in a veteran here and there, much like the 2005-2006 team, is the better way to go.

With Brandon Dubinsky, Scott Gomez, and Chris Drury as your top line centers for the next few years, who will be on the wings?

Meet the candidates as of today: Freddy Sjostrom, Nikolai Zherdev, Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes, Ryan Callahan, Aaron Voros, Markus Naslund, Patrick Rissmiller, Colton Orr, Ryan Hollweg, Lauri Korpikoski, and Mats Sundin??

Wow, not exactly Adam Graves and Jean Ratelle there, the youth movement that the Rangers franchise promised us in 2005 has finally come to pass, and the new era of Rangers hockey is upon us. But before all is said and done and the Rangers head to Prague to open the season, Mr. Sather, PLEASE NOW GET MATS SUNDIN.