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New York Rangers Deal Bobby Sanguinetti; Sather Plays Hardball with Marc Staal

Greg CaggianoSenior Writer IJune 27, 2010

These last two days have been a whirlwind of confusion and anger for New York Rangers fans. First, it saw the team draft Dylan McIlrath in the first round when Cam Fowler and Vladimir Tarasenko were still on the board. Then it saw the team, yesterday, deal 2006 first-round pick Bobby Sanguinetti to the Carolina Hurricanes.

In regards to their draft choice, let’s just be real here—fans were ready to bitch and moan if the Rangers drafted Christ incarnate. Why? Because we can never been happy with anything. Here is poor Dylan McIlrath, torn to shreds by everybody. What do we know about him?

We had not even heard of him prior to Friday (I guess that’s the reason for the anger), but here is this 18-year-old, who all he did was get drafted, and here he is, starting his career, called a failure.

Fans are making it seem like the Rangers took someone who was not even going to go in the draft at all, not a player who was ranked at 15th by TSN, who the Rangers chose at 10th. The myth that the Rangers could have traded down is false, because it has since been speculated that two others teams were interested in him.

The Rangers got their man Friday night, made known by the fact that they already had his name stitched on the jersey.

For years we have been begging for a tough, bruising, S.O.B defenseman that we have not had since Jeff Beukeboom. Although McIlrath is years away from being NHL ready, it is a step in the right direction. So let’s just wait until he plays a game and screws up before we rip the hell out of him.

Now to Bobby Sanguinetti, the shining prospect of the team’s farm system for the last four years. Yes, four years. Maybe that’s why he was traded.

When the Rangers drafted this offensive defenseman in 2005, he was promised to be the next Brian Leetch. Who made that promise? Who knows, but unfortunately it stuck, and fans still have in their heads that Sanguinetti can be of use to the Rangers.

Just because Sanguinetti only played five games for the team in four years, it does not mean he is a bust as a draft pick. He is sure to have a solid NHL career in front of him, but due to the Rangers logjam of defensemen, there is absolutely no room for him at all.

So rather than let him rot, the Rangers got a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft, and a second for next year. A pretty nice return considering the fact that Glen Sather had no leverage, because it was brutally clear he had no future.

Finally, what everybody is talking about are the recent comments made by Sather concerning cornerstone defenseman Marc Staal. Sather told Michael Obernauer of the Daily News that there is a “chasm” separating the two parties from reaching an agreement. This immediately threw everyone into panic mode.

Let’s take a step off the ledge for a second and think this one out. Do you honestly believe that Sather is going to let Staal get away? Not a chance in hell.

Staal, whose agent is Bobby Orr, is reportedly seeking a deal of $3.5-4 million, according to Larry Brooks of the NY Post. Depending on the angle you look at this from, it could be worth it. Staal has been great defensively but really does not contribute any offensive punch, at least not as much as the Rangers would like.

Should Staal be seeking a small deal, than $4 million would be an overpayment. However, if the Rangers could lock him up long-term, as in five or more years, than you have to seriously consider giving it to him. Staal will be entering his fourth season, so I suggest they give him a one year contract and see how he does this season. Should he outburst, then he gets the money he is looking for. Should he fail, then he takes Sather’s offer.

Glen Sather will not let Staal get away. It’s painfully obvious that fans hate him so much that they are letting that blind them.

However, if you want to talk about a defenseman the Rangers might let walk away, try Dan Girardi, who is looking for $3 million. Girardi, who was brutal early on last season, was able to settle down and play solid down the stretch. His point totals hover around the mid-20s, and that does not make him worth as much, considering he isn’t as sound positionally as Staal, and has no physical element to his game at all. And who could forget him playing spectator to this ?

One more thing—how come when Sather drafts Lundqvist in a late round of the draft it’s considered luck, but when the Red Wings do it with Datsyuk and Zetterberg it’s considered brilliance?

Please visit my blog, "From New York to San Francisco" .

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