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Prospect of Signing Sundin Raises Hopes of a Stanley Cup Production on Broadway

Mike RappaportAnalyst IIAugust 17, 2008

Rangers fans: don't order your Nikolai Zherdev jersey just yet.

There is a possibility that another #13 could be coming to the biggest hockey market in the U.S. from the biggest hockey market in Canada.

According to the New York Post, Mats Sundin has expressed interest about playing in New York, and Sundin's agent, J.P. Barry, has spoken with the Rangers front office for the duration of this week.

The possibility of signing Sundin can, and will, be viewed in two different ways: The optimistic view is that the Rangers are getting a future Hall of Famer, who scored 32 goals last season and could play with fellow countryman Markus Naslund.

The pessimistic view is that the Rangers would be getting a 37-year old center who, along with other Rangers' pre-lockout signings, will struggle in New York.

As for me, the die-hard Rangers fan who gets to give you, the reader, his point of view about the team he follows for 82 games and hopefully more each year, signing Sundin would only increase the opportunity of Ranger fans paying enormous amounts of money to Jim Dolan for hockey in June.

Now, before the questions are asked about where Sundin would fit on the roster, there is the issue of the salary cap. The Rangers have only $2 million of cap space remaining, so Glen Sather would undoubtedly have to subtract parts of the roster to create the salary cap space needed.

If the Rangers do, in fact, complete this signing, other coaches in the Eastern Conference are going to have plenty to deal with. Signing Sundin would likely take Chris Drury off the #2 line as a center, and move him to the #1 line as a wing.

Drury would be with Gomez and Zherdev on that line, while Sundin would have Naslund as one of his wings on the 2nd line. With Brandon Dubinsky providing youthful energy on the 3rd line, probably with Nigel Dawes and either Ryan Callahan or Petr Prucha, the Rangers could boast three potential scoring lines.

Now, these are all predictions and possibilities, but in order to create cap room for Mats, somebody will have to go, so until there is the press conference at the Garden (or the training center) when Sundin would be holding up the #13 Rangers jersey, all the predictions mean nothing.

However, until Sundin makes his decision one way or the other, all Rangers fans can dream about Mats Sundin holding up the Stanley Cup over his head at the Garden in June.


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