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June 28, 2007


Gomez AND Drury!!??!! If that's the case they may be willing to let Nylander go (and Cullen). That frees up almost $7MM in cap space, and they will need it because the cost of those two will be over $14MM. But if for some reason that doesn't happen, then they will need another second line center and they are back in the same situation as last year, except now some chemisty needs to be built. Right now the farm looks OK, so I say keep Nylander, sign Gomez (Drury) and trade Cullen for a bag of pucks. We simply can't have a 3rd line center making $3.2MM.

I'm not really sure what everyone has against Cullen, in my eyes he's one of the better players on the team. Averages 17 minutes a game, rarely makes mistakes or bad plays, can play PP, PK, even strength, and gives Renney so many gameplan options because of his speed. 41 points for a 3rd line center who can step on the ice at almost any time in a game is easily worth 7% of the salary cap. Stop hatin. And best option this offseason is to keep the core, and pickup Preissing/Stuart on the cheap. Overpaying for free agents only builds apathy and decreases accountability within organizations, rangers fans should know that. Great site btw.

I agree with you wholeheartedly Leetchfan...

I cannot for the life of me understand why people are down on Matt Cullen? He was not a second line center which is what they tried to make him into. He is a 3rd line center and he did a fantastic job in that role when he was put there. Okay, so he doesn't score as much as you would like to see, but that can come. Remember, while $3.2mm may see high for him, the Rangers were still trying to rebuild their image and they had to overpay to get people to come here. I think you will see after this coming season, especially if they hit it out of the park and bring in Drury and Gomez, that the price that they will pay will actually go down because New York will seem like a place to come in and win. They already treat their players in a better manner, as far as facilities and immenities, better than any other team, and Tom Renney, whether you like him or not, has developed into a VERY well respected Coach around the league and people want to be here to play for him.

Remember, this is all still aprt of the rebuilding process. We've been pretty good and getting better all the time. The idea here is to constantly be competitive for a Cup, a la NJ or Detroit who always seem to be in the mix. That would be new here. Wouldn't it be nice to know going into a season that you're rooting for a play-off team and a contender (that doesn't mean win it every year) for the Cup rather than a team trying jsut to make the play-offs and make some noise? We're on the verge of that right now and if everyone would just remain a little patient I think you will see a much imporved team this year over last. They may not win it again this year but I think all indications are that they are going to imporve again and go deeper into the play-offs which can do nothing but make Ranger's fans happy...okay, nothing short of a Cup makes them happy, but how about content...

Let's all stop being judgemental and sit back and watch what Sather and company are goign to do. My guess is that they are going to get at least Drury and possibly Gomez but I wouldn't count on that. I think the Rangers have very little interest in Briere. I also would not be surprised to see them take a run at Oullette since he has decent numbers and he's pretty young at 25. I also think they are goign to go after Tom Pressing and I also would not be eve na little surprised if they try and take a run at Parise or Vanek with an offer sheet.

And now a word from our sponsor...

Thank you Dubi for that excellent report.

Getting Gomez and Drury to accept less money to have both of them come to New York is nothing more than a pipe dream as neither of them have directly stated that they would prefer to play for the NYR. Gomez is adamant on breaking the bank this summer so expect him to attract somewhere around $8 million from LA or SJ or some team w/ a ton of cap space. Frankly I don't see him being worth more then Nylander as he's only had one season when he's scored more than 71 points.

At this point I wouldn't be too devastated if we were to lose out on the Gomez/Drury/Briere/Nylander sweepstakes as we can just move Straka to first line center, Avery or Cullen to 2nd line center, and voila! we now have a spot for a young player of Dubinsky/Dawes/Byers caliber to make it onto the Rangers roster next year. Granted we wouldn't be a heavy favorite for the Stanley Cup but frankly i still don't see that as a possibility even with Nylander and Drury/Gomez/Briere coming aboard.

P.S. i would love to see any team make an offer sheet to Vanek or Parise but if memory serves me correctly that hasn't happened since Federov in 1998 so i'm not too optimistic on seeing that happen from any team let alone the Rangers.

Mr Beck,
Well said! Chemistry is a big deal on a team like the Rangers with players from all over, and they didn't seem to gel until the A.Ward experiment was halted. Nylander is the best option for JAgr's line due to his style of play. Granted he can be maddening to watch and everyone loves a player like Avery and Callahan, but you need both styles. Nobody can stick handle in the corners and control the puck like Nylander. I don't see Gomez as a good fit even though I love his speed and playmaking- but he's a primadonna. Drury, for all the intangibles, will be overpaid- and why saddle the team with that contract.
For discussion purposes, what about Michael Peca; less expensive, two way player, gritty, can play on PK and PP. Downside is he tends to get hurt..upside is Dubinsky gets called up...

cullen is great for this team. not his fault he was miscast as a second line center for the better part of last year. i'd love to see him centering callahan and avery on the third line next year. imo, that's a hell of a third line.

I completely disagree with you Ted. I think the team's most glaring need last year was a second line center. Clearly Straka is not the answer there or that wouldn't have been a glaring need. Now you're advocating going into the season with essentially no #1 or #2 center, implying that the removal of an important part of last year's success should be viewed as no big deal. I wish I could say we've got young guys ready to step in and that were true, and maybe next year we will, but anyone that thinks this team will be remotely competitive with Straka and Avery centering lines 1 and 2 is in for a rude awakening.

I'm not crazy about overpaying for Nylander, and frankly if I thought it was remotely possible that the Rangers could land Drury and Gomez I'd be all for letting him walk. But I don't see that happening and could easily see the Rangers getting neither Gomez nor Drury. And that means, basically, that re-signing Nylander is pretty important.

How about Michel Ouellet? I think that would be a nice addition -- though I suspect with the market the way it is his price would be prohibitive. Perhaps a younger guy makes sense, but I'm not sure Dawes will ever be ready. Who knows.

In any event, I would rather have Gomez/Drury than Nylander any day. Both are younger. Both have won more. Nylander is a nice player, but his history proves a lot of this production is the result of playing with Jagr. Does anyone believe that a younger more accomplished center won't do the same? For Sather to move on Nylander before knowing what the market bears is idiotic. If Nylander would rather play for the Islander, then goodbye. I just don't think that's going to happen.

I agree with Ted. It is a pipe dream to figure BOTH Drury and Gomez. There's no way they're taking less money to come here. And it is unbelieveably STUPID to lock appoximately $13-$16 million to 50+ point players for the next 5-6 years. Actually, getting both would not be a dream in any way. It would be a disaster of the Charles Wang magnitude!!

PS - The rumors on these two are pointless. Just about every team has said they are going after them. The speculation should be on where THEY want to play. Not who will pay them whatever....

It is sounds crazy, but how about having Yashin as a center?
Very cheap, but still good player.
One year contract will be reasonable.
Don’t’ kill me… :)))

You're Absolutely Right!
(It sounds crazy.)

Right now, here's where the Rangers stand(based on numbers at tsn.ca):

Including Jagr, Straka, Cullen, Callahan, Hollweg, Orr, Betts, Rozival, Pock, Tyutin, Malik, Girardi, Mara.

Also assuming the following: Lundquist is signed at $5 million/year (acc. to Brooks a possibility). Shanny resigns at $4 million/year.

That takes up roughly $31 million in cap space. If it goes up to $50-51 - which it most certainly will - that leaves the Rangers with roughly $20 million dollars to sign 2 centers from the group of Briere/Drury/Gomez/Nylander, Sean Avery, Petr Prucha, Marcel Hossa, a backup goaltender, and perhaps add a defenseman although I say we go with Staal.

If, in fact, you give Gomez and Drury $7 million apiece, then you would have $6 million to divide up amongst Avery, Prucha, Hossa and Valiquette. Tight but do-able. If Nylander wants Drury or Gomez-like money, then the Rangers would be stupid not to go out and try to get both Drury and Gomez themselves instead of Nylander. If Nylander's perspective is that he's every it as good as those two and worth every bit as much and what the Rangers are getting out of the deal is the opportunity to have first crack to sign him, then Sather has to wait for the market to open.

If Sather signs Gomez or Drury he's an idoit. He would have to grossly overpay and commit to a long term contract that would hurt the team and remind everyone of the early 2000 years. Personally I think you need someone of the Mike York variety, older and serviceable (read:cheaper), and can be pryed away from another team with a mid-tier prospect which NYR has in spades. Learn something from best run organization in hockey, the Devils, (oh-no!! I said something good about the devils and I'm a ranger fan!!) and don't make large moves before the season because the risk-reward is ALWAYS too high. Call me optomistic, but I think this is a lesson that has finally stuck with Sather, who says an old dog can't learn new tricks?

Signing a Gomez is OK due to his age and the need for a set up guy for Shanahan. Otherwise, go get Forsberg for 2 years. 3rd option is Slava Kozlov.

I really like Matt Cullen. He does his job and can play on both special teams, PK and PP. He's got speed and is a team player, so what's the problem? He also has valuable experience on how to win the Cup so he brings a lot to the table. It seems to me some "fans' are never satisfied and just enjoy bashing Cullen. I even enjoy the fact that he is an American player. The other player these "fans" love to hate is Blair Betts. Betts does his job efficiently and he is the best on the PK. As far as winning face-offs, Betts has a high percentile. Guess what, they can't all be Jagr.
I personally like both of these players on the Rangers team.
The team was good for 06-07 season but they lacked a true 2nd line center. If Staal makes the team for 07-08 all the better---big, tough, can score and young. I also like Paul Mara but he's another guy that certain "fans" love to hate. Mara's got a mean shot and is big; he does need more practice with the team though right from the beginning (and rid himself from his nightmarish episodes in Boston where he wasn't used properly).
BTW, I also do not want to lose Petr Prucha.
Why not focus on the positive?

pghas - re the cap what about Kaspar - if they buy him out it will count vs the cap. not sure if he's left in Hartford that might avoid the cap hit. Also whatever the max is teams generally want to be about $ 2 mm lower to keep their options open especially for later in the year and for injuries.

Ana good points - even if they came through 4 times :)

Gomez and Drury would make a great 1-2 tandem, but I hate to think what it will cost to sign them.

Maybe Sather tried to sign Nylander for a home-team discount, and Nylander refused, prompting him to fire his agent. Sather then reasoned that if Nylander isn't going to take a discount to sign with the Rangers, that gives him a reason to sign a much younger player with the same type game in Gomez.

I would be shocked if teams and players weren't having backdoor negotiations and Sather didn't have some idea what it was going to take to sign these guys on July 1.

The fact is, most big-name free agents in the NHL sign on July 1. There is no way that could happen unless the teams and players were negotiating on the sly before that date. Is it credible that the two sides could negotiate $20-50 million contracts in a couple of hours, without factoring in that there are multiple other parties negotiating at the same time?

No, I think Sather has something in mind. Whether some other team blows one of these guys away at the last minute with an offer or whether it turns out to be correct are other matters.

paulf another one of buttman & the owners' farces, alias tampering.

I think the most sought after UFA will be Ryan Smyth and I believe Sather will be very aggressive in pursuing him. He and Drury are the two guys I want, not Gomez or Briere who are not my cup of tea. Seems like I'm the only one here who thinks Smyth is a more significant player for NYR than either of those two centres. I put Smyth with Jagr(sorry Marcel) and Drury with Shanny and Avery on what would be a killer second line. Cullen was very good in the playoffs and is an ideal third line centre. Preissing would be a good edition on D, who wouldn't be too expensive. Souray on the point on the PP would add 5 to 8 extra wins, his shot is that good, but I doubt we can afford what he's looking for.

Who says you have to get Drury and Gomez at a discount? How about this idea: both guys are looking to sign deals worth approximately $40m (6 years at 6-7 million). Why not offer them 8 years at $5m per year. The contracts would be heavily front loaded (i.e., pay them 9-10 million per year for the first 3 years of the deal, the remaining 12 million (approx.) would be spread over the final 5 years of the deal.) The cap charge would be only $5m per year over the life of the contract which is a relative bargain for these guys. After the first 3-4 years, if their play no longer warrants a $5m per year cap charge they can be bought out. If they're bought out at the beginning of year 4 with approx. $12m left on their contracts, the buyout charge would be approx. $800,000 per year for 10 years (2/3 the balance of the cntract spread over twice the amount of time left on the contract). The players would be happy because they're getting more money then expected with most of it comiong in 3 years. The Rangers are happy because they're able to land the players they want with a lower cap charge. There are 2 drawbacks but I don't consider them significant: (1) the Ranger$ would be spending a lot of money over the next 3 years (however, they'd still be spending significantly LESS than they used to spend during the crazy free agency days) and (2) they'd have a combined cap charge of $1.6m per year after buying these guys out (however, this cap charge is the worst case scenario, i.e. it envisions a buyout after year 3. Gomez is in his 20's and should be worth a $5m cap charge for at least another 6 years- so such an early buyout is unlikely. Nonetheless, with the cap expected to rise over the years, isn't it worth taking a small hit for the opportunity to win a cup within the next 2 year Jagr window? I think it is, especially since we don't have to give up any youth to accomplish this). It should be an interesting few weeks!

The Hockey Rabbi


The problem with Cullen and Betts is that they can't pass!

Betts is one dimensional - all defense - totally offensively challenged - and is expendable in my opinion.

I'd actually like Cullen, with his great speed, a lot if he could complete more than one in 5 passes.

Cullen is a decent 3rd line center but he really hurts his wingers' scoring totals. Therefore he should never be given 2nd line duty.

I feel that Dubinsky will be ready and able to outplay Betts (especially offensively) this year. It's time Dubi gets his chance.

Smyth? Nah I'll pass. I think Jason Blake, Michal Handzus and Paul Kariya should be pursued. Also like Mitch said Preissing would be an awesome addition to an already talented young defensive core. If Nylander goes, I'm sure Lang would not mind coming here to play with JJ for a couple fo years. Kozlov like someone said before is also a great option. There are so many options that we should not get so crazy over Gomez and Drury. Sather I think has grown a brain and Renney is a smart guy and I can tell you this...We will not end up with someone who was not thought out significantly.

Sigh. All this talk about the free agents to sign, and when people mention D men to sign I think "What about Staal? What about Busto or Sanguinetti???" Okay, would I like to see Drury as a ranger. Sure. But none of the others. Gomez ha always seemed overrated to me.

As for Lang--I'd rather have Nedved. If Nylander isn't upped and we lose the drury sweepstakes, a Nedved Jagr combo might be solid.... Nedved knows NY, Jagr loves him, etc etc.

Mostly though, I want to see one more young forward on this team next year.

Mara is gonna be very motivated this year because he's playing for a contract and is at that age where his maximum return will come.

I think Drury will come to NY, but not Gomez.

Handzus would be a great addition for two years. He's big, mean, and can pass. Preissing would be a great cheap addition to the D and put more pressure on Mara to rack up offensive numbers.

hockey rabbi - that plan does not work. the nhl was 1 step ahead of you. the avg salary is counted vs the cap for each year. if you then try to buy out a player the cap charge of the buyout is based on his average salary times 2/3 spread over double the years remaining on his contract when you do the buyout. so if a team buys out a player in your example after 3 yrs there would still be 2/3 of $ 25 million of dead money - spread over 2 times 5 or 10 years. so approx $ 1.7 mm per year for 10 years of dead money. on top of that in real cash that's alot of money to pay for only 3 years of use of the player.

Godot - I think the Rangers will stay away from big name defensemen so Staal should have a strong leg up on making the team - the rest is up to him. I don't think Sanguinetti will be ready this year - for him it's either juniors or NHL and I think juniors will win out.

I'm predicting the )))SHOCKING((( departures of NYLANDER & SHANAHAN... and the(equally shocking)signings of ZUBRIS & STUART/HANNON. You wanted a youth movement Baby', well "You-Got-It" !!!

I guess I'm going to be in minority when I say that I don't want either Drury or Gomez. However, I should add that I don't want them at more that $5.5 m / year 'cause this is all they worth for what they truly are - good second line centers. They probably won't accept that in this market and with upcoming true superstar level UFA next year (you all know who they are) I'd rather overpay them then either of D, G or B.

Now, it's probably obvious then that we have to sign Nylander - he PROVED to have chemistry with Jagr and fits into the 1st line center spot - should be no argument there. Hopefully he'll take the home discount as well as Jarg linemate discount that would include 3 year TEAM option. There's probably a very good chance that he's coming back.

Cullen is great choice for the 3rd line center as he is so versatile and could be used in various situation. He's not a 2nd line center and I guess noone would try again to use him this way (except for maybe injury situation).

Betts looked very good IMHO as a 4th line center, he's young, could play on PK very well and wins face-offs. If he's got better skilled linemate he might produce more as well - but it's not that important from the 4th line play.

That leaves us with the 2nd line center spot to fill. Again, I don't like overpaying either Drury Gomez or Briere. Maybe Dubinsky should get a shot at that position with healthier Straka as a back up plan if this doesn't workout. And if both of these options fail it's almost given that there are going to be trade options available during the season for picks and some of our second tier prospects.

Forgot to add that this is a GREAT website. Dubi, Mitch, Jess - excelent coverage, opinions and "timing". Also, props for not seeing any "unsportsmen like conduct" incidents since I started to read.

I just woke up from a bad dream where the Ranger centers for 2007-08 are Toms, Krog, Yashin and Betts. Heaven help us!

Mitch, fire up that grill, I'm coming!


I'm glad that you'll be coming .The only problem is that at this point there has not been enough significant interest from any of the other subscribers to pull this thing off.

Dubi and i plan on talking about this by the end of next week and if there isn't significant enough reaction from the subscriber base then we'll just have to let this thing slide. Truthfully I really don't hope that happens. I think we have to have at least 20-30 people minimum to make it worthwhile for us to do this especially since I was working on getting some pretty cool folks here as guests and to tell you the truth, so far I think we have 3 confirmed people that have contacted Dubi about it.

If you want to have this thing and it is going to be a blast...we have a nice pool and great grills and we were going to cook up a storm, and there will be lots of things to talk about espeically with the season just a couple of weeks away at that point, then you have got to get in touch with Dubi or myself, at info at crossroadsconsulting.com and remember your ticket to the big dance is a one year paid subscription to Blueshirt Bulletin.

Catch you later...

Oh my gosh! Nedved?!? Forsberg?!?

In case you missed it, we (and ANY other team in the NHL)could have had Nedved with Philly paying half the salary....and no one went near him.

Forsberg is damaged goods. Another Lindros....


LI Joe: I'm not sure your right about how the buyout cap charge is calculated: The Isles bought Yashin out of a 10 year 87.5 million dollar contract. When the Isles bought him out he had four years remaining with an additional $26.45m owed to him (apparently, his contract was front loaded as well). The Islanders bought Yashin out by paying two-thirds of the remaining amount ($17.63 million) over the next eight years for a salary-cap hit of about $2.2 million per season. If your info was accurate, the Isles cap charge would have been higher ($8.75m x4= 35,0000,000x 2/3= 23,334,500 /8= $2,916,812.5 per year for 8 years). To be sure, I'll have to look over the CBA.

First of all...WHAT A GREAT SITE!!! I'm a displaced Ranger fan, living in Vermont. But up here I get to see HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA all the time and for that reason let me warn you about Sheldon Souray. If he can win you 8 games a year, he'll also blow you 12 games a year. he is just about THE WORST defensive defenseman we've ever seen. He is good for one perfect set up FOR THE OPPOSITION'S SCORERS every night, and thats not mentioning getting beat two or three times a game badly. Someone is going to pay this guy 6 Million a year and I just pray that Sather watches HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA (do they get that in Florida?)
Souray was a powerplay specialist on a team that finished, what? 20th in the league. Terrible 5 on 5 player. I think there were only two players in NHL with worse +/-. Lets get Nylander re-signed and lure in Scotty Gomez, then lets bring up some of the kids. I can wait one more year for the cup.

Rangers should stand pat and realize that next year, Mighty Joe Thorton is set to become a UFA...max him out a 8mill a season and skip drury/gomer pile

You are correct Hockey Rabbi.

It is the remaining amount not the average amount. People are confused but the new CBA will do that. They take 2/3 of the remaining amount and divide that over the remainder of the contract. So if the player had 4 years remaining on the contract 1/4 of the remainder would be the cap hit. Front loaded contracts are a thing of the present and the future.

Also keep in mind signing bonuses have their own little rules in the new CBA. If I'm not mistaken they are averaged out over the length of the contract.

I'm new to this site so if you already know this, sorry for repeating, but this is another good site; http://www.nhlnumbers.com/index.html
I used it to dbl check what Kisio said about Thornton( Heatley and Fissher of sens are also UFA's next year) Do you think big Joe would want to come back east? also, nobody mentions Mike Comrie as a possible 2nd line center. A lot cheaper than Gomez/Drury/Briere. Can Gomez really get paid 7 or 8 million a year??????? I mean 13 goals, I know he does more than score but 7-8 million. At that rate Big Joe and Heatley will sign for no less than 10-12

As a first time commentator, I would like to thank all the gentlemen who contribute to keeping all us trueblue'rs up to speed on current events. Kudos to you, and keep up the good work! I too am one of those fans that keeps checking this website constantly and unable to focus at work!

Now, down to business. The consensus is we need one top C-man and possibly a D-man to be, dare I say, Cup Finals bound. This assumes that Nylander returns, which I believe he will at approximately $4.75/yr over 3yrs (i.e. the duration of Jagr's anticipated stay). There is no question we need a top C-man for the 2nd line, who would be the heir-apparent to Nylander's 1st line spot. While Gomez is a slightly faster and younger version of Nylander, he has displayed that "Nedved-esque" laziness that we had to suffer through on 2 stints. I would prefer the clutch Drury, who could inherit the "C" when Jagr retires. However, that would require a SIGNIFICANT cap hit while Jagr, Straka, Nylander, and Shanny continue to play...inhibiting our ability to improve by signing or trading for new players.

I think the better strategy would be to sign big-body Handzus to create havoc at the top of the crease and free up our wingers to do their magic. Then take that money and invest it in a proven, top-flight PP QB...Hannan (arguably the best 2way D on the market) or Rafalski, who almost no one believes the Rangers will pursue. Think of what a coup we will score to strip the Devils of their top D-man and unilaterally transform them into a non-playoff team!! That leaves us with Rozy (legitimately transformed into a 1st line Dman through end of the season and the playoffs), mara (in contract year, i.e., career year), solid D-men Girardi and Tyutin, cinder-block-footed Malik (expendable) and Pock (7th D-man). That leaves spots open for a UFA D-man and Staal, who is practically a lock to make the team.

Finally, all of those who diss Cullen and Betts clearly did not watch enough of the NYR's regular season and the playoffs. Cullen blossomed with his speed, faceoff, PK and 2way ability on the 3rd line. Cullen, Callahan, and Prucha will mature into a fantastic 3rd line. Betts--while practically one-dimensional--is the BEST faceoff man we have and took many CRITICAL draws where no one else was up to the task. Betts can only be as good as the wingers who flank him. Give him a break!

I just pray that the loss of Maloney won't prove to be our undoing.

First off Congrats to Mark Messier for being selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. We all know he deserved it.

Second at the same time SHAME on those who once again left Glenn Anderson out of that same shrine. Not selecting someone who scored clutch goal after clutch goal is a shame. Wow he only had 498 goals 2 short of the benchmark of 500.

Free Agents: I see a lot of people tossing names but here is what I notice nobody talking about: CHEMISTRY.

You see one of the things that has turned the Rangers back into the playoffs has been an effort to develop a team chemistry. I give credit to the Rangers not going too crazy over UFAs.

I think that trend must continue as there are kids who are almost NHL ready like Dubinsky and Dawes. Sign too many UFAs and these kids watch their development get stopped dead in their tracks.

I would like to see limited signings of UFAs, if Nylander doesn't like the Ranger money then seeya he is not going to be that hard to replace with a younger more talented model.

As for all of you new folks here, welcome to our little place on the web. If you like what you see here then you really will love what Dubi puts together for a magazine.

Bruce Berlet of the Hartford Courant will be at the camp's final day and I hope to talk one of those kids who was at the camp to do a "How I spent my days at camp" interview shortly.

Oh yea I also want people to start thinking about playing our fantasy hockey league once again, first preference goes to those who played last year but we hope to expand the league to 20 teams this year.

First place winner gets to take Dubi out to dinner.

Second place winner gets to pay for my airfare and dinner

JESS ... you are right in talking about chemistry, if any UFA signs here he has to realize coming in Jagr is the Captain . Just look at A Ward as an example. That's one of the bigger reasons why Sather has to resign Nylander. He also needs to know what UFA wouldn't fit in ....... as far as your expanding the fantasy league, little buttman has taught you well;)

Big game of chicken going on right now. Nylander and his agent are basically saying to the Rangers "well, you'd better pay what I'm asking or you'll be headed into July 1 with no centers locked up, good luck signing two guys." Sather - via Uncle Larry - is saying "fine, we're more than happy to pursue Drury AND Gomez, you can see if anyone else wants to pay you what you think you're worth skating next to Jaromir Jagr."

Oh wow - I forgot Fisher was coming free after next season. I would kill for that kid, but I have a feeling that the Sens will do everything in their power to keep him . . .

Nylander is like Barry Bonds, he found his game/power after the age of 33...Bonds did it with steroids and Nylander with jagroids

Hey, Mitch, I said I was hoping to come. I'll bring a guest or two, too.

As for my Nedved comment it was meant in this way: would I rather have Lang or Nedved--I'd rather have Nedved; not I'd rather have Nedved over Drury or Nylander.

The Rangers will re-sign Nylander. I think Nylander's career speaks for itself, and testing the free agent waters will show that to be the case. He won't get a better offer sheet to play without Jagr.

The Rangers need a second line center.(assuming Nylander signs) Get Drury and if we get anyone else it will be gravey.

I have begun to twitch....a couple of lines up I saw the words "have" and "Nedved" appear together side by side. I'm checking in from the office, people have just noticed the shaking. please don't do that again....

I keep saying this about Nylander -- he blossomed mostly because of the new rules, which are made for players like him. He would have increased his scoring anywhere he played, although obviously everybody scores more playing with Jagr. Before Nylander joined the Rangers, guys like him could be hooked and held into oblivion. He has unique skills that are made for the new rules. He will be successful anywhere he plays.

I think Nylander will end up signing with the NYR...Gomez with Philthy....Drury in LA/SJ...Briere in Buff/Mon...

Sather has shied away from the monster contracts ever since the Holik/Kaspar debacle. Remember, last year he could have had Chara but settled for more Roszival.

As for 2nd line center, I can't help but think he'll go for Lang on the cheap with Comrie a possibility. Comrie reminds me of Cullen, more suited to 3rd line than 2nd and not much of a playmaker. Lang gives Renney flexibility to move Nylander to line 2 and have him play with JJ.

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