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04-10-2004, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Edge
Well I'm not in disagreement with you there but the only "young" guy in that mix is Lundmark. Poti pretty much is what he is at this point, as is Purinton and Dunham is 32 already.

Lundmark at 23 is probably the only guy I could possibly see changing his game at this point and even that has to be weighed against with his performance down the stretch.
Well, youth isn't the only thing the Rangers (and fans) are going to need to learn to be patient with Edge.

Look, which of these options sounds appropriate for a 'rebuilding' program:

1) Keep Dunham, who's on a reasonable contract, isn't that old, and is due for a rebound season. Resign McLennan as a capable veteran back-up should Dunham falter again, and let Labarberra, Blackburn, and Lundqvist battle it out in camp for spots in Hartford. (Trade Labarberra if he loses.)

2) Buy-out (or trade for peanuts) Dunham. If TB excersizes their option on 'Bulin, then trade youth assets to acquire him. (Even though he's older than Dunham and makes X2 his salary). If TB doesn't excersize their option, get into a bidding war with at least 2-3 other teams for his services. Either way, a 3-4 year deal in the $15-25 million range is probably what 'Bulin will eventually command. Resign McLennan to be his back-up, since 'Bulin eats an enormous number of starts, and you don't want Blackburn or one of the other kid goalies rotting on the bench. Instead, the kid goalies get locked in the minor leagues for 2-3 seasons with no hope of a promotion . . .

Now, I recognize that it isn't really 'Dunham or Khabibulin'. Sather does have options outside of the TB netminder, should he choose to cut ties with Dunham. But do you see where I'm going here?

If Sather panics, if he 'must improve in net immiediately', he'll be forced to trade for someone with an even better resume, and likely larger paycheck, than Dunham. He'll need that marquee goalie. Maybe he'll call-up Detroit and try to trade for Cujo, or start bidding on a 39-year-old Belfour. But under any of these scenarios, can you imagine the Rangers longterm outlook in goal getting better, or is it just another 'one-year' fix? And do any of those personel moves 'fit' with a rebuilding program?

And now, back to my original thesis: Will Ranger fans sit by and let Dunham have another year in New York? Or will they begin booing in late November when a young Ranger squad is already 5 games below .500?

I dunno, I'm hoping that I get surprised here . . . but I'm not really expecting it.

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