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08-17-2008, 11:36 AM
NYR Sting
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Originally Posted by nyrJeff View Post
This is precisely the fallacy I just referred to. What "great" player would you expect to acquire? What "great" player would their current team give up? What "great" player will ever reach free agency?

The answer to all of the above is, more likely than not, none.

Great players don't reach free agency anymore, because if the current team knows it can't keep that player, like (probably) Kovalchuk, for instance, that player will most definitely be traded in his contract year, and will more likely than not sign with the team he's traded to.

So IF by some miracle one of these players is to become available, which I don't see happening anytime in the forseeable future, at that point you deal with the cap ramifications. You buy someone out and take the extra cap hit, or you trade someone, or you waive someone. What you don't do is "save" cap space hoping that some elite player will become available down the road, because then you're likely to be left with your thumb in your arse.

As long as the team has the means to move salary if necessary (which the Rangers do, in every player but Drury), there's no problem spending up to the cap every year.
I have no problem with spending to the cap every year, and I never said I did. My problem is when that spending is done in an irresponsible manner, as in signing three players to huge contracts when none of them are worthy of it.

As far as great players hitting free agency, you're right, they usually don't hit free agency. And you're also correct in the sense that they often get traded before their current contract expires.

The difference is that when the Nashville Predators or Columbus Blue Jackets or some other small market team acquires a guy at the deadline, it's not likely the player will want to stay there. The same is not true with the Rangers.

Instead of Gomez and Redden, the Rangers could be in play for Bouwmeester and Kovalchuk over the course of the next two seasons instead of being stuck in mediocrity.

And, keep in mind, when a guy gets dealt at the deadline and chooses not to re-sign with his team, ala Hossa, that player DOES become a UFA. The Rangers, if they have available cap room, will always be a prime destination for free agents. You never want to hamstring your team with too many bad contracts that prevent you from competing for the best talent.

I think this team is going to regret Gomez and Redden for a long time, just like the Flyers are going to regret the Briere signing.

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