I found it interesting that, on the day of Richards' signing, Sather went out and said that he will not be pursuing a left winger to play on the top line. That type of frankness is very uncharacteristic of Sather. This signals to me that he and Torts have a good idea of how they want to round out that top line, or at the very least they're keen on keeping the competition in house rather than making another move. Again, I have a hunch that Fedotenko is the leading candidate for the spot, but that guys like Wolski, Dubinsky, Avery and possibly Stepan or even Rupp will be given opportunities as well. We will surely see multiple combinations tested as the season goes on. But this is how I see us on opening night...
Quick Q: Do the Rangers typically carry 7 D on the bench, or is that 7th guy usually in the press box? Just wondering b/c I'd love to see Erixon, DZ and V-Tank round out the last 5-7, but if one of them would be upstairs just observing, that wouldn't be beneficial for anyone (then I'd prob give Eminenger the spot...)
Staal - Girardi
McDonagh - Sauer
Del Zotto - Erixon
This is probably the closest to what we'll see..except Hagelin is gonna start off in the minors barring a trade that opens up a spot..As it is I see Avery bought out, and Christensen dealt. Neither are Torts' favorites and now that Richards is locked up Sean just might be part of the second buyout phase..
Torts will have two of his favorite players back in Richards and Fedotenko so expect those two to play again and throw in Gaborik there's your 20-23 minute a night line right there.
The Pack Line will keep things rolling..
Wolski will be the leftwing to Stepan and Zuccarello there's chemistry there..
Rupp with Boyle and Prust is a big, forechecking line with the ability to pot a few points along the way.
For the sake of the offense line combo's like I said this is the safe bet to look at it we could be surprised in the upcoming weeks with a trade, or someone like a Zuccarello gets beat out by say Thomas.
The Defense I don't think they sign a veteran..Gordie Clark has said Tim Erixon could play top 4 in the NHL as of right now so penciling him in as a #5 or #6 is def within reason. The other bonus is I guess he can play the right side which is a nice perk..So much like Wraparound has it is how I see it..Stick with what works till it doesn't so bring back your top 4 of
Staal - Girardi
McD - Sauer
DZ - Erixon
The only way DZ and Erixon aren't your last two dmen are if DZ is still in his rut, or if my personal darkhorse for that last slot on the right side McIlrath earns his #6 spot next to Erixon...
I agree, although it has to make you wonder..what is it he would be filling with a trade? I mean, no one wants Avery, Christensen would get you a pick at best..The only decent value we have that could hit the market would be, Wolski, Zuccarello, Del Zotto, V-Tank, and Kundratek...I mean if you think longevity with this roster even by position..
Left wing - Dubinsky and Rupp take 2 of the 4 slots available even after this season (for the sake or arguing Dubi is signed for idk say 5 more years). Figure Kreider next fall 2012 is slotted for either 1st or 3rd line leaving one slot left..Hagelin probably ready by then..So do you see him bringing in other then a one year shot for a leftwinger?
Center - Richards, Stepan, Anisimov, & Boyle..these 4 should keep us satisfied for the next 3-5 years..minimum
Right Wing - Gaborik, Callahan, Prust..3 of the 4 spots taken with Thomas barring down on the last one hopefully..
I'd go into the D and goaltending but we know those are pretty safe..The only thing worth pointing out is maybe attempt to get a top offensive Dman that plays the right side...
I see that this team can make a trade however I just don't see what potential talent they go and get for any open spots on this roster as it currently sits...I mean if you take in a trade someone like Kreider and package him to get say Bobby Ryan ok that makes sense and Kreider's forthcoming in 2012 would be fulfilled by Ryan instead but I just don't see them making any trades that either a.) block a kid from making the team in the future, or b.) trading them for young top talent to fill another need...
I'll say that I rather have Hagelin instead of Fedotanko.
But since they signed him I don't see Hagelin making the team.
I really think Thomas (now with his added weight/height) really has a chance.
Anyone knows can he play LW?
I agree if Feds was not brought back I would say Hagelin would of made the team now he needs to be the best player in camp to take a spot from a vet. Next he is in though with Feds and Avery off the books
Not sure why they re-signed him. Hagelin can do similar things for cheaper.
Hagelin can also make the team if they dump Wolski, by either trading him or buying him out during the second buyout period.
I like Hagelin a lot, but he doesn't provide veteran leadership like Fedotenko. Feds has won two Cups, is a proven playoff performer and was one of our best forwards against the Caps in the playoffs, and has had success on a line with Richards in the past. This team is thin on veterans, even with the signing of Richards, so having a guy like Feds is essential. I wasn't surprised at all to see that he was retained, especially with Richards signing here.
Sean Avery ($1.937m) / Brad Richards ($6.666m) / Marian Gaborik ($7.500m)
Brandon Dubinsky ($3.850m) / Derek Stepan ($0.875m) / Ryan Callahan ($3.700m)
Wojtek Wolski ($3.800m) / Artem Anisimov ($1.875m) / Mats Zuccarello-Aasen ($1.750m)
Ruslan Fedotenko ($1.400m) / Brian Boyle ($1.250m) / Brandon Prust ($0.800m)
Michael Rupp ($1.500m)
Marc Staal ($3.975m) / Daniel Girardi ($3.325m)
Ryan McDonagh ($1.300m) / Mike Sauer ($1.250m)
Pavel Valentenko ($0.850m) / Tim Erixon ($1.750m)
Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875m) / Martin Biron ($0.875m)
BUYOUTS: Chris Drury ($3.716m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $60,820,834; BONUSES: $2,125,000
CAP SPACE (21-man roster): $3,479,166
I don't see Hagelin starting with the big club. The Rangers have a lot of forward depth and would want him to get acclimated to the pro game in Hartford unless there is a burning need as with Stepan last year.
MZA must, simply must show improvement as he could easily edn up in HFD as well.
Sather will not buy out Wolski during the second buyout period in late July/early August hoping that an unproven rookie might play well enough in camp to make the team. I have high hopes for Hagelin, but let's not put undo expectations on the kid. I wonder how many people will be throwing him in trade proposals next season if he doesn't make the team out of camp.
Also that creates a masssive hole in the top 6 LW. You essentially just have Dubinsky, who is capable of playing in the top 6 on the LW. Feds, Rupp, and Hagelin should be playing on the bottom 6.
Only way Wolski is bought out is if the Rangers make a trade for a top 6 LW'er before the second buyout period opens up.
Does is seem that we have a glut of forwards? Dubi may find his way to the top line if Wolski falters. I'm not totally sold on Wolski, but his top end skill may be a better fit there with Richie/Gabby.
Love this lineup, but whatabout:Christensen/Hagelin/Prospal? What's the story with Prospal anyway? Nobody is talking about him.