Brian Burke was at the game last night. He had an interview in between periods on the Bulldogs feed. It was mentioned that he was pushing hard for the double cba buy out option during negotiation. He said something like, "if you made a mistake signing a guy".
From the outside looking in, Paul Ranger may appear as a wild card to crack the Maple Leafs blueline. To someone who has watched him play for the Marlies this season, he is anything but.
In 2009 Ranger was a budding defenceman with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He chose to take a break from the game and when he returned, he did so with his hometown team: Toronto. The move by the Maple Leafs organization to give him what he wanted so badly, a return to the sport at the pro level, was not only one that illustrates the class of the franchise, but it’s brains too. So far, Ranger is looking like a complete steal of a deal. The Whitby native scored highest amongst his peers in overall fitness heading into the start of the season and it did not take long for him to round into form. Solidifying the Marlies top six and making the team’s defence one of the deepest in the league is a credit to the amount of work Ranger has put into his comeback bid and to the way he conducts himself both on and off the ice. With 270 NHL games under his belt, this utility defenceman with many tools to offer, would be the bring a Cinderella ending to a great story if he ever ended up in a Leaf uniform.
He said he's fine with staying in the AHL this season, doesn't want an NHL contract yet. I am assuming it's due to get adjusted for the bigs first.
I got that feeling when push comes to shove that he would be the kind of guy to take a hometown discount, knowing fully that this upcoming crop of UFA'S is fairly deep, that fact that he is content to develop more in the AHL is just amazing and shows how much class a guy like Ranger has.
When he wants to sign he will sign. This is where he wants to be and this is where his "heart" is. To me, we be patient for players like him.