As part of the HFBoards partnership program, I've been granted the permission to post the below article.
Always big spenders in free agency, this off-season was no different for the New York Rangers.
Prior free agency, Scott Gomez, with five years and $33.5 million left on his contract, was traded to Montreal; not only did GM Glen Sather cut the ugly contract, but he also picked up Chris Higgins and Ryan McDonagh in the process. And with those cap dollars now available, Sather was able to issue a big money deal to Marian Gaborik. If Gaborik can stay healthy, the pay off will be huge.
Sean Avery returned to form after returning to New York last year following a disastrous tenure in Dallas. It will be interesting to note how Avery meshes with coach John Tortorella, both entering a full season with the Rangers.
Nik Antropov, added at the trade deadline, was not re-signed, while Markus Naslund opted to retired. Heading into arbitration, the Rangers had a set price tag for Nikolai Zherdev who, aside from Antropov, led the team in scoring last year. Zherdev was awarded $4 million by the arbitrator, a price that Rangers were unwilling to pay. The team then added top-six wingers Ales Kotalik and Vaclav Prospal, plus centre Tyler Arnason, who signed a two-way contract.
The Rangers will be looking for results from young defensemen Bobby Sanguinetti and college free agent Matt Gilroy. Marc Staal has emerged as an elite shutdown defenseman, while the Rangers will be looking for improvement results from Michal Rozsival. Wade Redden, who signing with the Rangers last summer, had a terrible first season in New York. If he does not improve his game fast, he could be waived. Henrik Lundqvist found his game in the playoffs after an off year.