Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I woke up this morning and somewhere between my second and third cup of coffee it hit me. What if the New York Rangers made a mistake with their big Free Agent signings and recent moves? Wait let me explain. On paper, the Rangers roster looks to be much improved with the additions of Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, but what did they really get for the amount of money spent on these two players? I guess what I’m trying to say is, what has Gomez done to warrant such a big payday? His best season came in 2005 – 2006 (a contract year mind you) where he posted 33 goals and 51 assists for 84 points. After that he reverted back to his normal output of less than 15 goals and under 70 points. In fact, the ’05 – ’06 season was the only one in his NHL career that he passed the 20-goal mark. Is it just me or does a $7.357 million cap hit each season for the next 7 years seem like a hefty price for a player that may not reach higher than 60 points a year? Granted, the Rangers are more offensive minded than the Devils and that should play in Gomez’s favor as does playing on a line with more talent. The Rangers are banking on those two points in the hopes that he returns to the form of his ’05 – ’06 campaign. It is a big risk to take, because if he fails they are stuck with him, as his contract would be hard to move. What about Drury you ask? Well, he brings a steady 60 – 70 point output each year along with leadership qualities that you just can’t put a price on. Although, the Rangers price will be $7.05 million per season for the next 5 years for a player who is starting to pass his prime years of playing. Drury will be 31 years old before the puck drops for the 2007 – 2008 season and one has to wonder how much he has left in the tank for the next 5 years. The Rangers could very well be stuck with a player who is in the decline (in terms of production) more so than one on the upswing. I guess it boils down to weather or not you would rather have Drury or Michael Nylander on your roster. Factor in that Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka and Brendan Shanahan are a year older as well and I think you can start to see my concerns. Another factor in this is weather or not there will be any chemistry between the players mentioned. Once again, on paper they look imposing, but how it translates to the on ice product remains to be seen. The recent trade of Matt Cullen to the Hurricanes and the impending demotion of Darius Kasparaitis to the minors, frees up much needed cap space to re-sign Sean Avery and Marcel Hossa, but leaves a hole at center on the third line. Another head-scratching move was the re-signing of #1 goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to only a 1-year deal. Granted, they had to let him file for arbitration to avoid any offer sheets and were smart to work out a deal before the hearing, but to only sign him for a year is questionable. Only time will tell if the moves pan out in the Rangers favor in the form of a winning season or if it ends up just an expensive bust at best. The Rangers have a history of overpaying for declining talent, here’s hoping (for the fans sake) this won’t become just another chapter.


NHL Rocks said...

Although the Rangers have had a above average offseason. They resigned most of their players and added Drury and Gomez. I think it could have been done much better. I like the Drury signing. The guy is just has a knack for coming thru at crunch time. The Gomez signing I dont like so much. Gomez is a fine player $7 mil for a 14 goal scorer is a bit overpriced. If I was the Ranger GM I would have signed Drury and instead of signing Gomez. I would have signed Rafalski or Souray for my Defense. I think the Rangers needed help on D more then they did at forward. Besides signing both Gomez and Drury left you with a glut so you let Nylander go and trade Cullen. Although not a terrible offseason I think they could have done better.

GREGSKY said...

I do agree that they needed help on the back end and Rafalski would have been ideal, but I'm not sold on Souray not enough work in his own end to make him complete. Gomez will have to regain his scoring touch to make him worth the money. This whole thing could backfire on them or it could be the deadliest PP in the league. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for them one way or another next season!