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Posts Tagged ‘Free Agency’

The Rangers signed 23-year-old center Dan Fritsche to a contract today, but did not release the terms.  Fritsche had applied for arbitration, but that will no longer be necessary.

I’m guessing that the Rangers have plans to use Fritsche as their 4th center, which leaves Blair Betts somewhat in limbo for now.

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The NHL and the newly formed Russian Continental Hockey League (abbreviated KHL) agreed today at a meeting in Zurich to respect the validity of player contracts across all borders.

The immediate impact of the agreement will be to put an end to KHL teams offering big money to NHL players if they walk out on the remaining years of their NHL contracts.

In the long-term, this agreement will serve to stimulate the rapid globalization of the game of hockey.  The possibility of a 2012 Hockey World Cup was reportedly discussed but no concrete plans were made.

Is it out of the question to ponder the possibility of a worldwide league within a decade where the winner of the Stanley Cup would meet the winner of the Gagarin Cup in a yearly World Championship??

Read the full article here.

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Take a look at the Rangers projected roster for 2008-2009.  The top 3 lines and the defense are pretty much set, but there seem to be too many forwards.

Zherdev-Gomez-Naslund
Prucha-Drury-Dawes
Callahan-Dubinsky-Sjostrom
Voros-Fritsche/Rissmiller-[Anisimov?]
Hollweg/[Byers?]-Betts-Orr/[Moore?]

Redden-Staal
Rozsival-Girardi
Mara-Kalinin-[Sanguinetti?]

By my calculations the Rangers have an excess of 3 NHL forwards plus 3 more NHL-caliber forwards currently in Hartford.  Because of this, it might be a good idea to make a salary-clearing trade for draft picks.   It’s safe to say that the Rangers still have interest in signing a proven goal-scorer either during the off-season or before the trade deadline next year.  If the Rangers can add some cap space to the $3.3 million they currently have, they would be in the running to make a play for a top-quality winger.

 

Update: Forgot about Kalinin. Thanks to the commenter “Jagr”.

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The Jagr deal with Avangard Omsk is believed to be for two years plus an option for a third, and will pay Jagr about $7 million tax-free, which is the equivalent of about $11 million a season in the NHL.

Jagr had plenty to say, mentioning that playing in New York was an “extraordinary experience.”  He also noted his regrets for not reaching the 84-point plateau that would have automatically extended his contract with the Rangers.

Jagr’s parting shot:

“And I also want to say to the people like Mike Milbury who made their living by criticizing me all the time, that they can kiss my ass.”

As for NHL players going to play overseas, Vladmir Ruzicka, the coach of the Czech Republic national team had this to say about players going to Russia: “The NHL should be afraid and very afraid because the Continental League in Russia is filthy rich and I can guarantee you that they will lure a lot of players, especially those who are about 30, who have done their time in the NHL and made some money there and they will offer them pretty good conditions and a lot of them will go to Russia.”

The man has a point.  The money doesn’t go as far in the U.S. as it does overseas.  And if Russian teams are going to pay players in before-tax dollars, there will be a lot of incentive to play there.

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Markus Naslund signed for 2 years, $8 million

Defenseman Dmitri Kalinin signed but deal details are still undisclosed.

Glen Sather officially announced they will not be re-signing Jagr.

Paul Mara deal in the works.

More later.

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Let’s go through a projection of how the Rangers roster might shape up:

Zherdev-Gomez-[Jagr or some UFA]
Dawes-Drury-Callahan
Sjostrom-Dubinsky-Prucha
Hollweg-Betts-Orr
Fritsche-Rissmiller-Voros
Shanahan?

Rozsival-Staal
Redden-Girardi
Pock?-Strudwick?-Sanguinetti?

The Rangers have $14.5 million in cap space but that number does not include Dawes, Sjostrom, Fritsche, Rissmiller, Voros, or Strudwick.

Assuming the Rangers will spend roughly $4 or $5 million between those players, they will have about $9 or $10 million to spend on Jagr, Shanahan, and any UFA’s the Rangers might desire.

That doesn’t leave much wiggle room.  Decision time for Slats.

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The Rangers traded defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche.

In addition to adding some size and depth up front, the move will clear up some cap space for the Rangers to potentially make some moves (i.e. re-sign Jagr, acquire either Naslund or Huselius).

In my opinion, moving Backman and his $3.4 million off the roster and off the salary cap is a great move, but the loss of Tyutin is significant.  Tyutin has been a solid defenseman for the Rangers.  However, the acquisition of Redden gave the Rangers 4 top-notch defenseman (Redden plus Staal, Rozsival, and Girardi).  Therefore, Tyutin became non-essential.  This trade is good news for Bobby Sanguinetti.

Zherdev is young and seems to have a knack for putting the puck in the net.  The 6’2″ right wing is just 23 years old and scored 26 goals to go along with 35 assists in 2007-2008.  He is set to make $3.25 million in 2008-09, with only $2.5 million charged against the cap.

Fritsche is a 6’1″ center who is also 23 years old.  He had 10 goals and 12 assists last season.

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