There’s no secret the New York Rangers are strapped for cash this summer. They will be close to the upper limit of the salary cap once they sign restricted free agents Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, and Derick Brassard. All of which are due raises from their prior contracts, it may cost upwards of ten million to resign those three players alone. With just over fourteen million remaining, there won’t be much room to sign any big unrestricted free agents. The biggest holes in this team are a lack of right handed shots. A replacement centerman for Brad Richards would help assure the fan base but they have talent on the wing. Nothing some good right and left balance won’t fix. The Power Play sputtered out the second half of last season and got worse in the playoffs. This is because on the power play righties play on the left and lefties play on the right side. Playing this way is called playing the off wing and it makes it easier to one touch pass or one time the puck quickly to the net. With no righties on the left side teams lean towards the right side where all the scoring threats are for the Rangers.
The Rangers will be better next season and even though it seems right now like Glen Sather and his staff are sitting on their hands. There’s a method behind all the madness in the New York Rangers organization. Part of which includes the transformation from John Tortarella’s wearing down of the opposition and grinding out wins to a speed, puck possession and puck pursuit game. Some players are not suited for this type of play. Brian Boyle was a defensive wizard but he skates like he has cinderblocks for skates. The Rangers management didn’t even really make him a competitive offer. That tells me they value Dominic Moore‘s speed and skating ability over Brian Boyle‘s laying out to block shots. Both players are good faceoff centerman but Dom Moore is the guy I want taking a defensive zone draw late in a game or on the penalty kill. Tanner Glass may seem on the outside like a bad signing but as a fourth line winger he adds some size and intensity to the group he will play with. One of which is part of the youth movement the New York Rangers are planning on.
Management will try to use their best young players to fill some of the openings left by the departures. J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast have played minutes in the NHL as recently as this past playoff run. It’s vital some of the young hatchlings can fill spots left by the departure of Benoit Pouliot and Brian Boyle. Minute for minute at even strength it’ll be hard to replace what Benoit Pouliot brought last year. That doesn’t mean Glen Sather should have matched the contract he signed to go to Edmonton. He had one good season in his otherwise underwhelming career. His season was due to the chemistry he had with his line-mates.
Dan Boyle will replace Anton Stralman and I’d like to cite Glen Sather for making a good free agent move but Dan Boyle wanted to come here. He turned down more money from other teams ( The Hockey News) to play in a traditional market like New York. Dominic Moore will return to his fourth line center spot and likely pick up some more penalty kill minutes in place of Brian Boyle. Benoit Pouliot‘s spot on the third line would be perfect for a rookie like J.T. Miller or Jesper Fast. The latter is a right-handed shot and would be the best fit there.
The New York Rangers are going to be squeezed by the lower salary cap this coming season.