Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A (Not So) Merry Christmas in July

In retail, the day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday", the biggest shopping day of the year. The NHL equivalent falls on July 1st and the stores open at noon Eastern Time.

Grandpa Sather went shopping, but unfortunately he forgot to bring the Rangers fans' wish list. And worse than buying a Zune when you really wanted an iPod, he got ripped off by the clerk who talked him into spending more for the useless warranty.

Here's what fans found under the tree today:

Wade Redden - 6 years, $39M
Redden receives a much needed change of scenery without taking in the pocketbook. The Rangers get.. well... um... Let's hope Sather didn't choose to match the no-trade clause he had in Ottawa as well. Adding Redden vastly improves the D corps (admittedly there was a lot of room for improvement) but the price tag was hefty.

Michal Rozsival - 4 years, $20M
Admit it, Rozy was a steal at $2.3M per year. Well, he just doubled that for the next four years. If he can return to form, he will still be overpaid but not grossly so. Redden will take some of the pressure off Rozsival, particularly on the power play.

Patrick Rissmiller - salary undisclosed 1 year, $1M
Healthy sized winger had 17 points in 79 games in San Jose last year. This signing along with Voros points to the Rangers trying to bulk up their checking lines. Rissmiller checks in at a healthy 6'4" and 215 lbs.

Aaron Voros - 3 years, $3M
At 6'3" and 178 lbs, this is the Rangers other "big" signing up front. Rissmiller had 141 PIMs last season to compliment his 14 point in 55 games. Ryan Hollweg's days on Broadway could be numbered as Sather's showing a clear preference for size with some offense upside, neither of which Hollweg has.

Stephen Valiquette - salary undisclosed 1 year, $725K
It's not like there's a huge market for a goaltender that doesn't play. It's here or backing up Martin Brodeur, and Kevin Weekes is still under contract for another year of bench warming across the Hudson. Still Valiquette was a good soldier in his limiting role and earned another year of the same.

Andreas Jamtin - salary undisclosed
Jamtin is a sh*t disturber in the Swedish Elite League. The line between agitator and punk is a bit different this side of the pond, so I'm not convinced he'll turn into an Avery replacement. Call him New York's own little Jarkko Ruutu. I hate Ruutu.

Sather didn't do much to address his holes up front, notably replacements for (or resignings of) Jaromir Jagr, Sean Avery, Brendan Shanahan, Martin Straka - collectively know as the Rangers' top four wingers.

Please, Slats, remember the shopping list tomorrow. Don't come back with Mats Sundin.

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