The 26-year-old Immonen just led Finland to the gold medal in the World Hockey Championships finishing the tournament with nine goals and three assists.
In two seasons in the Rangers organization, Immonen, who was brought to the Rangers from the Maple Leafs in the Brian Leetch trade, had 50 goals and 66 assists in 128 games with the Wolf Pack and three goals and six assists in 20 games with the Rangers, who didn't re-sign him in 2007. Immonen returned home and played two seasons in Finland and then two in Russia and helped the Finns win the bronze medal in the 2010 Olympics.
The Rangers still retain Immonen's rights.
Berlet feels that Immonen could be the skilled center the Rangers are seeking who could be added cheaply compared to high-priced free agent Brad Richards of the Dallas Stars.
...i think Berlet is a little out of control thinking Immonen could be a good fall back plan if they don't get Richards, but what's the harm bringing him into camp and see if he figured things out overseas.
I learned long ago that Bruce Berlet has a very good read on the pulse of not only the Whale/Wolfpack but the Ranger mindset itself.
It may sound out of control but someone with the Rangers thinks this is a good idea.
I am a big fan of European trained players. I feel they dont get the respect they deserve. People say their soft, but they can hit just as hard as they can take one. They know the game so well, positioning especially with and without the puck. They bring teamwork and quick passing, and all of them are skilled with their hands. Their weakness is their size, but they are tough guys. Look at Detroit Red Wins and how well they built heir championship organization through diversity.
Immonen is now 29 years old, and with limited NHL games played, he should come cheap. We have to consider all options, and I woudlnt mind giving him a try. If it cant just be a try out, maybe a 2 year deal. Who knows he can be a key player. Hes very offensive minded, and thats what we lakced on defense this year.
He should be no more than 5 million 2 years. And thats pushing it for a 29 year old european defensemen who has played less than 100 NHL games.
i never understood why we didnt resign this guy back in 07. I thought he could be a solid player. Im all for resigning him now but in no way should be be a replacement for Richards.
Good replacement for Christensen. Though I still like Christensen but he is too inconsistent and if Immonen is more physical, I think he will perform better under Torts system (except on shoot outs).
While he isnt a replacement for richards, he put up respectable numbers in the wolf pack and internationally. He's deffenatley worth a tryout in camp, and if we get lucky he could be a cheap 50 point scorer.
I think it would be a good thing to bring him back to add depth and competition for the line up... we saw how many injuries there were last year. Be realistic though, this is not a fallback plan for Richards.
If hes cheap, why not. And he should be cheap coming from Europe.
His stats in the NHL are not that good, but hes well worth a try. Im down to sign up for a 2 year deal, but no more than a million per year
Thanks for the insight Jess. I just feel it's a bit of a stretch to think Immonen can provide the same production as Richards. Whether thats Berlet talking or the Rangers.
he's a center. we're still talking about jarko immonen right?