Looks like first big free agency shoe will drop today as Bob McKenzie at TSN reported this last night...
Free agent defenceman Justin Schultz will decide tomorrow where he's signing.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 30, 2012
ESPN Insider notes that Schultz apparently wants to play north of the border, which puts the Rangers at a disadvantage.
The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers are seen as co-favorites to land Schultz, while the Toronto Maple Leafs may have a legitimate shot. The Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Chicago Blackhawks are also in play.
According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post, a Rangers' delegation that featured head coach John Tortorella in a prominent role made its pitch to Schultz on Wednesday.
...just looking at that list of teams, I can't see how the Rangers aren't his #1 destination. Conference Finals last year, a roster spot to be had, plus two ex-Badgers on the team. What else does he want?
...if he does choose the Rangers, I don't see any other team in the NHL with a brighter future than the Blueshirts.
...i also see Del Zotto being very expendable if Schultz is brought in.
In other insanity news, Katie Strang at ESPN New York says that the Rangers are still keenly interested in acquiring Rick Nash.
However, Columbus GM Scott Howson says this about the possibility of Nash being traded this weekend...
"I am not sure that we will have any trade before free agency."
Strang adds that a trade for Anaheim's Bobby Ryan should not be ruled out for the Rangers.
Finally, Aaron Portzline at the Columbus Dispatch says the Rangers and Senators are best aligned to put together a package for Nash, but Ottawa is not on Nash's 'prefered' list.
...just started posting again & I'm already sick of the Nash rumors.
...both Nash and Ryan would cost a ton (think Stepan/Hagelin, McD/Del Zotto as well as JT Miller and a #1) and Parise has said he doesn't want to sign with the Rangers, so I think Sather needs to pass and bring in a lower cost guy like Shane Doan and hope the Rangers can hold down the fort until Gaborik returns from injury.
...i would really hate to see Sather blow-up a Rangers team that made it to the Conference Finals this year. Big mistake in my opinion.
...if worse comes to worse, Rangers could always look to bring back Rozsival and Parenteau. lol
Looks like Rangers might have trouble retaining some of their own free agents as Columbus is said to be interested in Brandon Prust, who is looking for $2.2 million per...
#CBJ would join a long line of folks interested in Brandon Prust. My sense is people will be surprised by the ticket he draws as a UFA.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) June 30, 2012
Larry Brooks at the New Yoork Post adds that if Prust attracts offers of upward of $2.4 million per on a three- or four-year deal, the Rangers are expected to pass.
...i'm sorry, I love Prust but he is not worth $2.2 million. If he doesn't budge, I'd love to see Rangers go after Konopka. Could get him for less than $1 million and he'd do the same job as Prust plus win faceoffs.
This past week was the Rangers prospects camp and Gordie Clark assesses what he saw...
...there is no other person I love listening to more in the Rangers organization than Clark. Have I mentioned this team has a bright future.
For video of the future scrimmaging click here. For prospect interviews here.
As you can see, I've now posted twice in the last two days meaning I'm starting to get that itch back. I can say with confidence that the blog will be back, but I'm looking for help.
Basically, I want to bring on 2-3 people to pitch in. Nothing major, I just need to lift some of the burden of doing the blog. Looking for people to create & post morning headlines, games notes as well as post game recaps when I'm not available. Will also need help researching articles.
Bloguin has offered to give me a small budget for staff so there will be some pay.
You can't leave us! You're one of us! :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y_KNYNzN6A
Long time reader. Stupidly, I've never posted before, but your writing (and insight) is far and away the best the Rangers have on the web. Really glad to see you come back...hopefully for another season. Living in Los Angeles away from Blueshirt coverage is hard. But you've always made the action so vivid. Thank you and good luck with your blog and all other personal endeavors. Bloguin is lucky to have you.
Rangers aren't in the running for Schultz.
"Bob Mckenzie tweets that Justin Schultz is not going to pick the Rangers and they are now out the running for his services."
Thank you for coming back, at least for free agency... if you are hiring for the blog I am very interested.
1. YAY! You're back! *happy dance*
2. Screw Schultz. He's an unproven diva who doesn't deserve to be "holding court." We don't need that on this team. The Rangers last season were a close-knit bunch who put the team ahead of themselves (whoever thought Gaborik would block shots???). Let this guy go Tebow it up somewhere else, thanks very much.
Really glad this blog is back! Great job man! I would hope that Sather has turned the page in emptying the youth pool for these big trades.. to me, the prospect of being without the young players we'd have to give up for a Ryan or a Nash is too great a cost.. there could be a different and more effective trade out there somewhere, who knows? Also, I think Prust knows his value and if anyone remembers just after they exited the playoffs he was quoted saying that money wasn't the digest factor for him.. he'll stay.
Lots of rumors swirling already:
Welcome to the forum again Kevin.From Spain missed you and of course Let´s Go Rangers also on free agency!!!
Happy to see you're back for free agency. I was afraid I'd have to do the work and go to websites and see who we were interested in. But. As much as I'd love Schultz, I honestly don't see us getting him. It's clear where he wants to go, and it sucks. Canada sucks. As for Prust, love him, but not worth 2.2. Rupp makes 1.5 a year, Prust should get about 1.8-2.0 a year. Prust wants 2.2. Sather is willing to give 1.8. If they can reach a median of 2.0, that wouldn't be as bad.
But what makes things interesting is the increase of the off-season salary cap to 78.2 million. With the current talks, things could change, but that increase may add a little flexibility. I may have gotten that whole idea wrong, but it's something worth talking about.
Pinch me!!! Oh thank goodness!!! Haha I don't have to read those other crap ranger blogs now!!! I can't wait for tomorrow! LETS DO THIS THANG!!!
I read that Schultz is only considering 5 teams: Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and the Rangers. It would seem he wants to play north of the border but the Rangers have a lot to offer: obviously it's a great club with outstanding facilities and a good young core coming off a run to the Eastern Conference finals, he has a good shot at getting minutes under Tortorella, especially given the team's need on D and Sauer's uncertain future, and he has the opportunity to reunite with two of his U of Wisconsin teammates in Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh. I'd love to win the Schultz sweepstakes and witness this kid contribute to the Rangers' growing youth movement and help the team get closer to a cup.
Gotta go back and read all the updates, but just had to say I am SO GLAD you're not quitting for good. I'm sure you'll be able to find plenty of dedicated fans to help you out!
I'd prefer adding Shane Doan and Justin Schultz and giving up nothing. I understand why MDZ is talked about as trade bait but (a) he's still very young; (b) he showed a ton of improvement last season; (c) he's likely to play even better with Schultz a legit threat to take over his D2 spot. McIlrath is no guarantee to make the team, Sauer may be done for good, Bickel was horrible in the playoffs, and Stralman has signaled he's leaving the NHL. Viewing Schultz as a replacement of MDZ puts a lot on Schultz right away and leaves a hole next to Staal. And hey, welcome back Kevin. Miss the daily updates.
Prust imo has over valued himself. good player plays w/ alot of heart. I'd bring back Mitchell over Prust though
@AG_Blue It's all rumors, so who knows. All that matters is which team he picks.
@NYR44 Sather 2.0 though. Sure he threw a lot of bad money at Drury and Gomez et al. but it's tough to fault any move he's made over the last few years, and especially the move he didn't make, not giving in to Howson's demands for Nash.