It's no secret that even before the Marc Staal injury the Rangers sixth defensive position was in flux. While Steve Eminger has staked claim of the fifth spot in Staal's absence, Roman Hamrlik, Matt Gilroy and Stu Bickel have all failed to seize the opportunity.
So it is not surprising to see the Rangers linked to so many defensemen around the league.
First, Elliotte Friedman at CBC Sports feels that Filip Kuba makes some sense for the Rangers as he he played well under John Tortorella, with 68 points in two Tampa seasons and he's very close with Marian Gaborik.
Friedman adds that Kuba is owed $4 million next season and has a no-move clause.
...No, no, no, no, no!!!!!!! No need for Hamrlik Part II. While Kuba might have excelled under Torts six years ago, the 36-year old's numbers have been diminishing and he is a lifetime -49. Not exactly worth the $4 million price tag.
Next is a return of the old Dan Boyle to the Rangers rumor. Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com believes Boyle is the top-four, right-handed D-man the Blueshirts could sure use. Boyle is owed $6.67 million through next season.
...what, no mention of Gaborik as the return for the Sharks?
...while Boyle would be exactly what the Rangers needed on the power play, his salary as well as the Sharks likely asking price makes this a non-starter. Unless the Sharks would be willing to do Richards for Boyle?
And finally, Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that the Rangers are expected to be among the finalists in the bidding for collegiate free agent defenseman Andrej Sustr after his imminent announcement that he's leaving Omaha-Nebraska.
Sustr, a 6-foot-8, 210-pounder who hails from Plzen of the Czech Republic, attended the Rangers’ rookie evaluation camp in June 2011.
Brooks adds that Sustr has a big shot but is regarded as more of a defensive presence than an offensive force. Sustr is said to be not quite NHL ready yet, but is not that far off.
He had 15g, 36a in his three years at Omaha-Nebraska.
...6' 8" and a big shot? Hmmm, where have I heard that scouting report before? Can you say Chara clone? If this kid can be half as good as Chara he'll be a beloved Ranger.
I want Sustr he has a cannon, and could be exactly what we need on defense. A big body with a huge shot...
I know the CBAs are different, but are these guys allowed to restructure deals in the middle of their contracts like in the NFL? Im just looking at Richards, who ahs already probably collected half of his total value, and wonder if he can take a "home-town" discount to help keep some of the younger kids around.
Anyone else hoping Sather can pull a rabbit out of his ass again and somehow lump Hamrlik into a deadline deal? He's not terrible, but that cap hit is looking worse and worse every game.
@TheNYRBlog also realize that having Gaborik playing for a contract next year would be optimum but don't think Tort's and he=oil and water
@TheNYRBlog Gaborik? Both contracts end next year and really would solve the PP QB issue. Starting to feel that Gabby may need change.
I've been very down on Kreider on this site, but honestly, he can't be worse than Gaborik out there. I'd move Gaborik for Boyle and bring up Kreider and put him on the 2nd line. If he fails, then insert Zucc and move Kreider to 3rd line with Boyle and Miller and jettison Pyatt
I personally felt like Hamrlik played a pretty decent game last night. He looked quicker and definitely seems like he's in much better playing shape. That being said, you can never have too much depth. Just as long as it doesn't cost $3.5 million.
I'd be pumped if that Sustr kid signed with the Rangers. 6'8" and 210??? Sounds like he'd need a little Barry Bonds training program to grow into his frame!
@TheNYRBlog TRADE GABORIK NOW!! shoulda been done right after Nash acquired!
@BradenBoucher the next time an eklund rumor is correct will b the 1st time
Eklund always knows how to make me laugh. “%s: %s read what %s has to say. Kane and Buff rumors to nyr” %s
@slapshot13j so he leaves school, does he play now or where does he go ?
@rangersfan id like to see the top line stay together and work things out, I also like the second line as is as well. I would bring Krider back and put him with miller and ashem on the third line and let powe, boyl and halpern round out the 4th line
@JoshKaye I forgot that we have him on for 3.5 million for this year. I also forgot that we could have had Prust for 2.5ish. I know I said we don't need Prust, but if you're giving me a choice between these two at these prices...
@JoshKaye I'm still not sold on Hamrlik. Still so slow out there.
@NYR44 might come up, but I would be more sold with him finishing out the season with the whale, and developing for training camp next year...
@NYR44 I'd love to see the top line work it out too, but I can't decide whose game has fallen further this year, Gaborik or Richards. And the way the three of them forecheck, it's unlikely they'll ever have the puck. If you're going to have those 3 together, you can't play Torts' system. You have to have someone leaving the zone early and stretch out the other team. Trade rushes. Those 3 cannot play together below the hash marks.
I think we need to figure out the 3rd line and have a little more desire out of a few players and we will pick it up going into the post season.
As you stated many times I agree that the lack of a training camp and pre season has defiantly effected our game.
@KevinDeLury Better than putting Bickel out there, who seemed to be enjoying watching the game next to Staal. If this wasn't a shortened season and if we weren't desperate I'd really like to see what we have in the AHL. We have guys on defense producing. Just because they're not big time prospects doesn't mean they won't turn into someone useful.
@rangersfan You put them out there with two of the best D in the league and you have arguably the best Goalie as well the idea is that they should control the puck the entire time out there so they wont need the forecheck. I also think Richards has shit the brick more then Gaborik. Gaborik gets moved here and there gets benched etc etc. if you were an opposing coach no matter how they were playing would you trade rushes with that line?
Fans complain about the lack of toughness on the blueline and on the roster in general. This guy plays 3:00 per game at right-wing for a few games and then is scratched for next 10. When was the last time he dressed as a defenseman?
This guy could be their next Beukeboom, Purinton or Samuelsson. But noooooo, he just sits there and rots away.
He's 6' 4", 205 pounds and is as tough as nails and only 26 years old. Either play him or trade him. I'd much rather see him out there than Gilroy and Hamrlik.
@JoshKaye Gilroy is far from perfect but I like him as the 6th ahead of Hamrlik.
@KevinDeLury ...Thinking about it...where was Gilroy?