Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gimme a "D"!

You have to know when to get out of a bad situation, whether you're at work, walking down the street and a man with a bag over his head grabs you or if you have an amazing hockey team without a reassuring defensive unit.

With Matt Cullen again a Hurricane and contributing another $3 million to the Rangers salary cap limit and Sean Avery and Hossa going to be signed, it appears Glen Sather is willing to dump some of the current roster to strengthen our defense. (sorry Malik -- freeing up even more cap room soon -I think you'll be traded to Phoenix!)

So I offer the following "still available second-tier" free-agents that would fit into what the New York Rangers can afford at this point and physically round-out our little New York Ranger hockey team:

Andy Sutton: He's flown under the radar by playing in Atlanta for the last five seasons, but Sutton is an effective, top-four defenseman who adds a lot of size to the back end. Sutton is a good shutdown type who has been around the NHL for eight seasons, and he shoots the puck well from the point. He made $1.9 million last season.

Danny Markov: Sheldon Souray became the last of the high-profile defensemen available this summer when he joined Edmonton on Thursday, but Markov is a good bet for teams looking for a solid second-unit guy. Markov can move the puck and is a physical force in his own end, although he tends to get injured often as a result. He'll be 31 when the season starts and Markov made $2.5 million last season with Detroit.

Ossi Vaananen: He's a big, durable, stay-at-home type of defenseman who loves to play a physical game. Vaananen won't put up much by way of points, but he won't hurt anyone in his own end and he's only 26. Vaananen's salary was slightly under $1 million last season with Colorado.

David Tanabe: He was a first-round draft pick in 1999, but Tanabe has never lived up to his potential in seven NHL seasons with three teams. He finished last season with Carolina, the team that originally drafted him, but even though he made only $900,000, the Hurricanes let him test the market. He can really skate and move the puck and he's about to turn 27, so he could be worth taking a chance on for a nominal price.

One of the above defensive free agents could bring a new element of play to the Rangers this fall. There is a floating rumor that Peca (C) will be filling the third line, which is additional good news -- our A, B's & C's are in order. Just missing that one strong "D".

Maybe you think otherwise.



  1. Vaananan (or however you spell it) is good for a 5th or 6th D-ma. If you rely on anything more than that, I'm afraid you would be pretty disapointed. I don't know if they have the money, but I think the Rangers would be happier with a guy like Danny Markov

  2. I wouldn't touch any of those d-men. They all have injury issues. Some are too old, others just aren't good enough at any price. Besides, the Rangers should be trying to make room for marc staal rather than clogging the roster with another mediocre d-man that takes up cap space and a roster spot.

  3. I agree hockey rabbi, though I think Markov would make a good addition. I was happy to see Souray went elsewhere. Strange that Pittsburgh and Philly look like the defensive leaders in the division.


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