It didn't take Glen Sather that long to
break the bank in the free agency market.
On the evening of July 1st one of the
toughest most agitating players came to the Rangers in a huge deal of $45
million over five years. Bobby Holik was signed to come across the Hudson
River away from the New Jersey Devils where he had spent the last 10 years
of his career. The player that tormented the Rangers is now on their side.
Holik wasn't sure exactly how much the
Rangers wanted him but that changed a day or two before he signed the
deal. Don Maloney, a team executive for years and a long-time Ranger
player came over to the Holik house with several gifts. An apple made of
diamonds for his wife, a small Rangers jersey for his daughter and a
larger version to Bobby himself, along with a DVD containing information
about the team and about the city.
He admits the money was a big factor in
signing the deal…DUH! But we know the Rangers have the money and they
should be very happy to have this man tormenting the Devils this time
But wait! Sather wasn't done yet! Just a
day later he brought one of the most feared and ferocious defensemen in
all of the NHL to the Rangers. Darius Kasparaitis signed a six-year deal
estimated at about $25 million.
In my previous article I mentioned that if
the Rangers signed only these two free agents I would be one happy fan,
and boy am I ever. When I found out about Kaspar's signing I had a
permanent smile on my face for several minutes thinking about the
possibilities. Signing him was an excellent idea because it also might
help the development of Tomas Kloucek who clearly didn't have the season
last year, and we can only hope he comes back and has a stellar season.
With these two deals the Rangers not only
get two big name guys, but also severely increase in toughness, grit,
tenacity and other aggressive word you can think of. Getting them also
improves their chances of competing in a more tight-checking Eastern
Ladies and Gentlemen this is no longer the
New York Rangers Country Club, this is no longer Ronnie Low's Rope-A-Dope
Rangers. These are the Rangers that can compete at almost any level.
Oh yeah, and they can play some defense
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