Barclay Goodrow for six years at $3.64M. The trade of Pavel Buchneivch for only a slightly better return that what Lias Andersson drew less than a year ago - and a report that said the Rangers were willing to walk away from him for nothing. The acquisition of Ryan Reaves for a third round pick, and his ensuing extension for another year. A draft that was noticeable for it's heavy focus on physical players over skill. The signing of two players - Reaves and defenseman Jarred Tinordi, known for their willingness to throw down, particularly with a specific person of interest.
Each one of these things could pass on it's own, but taken as a whole raises a question: just how obsessed with Tom Wilson have the Rangers become?
The same Tom Wilson who caused Glen Sather to emerge from the shadows. The same Tom Wilson who drew owner Jim Dolan to excoriate George Parros and the NHL Department of Player Safety publicly, and earn a record setting $250,000 fine. The same Tom Wilson who played two nights later following the surprise firings of President John Davidson and GM Jeff Gorton hours before.
Deny it all you want, but it seems pretty compelling now that Jim Dolan did fire the Rangers leadership because of THAT incident despite claims to the contrary. It also seems clear that Drury was given the instructins to make sure something like it didn't happen again.
What's less clear is how much of this is Sather's doing and how much is Jim Dolan's wounded pride. Clearly Sather has some role in this, given his re-emergence after three years of relative obscurity. Whether Sather instigated the coup, or whether it was solely Dolan's emotional reaction, is hard to ascertain, but we are now enjoying the repercussions.
This obsessive focus on making the Rangers "tougher" seems close to going off the rails at this stage.
There have been a number of analyses that show players typically hit their prime around 28 years of age, which conveniently aligns to around the time they first become UFAs. It's not surprising then than greater than 80% of UFA contracts turn out to be bad investments, moreso for physical role-players who generally deteriorate quickly.
Acquiring a 34 year old enforcer in a league where there are few who play the role, also carries some risk. At the very least he just takes up cap space, at worst he also blocks ice time for thel likes of Morgan Barron who perhaps have more to offer in their game. Extending him another year while he's under contract, and is yet to play a game for the franchise just makes it worse.
When that enforcer, and the 7th defenseman you signed are both known for fighting Tom Wilson in particular, it really does make you wonder.
It's not like the Capitals won the Cup this year.
So why Chris? Why are you so focused on Tom Wilson when the team that did win the Cup two seasons in a row is what you should be aspiring to.