New York Rangers sign Sam Klassen and re-sign Enver Lisin. Yet there is still no decision on Brandon Dubinsky but it’s not a surprise. The last week and a half has been relatively quiet for the Rangers. Little signings here and there with an occasional trade is just proof that there are not many moves left to be made.
Aside from the expected decisions still to come about Nikolai Zherdev and Dubinsky there’s only speculation floating around the internet and sports sections of your local paper. One of the most recent is coming from the Arizona Republic by the mouth of Jeremy Roenick. Roenick reports that his former team mate Chris Chelios is looking to play in New York, specifically for the Rangers. There is only three words that can be said about this idea; forty-freaking-seven! Chelios has been rumored to have said that he wants to play till he’s 50 and wants to do so in Madison Square Garden.
Chris Chelios has obtained a lot of respect over the years from fellow players and coaches. He has won the James Norris Memorial Trophy (Defenseman of the Year) three times, two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and one with the Montreal Canadian. Chelios has made a huge impression through out the league with his determination and grit spanning over 27 years while playing for Montreal, Chicago and Detroit.
Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to the game that has treated him so well. The man only played in 28 games last year posting no points but adding 18 penalty minutes to his career total. The time has come to hold that final press conference and ‘thank whomever for all of your achievements and some day hope to give back to the NHL the way the NHL has given to you.’
One of his other former team mates needs to do this as well. Another aging player who’s time has come to hang up his skates. Brendan Shanahan, after being pulled around for about four to five months last year by Glen Sather, wants to come back and play in New York. Shanahan could probably do more for the Rangers than what Chelios could but not after the serious changes that have been made this off season.
Since when did Madison Square Garden become a retirement home for aging players? Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier did it which is fine by me. They at least played for more than three seasons and Messier brought back the cup in his tenure has captain. Markus Naslund was another player who played his final season in New York. Although with Naslund retiring early, it allowed for some much needed cap room so that wasn’t so bad either.
But now, even Sergei Zubov is thinking about come back to the Rangers. This is the 2010 season coming up not the 1993 season. Brian Leetch, Adam Graves, Mike Richter and even Esa Tikkanen have all retired. Zubov was traded with Petr Nedved to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Luc Robitaille and Ulf Samuelsson. It was sad to see him go but that trade will have been made 14 years ago on August 31st. He’s 39 and it’s time to let go of the past and start think about the over abundance of defensive talent we have now.
Chris Chelios or Sergei Zubov are not the answers on defense. Brendan Shanahan is not the answer at center. Especially if Shanny is expecting to play on the 4th line when John Tortorella doesn’t really believe in using a 4th line. If this was 1999 then I would absolutely go crazy for signing all three of them.
The defensive dorm are going to be packed when camp opens up with Matt Gilroy, Bob Sanguinetti, Matt Del Zotto and the recent additions of Klassen and Nigel Williams. Plus the Rangers already have a useless defensive player in Wade Redden. Adding much older veterans to this team will not make the team better but only slower on the ice and in youth progression.
No moves have been made yet with Dubinsky but I guarantee he’ll resign with in the next week or so. As for Zherdev, his case is being heard this Friday and hopefully there will be a better understanding of what will happen with his contract. If a trade was to happen, Zherdev would be involved but I wouldn’t expect much in return for him except for maybe youth or draft picks.
If Sather doesn’t make any other sort of trades, you can expect to see the Rangers start the next season with what they’ve got including if they sign Zherdev and Dubinsky. I don’t for see a move happening with Dallas for Brad Richards. Since the Stars are over the cap by $4 million and the Rangers would have to make room for Richards $7.8 million which makes the move is highly unlikely.
Also I’ve heard no mentioning’s of Patrick Marleau since before this year’s draft. I think it’s a good bet that Dubinsky will be centering the top line and Zherdev will be back as a Ranger. Don’t expect to see Phil Kessel or any of the players I’ve listed before this. Alex Tanguay to me would be an excellent fit for the Blueshirts but that’s only if Sather can make room for him. We’ll no more by the days end on Friday.
In Avery We Trust