by Matt Pennino
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 around.
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 Conference.
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 too.