There were a lot of questions for the New York Rangers going into this summer. Many of them were answered within the first few days of free agency, though some are still looming.
What we have:
Glen Sather did what many a Rangers fan thought he couldn’t do; reel in the season’s prized free agent. In bringing in Brad Richards the Blueshirts now have a nifty center to feed Marian Gaborik the puck. Though both the winger and center are oft-injured, the two could make some magic on the ice if they mesh well. Having Ruslan Fedotenko, Richards’ linemate during their Championship in ’04, could help improve their dynamic.
Another free agent brought into New York was Pittsburgh center Mike Rupp. The main question with the 6-foot-5 center was where did that leave 6-foot-6 center Brian Boyle? Apparently it simply meant bringing along a hard-hitting Cup winner (2003, NJ) into the fold, and not the departure of Boyle, who signed a three year contract a couple weeks later.
The last thing Sather did was ensuring the stability of the Rangers ‘core’ by re-signing RFA’s Michael Sauer (2 year, $2.5m) and Artem Anisimov (2 year, $3.75m), relatively good contracts for those who would have otherwise gone to arbitration. The Rangers got away with a lot, considering how well of a rookie season Sauer had in New York. One of the last pieces of the defensive puzzle was a trade with Calgary in mid-June, bringing in Tim Erixon; who was drafted 23rd overall by Calgary in 2009. Since he had not signed a contract with the Flames, Erixon was set to be re-entered into the 2011 draft. Instead, his rights were traded to his father’s former team, with whom he settled an entry-level contract with. With two more years under his belt with the Swedish Elite League, he is considered a top-ten level prospect, and is considered to crack the roster this season.
What we still have left: (more…)