Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Moves Rangers Still Need to Make

Back on July 10th here at PuckCentral we took a look at the Rangers salary cap situation and how the team looked after making moves to hopefully improve the team. Since then not much has changed; Brandon Dubinksy still remains unsigned, the Nike Zherdev dilemma goes on (for at least a little longer) and the team still needs to fill a few forward and defensive spots on the roster.

At this point, it has to be assumed that Nik Zherdev will not be a Ranger much longer. Whether or not the Rangers can get something in return is the question left to be answered. If the Rangers walk away from Zherdev then he becomes a UFA and can sign anywhere in the world. However, if the Rangers sign Zherdev to the one year $3.9M contract that he was awarded in arbitration they could still attempt to trade him and get something of value in return.

As soon as the dust settles on the Zherdev fiasco, the next agenda for Glen Sather has to be to re-sign RFA Brandon Dubinsky. I actually thought that Dubinsky had a strong case to make in asking for a contract similar to the one that Ryan Callahan just signed (a 2 yr deal w/ a cap hit of $2.3M). But, since Callahan was eligible for arbitration he had more leverage working for him than Dubinsky does. Many think that Dubinksy will sign a two year deal for under $2M per year, s0 that's what I am factoring him in at in to calculate how much cap room the Rangers have left to complete their roster.

Now, with the roster that I have generated the Rangers have about $4M in cap room to add at least one more defenseman and forward to dress six defensemen and twelve forwards. This doesn't mean that the Rangers have to go out and sign another player or make a trade. In generating this roster I included Enver Lisin, Brian Boyle and Artem Anisimov who are all expected to make the roster. If the roster remains the same as it is currently, this leaves Tyler Arnason, Dane Byers, Evgeny Grachev and Aaron Voros battling it out for the remaining forward position(s).

I also have penciled Matt Gilroy in on the roster above, so this leaves Corey Potter, Mike Sauer, Bobby Sanguinetti, Ilkka Heikkinen and Michael Del Zotto battling it out for the sixth and seventh (if the Rangers decide to carry seven) defensemen roles.

All of this could change within a matter of minutes if the Rangers decide to sign/trade Nik Zherdev.

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