Saturday, September 02, 2006

100 Unsigned Free Agents

The salary cap has caused an unintended casualty, the unsigning of over 100 free agents including some quality players such as Brian Leetch, Anson Carter, Peter Bondra, Erik Rasmussen, Trevor Lindin, Kenny Jonsson, Radek Dvorak and Victor Koszlov. One example is The New Jersey Devils who are already at the cap of $44 million and don't have restricted free agent Brian Gionta under contract. The Devils are being strangled by the contracts to two players Lamoriello would love to dump, Vladimir Malakhov and Alexander Mogilny. I think the world of Lamoriello and believe that he is the best GM in the business, but this is fun watching him trying to squirm out of this one. If Lou pulls it off he should win the "Houdini of the Year" award. The Devils must sign Gionta.

One of the players that Lou could lose is Erik Rasmussen. Rasmussen is a rugged checker, only 29 years old, and scored 5 goals and 5 assists in 67 games. The Rangers are reportedly looking at Radek Dvorak as a checking penalty killer. Dvo had 8 goals and 20 assists last year and is also 29 years old. From here it would seem like Rasmussen would be a more effective fit. However Dvo is another Czech and would fit in the locker room perfectly. I like Rasmussen but put your bets on Dvorak.

Anson Carter is a puzzle still being unsigned. Here is a guy, 33 years old, who racked up 33 goals, 22 assists last year with Vancouver. He had a brief stint with the Rangers playing 54 games in two seasons, 2002-03, 2003-04. He might not look bad on a third line of Betts, Hollweg and Carter. But we are going for youth right? Who would you rather have? A high octane veteran who plays it tough both ways and who can score and check or an errratic speedster who often than not will miss the net and doesn't check? But he is a Czech.

It is hard to imagine Brian Leetch still being unsigned with about two weeks to training camp. Rumors are strong that he and the Rangers are in contact. A one year deal would be perfect and it probably could be done for less than $2 million per. Right now the Rangers are about $5 million under the cap. I know quite a few of you want to see the young guys and I agree, but four of the Rangers seven are over 30 so its not that Leetch will be stealing a spot from a youngster.

So sign Rasmussen as the checker, penalty killer and Leetch as the seventh defenseman and send Ozolinsh to Hartford and the squad should be set. What do you think?

ICINGS: Mike Keenan leaving Florida is somewhat of a mystery. The owner, Alan Cohen tried to talk him out of it. Rumors of a difference of opinion between him and coach Martin should be downplayed. Since when does a coach win a battle over a GM, especially one as head strong as Keenan. It could be that Iron Mike felt there wasn't much more that he could do with this team. But it is natural for him to leave after two years with the Panthers. The guy gets bored. It was too quiet in Florida. His best bet will be to come back as a coach for some team that gets off to a bad start. That should be an incentive for all teams to get off to strong starts.

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  • Donnie. Brook said...

    Rasmussen is absolutely the way to go. Hope Sather doesn't Czech-mate the team before the season starts.

  • mike said...

    To donnie.brook-Sather thinks that by adding more Czechs he keeps Jagr happy. Adding more checkers would keep Jagr even happier.