How about that! The man pulled it off and signed the two hottest commodities, Daniel Briere not withstanding, on the first day of free agency. Scotty Gomez from the hated Devils and Chris Drury who put the stake in the heart of the Rangers in last years playoffs, are now Rangers. In the general scheme of things they are 1 and 1A and from here it doesn't seem to matter who centers Jagr and who centers Shanahan. It is a big win-win situation that Sather has created for the Rangers. In a strange moment Sather flipped a puck to see who would wear number 23 and Drury won the flip and will wear the number.
Michael Nylander took off for Washington where he will feed Ovechkin with his dipsy doo skating. Nylander played great for the Rangers but there is no way that the Rangers lose with two players like Drury and Gomez. Another big sentimental loss was Jed Ortmeyer signing with Nashville. He will be sorely missed for his kamikaze style attack and magnificent penalty killing. He was a huge fan favorite and won the Steven McDonald Award last year.
In a curious move the Rangers signed Jason Strudwick. I would assume that this will loosen up a defenseman for a trade for maybe a strong penalty killer or bruiser or maybe a solid tough stay at home defenseman. I don't think the Rangers can win with last years defense corps in tact. Certainly moving Malik would be a plus despite what his plus/minuses are.
The Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference are in for a massive shakeup. The Sabres and Devils have been fairly decimated. Besides the Rangers, the Penguins have improved with the addition of defenseman Darlyl Sydor and forward Petr Sykora. The Flyers have added Briere plus some young players in a trade and have former backup goalie Marty Biron of Buffalo. Even Washington has become a strong playoff threat adding Kozlov and Poti from the Isles along with Nylander. More on the East later.
Rangers Sign Big-Name Free Agents Gomez & Drury
Blueshirts Turn 2
Rangers Sign Top-Tier Centers Drury, Gomez
Time To Make A Cup Push