The Dark Ranger is a little brighter today. His boy, Chris Drury, had the game of his short Ranger life last night in which he scored his first hat trick as a Ranger and did it in a special way. One short-handed goal, in which he picked Martin St. Louis's pocket and completely undressed the Lightning goalie, Smith, and two power play goals, one off of a beautiful setup by Scotty Gomez and the other off of a rebound with time running out in the game. The goals gave Drury five for the season and hopefully ended the funk he was in.
The Rangers were 3-8 on the power play but before we get too excited that the PP is now working you must understand that two of the power play goals were scored on rushes up ice. Besides the Gomez feed there was another gorgeous pass from Zherdev to Callahan that set up the first PP goal. The Z Man had two big assists, plus there was the spectacle of him tussling with three Tampa Bay players along the boards and handling himself quite well. He must have been crosschecked at least three times but the referees in their infinite wisdom gave Zorro the two minute penalty. He was the number three star of the game. Drury was obviously the number one star.
Henrik Lundqvist, naturally, was the number two star. The Rangers should have a ceremony whereby they retire the number two star award and re-name it the Henrik Lundqvist Award. He wasn't good, he was great. It's hard to imagine this teams existence without Lundqvist. With all the inconsistencies on this team; the power play, the lack of scoring, the shoddy defense, the clueless coaching, Henrik Lundqvist remains the one solid, consistent performer on this team of underperformers. Zherdev and Mara are two others who have performed well but The Prince is Mr. Consistency. Long live The Prince.
Would the Rangers ever consider sending either Redden or Rozie to the minors to make cap room for Sundin? They cleared $1 Million of cap room when they waived Pat Rissmiller. MSG has an interesting management philosophy, they pay athletes like Patrick Rissmiller and Stephen Marbury to just hang out and watch.
Kevin Allen / USA Today:
Sundin would have to give up cash if he wants a Cup --
If Mats Sundin truly wants to play for one of the teams with a better shot at winning a Stanley Cup, he will have to leave a wad of money on the table.
Currently, the three teams that seem like the most logical fit for Sundin would be the Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens and none of those teams have any significant room under the salary cap...
Even if Sundin were willing to play for less money, it still would be challenging for the Ducks or Rangers to fit him under the cap. At this juncture, it would be tough to move $3 million in a trade without taking money back.
The more likely scenario would be a general manager persuading ownership that in order to bring Sundin aboard, a name player would have to be sent to the minors. That would take that player out of the cap equation, but the team would have to pay his NHL salary in addition to the regular payroll...