Here are a few notes that caught my eye this morning:
Larry Brook / NY Post:
Another small step for Rangers’ Staal
Marc Staal has been given approval to begin light physical activity following his examination by concussion specialist Dr. Robert Cantu in Boston on Tuesday, an individual familiar with the case told The Post.
It remains unclear whether the Rangers’ alternate captain, who had been shut down completely for a month following a previous visit to Dr. Cantu during the week of Oct. 16, will be able to play this season.
The Rangers refused to confirm or deny the report. Moreover, The Post was told that the club will not be issuing updates on the status of Staal’s health during the recovery process from the concussion...
While the approval to begin light activity implies that Staal was symptom-free while sedentary, there is obviously no guarantee he will remain so as he exercises.
There is no timetable whatsoever attached to this recovery period...
Well Scotty Gomez's game has completely gone south. He has not scored a goal in 44 games. That begs the following question.
NHL on TSN Quiz: What Should Canadiens Do With Gomez?
Question No. 1: What should the Canadiens do with Scott Gomez and a contract that pays him $7.4 million for two more seasons?
Aaron Ward: Buy him out at season's end. Last goal scored was February 5; that's last season. 44 games, zero goals. You buy him out, recoup some of that money. You ought to be able to find someone for those millions to score goals over that period of time. I think he's almost worn out his welcome at this point in Montreal.
Bob McKenzie: I would demote him to the minors, not necessarily this second, but if the Montreal Canadiens can go out and find a big centre or use the cap space - it's almost $7.4 million cap hit - more effectively than with Scott Gomez (the Montreal Canadiens have lots of something - and that's money). They've got a place in Hamilton and if they can make their team better by moving him down at the appropriate time, why not do it? The buyout can still be expensive in terms of the actual cap hit for the next four years. There would still be a cap hit for Gomez - not at the full value - but still enough that it might be a detriment. You want him out and pay the extra money...
Bloomberg BusinessWeek had a special Sports Section recently. One of the articles pointed out just how bad New York sports teams were at purchasing athletic talent. The Rangers, of course, are one of the bottom feeders at 114th place out of 122 teams ranked.
The Smartest Spenders in Sports:
A general manager’s job is to turn payroll dollars into wins. We’ve run the numbers on the last five NHL, MLB, NBA, and NFL seasons to see who’s done it best—by winning often, spending little, or (sometimes) both.
Our method: By culling player payroll data from reported sources and pairing them with wins and losses over the last five completed seasons, we calculated an average cost per win in each league. Based on that number, we measured (by standard deviation) how far each team varied above or below the league norm. The result is a cross-sport rating of how every U.S. franchise compares to its peers in squeezing wins from money. We call it the Efficiency Index.
#1 Nashville Predators -- Stayed an average of $10 million below the NHL salary cap while having the fifth-best record in the league.
#10 New York Islanders -- At 33 wins per season, the Islanders were second-worst in the NHL but had the lowest average payroll.
A photo gallary of professionals who work outside the lines
Kristine “Rosie” DeRosa: Manager of Building Operations
New York Rangers Practice Rink, Tarrytown, N.Y.
Pay: Around $50,000
“My job entails more than just driving a Zamboni everyday, but everyone is drawn to that part of it. Everyone asks, ‘Can I get a ride? Is it fun?’ And I always say it’s as fun as it looks.”