It's no secret that even before the Marc Staal injury the Rangers sixth defensive position was in flux. While Steve Eminger has staked claim of the fifth spot in Staal's absence, Roman Hamrlik, Matt Gilroy and Stu Bickel have all failed to seize the opportunity.
So it is not surprising to see the Rangers linked to so many defensemen around the league.
First, Elliotte Friedman at CBC Sports feels that Filip Kuba makes some sense for the Rangers as he he played well under John Tortorella, with 68 points in two Tampa seasons and he's very close with Marian Gaborik.
Friedman adds that Kuba is owed $4 million next season and has a no-move clause.
…No, no, no, no, no!!!!!!! No need for Hamrlik Part II. While Kuba might have excelled under Torts six years ago, the 36-year old's numbers have been diminishing and he is a lifetime -49. Not exactly worth the $4 million price tag.
Next is a return of the old Dan Boyle to the Rangers rumor. Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com believes Boyle is the top-four, right-handed D-man the Blueshirts could sure use. Boyle is owed $6.67 million through next season.
…what, no mention of Gaborik as the return for the Sharks?
…while Boyle would be exactly what the Rangers needed on the power play, his salary as well as the Sharks likely asking price makes this a non-starter. Unless the Sharks would be willing to do Richards for Boyle?
And finally, Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that the Rangers are expected to be among the finalists in the bidding for collegiate free agent defenseman Andrej Sustr after his imminent announcement that he's leaving Omaha-Nebraska.
Sustr, a 6-foot-8, 210-pounder who hails from Plzen of the Czech Republic, attended the Rangers’ rookie evaluation camp in June 2011.
Brooks adds that Sustr has a big shot but is regarded as more of a defensive presence than an offensive force. Sustr is said to be not quite NHL ready yet, but is not that far off.
He had 15g, 36a in his three years at Omaha-Nebraska.
…6' 8" and a big shot? Hmmm, where have I heard that scouting report before? Can you say Chara clone? If this kid can be half as good as Chara he'll be a beloved Ranger.