And the hot stove is officially burning as the rumors surrounding the Rangers are rampant.
Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that the Rangers have “checked in with and have legitimate interest in” Devils UFA defenseman Mark Fayne as a possible replacement for Anton Stralman.
The 27-year old, right-handed defenseman had four goals and seven assists last season while playing under a contract that paid him $1.3 million annually.
While Fayne’s offensive numbers don’t jump off the page, his possession statistics do. He had a 55.3% Corsi (% of shot attempts for when on the ice vs. against) which was 1.5% higher than the Devils team average. Stalman had a Corsi of 56.5% last season.
…just looking at the numbers, Fayne seems to be the perfect replacement for Stralman. He’ll cost less, while his production and possession stats are virtually the same. And obviously the big key is that Fayne is right-handed which would allow AV to keep his righty/lefty defensive pairings.
Another Devil Brooks claims the Rangers have interest in is Ryan Carter.
The fourth liner Carter had seven goals and just three assists last season and won just a woeful 44% of his faceoffs. However, the 30-year old Carter does have a career 51% faceoff winning percentage and was a big key to the Devils run to the Stanley Cup Final two years ago.
Carter’s possession stats are also decent (51.3% Corsi) despite 64.5% of his shifts beginning in the neutral zone or defensive end.
Carter just finished a contract that paid him $775,000 per.
…Carter had a rough 2013-14 season that seemed to be caused by a knee injury he suffered back in November. He was never able to find his game after the setback and struggled throughout the second half of the year.
…Rangers fans all know what Carter is capable of on the fourth line after he was basically the Devils MVP against the Blueshirts in the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago. His struggles last season could be to the Rangers benefit as they’d likely get a solid bottom three player on the cheap to replace Boyle and/or Moore.
…the only problem I have with bringing in Fayne & Carter is the awful history the Rangers have signing Devils free agents. See Holik, Driver and Gomez.
Speaking of Moore, Brooks adds that he keeps hearing the Rangers aren’t going to pay to keep him and his three-year, $1.6 million to $1.85 million per season contract demands.
…i really want to get upset at Sather for assisting in breaking up the fourth line, but the players’ demands are really out of control. I know that Moore is looking for stability, but THREE YEARS?!?! I could live with two, but that third year would be a deterrent for some of the up and coming young guys such as Linberg, Fast and Bourque, who could all possibly see time on the fourth line the next three seasons.
I’ve seen plenty of Rangers fans mention Mikhail Grabovski as a possible fallback plan at center if the Blueshirts aren’t able to reel in a big time free pivot this offseason, but according to Alex Prewitt at the Washington Post the Capitals free agent is is seeking a multi-year deal somewhere around $5 million per season.
Grabovski, who’s $5.5M contract was bought out by the Predators two years ago, played on a one-year, $3M contract with the Capitals last season. The 30-year old had 13g, 22a.
Grabovski won 54% of his faceoffs last season and had a 51% Corsi which was 4% higher than the Capitals team average.
…i really like Grabovski’s offensive game and obviously his faceoff prowess is very much needed with Stepan and Brassard not exactly Adam Oates in the faceoff circle. But he’s not a big player, and is known for being lazy defensively. He’s already had a $5+ million contract bought out, so I’m not sure why he thinks he’s worth that money again. I for one don’t think he is.
And finally a little something to make you chuckle this morning…
Predators are trying to trade Michael Del Zotto. #tvasports
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 28, 2014