While I was happy with the moves Glen Sather made on Tuesday, I’m still looking for a bit of an upgrade at forward.
And it sounds like the Rangers are in agreement as assistant General Manager Jeff Gorton said this on whether the Blueshirts were done making moves this offseason during a conference call to discuss the team’s Day 1 signings…
“…we are always looking for somebody who can help us whether it’s in a free agent market or via trade. We’re continuing to look to help the team and find guys who can play the way that we want to play.”
On specifically bringing in a forward…
“I see that we’ll be finding a forward, how we will get him I’m not quite sure yet, but it’d be hard for me to say we’re going to sign a UFA for sure.”
…sounds more like the Rangers are exploring a trade for a forward than scouring the free agent market. If that’s the case, I couldn’t even speculate who’d they be looking at. As far as trade bait, guys like Marc Staal and Carl Hagelin, who only have one season left on their contracts, could be dangled.
…and it might be a good thing that the Rangers are looking to upgrade via trade because all the viable free agent forwards are being scooped up at an alarming rate…
Isles sign Kulemin 4 yrs/$16.75 M and Grabovski 4 yrs / $20 M
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 2, 2014
2 yrs, $5 mil per for Vrbata to Canucks.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 3, 2014
…hoping that Sather’s patience will pay off as you have to assume the longer he holds out the lower the price will be for guys like Roy, Penner, Santorelli, Heatley and Setoguchi to become the 2014-15 version of Benoit Pouliot. The prices for these 2nd-3rd line forwards have been obscene through the first two days of free agency, so a discount would be huge for the Rangers who still need to re-sign their RFAs while attempting to remain under the cap.
…from that list, the guy most likely to fit into Pouliot’s role is the 31-year old Penner. He’s got size (maybe a little too much), solid possession numbers (55% Corsi average the last two years) and is coming off a bounce back year (14g, 21a) after struggling in LA the previous three seasons. Plus his 11 power play points (5g, 6a) would have been tops on the Rangers last year. Obviously he’s not as good of a skater as Pouliot, but not bad enough where he’d be a liability. Sather just needs to make sure there aren’t any pancakes being served during team breakfasts the morning of games.