Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back to the Old Ways?

Unfortunately I will not be going to the Coyotes Prospect Practice this morning but I will be there on Friday and Saturday mornings so I will report about the players then. But there is still plenty to talk about in the world of hockey. Reports came out yesterday that the Maple Leafs had given the New York Rangers permission to speak with center Mats Sundin before it was given to Les Habitants. That has changed now as Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher has given exclusive negotiating rights to the Canadiens until July 1st. Larry Brooks is reporting that Glen Sather "is interested in signing both Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin, claiming New York is Sundin's desired destination and the Rangers have been in talks with his agent..." (Thanks to Spector's and Larry Brooks). 
Haven't the Rangers already tried this? Wasn't there this whole period where the Rangers downright sucked because they were trying to make all star teams? I will admit it is a bit different than that time. The Rangers have plenty of young kids that have come out of their farm system and more are coming. Also, the Blueshirts have a competent goaltender that is better than Mike Dunham and Jason Muzzati. 
But in a salary cap era, it is very tough to sign to old stars like Jagr and Sundin who are both looking for big contracts in the cash department. If I was Sather, I would be giving these two incentive contracts. Give them each a base salary of $4.5 million or so and then put in incentives. I drool about these two on the same team maybe about 10 years ago but having them now wouldn't be so bad. Sundin is still an elite player and he has been on the Maple Laughs for most of his career. He had 78 points last year (32 goals, 46 assists) in 74 games so he is still above a point per game. He is a very good faceoff man and his wrist shot is still something to be feared. He is a leader and always plays hard every game.
However, it all comes down to price. If Sather could get him to knock his price down or make it an incentives contract for the 37 year old (he will turn 38 in February) then maybe I would be able to swallow the cap hit him and Jagr will take up. Not to mention the fact the Rangers are also going after Brooks Orpik, Brian Campbell, and Wade Redden. If Sather is going to somehow bring back Jagr, sign Sundin, and one of those defensemen to fit under the salary cap, then the man truly can work miracles. 
In other Ranger news, Development camp started for them yesterday. Check out the Rangers website for videos of Bobby Sanguinetti and Michael Del Zotto. Blueshirt Bulletin was at the camp yesterday and has pictures, some quick reports, and will be putting up more about the Camp today. Not much to report on the Coyotes as they gear up for their Rookie Camp which starts today. Like I said before, I will be there on Friday and Saturday instead of today. I will also be there tomorrow night for the Open House where I have VIP status, whatever that is. News around the league includes Barry Melrose will be the new head coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Check out NHL.com and from there you can get to the Lightning's website. Keep checking back for new posts throughout the day as I keep an eye out on the hockey wires throughout the day. Thanks for reading! 

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