Rangers Rumors & News
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When the Rangers road trip to the Stanley Cup hit a dead-end this year there was a legitimate concern that the old car wouldn’t even get out of the driveway next year.

Possibly a Ranger?With less than $25 million in available cap space for next season would it be worth it to bring back older players like Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan for another run? The answer to that question seems bleak. Especially considering the fact that they came up short this year so they would need additional fire power to jump start another run at the Cup.

Where would that fire power come from? Nobody really knows. Is it worth it to resign Jagr? Maybe, but for how much. Which other free agents could be brought on and be able to make an impact? Perhaps Marian Hossa. But is he worth the money he will command? Can the Rangers afford him AND Jagr? Will it make any difference?

With not many other impact names on the free agent list many fans have been left mulling over those questions more than others.

How about this name: Mats Sundin.

Sundin is a 37-year-old free agent who has been overlooked by Ranger fans throughout most of the off-season because he is not a long-term solution and he won’t come cheap. But as a free agent above the age of 35 he is eligible to sign a one-year contract with incentives.

Looking at the Rangers roster and the available free agents Sundin could be the key to keeping the team competitive in 08/09 while also keeping the roster flexible for the future. The opposite would be true if the Rangers sign Hossa.

Hossa would almost certainly cost more, not only in pay but also in years. Which would do two things, first creating an either or situation where the Rangers could only either Jagr or Hossa but not both. Second, the potential $7 million deal Hossa might sign would eat up cap space keeping the Rangers from putting out the best possible blue line.

There are a couple of problems the Rangers will face if they do decide to go forward and try to bring in Sundin. The biggest is the payroll. It wouldn’t make sense for the team to sign Mats without a strong winger to play with. So if they do decide to go forward with this plan they have to sign both Jagr and Sundin. Which will not come cheap. Their best bet would be to hope both sign for $5 million per year base salary plus incentives. Or less.

If they did manage to do that it would leave the team a little than $15 million to fill about two or three forward positions, two defensive positions, and bring in a backup goalie. Not much wiggle room. In order for the Rangers to do this GM Glen Sather must be sure that a team headed by a 37-year old Sundin and a 36-year-old Jagr can win enough games to justify this move. He also must be sure they can do it without a premier blue-liner.

The last issue needs to be mentioned, but shouldn’t be a problem. That is the Rangers don’t need centers. That is the one position they have pretty locked down with Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky, and Blair Betts. The likely solution would be to Drury to wing on either of the top two lines.

Aside from those problems the Rangers might do well picking up Sundin. At 6 foot 5 inches he would be a welcome addition for the team in front of the net, particularly if Sean Avery defects. He has also remained pretty productive in his old age. He has played better than a point per game average since the lockout.

It will especially prove to be a big pickup if the Blue-shirts resign Jagr, which looks likely. If they do bring him back it will help to have a center who could make a difference in his game. Last year neither Drury nor Gomez could do that, maybe it’s time to give Sundin a try.

There are currently 2 responses to “Should Rangers Be Interested In Sundin?”

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  1. 1 On June 25th, 2008, Rob Abruzzese said:

    I have to leave a post script to this article.

    I don’t necessarily like this deal, but I feel like it is the Rangers best chance at success for next years team and for the future IF they resign Jagr. Although I’m not 100% for that even.

  2. 2 On June 25th, 2008, gozer said:

    Ha, I think we agree on something for a change! I’ve always loved Sundin – much more so than Jagr in fact – and I would be in favor of bringing him here if Jagr indeed returns. Personally, I thought it was impressive that the team made it as far as they did last season. It seemed to me that they were working from a formula that was broken to begin with. The worst scenario, in my mind, would be to come to training camp with essentially the same lineup. The addition of Sundin, however, would at least provide a hope of unlocking Jagr’s offense for one last season or two. In my ideal world, neither Sundin or Jagr are on the team next year, but if you’re going to tell me that Jagr is a lock to return, then I think Sundin gives them the best shot of making it work.

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