The trade deadline is approaching and with that comes news of old consistently rumored target of the New York Rangers coming back to life again. According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet.ca, the Rangers are actively scouting and could be on the verge of attempting to acquire Sheldon Souray. Rumors of Souray to New York are nothing new as over the course of the last two years there has been speculation of the kind, but nothing has ever come of it.
From Spector’s report…
Rangers pro scout Kevin Maxwell is credentialed for tonight’s game in Atlantic City between the Hershey Bears and the Albany Devils, and another Rangers scout is on his way to Hershey for back-to-back Bears games Saturday and Sunday against Manitoba.Rangers general manager Glen Sather has already passed through Hershey to have a firsthand look at Souray, who is healthy and back playing for the Bears, after suffering a pair of injuries this season.
The arguments in favor of Souray are the same as they have ever been, which is his one tool; a big shot from the point. On the flip side, if people think that Del Zotto struggles on defense, Souray makes Del Zotto look like Chara in terms of defensive coverage.
I have been against the idea of acquiring Souray each time this idea has come up and nothing has happened this season to dissuade that notion. If anything, the development of the Rangers young defenders should make a move like this less likely. Let us realize we are talking about a player who in the AHL has compiled a line of 3-10-13 in 19 games and is plus-5 with 37 PIMs. Not exactly lighting things up down there and has not shown any penchant for staying healthy.
Contractually claiming Souray on re-entry waivers and the Rangers would have to make a claim while hoping that no one below them in the standings would also put in a claim. If they won the claim on Souray it would cost the Rangers 2.7 million per year with one year left on his contract after this season. For this season the cap hit would approximately 900K.
The 2.7 million in cap hit is something the Rangers cannot afford next year if they are going to retain all of their RFA’s, and certainly not if they have designs on signing Brad Richards. Yes, it is possible that he could be buried in the minors next year, but there are negatives to that as well. Stashing him in the AHL next year does not help the fact that his 2.7 along with Redden’s 6.5 will count against the Rangers cap this summer and further decrease their flexibility in signing their own players as well as any others. Beyond the financial concerns he would be eating up a roster spot for the Whale. Next season with the Whale you would have to figure Kundratek, Valentenko, Niemi, Klassen are locks to be there with Redden likely (if he reports) and possibly Maggio as the sixth. There also have to be some character/influence concerns when Edmonton shipped him off to Hershey this season because they did not want him around their young players.
Sheldon Souray is not the missing piece between the Rangers and winning the championship this year, so there is absolutely no reason to bring on the headache.