Sunday, February 6, 2011

Souray Not Coming To Rangers...Yet; There's If They Want Him

For the past few days there has been a lot discussion about the possibility of Sheldon Souray coming to the New York Rangers.  Tonight Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reiterated that the situation is basically how we have assumed it is the past couple of days.  The only team that has really been connected to possibly wanting Souray is the Rangers and the Oilers are more than willing to put him on re-entry waivers if they know a team will take him off their hands, even if they still have to carry half the hit and pay half the price.

At this point the Oilers have not put Souray on re-entry waivers because no team has called GM Steve Tambellini to inform of their intent to actually put in the claim.  Whether you are in favor or against the move, you have to believe that watching the disaster that was the Rangers power play in Montreal has to make the urge for Sather to put the trigger on the move increase.  Either way the ball appears to be in Sather’s court and Tambellini will jump as soon as Sather or any other GM says they want Souray.  I am of the hope that moment never comes.  Avoid the urge Glen.

Here's my original article on the rumor from Friday.

Peter Forsberg Returns to Avalanche; Does He Have Anything Left?

Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports that Forsberg will sign a contract with the Colorado Avalanche today before the team begins a four-game road trip. Forsberg is supposed to be on the trip, but will not play in tomorrow’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes.  The deal is a one year contract for 1 million dollars, which pro-rated means Forsberg will make approximately one-third of that amount given the time remaining in the season.  The question now is: Does Forsberg have anything left at the NHL to help the Avalanche in their quest to make the playoffs?
Over the past number of years, Forsberg has suffered through foot injuries that forced him out of the NHL despite multiple comeback attempts.  He last played in the NHL in 2008, for the Avalanche.  During that short stint, Forsberg scored one goal and had 13 assists in nine games.

Video: Was Brian Boyle's Hit on Spacek A Headshot?

There is no one who watches the New York Rangers that can claim Brian Boyle is anything but an honest hockey player.  The 6’ 7” Boyle plays a hard physical game and with that comes a significant amount of hitting.  What is at question for me right now is whether yesterday’s hit on Montreal Canadiens defender Jaroslav Spacek classifies as a headshot.

When the play initially happened I did not think it was anything but incidental contact, but after watching the replays it appears that Boyle does flare his elbow out, even if slightly, and the principle point of contact does appear to be the head of Spacek.  To me he should have gotten a two minute minor for elbowing on the play and that should be it.  I have no doubt there is no intent there for Boyle on the hit, but if the NHL headshot rule, and their added attention to it in the wake of the Crosby concussion, is going to mean something they might do something with Boyle here.  For me intent should not matter in whether some level of discipline is handed out because a player must be responsible for himself on the ice.  Where intent comes into play is in the severity of the discipline.  Also, I do not buy this trend that the level of injury determines whether a play was illegal or not and because Spacek was able to return to the game, then it must not have been that bad a hit.

It is that added sensitivity to it in the wake of Crosby that makes me nervous a suspension might come down tomorrow.  We will see.

Was it a headshot?  Does being unintentional matter in whether discipline should be handed out?  Does the level of injury matter?

Video via

Rumor: Rangers Looking for Veteran Power Play Defenseman

Update: Souray Not Coming To Rangers...Yet; There's If They Want Him

Watching the New York Rangers it is painfully obvious that they have nothing resembling an NHL ready power play quarterback on their roster at the moment.  With that being the case it is not at all surprising to see their name connected to any and all potential power play defenders that might be on the market before the trade deadline.  In his column on, Pierre LeBrun writes that New York are likely to be interested in Tomas Kaberle, Sheldon Souray and Bryan McCabe to help the power play and provide a veteran presence for the defense core.

The desire to want to make a move for a power play quarterback is understandable given how miserable the power play has been, and would likely be the Rangers number on target in a trade, but it is not going to transform the results of the man advantage units.  Of the three McCabe is the best fit for the Rangers and their current needs.  Souray. as I discussed on Friday, when the news broke of the Rangers scouting him, is not the answer this season and the burden of his 2.7 million dollars for next year makes the downside significantly larger than any upside that could come from the move.

In today’s NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers are more interested in bringing in a rental than anyone with longer term commitments, ala Souray.  The combination of Redden’s 6.5 million dollar cap charge and another 2.7 from Souray would be prohibitive to the Rangers in their attempts to re-sign their key restricted free agents and possibly chase Brad Richards. 

Tomas Kaberle is a tremendous passing defenseman who can run a power play unit, as his 20 power play assists this season show, but he does offer little in terms of a shot from the point.  The key with a move for Kaberle would be the cost in terms of assets it would take to acquire him and if he would waive his no-trade clause to come to New York.  It is tough to gauge what the market is on Kaberle, in terms of cost, in order to better ascertain if the move is worth it.

Bryan McCabe is someone that I have discussed here about a month ago as a potential target for New York.  McCabe has the veteran experience, has been a leader, is a tough hard-nosed player and has a big shot from the point.  For me if a move for a veteran D to help fix the power play is the move the Rangers are seeking to make, McCabe is the best option.  McCabe is currently out with a broken jaw and there is no concrete timetable on when he could be ready to play again.  The cost for McCabe will be the determining factor in this case as well.

Part of the problem for me in thinking about any of these trades is that I do not see the Rangers as legitimate Cup contenders this year, so the move to bring in any of these players and the different costs they would have to in terms of assets and playing time for the future makes me skeptical.  The other problem is that the Rangers bigger need overall is someone who can win a faceoff and can help the utter lack of finish this team has right now.  In the end, I just wonder if a move should be made at all.  The four game winless streak underlines for me where the team might be and instead of making a deal to try and save something of the year, the team might be off in the long term if they just let the season play out as they are.

Video: Senators Goalie Robin Lehner Elbows Islanders Goalie Kevin Poulin

Is there a bounty out on the goaltenders of the New York Islanders?  It is starting to appear that way as just three days after Rick DiPietro has his face broken in a fight with Penguins goalie Brent Johnson, Isles goalie Kevin Poulin got elbowed by Senators goalie Robin Lehner following the second period ending.  Poulin was skating to the Islanders locker room when Lehner decided to hit him with his left elbow, and Poulin was knocked to the ice. 
The move by Lehner would help the Islanders as they would score a power play goal to open the third period.  Also good thing for the Islanders that Poulin is not made of glass like DiPietro so he was able to continue in the game.
Video via TheScore