Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rangers Sign D Brendan Bell

This afternoon the New York Rangers announced that they signed defenseman Brendan Bell to a contract.  Bell, 28, has not played in the NHL since the 2008-09 season with the Ottawa Senators and spent last season in the Swiss Elite League.  Bell comes in at 6’ 1” 205lb and has the physical size and strength to his advantage, but his skating is very weak and he is a depth type move for the AHL with Mikhail Pashnin staying in Russia and not a legitimate threat to the NHL roster.

The numbers on defense are getting pretty crowded, so there is always the possibility of a trade down the road, but likely won't happen unless Sather gets exactly what he wants in return.

Pashin Turned Down Rangers Over Two-Way Contract

According to Dmitry Chesnokov the reason that Mikhail Pashnin turned down the Rangers and signed a two-year deal to stay at CSKA Moscow was over not wanting a two-way contract.  This does mean in some respects that it was about money because the real difference between a two-way and a one-way deal is not a guaranteed spot in the NHL, rather the money they get.  On a one-way deal he would get the same salary regardless of whether he made the NHL club or spent the year in the AHL.  On a two-way he would have to make the Rangers in order to get paid the NHL salary or take significantly less in the AHL.  While some see this as Pashnin demanding a guaranteed spot, to me this says more about him not believing he could earn a spot on the NHL club on merit to get the money.

Pashnin went further to knock the AHL in arguing that he could not grow his game there.  Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Michael Sauer are prime examples of young defenders who grew in the AHL and are now regulars in the NHL, so that excuse just doesn’t fly.

Which Current Contract Is The Best Value For The Rangers?

The New York Rangers work as a franchise in not only signing key components of their young core to long-term contracts, but contracts that are of great value in the salary cap era has set the team up to contend for multiple seasons.  The contracts given to Marc Staal and Dan Girardi last summer along with those given to Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan this summer are ones that have taken four critical components to what the Rangers want to be and signed them to deals that are excellent values.  The value of each deal, especially those of Staal and Girardi only look better this year based on their respective 2010-11 campaigns and the overpayments made to defensemen around the league this summer.  In addition to those deals, New York locked down Michael Sauer, Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle this summer to multi-year contracts.  The question is which contract on the Rangers roster, excluding entry-level contracts, is the best value?