Thursday, July 31, 2008

Does it really all add up, Rangers Fans. . .?

It’s been a week. Okay, it’s been more than a week. So why not throw a few random thoughts out there? Get me, umm you, through a lazy Thursday morning where I, err I mean you, can’t seem to get motivated. Great. Here we go. . .

In the last “more than a week” there’s been a lot of talk on XM204 about moves teams made, moves teams didn’t make, good, bad, or indifferent. Now, I remember listening to The Power Play on last Tuesday I believe, and they were having a conversation about the New York Rangers. *sigh* As a Rangers fan, it didn’t sound good. But, as a Rangers fan, I can’t say that I disagree with much they said. The hosts said that they didn’t know what to think of the Rangers. They didn’t see much sense with the Wade Redden deal (see below). And overall they were not sure WHY this team seriously overspent for so many players last year and again this year, which inevitably only serves to tie up A LOT of cap money. Because honestly it’s not an issue of will this team mesh, will the plan (or lack thereof) work? And goodness knows that I am hoping with all my heart that Marcus Naslund wakes up and thinks it is 2002, that whoever the heck is on the point on the power play actually shoots the puck (at the net!), that the young guys get a chance to play, that Hank Lundqvist gets his consistency going early and often, and that either (and hopefully both) Chris Drury and Scott Gomez make Rangers fans say, yes, damn, now that’s why we got that guy. But rather, it’s merely an issue of basic mathematics.

And before I continue, I must say that even though I’m better than average at math, I am not the type of fan who sits there calculating the room their team is under the cap (or over the cap) and how many (and which) players would have to be moved to make adequate cap space for [fill in the blank]. I can’t. Seriously, it seems like too much work for me that might not yield much satisfaction in the end. Sometimes I’ll try to read someone else’s take on the matter if they’ve showed interest in doing the math and write it out for all to see, but when my head starts to hurt I’ll just stop reading.

But what I can tell you, as a basic, basic math lesson, is that the numbers don’t add up in NY. When the cap is set at around 57 million ($56.7 to be exact), and you have three guys each making around $7 million (Hank about 6.8, and Gomez and Drury both over 7), that is around $21 million – which is around 37% of your total cap room. Add Wade Redden’s 6.5 million (which, mathematicians, yes, yes, is close to 7, very good!) to the mix, and you now have those four players making close to $28 million of your salary – which is (wait for it, wait for it) – 49% of your total to spend. And once again, mathematicians, come on now, don’t let me down – yes! yes, 49 is just a hair under 50. Which is half! The New York Rangers have four players (4 players!) on their roster being paid almost, just about, essentially, when it comes right down to it pretty much half of their total allotted money. And no, no, Wayne Gretzky is not one of them. Neither are Mark Messier, Bobby Orr, Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, or Mario Lemieux in their best days. They are Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Wade Redden, and Henrik Lundqvist. Now, I’m not taking a swipe at Hank. (haha, who during Tuesday’s show either Jim Tatti, Gary Green, or Mike Ross called Henrik Lundstrom on air. It was pretty hilarious. Who’s Lundstrom? Seriously. Maybe the Rangers can sign him too!) Lundqvist has been nominated for a Vezina in his first three years, had 10 shutouts last season, and won a gold medal for his country two years ago. For all honesty, he is not the argument here. NY has a great goalie in him, one that will hopefully only get better, and you have to pay your goalie to keep him in town. All teams need that one big franchise goalie to carry the team in order to be successful. But Chris Drury, whos Mr. Clutch routine Rangers fans have seen more of from the wrong side (cue game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Semi finals), Scott Gomez, who can be good, but is not, not, not, not supposed to be any teams top $ maker, and Wade Redden, the guy who EVERYONE even HIMSELF agreed would be and should be taking a pay cut this year after a abysmal year last year – they are all making close to, if not exceeding $7 million dollars. They are NOT worth it. End of story.

Now one can argue – what does it matter? What if the team plays perfectly this year, is competitive, and performs up to and beyond all expectations. But honestly, the odds of that are? The odds are better that the team will not play perfectly, let’s not kid ourselves. But that’s not even the issue. The issue is how much money they have tied up for how many years! Hank’s was a six year deal. Drury’s was for five. Redden’s is 6. And Gomez’s was for 7! That is a lot of money over a long period of time. So, the point is, the Rangers have handicapped themselves not only for this year, but for at least the next four or five years to come. And that is what concerns me more. I’m concerned in general (for Rangers fans that’s part of the deal), but I’m REALLY concerned about that. $7 x 4 = $28 million. $28 = $56.7/2. Which all equals the fact that the Rangers are screwed!!! Mathematics lesson over, kids.

Some boring (even to me) but quick hits. . .

-I swear, you take a week off writing a blog, turn on morning radio, and all of a sudden the Kings are relocating to Kansas City? But yet I can’t find anything about this. Was this a joke? Seriously, someone clue me in. I don’t think Kansas City appreciated what they had (and goodness knows they could have cared less about the train wreck that is the Royals – although they have pretty blue uniforms!) so why they should get a team is already something I don’t quite understand. But LA. LA is going to be good. Really good I hope. LA is the foundation that Gretzky built in the States. The Kings can’t move. Can they? Did someone just start speculating because the Kings and Blues are playing a pre-season game there in a couple months? Did I hear it all wrong? In the early morning or late afternoon, that is very possible.

-Mark Parrish was bought out in Minnesota. Apparently the team was trying to make it seem as if it was not personal. But, how can they say that when they knew their cap situation in advance, and they just recently brought in Owen Nolan for approximately the same amount of money as Parrish was making (all according to XM204). So if they knew their cap situation at all, which one would hope as a professional ice hockey team that they did, they apparently did have a choice on which player they wanted. So how is that not personal?

-The Sundin debate that has raged on and on, and on and on, finally ends tomorrow. Or does it?

More on that tomorrow, I’m sure. Even though rumors are swirling that even five or six teams (still including the NYRs) are in the mix, I’ll stick to Vancouver and Montreal being the front runners. And if he wants to stay East more than he wants the money (which of course is a BIG IF), my money is on Montreal. Stay tuned.

Class dismissed.

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