The Rangers salary problems with Wade Redden and Marc Staal

waderedden1.jpgThis summer for the New York Rangers has been a relatively quiet one. With Glen Sather in charge and always in the mix on free agents and trades, the lack of big moves out of Manhattan for a team that missed the playoffs last year is a bit curious. The team brought back Vinny Prospal and Erik Christensen, they traded Aaron Voros away for defenseman Steve Eminger, acquired Todd White from Atlanta for high-priced spare parts and signed free agent wingers Alexander Frolov and Derek Boogaard.

In the meantime, they’ve taken their time in re-signing restricted free agent defenseman Marc Staal and boosted the team’s payroll to over $61 million, an amount they’ll have to knock down before the season begins. One way they can quickly alleviate their salary cap woes is to demote struggling, high-priced defenseman Wade Redden to the AHL. Redden comes with a cap hit of $6.5 million a year for the next four years. By ditching that money in the AHL, the cash would likely be readily available to get Staal signed and still be under the cap. There’s a catch here though, what if Wade Redden has an outstanding training camp? Larry Brooks of the New York Post wonders about that aloud in today’s edition.

But what if Marc Staal remains unsigned through camp, certainly a possibility given the utter lack of progress in the talks with the unsigned Group II free agent who may not be as antsy to get in as Brandon Dubinsky was last year?

What if Steve Eminger, too expensive at $1.125 million to be a seventh, is no stiffer than he was for Anaheim last season when he was a healthy scratch 18 times for a team that didn’t make the playoffs?

What if John Tortorella is no more impressed by Matt Gilroy’s work in his own end than he was last year, when the coach sat the rookie the final eight games of the year in favor of Anders Eriksson?

And what if Redden, who knows his NHL career is on the line here, who knows that if he is waived through the league in September he will never get back, what if Redden plays assertive, sharp hockey beginning with the first scrimmage and maintains his level? What if Redden outplays just about every defenseman in camp?

Then the Rangers will be in a state of severe stress. Then, incorporating that $6.5 million onto the season cap would mean that Sather would have to slash the roster in order to leave enough space to match on Staal, who at that point would become a very inviting target for an offer sheet.

The longer things drag out with Marc Staal, the more things get to be uncomfortable for the Rangers and Brooks is right to worry. With the Rangers payroll being over the cap as it is now, the Rangers matching any offer to Staal cuts into whatever they’re looking to do with the rest of their roster. 

As Brooks notes, having Redden coming to training camp motivated and ready to play and looking like the guy that dominated his earlier years in Ottawa, while helpful to the Rangers on the ice, would nuke their immediate plans of cleaning up their salary cap crunch. After all, if you can have Redden actually playing like a guy earning $6.5 million a year, you keep him around. If it comes at the expense of a young potential stud defenseman like Marc Staal, however, that’s not a risk anyone takes. Everyone will always take the new hotness over the old and busted.

Scroll Down For:

    Video: Oh, just another spectacular Patrik Laine goal . . .

    WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 13: Patrik Laine #29, playing his first NHL game, of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates scoring his first NHL goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during NHL action on October 22, 2016 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At top is Mathieu Perreault #85 of the Winnipeg Jets. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images)
    Getty
    Leave a comment

    He’s done it before. He’ll do it again.

    Patrik Laine scored another beautiful goal for the Winnipeg Jets, as he beat Carter Hutton with a wrist shot Saturday. But it was how he got into position for the goal that is so much fun to watch.

    Laine dished the puck to Bryan Little in the neutral zone, then, after shaking off a St. Louis Blues defender, he knocked the give-and-go pass out of the air and immediately ripped his shot past Hutton.

    That’s goal No. 16 for the rookie Laine.

    That goal also tied him with Sidney Crosby for the league lead in that category. Not bad — for a rookie.

    And then Laine did this in OT, setting up Little for the winner. He can pass, too.

    Related:

    Video: Laine’s goal was the game-winner (and mind-blower)

    Video: Nothing lucky about Laine’s seventh goal of the season

    Video: Gudbranson and Martin drop the gloves in spirited scrap

    Leave a comment

    We asked earlier tonight if the bad blood between the Canucks and Leafs would spill over into tonight’s rematch. It had been pretty tame — unlike what occurred last month.

    But there were some fireworks and, as expected following the events of Nov. 5, the combatants were Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson and Maple Leafs tough guy Matt Martin.

    The two dropped the gloves for a heavyweight scrap during the second period, with both landing some major shots.

     

    Avalanche captain Landeskog (lower-body injury) could make upcoming road trip

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche awaits a face off against the Anaheim Ducks at Pepsi Center on April 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. the Ducks defeated the Avalanche 5-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Getty
    Leave a comment

    Placed on injured reserve earlier this week, Gabriel Landeskog may be close to returning to the Colorado Avalanche lineup.

    Out with a lower-body injury for the past eight games, including tonight’s home contest against the Dallas Stars, Landeskog reportedly skated briefly with his teammates on Saturday. Head coach Jared Bednar provided more reason for optimism on the condition of the Colorado captain when he spoke to the media.

    “He’s been working in the gym the last couple of days,” Bednar told the Denver Post.

    “He’s been progressing. He feels better again today. He skated slightly on his own there for a few minutes, and that seemed to go well. I’ve already talked to (trainer Matt Sokolowski) about that. I would expect he’s a guy who’s going to continue to move forward here and probably be on the road trip with us.”

    The Avalanche could certainly use their leader in the lineup.

    They sit tied for last in the West with the Arizona Coyotes and Bednar, earlier this week, ripped his team for a lack of intensity following a 5-3 loss to Nashville on Tuesday.

    The Avalanche begin a four-game road trip on Tuesday, as they face the Predators.

    The Predators coughed up a three-goal lead in OT loss to Devils

    NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 14:  Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators stretches during a timeout against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on October 14, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Sanford Myers/Getty Images)
    Getty
    1 Comment

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Michael Cammalleri‘s second goal of the game with 18 seconds remaining on the clock in overtime capped New Jersey’s comeback from three goals down in the third period and gave the Devils a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

    Taylor Hall took a pass from Cammalleri and brought the puck up the right side into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 break, passed it back to Cammalleri cutting up the middle and he fired it past Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.

    Cammalleri started the Devils’ comeback from a 4-1 deficit after two as he fired a rebound into an open net 25 seconds into the third.

    Andy Greene pulled New Jersey within one 30 seconds later and Adam Henrique tied it with a power-play goal through Rinne’s legs with 7:23 remaining.

    Hall had a goal and two assists, Travis Zajac also had two assists and Green added one for the Devils, who were 0-4-2 in their previous six road games. Keith Kincaid stopped 38 shots to improve to 3-1-2.

    Kevin Fiala had two goals and P.K. Subban and Roman Josi also scored for the Predators, who fell to 9-1-2 at home. Rinne, a five-time All-Star, gave up five goals on 22 shots.

    New Jersey evened its record to 6-6 in games beyond regulation, and Nashville fell to 0-4.

    Fiala gave the Predators a 1-0 lead when Matt Irwin‘s point shot appeared to bounce off him into the net with 3:46 left in the first.

    Hall tied it 1:17 later when he swatted a rebound out of the air past Rinne.

    Nashville went back ahead on Subban’s wrist shot from the slot with 39 seconds left in the opening period. Five of Subban’s six goals have come at home.

    Fiala’s second goal increased the Predators lead to 3-1 on a tic-tac-toe play from Craig Smith and Mike Ribeiro at 6:02 of the second period.

    Josi extended the Predators’ advantage to 4-1 when he blasted a one-timer from just inside the center of blue line past Kinkaid with 5:29 left in the second.