Where we in New York have Larry Brooks - who crafted another fun fantasy this week - the folks in Ottawa have Bruce Garrioch. Garrioch's column today is priceless and focuses mainly on our Blueshirts.
League sources say the Rangers are one of the frontrunners if Sundin's preference is to stay in the East. He wants the chance to win a Stanley Cup, respects president/GM Glen Sather and would relish the chance to star on Broadway.
Of course Sather is salavating over the possibility of selling a slew of new jerseys but do you really think Sundin looked at the Rangers yesterday and thought, 'Wow, what a team, these guys are headed for the Cup???' And even if he did, do you think he imagined what the team would be like with him instead of Scott Gomez ...
The Canucks actually have the cap space to give Sundin $20 million over two years -- the offer they made in July. If the lose out, GM Mike Gillis will go shopping. The most likely targets will be the Rangers' Scott Gomez and Habs' Robert Lang. Gomez, who is making an average of $7.3 million for the next four years, has a limited no-movement clause, but could be convinced to go to Vancouver.
While I am no fan of the Mexican't, I can't imagine Sather cutting ties with his biggest signing since the lockout - even for Sundin. And do you think he would be willing to take on Sean Avery after so willingly cutting ties with him over the summer?
While Avery needs time to deal with his anger management issues, there are whispers the Stars have held talks with the Rangers about shipping him back to New York for D Michal Roszival, who has struggled and is on the block. The belief is the Rangers would then assign Avery and his salary to their AHL affiliate in Hartford until he's ready to play in the NHL.
Those whispers came from Scott Burnside's column, and really hold no water. But it is a nice thought that the Rangers would be able to get rid of the defensively-suspect Rozsival and his silly salary. On the other side of that deal, Avery would be much better in the Ranger locker room than in Hartford's. Let's face it, he would be a negative influence for the Wolf Pack prospects while on Broadway he would shake things up. Who cares if there is a little discord? Compacency has killed this team so far and Avery would certainly rock the boat. It would also give Tom Renney something to do, rather than stand behind the bench and look clueless. And apparently I am not the only one noticing that:
There are whispers that if they don't start winning more consistently, Renney could be in trouble. If that's the case, Pat Quinn, Team Canada's coach at the world junior championship, might not be out of work long when the tournament ends Jan. 5.
Quinn is an interesting choice. A two team Jack Adams Award winner as top coach, he never was able to guide a NHL team to the Stanley Cup. He took two squads to the final, but they lost to both New York teams (1980 where the Flyers choked and 1994 where the Canucks were just barely outclassed). Quinn certainly can handle the pressure of Broadway, having coached Toronto (and Mats Sundin) for seven seasons, but can he cope with working under Glen Sather?? And can he adjust to coaching in the new NHL? He was fired after the first post-lockout season.
But you have to admit, it would make for some more interesting columns ...