It's Monday night, the temperature is way too warm for me so I figured I would go to my happy place and think about hockey. Yay. What better way than to take a pre-Wednesday look at the 2009-10 New York Ranger roster? This is based on what-seems-to-be the certainties that Antropov, Betts, Sjostrom, Orr, Mara and Morris are all gone for good. I will be around for much of Wednesday and will bring my usual commentary, but I must offer a warning - I don't see Sather doing too much. There simply isn't the money or the talent out there worth wasting what cap space there is. That space will be worth so much more come the trade deadline and next season's free agent crop. So, without a big trade or signing, here's the roster as I see it:
Looks grim, huh? I mean, it's nice that a half dozen or so new youngsters will get spots but this team looks like one in transition - maybe by the time the MSG renovations are done in 2012, it will have some firepower and be one helluva a team to watch (the building blocks are there). For now, notsomuch.
I was having a chat with Mr. X of the Blue Seats who laid Tortorella's plan out thusly: "As was his M.O. in Tampa,the extra players have no roles and the high end players will eat every available minute." I happen to agree with him, no matter what Mr. U.S. Assistant Coach claims in the press. If he didn't say the kids would get a look, they wouldn't work hard. If he didn't say they had just as much opportunity as the vets, then us season ticket holders would be outraged and not re-up. When the shined up p.r. drivel loses it's luster, it is almost certain that we will see the desperate coach go back to his old ways and means. That means, with the roster as is, we can look forward to another season where Gomez gets 24+ minutes to circle incessantly before going offsides. Wade Redden eating up power play minutes and giving up shorthanded goals. Hank being ran with no repercussions. Few goals and fewer fans in the seats.
Sather told Newsday that "I thought [Redden] played very well in the playoffs. When we signed all these guys, everybody was excited about them, you guys included." I'm sorry, I don't think I know a single person who was excited about signing Redden. I know plenty of folks who were pumped for Drury and Gomez but, at the same time, I wasn't one of them and I know a good number of others who agreed. But if Sather thinks that Redden and company are worth playing, you can be sure that his coach will play them. Being fired sucks.
Now, all of this could change - Sather could shock the world, blow up the roster, get some big-name bodies that are worth the jersey he puts on them and Tortorella may shock us all and be true to his word. We could see big budget players getting the minuscule minutes they deserve and accountability for folks not named Avery and all of that other heart-warming rhetoric Torts has spewed. But, call me a cynic, but I just have a hard time buying any of it.