Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sather Trying To Bring In Familiar Faces!!

This offseason it seems as if Glen Sather has decided to go back to something that worked coming out of the lockout for the Rangers.  In 2005-2006 most of the Rangers squad was new except for the younger kids coming up.  The Rangers already had Jaromir Jagr under contract from a trade they made with the Washington Capitals before the lockout.  At the time Sather decided to put pieces around Jagr that he was familiar with from previous teams. They added Michael Nylander and Michael Straka.  Nylander and Jagr played together in Washington and Straka and Jagr played together in Pittsburgh.

These three would start out together and have some of the best years of there respective careers until Sather decided that an over payed Gomez would be a better center for Jagr and so he let Nylander leave.  Thus Jagr proceeded to have his worse year as a Ranger and he left to go play in Russia.

To a lesser degree during the 2005-2006 season Sather traded for Petr Sykora to play along side former teammate Steve Rucchin.  They also traded for Sandis Ozolinsh who played on those same Ducks teams.  Ozolinsh actually added some offensive punch to the Rangers game but struggled defensively and flopped in the Rangers short playoff experience.

Join me after this to continue to read more about what Sather has done to bring in some familiar faces while keeping the main core intact......

The next year they continued this trend by bringing in Stanley Cup Champion teammates Matt Cullen and Aaron Ward.  Cullen played pretty well for the Rangers but Ward struggled in the Garden and was traded for Paul Mara.

The next year the Rangers went away from this trend and dumped Nylander for Gomez and Drury.  Then they went after Wade Redden, Markus Naslund, Nik Zherdev and countless other free agents.  All of these moves led to no success at all as players struggled to find a connection on the ice and every year it seemed like we put a new team out there.

Well now it looks like countless times before Glen Sather is making up for his past mistakes and is trying to bring in some familiar faces so that the team has some form of connection on the ice.  This year he has brought in Marian Gaborik's former Minnesota Wild teammates Derek Boogaard and Todd White.  He has also brought in Alexander Frolov who was not only teammates with Sean Avery but roommates and as it seems so far, pretty good friends. Frolov also played in LA with Brian Boyle although no one is really sure what his future with the team is.  Also to a lesser degree they have signed Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh who were teammates on a Wisconsin NCAA team that almost won the National Championship.

I did a post yesterday about what Gaborik had to day about his new/old teammates and he seemed to endorse both deals.  Boogaard will be the tough guy who makes sure nothing happens to Gabby and will probably open up the ice for him especially if at some point they play on the same line and knowing Torts that will most likely happen.

Alex Frolov and Sean Avery spent a lot of time playing together in LA.  They seem to get along very well and were also roommates while playing for the Kings.  With Avery saying he is going to return to the "Old" Sean Avery and Frolov looking to bounce back after what under his expectations was a bad year, this could be a great match and I would not be surprised if we saw these two on the same line to start the year.

I guess the main point of this post is that while Sather has kept the main core of players together from last year, the players he has gone out to get are familiar faces that have played with current Rangers and will fit in right away.  Instead of going out to just add big name stars, he went out and got key players who should play an important role on next year's squad.

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