Angus here. Happy Fourth of July! According to the NY Post, the Oilers offered even more money than the Rangers did for Boogaard. I had a hunch they would. Interesting note from that article – Boogaard is going to Russia this summer to train with Datsyuk.
Rangers prospect rearguard Ryan McDonagh will turn pro, according to Larry Brooks. He will enter into contract negotiations this wee and has a pretty good chance of making the club, especially if they bury Wade Redden in the minors. McDonagh, who was acquired from Montreal in the Scott Gomez deal last summer, was a gold medalist for Team USA at the WJC last year. Not a lot of offensive upside, but he has good size, great strength and is excellent positionally. He might round into a 35-point, 100-PIM blueliner down the road.
I want to respond to a quote by Steve Simmons in the Toronto Sun: “The signing of Alex Auld by the Montreal Canadiens was lame. Never mind that the Habs traded Jaroslav Halak away, but then they had to go out and get a backup goalie who is absolutely no threat to Carey Price. And what does that say about how tender Price is?” – It says nothing because the Habs tried to land Dan Ellis first. The signing was kind of lame, but then you lost me with that question at the end, Mr. Simmons.
My theory on drafting goalies at the draft is starting hold in free agency, as well. Look at the goalies signed so far – and their price. Meanwhile, Evgeni Nabokov and Marty Turco don’t have a job and even if they drop their price to $4 million and $2 million per season respectively, I wonder if they’ll get one. After all, there are promising but unproven backups, prospects and European late-bloomers jumping into the market. Other than five or 10 elite goalies who will win year in and year out, what’s left out there are 40 or 50 goalies who could each put up a really hot season or two before they fade away thanks to injury or a cold streak that their psyche can’t snap out of. Of those 40 or 50 – whichever ones are a) free agents and b) available for the lowest price will get signed.
My thoughts on Kovalchuk going to the KHL? Please do. Listen Garth Snow – you are holding the hammer. You are the only one willing (seemingly) to pay anywhere near $10 million a year. If you walk away, Kovalchuk would have to settle for as little as $7 in Los Angeles. And if Dean Lombardi walks, he’s down to $6.5 in New Jersey. Then we’d be below his value, but he would be taught a lesson. And really, how often do millionaires get taught lessons?
In all seriousness though, the best move he can make career-wise would be the Islanders. Can you imagine him playing the next seven or eight years with John Tavares? You haven’t seen the real Tavares yet folks. Wait until he’s bigger, stronger, faster, and those reflexes are honed to a razor edge. With all the cap room and all the promising kids the Isles have, Kovalchuk would get his “winner” by 2013.