Hey everyone. My name is Lenny and I'll be doing some New York Rangers blogging. It's been a busy couple of days, so let's get right to it.
July 31- Rangers sign Marcel Hossa to a 1 year, $780,000 contract. Hossa earned a $180,000 raise from last season. Hossa played a large part in helping the Rangers get to the playoffs last season, playing on the top line with Jagr and Nylander. He scored 10 goals and had 8 assists in 64 games.
August 1- Sean Avery awarded $1.9 million for 1 year by an arbitrator. NYR accepts. Avery registered 10 goals and 12 assists in 29 games with the Rangers last season.
Both of these moves were strong moves for the Rangers. Hossa provides a strong board presence, plays a strong, physical game and has always been tabbed as "underachieving" when it comes to his point totals. Avery seemed to rediscover himself in New York following the trade last season. Instead of being an arrogant distraction, Avery became an agitating, intimidating force that had surprising offensive talent. Avery also provides penalty killing ability, which the Rangers took a hit on when Ortmeyer moved on to Nashville and Cullen was traded back to Carolina.
The biggest few questions that remain:
1) Who will be backing up Lundqvist this season? Valiquette? Montoya? Free Agent signing?
2) Who will be centering the third line? Avery? Dubinski? Another prospect? Michael Peca?
3) Who will be the starting six defensemen? Is Kasper back to NHL form?
There are plenty of possibilities that can happen over the next 63 days before the Rangers' season opener. Feel free to discuss this and let me know how my first try at this looks.