Friday, July 2, 2010
In between all the chaos of Glen Sather's latest folly that left all of TSN's panel throwing darts at our patheticness, it at least ended with some sanity as our teflon GM quietly re-signed Vinny Prospal. Supposedly, the 35 year-old versatile Czech forward who saw time with Marian Gaborik in his first year on Broadway took a discount. He's expected to earn over a million with added bonuses that could put him over two million.
Whatever the case, it's a sound move by Slats bringing back a good team guy who became one of its vocal leaders. Reunited with John Tortorella, he performed admirably finishing second in team scoring with 20 goals and 38 helpers for 58 points over 75 games. The fact he missed only seven speaks to his toughness as he played through pain. Prosp should return as an alternate captain. A spot he earned due to his strong relationship with the media. Win or lose, No.20 was always at his locker to answer questions.
For the Blueshirts, it concluded an interesting first day in July. One that saw Slats do everything right except the giant Derek Boogard blunder, which came in direct response to Jody Shelley bolting for Philly. Even off the ice, the Flyers still somehow push us around. Sad. If you can ignore the Boogard panic move, it actually was a good day with Sather filling a void by getting Martin Biron on the cheap to backup Henrik Lundqvist. He also re-signed Erik Christensen and got top prospect Derek Stepan under contract. A real key to the club's future. Hopefully, they won't put too much pressure on the 20 year-old playmaking pivot out of Wisconsin.
Perhaps it'll convince Stepan's college teammate and blueliner Ryan McDonagh to turn pro. He was the important piece acquired in last summer's Scott Gomez salary dump. It would be nice to get him signed. Sather must still re-sign Dan Girardi and key RFA Marc Staal. Failure to do so would only make things more bleak in what looks to be a strong division again.
There was also talk the Blueshirts may have interest in veteran Bill Guerin, who if he signed here would turn the trick having already played for the Devils and Islanders. If they add him, it wouldn't be bad because he's got plenty of experience and can aid the power play. Especially in front. Something this team's been devoid of for years.
We'll have to see what Day Two brings, including whether Ilya Kovalchuk chooses LA over New Jersey. Well, at least there could be some drama before Fourth of July weekend.