Friday, July 9, 2010

Rangers re-sign Girardi, swap Voros for Eminger


Twenty four hours removed from a predictable disappointment of a clown for the other Garden tenant, the Rangers took care of some business by getting Dan Girardi re-signed and swapping Aaron Voros for Steve Eminger.

From most indications, it looks like Glen Sather got Girardi at fair value with it rumored to be two years, $4 million. Not bad considering there'd been talk that the 26 year-old who made the team as an undrafted free agent in '06-07 was said to be seeking three million-per-year. Instead of going to arbitration, the overachiever from Welland, Ontario returns for two more seasons at a friendly price.

UPDATE: Per Larry Brooks of the NY Post, Girardi received four years at $3.325 million-per-season. So much for the more affordable rumor. It's definitely overpayment but more in line with what he wanted. How that impacts unsigned Marc Staal remains to be seen. The cost just went up thanks to San Jose signing Chicago blueliner Niklas Hjalmarsson to a four-year, $14 million offersheet which leaves the Hawks seven days to match. That development certainly isn't positive for the Rangers, who must get Staal done.

In the mean time, Slats has done admirably getting Girardi re-signed along with Vinny Prospal and Erik Christensen while also signing Wisconsin duo Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh. If only he didn't break the bank for one-dimensional pugilist Derek Boogard. Well, you can't have everything when you got a senile GM running the asylum. Hopefully, Martin Biron doesn't bomb as Henrik Lundqvist's backup and Boogard protects teammates and maybe miraculously scores a goal.

As much criticism as Girardi received for not standing up for Marian Gaborik in the Daniel Carcillo humiliation, he did learn stepping in for Artem Anisimov against the hated Flyers where this time the culprit was clown Scott Hartnell. Is Danny G perfect? No. Consistency is still an issue for the soon to be fifth year NHLer. He's had good moments where he not only plays steady in his end but also contributes offensively. However, there have also been bad ones where he doesn't get it done and isn't a factor.

Perhaps that's to be expected from a guy who wasn't drafted. Still, this is a top four D who logs big minutes. Whether he's being used in a shutdown role alongside Staal or working with promising Mike Del Zotto, Girardi's been a good team player. He also isn't afraid to mix it up as his 180 blocked shots (6th in NHL) and 178 hits (T-12th among D) demonstrate. Not only does Danny G sacrifice his body but No.5's been durable playing in 280 consecutive games. There were quite a few where he took his lumps and returned. If he can improve on the six goals and 18 helpers produced last season, that would be nice. It's a matter of consistency. He'll certainly be one of the club's leaders. Time to step up.

After getting one order of business done, Slats wasn't finished, sending the popular Voros along with prospect Ryan Hillier to Anaheim for Eminger. The 26 year-old from Woodbridge, Ontario is a former first round pick ('02-12th overall) who's bounced around the league. Originally a Cap, he's moved four different times over two years going from Philly to Tampa to Florida and then Anaheim where he performed decently- registering four goals and 12 assists with 30 PIM while registering 99 blocks in 63 contests in '09-10.

Truth be told, Eminger isn't bad. He can skate and move the puck effectively while also being capable of offense. By moving Voros who earned a ton of respect from teammates and fans alike this past season, Sather fills a void. It's essentially an even swap with Eminger making $1.5 million to Voros' $1.4. Voros' days were numbered once the Ranger Team President/GM committed to Boogard and re-signed Brandon Prust. With Sean Avery also back and possibly Dane Byers or Dale Weise competiting for a spot, it made sense to move Voros, who hopefully will get a better opportunity with the Ducks.

Acquiring Eminger, who's a righty shot means that he'll be in competition with sophomore Matt Gilroy for the sixth slot on the blueline. Figure Gilroy to have the upper hand but he better not take it fore granted. Now, all Slats must do is get Staal under contract. As long as he can, the Wade Redden Era Error should finally end. Here's hoping.

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