By Matthew Solomon
With the NHL Entry Draft and NHL free agency not too far away, we here at Daily Shootout have set up an offseason checklist for each team, organized by division. Today we look at the Atlantic Division.
New York Rangers
1) Sign a backup goalie: Martin Biron, who is the current backup on Broadway, is a free agent on July 1st and the hole needs to be filled. Granted, Biron is 34 years old, which in hockey terms is slightly getting up there in age, he was still able to get 12-6-2 in 21 games last season with the Rangers as Henrik Lundqvist backup. There are a number of goalies available in free agency this summer, with the big names being the likes of Dwayne Roloson, Martin Brodeur, Cristobal Huet, and so on. If the Rangers really want to get the best bang for their buck for a reliable backup, they can either re-sign Biron or try looking into somebody like an Alex Auld, Johan Hedberg or Scott Clemenson. Bottom line is they need a backup for King Henrik and they have about $21 million in cap space to work with.
2) Get rid of Sean Avery: Avery has been nothing but a thorn in the sides of everybody in the NHL from team management all the way down to his own teammates. Nobody in the Rangers organization, it seems, really wants anything to do with this guy who, last season, played in only 15 games. With Avery let go they cut over $3 million off the payroll.
3) Re-sign the role players: Rangers already have locked in their major players like Lundqvist, Richards, Gaborik and so on. Three of their top four defensemen are signed through next season. Michael Del Zotto is the lone top D-Man who needs to be re-signed on Broadway as he is hitting restricted free agency. Once they lock him in everybody else should fall in. I would also consider watching the Rangers make a strong run at picking up Zach Parise, when he hits the market July 1. It won’t surprise me none, as the Rangers have done stuff like this in the past.
New York Islanders
1) Re-sign PA Parenteau: That has got to be the first thing the Isles take care of this summer. PA was 3rd on the team in scoring last season with 67 points behind only Matt Moulson and John Tavares. Last year he made $1.25 million for the one season, and with the contracts GM Garth Snow handed out last summer to Tavares Moulson and Neilsen, I don’t really think it should be a problem locking in PA for a few more seasons here on Long Island. Parenteau has been the perfect complement to JT and Moulson on the top line and they need a solid winger to fill that line out, and PA is perfect.