Any casual reader of this blog knows how I feel about these two individuals.
Mike Richter is the most recognizable New York goalie of all time and one of the classiest people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Unlike many "kooky" goalies, Richter is both smart and carries himself more like a professor than former NHL goalie.
Brian Leetch is nearly spitting image. He is the most recognizable New York defenseman of all time and equally classy. While I unfortunately have yet to directly meet him, interviews and testimonials of those who have met him have been nothing short of stunning.
On the ice, both showed the same poise and outstanding character. Their numbers hang in the MSG rafters for a reason. Each hold numerous Ranger records and were easily the best at their position for their country.
International accolades, NHL accolades, and amateur accolades can be found extensively on both of their resumes.
So without going too on too much about this: congratulations to Brian Leetch and Mike Richter on their recent award of being named to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
(Photo from Newsday.com)
In case anyone missed it, the fine folks over at HF Boards brought this one up:
Mike Richter Alumni Tee-Shirt
Outstanding job, Amazon!
To start off, at risk of repeating myself, I wrote this morning over at The Hockey News, regarding some Mats Sundin and Brendan Shanahan analysis. I would recommend checking it out for how it implicates the Rangers.
Next on the agenda is the Rangers website. Over at HFBoards, they are discussing the fact that both Dan Fritsche and Nigel Dawes are off of the website team roster. What could it mean? It could be as simple as an oversight by the NHL or only keeping 14 forwards listed, or it could be a prefacing a trade.
I remember last off-season when some UFA signings occurred first at NHLPA.com before anywhere else. Now that the NHL completely controls all the team websites, this could be connected.
So let's have some fun. Let's say the Rangers need to clear up $5 million to sign both Shanny and Mats. Who are potential trade partners?
I am going to say that these players are trade bait:
Michal Rozsival : $5 million
Petr Prucha: $1.6 million
Blair Betts: $615,000
Thomas Pock: $667,500
Nigel Dawes: $587,500
Who needs some salary?
Colorado Avalanche, LA Kings, Atlanta Thrashers, Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators.
What do each have to offer?
You would have to think the Rangers would need to get a defenseman , at least, back and perhaps a bottom 6 forward.
Colorado - Jordan Leopold, Ruslan Salei, Wojtek Wolski
Los Angeles - Tom Preissing, Alex Frolov
Atlanta - Ken Klee, Colby Armstrong
Phoenix - Derek Morris, Mike Zigomanis
Nashville - Greg DeVries, Jed Ortmeyer
Slim pickins', but there may be some potential if one of those teams is willing to part with a better player.
Some additional Sundin analysis:
Don't discount the fact that Naslund is Swedish. Remember that just after the lockout, both Forsberg and Naslund were almost Rangers. In which case, the lines may actually be:
Naslund - Sundin - Zherdev
Drury - Gomez - Shanahan
Dawes - Dubinsky - Callahan
Voros - Fritsche - Sjostrom/Orr/Rissmiller
That's shaping up to quite an NHL offense. In this day and age, a lot of player recruiting is in fact done by players and the Rangers, I'm sure, have reached out to Naslund about this.
(Photos from HFBoards.com)