Analysis: Rangers couldn't afford to let Rozsival go

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Remember the good old days when the New York Rangers used to be the driving force behind the spending insanity?

Not this summer. This summer there are a few big spenders. The Rangers have been downright docile, notwithstanding their decision to re-sign unrestricted free agent Michal Roszival. Of course, they got into the fray in signing Wade Redden and are chasing Mats Sundin, so there’s still a lot of time for the New Yorkers to live up to their reputation.

As it stood, the Rangers couldn’t afford to lose their best player (Jaromir Jagr), their best defenseman (Rozsival) and their top pest (Sean Avery), so signing Rozsival wasn’t a total shock.

There had been speculation the new Russian-based Continental League was after Rozsival, along with Jagr and Martin Straka in a package deal, so the Rangers were competing against more than just NHL teams for Rozsival.

A four-year deal worth $5 million per campaign might seem steep for a guy whose upside is about 40 points and whose effort over the course of a season is uneven, but, hey, that appears to be the going rate in the cost-certainty NHL.

Actually, come to think of it, this might start a new trend in the NHL of players not flocking to the Continental League, but at least leveraging offers they’re getting from teams in Russia to get better deals from NHL teams.

DOLLAR DAZE UPDATE

The Rozsival and Niklas Hagman deals put the total of signed restricted and unrestricted free agents (whose financial terms have been reported) at 32 so far today for a total of $371.6 million over a combined 94 years.

That breaks down to an average term of 2.93 years worth an average total of $11.61 million per deal, for a per-season average salary of $3.95 million.

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