As per of InsidePittsburghSports.com, free agent center Pavol Demitra has two offers from the KHL, but is holding off on signing due to his desire to play for the Rangers, and reunite with close friend Marian Gaborik. Demitra would offer the Rangers a true top line center that, , can put up a little less than a point per game. The problem, of course, is that bit. Demitra, 36, has only played two full seasons in his entire career.
If the Rangers take a chance on Demitra, then there would be many questions to follow. First off, if they sign Demitra, do they learn from their Donald Brashear lesson and only sign him to a one year deal? If so, how much? Where is the cap room going to be created? Which youngster gets booted from the top line? Which player gets demoted to Hartford or sits in the press box?
These are all legitimate questions that need to be answered before the Rangers even look at someone like Demitra. Personally, I would prefer the Rangers stay the course, and allow the youngsters to earn their spot on the roster, as jurgenno . Glen Sather has had a pretty decent offseason, except for giving Derek Boogaard two too many years. Signing Demitra to a one year deal may not be a detriment to the team or the cap, but it would certainly be a step away from what Slats has publicly said the plan is. Of course, it’s tough to really recognize a rumor when the source spells the player’s name incorrectly.
Up next in our wildly popular series, Scouting The Market, is Pavol Demitra.
Pavol Demitra is a 35 year old center who played last season with Vancouver Canucks. The Slovak is said to be good friends with Marian Gaborik, and they have good chemistry when they were in teammates in Minnesota. Demitra had injury issues last year, only scoring 3 goals in 28 games, but in 2008-2009 , Demitra put up a line of 20-33-53, in 69 games. Demitra also was the points leader in the 2010 Olympics, with 10. Health is an issue, and he’s getting up there in age.
He’s not the scorer he once was and he’s not going to offer much defensively, but Demitra can still put up numbers, and ride shotgun to Gaborik in the process. He’s only a candidate for a one year deal. He made $4 million last year, and I don’t think he’ll make that next year. More like 1.5-2 million.
With Demitra (and assuming no other additions) the lines would look something like this:
What do you think of Demitra? Is he worth replacing Prospal?
Last month, Bruce Garrioch noted that the Rangers were showing interest in forward Pavol Demitra. Of course, Demitra was injured, and it was just interest with no real backing. Now, with Demitra healthy and preparing to play both in the NHL and the Olympics, there is a solid chance that this rumor can come back to life.
The Rangers are in desperate need of secondary scoring, and Demitra is one of the only affordable options available to a team that is up against the cap. Demitra will be a UFA next season, and would be a prorated cap hit of $4 million (roughly $2 million at this point). He would definitely help on the second line, as the plethora of underachieving forwards look like they could use a spark, and Demitra could be that spark.
It would probably cost the Rangers a mid level prospect and a lower pick (4th round) to land Demitra, and probably some salary heading the other way (Higgins?). I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something done in the “buy” side of the trade deadline.
According to Bruce “Malkin to the Kings” Garrioch, the Rangers are in a desperate search for a top-six forward, and the injured Pavol Demitra is on the radar. Demitra, currently injured with the Vancouver Canucks, has played with Marian Gaborik in Minnesota before, and would be an interesting fit between Gaborik and Vinny Prospal.
Depending on what it would cost the Rangers, this could be an interesting move. The only problem here is the cost. As of today, the Rangers should be sellers at the trade deadline, not buyers. Despite their spot as 9th in the conference right now, the Rangers are 9-15-3 since the seven game win streak was snapped. Of course Demitra would help, but at what cost? It will cost more than Christopher Higgins, in terms of player value and cap space (Demitra has a $4 million cap hit, Higgins $2.25).
Although the cap space problem might alleviate itself by waiting –any deal involving contracts like Demitra probably won’t get done until after the new year, or even after the Olympics break– the Rangers would have to give up a draft pick in addition to Higgins, or maybe a P.A. Parenteau-type player.
s/t to BSBer Jordan for pointing this out to me.