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Howard Simon's Blog

Rangers Not Just Big Spenders

For a long time, especially in the pre-salary cap days, the New York Rangers were the poster child for the “money doesn’t necessarily buy you a championship” school of thought.   Even with a cap, the Rangers still had some big ticket purchases go belly up like Wade Redden and Scott Gomez.  But give credit where credit is due because one of the factors in the Rangers rise to the top of the Eastern Conference standings is their ability to draft and develop their own.

If you break down the 22 players listed on the Rangers roster for tonight’s game with the Sabres you’ll find  8 coming via the draft, 8 in free agency, 5 in trades and 1 claimed off waivers.  But the drafted players are playing key roles.  New York has put together a solid group of young blueliners including Marc Staal(1st round pick) and Michael Del Zotto(1st round).

If you look at the forward ranks you’ll find Rochester native and Rangers captain Ryan Callahan(4th round) who is second on the team in scoring.  The draft also produced Derek Stepan(2nd round), Artem Anisimov(2nd round) and Brandon Dubinsky(2nd round) who are 4th, 6th and 7th in scoring.

The most important player on the Rangers is a product of the draft as well.  Goalie Henrik Lundquist wasn’t selected until the 7th round, the 205th player taken in 2000.

Now this isn’t to suggest the Rangers have an aversion to large contracts.  Two big tickets items up front are paying huge dividends. New York brought in Marian Gaborik  two years ago via free agency and gave him a five year, $37 million deal.  The Rangers paid dearly for the big fish in last summer’s free agent market, landing Brad Richards with a nine year, $60 million contract.  Gaborik leads the team in goals and points while Richards is third in goals and points.

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : New YorkRochester
People : Artem AnisimovBrad RichardsBrandon DubinskyDerek StepanHenrik LundquistMarc StaalMarian GaborikMichael Del ZottoRyan CallahanScott GomezWade Redden

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