Plenty of Ranger news coming out of the final day of the draft in Minnesota. Glen Sather sat down with the media to discuss the restricted free agent situation, Matt Gilroy and the possibility the team will open the next three seasons in Europe.
According to Newsday, the New York Rangers have given qualifying offers to forwards Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle and defenseman Michael Sauer.
The club opted not to give an offer to Matt Gilroy, sending the North Bellmore, N.Y. native to free agency. In two years on Broadway, Gilroy was a bit of an enigma, not excelling offensively nor as a shut-down defenseman. Though he play well in the playoffs, this team just has too much young, defensive talent to give a spot to an inconsistent Gilroy. Sather hinted Gilroy knew the writing was on the wall once the team acquired defenseman Tim Erixon from the Flames earlier this month. The former first-rounder in 2009 is expected to make the team out of camp.
“We made him an offer and his agent would like to shop him around and see what he can do,” said Sather. “He played well in the playoffs, I think since we made the deal to get Erixon, he’s a little skeptical about how he sees himself on the team.”
Also according to Newsday, forward Ruslan Fedotenko will likely be back as well, after the veteran winger made the team out of camp last season on a tryout offer. Fedotenko finished with 10 goals and 25 points in 66 games in 2010-11.
Sather was hesitant to discuss the situation of Chris Drury, who the team wants to buyout this summer to free-up cap space.
“I haven’t talked to him recently,” said Sather. “I assume he’s feeling fine. I’m not going to tell you about that until the time comes.”
Finally, Sather said the team will shop around come July 1 to sign a veteran defensive presence to help out the young core.
“I don’t think you can really have enough defense, especially the way the game’s played today,” said Sather.
You have to assume all RFAs will be back, although I can potentially see a rift forming between Dubinsky and management. The forward has been rumored to be looking for $4 million per year, which just isn’t happening, especially since the young Alaskan misses empty nets on a weekly basis.
Sather also said the team may begin the next three seasons in Europe as Madison Square Garden continues its transformation.