The Rangers tonight are staging their annual casino soiree to benefit the
General Manager Glen Sather has kicked the tires with other clubs, according to executives with two teams who asked to not be identified.
Still on the cusp of a playoff spot, the Rangers have tightrope-walked through the season carrying six defensemen, even on the recent three-game West Coast trip. They have called up a replacement from
That tactic is risky, and odd, because Alexei Sememov was offered the seventh defenseman role after training camp, but rejected a one-year pact, opting for more money for two years in the KHL. He was never replaced.
Coach John Tortorella reiterated today that several players, again mentioning 19-year-old defenseman Michael Del Zotto, could definitely use the Olympic break, which begins Sunday after a matinee with
Sanguinetti and Heikkinen remain in the mix and the Rangers, stuck with several over-sized contracts (Wade Redden, Michael Rozsival) have little cap room.
But the players in which the Rangers apparently have interest will be unrestricted free agents in June with salaries who would be affordable rentals:
Seidenberg, 27, a former Hurricane, will play for
Schubert (6-3, 230, 63 penalty minutes, $900,000); Hnidy (33, 6-2, 204, tough ex-Bruin, makes $750,000) and Exelby (6-1, 215 and a banger with a cap hit of $1.39
million) would help fill the need for muscle near the crease. The Leafs have that in spades.
Another possibility is believed to be