The New York Rangers head into the 2013 season offseason in a position that was not expected when they began the year. After disappointingly losing in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Blueshirts sent head coach John Tortorella packing, and now will look to revamp their roster headed into next year.
One of the questions facing this team is what they plan to do with Ryane Clowe. Their big prize of the trade deadline is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and could be looking to cash in on a thin market. Will the Rangers try and re-sign him, or let him walk in free agency?
Coming off of a deal that carried a cap hit over $3.5 million, Clowe is almost definitely going to look for at least something of a raise. And given what he could potentially bring to the table for prospective teams, there will be plenty of interest, even if he is coming off a down year.
Should the Rangers re-sign Clowe, they’d have to surrender another second round pick to the San Jose Sharks. There are some arguments somewhere to be made in favor of keeping Clowe, but overall, the trade simply did not achieve what Glen Sather had hoped it would.
Clowe finished the regular season with eight points in a dozen games, including three goals. He went on to play in only two playoff games because of injury. Word is that he had actually suffered multiple concussions last year. There’s your red flag, and probably the reason that he’s only going to get a year or two out on the market. Should that contract come from the Rangers? Absolutely not.
With the likes of Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh set to hit free agency, the Rangers need the extra funds to make sure those key pieces are locked up. While a player like Clowe, who brings a mix of physicality and offensive skill to the table, can be valuable, his age and his uncertain health future make him a player the Rangers should simply avoid this summer.