This Rangers Round Table Slack Chat was our first attempt at adding a conversational approach to some of the impending issues facing the Rangers and Jeff Gorton as free agency approaches.
Below is a clip from that conversation:
Dave: As we know, teams are already talking to Unrestricted Free Agents. July 1st is creeping up quickly. What thoughts do we have on free agency for help at center, defense and a backup goalie? Ray, you want to take this?
Ray: Yeah. I just want to rain on Phil’s parade and say absolutely, positively stay away from Joe Thornton. He’s coming off a torn ACL and MCL and the worst [statistical] season of his career since the 1999-2000 season. Plus he’s looking for 3 years? HELL NO. Give me Nick Bonino.
Dave: Phil, are you going to take that?
Andrew: Have to agree with Ray on Thornton. I think you get more Marty St. Louis in Thornton than anything else, but not good Marty. We’re looking at a guy who had a stark drop in points and then suffered a big injury. St. Louis didn’t even suffer such a setback. I’d stay away.
Phil: Thornton is an ideal stop gap solution. Not a long-term one. Not even I want to give him three years.
Mike: Three years is probably too much for Thornton, but as a 2c/3c who can get offensive zone starts and play the power play, I think he can still be really productive.
Ray: How is he ideal? I think he’s far from ideal, especially for the Rangers’ up-tempo game.
Mike: His hands and vision will still be there, and favorable starts helps mitigate the skating.
Phil: He’s still a top-six center in this league, and all indications are that he’s expected to make a full recovery from the injury. A one- or two-year deal with an AAV of around $5.5M isn’t going to break anyone’s back IMO.
Also discussed during the chat were Kevin Shattenkirk, the Rangers’ performance at the Entry Draft, the impact of the Stepan trade, and more.
Feel free to read through and respond to any of the topics at hand.