New York Rangers May Deal For Defenseman to Combat Lack-Luster Powerplay

Matthew CalamiaCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2011

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 25: Tomas Kaberle #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum on January 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. The Lightning defeated the Leafs 2-0. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The anemic powerplay that was put on display Saturday afternoon may lead the New York Rangers and general manager Glen Sather to explore options for a powerplay quarterback, something some would argue they have not had since Brian Leetch departed Broadway in 2004.

Reports from various outlets—most notably Steve Zipay at Newsday—have stated that Sheldon Souray, the ex-Edmonton Oiler currently playing for the Hershey Bears of the AHL, should not be out of the realm of possibility for a playoff run.

These rumors have been circling for what seems like years, but at this point, it may not be the worst idea out there.

The Rangers have the cap-space to fit Souray's contract for the season, but having him on the blueline for next season could be a mistake. He is injury prone and turns 35 this July, with a cap-hit of $5.4 million.

There are other options available as well, including Toronto's Tomas Kaberle and Florida's Bryan McCabe. Kaberle, who has spent his entire career with the Maple Leafs, currently has two goals and 30 assists for a team that struggles offensively.

Kaberle turns 33 in March, but will be a free agent come July 1. He's been on the trade block for months now, and the Rangers won't break the bank to get him.

McCabe, on the other hand, hasn't been as productive as Kaberle this season. His five goals and 21 points are fairly lack-luster, but on par with career totals.

Although both of these players will bring a veteran presence to one of the youngest defenses in the NHL, neither bring much playoff experience. Kaberle hasn't made the playoffs since the lockout, playing on very poor Maple Leaf squads.  McCabe hasn't even sniffed the playoffs during his time with the Panthers. (Before Florida, he was Kaberle's teammate in Toronto.)

Unless the Rangers can deal a low-end prospect and a third-round pick, or Chris Drury, for Kaberle, I'd pass on all three.

As bad as the powerplay has been, this team doesn't have what it takes for a serious playoff run this season.

Sather and company has built a great foundation here, and it would be foolish to lose an important asset for a Cup run that won't happen.  They shouldn't give up on Michael Del Zotto, who should still be the future of the powerplay.

At just 20 years old, the kid who has a very promising future ahead of him.