I haven't discussed the Rangers offseason for a while but the one thing I'm sure all you Ranger fans have noticed; Blair Betts is still available. I know that most people think that because the Rangers signed that thug Donald Brashear, Betts was a goner. However, look at Aaron Ward; he was sucker-punched by Scott Walker and now their teammates after the Bruins traded him to dump salary (by the way, what will they do with Phil Kessel). So if Ward can play with guy who gave him a dirty hit, why can't Betts do the same. The Rangers aren't too bad with the penalty kill if they lose Betts because Christopher Higgins, Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky are good PKers. However, this was the best PK in the league and Betts was a big part of it. So Glen, put down the cigar and sign this man. My other NHL offseason thoughts:
-I'm sure Dubinsky will sign and the Rangers should go with him as the center to Marian Gaborik. He flourished as Jaromir Jagr's centerman during the 2007-08 season and I think he will do better this year with Gabby since Dubi is more experienced and should see his numbers grow. Also, I think Scotty Hockey had it right that the Rangers should take a look at Vinny Prospal now that he was bought out by Tampa. I don't think they should go after Todd Bertuzzi because besides being less than what he was was pre-lockout, ever since the Steve Moore incident, Bertuzzi has been bad luck to whomever signs him and doesn't show up in the postseason.
-I have to mention the story about Patrick Kane being arrested for assualting a cab driver in Buffalo. Obviously, this can't be acceptable by anyone, but for a hockey player to do something that someone in the NFL would do is shocking. Kane has a bright future in this game and is the face (along with Jonathan Toews) of the Blackhawks. This is just a terrible thing for the league and Kane should be ashamed of himself for fighting over twenty cents. Besides, you should be tipping more than $1.20 anyway.
-I'm still surprised Alex Tanguay is available. I'll tell you a team that should look at him, Florida. They are going to try to build on last season and it will be hard without Jay Bouwmeester. However, Jay-Bo left a place of strength with the Panthers and Tanguay could be a valuable piece as the Panthers try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2000. If he stays healthy, he helps their offense as their young guys develop.
-Finally, I'm tired like everyone else about Dany Heatley. Can't the Sharks just trade for him already. He can't go back to Ottawa, he's become a pariah there and the Oilers thankfully said enough is enough. The Sharks make sense because they need to do something that can help them win, though I don't believe Heatley necessarily is the best example to winning. Honestly, trading for Heatley takes a lot of pressure off Joe Thornton. Thornton has started to develop an A-Rod type reputation for coming up small during the playoffs. However, if the Sharks acquire Heatley, Heatley takes the brunt of the spotlight due to his public trade demand and will be scapegoated if the Sharks lose again. That means Joe can just focus on playing and be under the radar, though if Heatley and Thornton share a line, their successes tie together.