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Rangers Ring Bell, More To Follow?

Posted By Dan Rakusan On Feb 25 2009 @ 3:36 pm In New York Rangers | No Comments

As Kevin Lee posted in the shoutbox (nice scoop buddy!), the New York Rangers have claimed forward Mark Bell off of re-entry waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Bell, who has yet to play in an NHL game this season, adds depth to the Rangers, as he can line up at either center or left wing.  His contract is valued at $2M for this season and he carries a cap hit of $2,166,667, which will be split by the Leafs and Rangers.  He is eligible for UFA status this summer.

My thinking here is that the Rangers are setting something up.  A bigger trade.  This could have to do with Scott Gomez, who may have a tenuous relationship with new head coach John Tortorella.  It is no secret that Gomez has been somewhat unhappy with the team's performance, and he has been seen on many an occasion this season, skating back to the bench and unleashing his displeasure at former coach Tom Renney.  That kind of thing simply won't fly with Torts.

Now, it may sound far-fetched, but if the Rangers have found a buyer for Gomez and his ridiculous contract, this could open the door for the potential Vinny Lecavalier acquisition that has been widely speculated.

Personally, I don't think so, nor do I like the idea.  Lecavalier is a great player, but GM Glen Sather needs to realize that money doesn't build teams by itself.  Nor is a single individual the answer to the team's problems.  Firstly, such a deal would involve Marc Staal, almost without a doubt, and that's a move that would set the Rangers back quite a few years, as Staal is developing into a premier offensive defenceman who can still play in his own end.  Secondly, Lecavalier's contract is equally as ridiculous as Gomez's, meaning that the Rangers really wouldn't be getting out from under the albatross that is the salary cap, and its potential decline after next season.  Finally, didn't Tortorella and Lecavalier have an ongoing feud when Torts was still in Tampa?

Anyway, there's really no point behind my suspicion other than pure speculation.  It definitely does seem like something major is afoot in Rangers-land however.  We'll just have to wait things out and see how they go!

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