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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Looking at the 2008/09 Rangers

From Larry Brooks of the NY Post:

There will be a gust of fresh air next season but it's impossible to immediately judge what the wind blew in this week. Wade Redden had a bad year in a deteriorating environment in Ottawa and Markus Naslund had a disappointing season in Vancouver. The Rangers, who gave Redden a six-year deal at $6.5M per and Naslund a two-year deal at $4M per, are heavily invested in the theory that a change of scenery will revitalize careers that went stale.

And who knows about Nikolai Zherdev, about as unpredictable as they come? Will Zherdev shine in the spotlight or will he melt? Will New York ignite him or overwhelm him after knowing only Columbus? Will he be an all-for-one, one-for-all guy here, and if not, will the Rangers have the presence in the room to correct or cope with that?

Read more from Brooks here.

This is the beauty of sports. No one knows how these three players will respond to the pressures and change of environment that New York will present. Nonetheless, the Rangers management obviously felt that the team, as it was constructed last season, was not good enough to make it to the Finals.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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