UPDATE: Left wing Fredrik Sjostrom, who did not receive a qualifying offer from the Rangers, making him an unrestricted free agent, signed a two-year deal with the Calgary Flames worth $1.5 million.
ORIGINAL POST: Rangers GM Glen Sather just concluded a conference call regarding his signings today of right wing Marian Gaborik and left wing/enforcer Donald Brashear.
The quick hits: Sather said the Rangers are convinced Gaborik has put last season's awful injury parade behind him, saying they've spoken to the doctors, etc. and pointing to Gaborik having no issues as he returned for the final 17 games with the Wild last season. Sather said both Mario Lemieux and Michal Rozsival had similar hip surgeries and were able to return fine. He also said while he was juggling a lot of deals, the Rangers were never in it for Marian Hossa because of the length of contract Hossa was seeking.
And the money question. I asked Sather whether he believed he had a top-line center in the organization now or if he had to acquire one. There was somewhat of a long pause and sigh before Sather answered.
"I wouldn't say we don't have one," Sather said. "Dubinsky is capable of being a No. 1 center. If we get a chance to get another player, we're going to do it."
Sather on whether Gaborik was signed after a potential deal for Dany Heatley fell apart: "No, they didn't fall apart. It was a complicated scenario we were dealing with. We had to have more than one ball in the air. We had to wait until today to talk to Gaborik but we had a pretty good idea he was interested in coming to New York. The contract took a long time but I'm happy he got signed."
Sather on the trend of long-term contracts like Hossa's 12 years with the Blackhawks: "I think everybody's following the rules. The next CBA, there's a pretty fair chance they'll put a limit on these things."
Sather on his ability to sign his restricted free agents: "I still think we're in a good position. I don't think anybody's gooing to come after these guys at this stage."
Sather on signing Donald Brashear instead of Colton Orr to be the Rangers' enforcer: "I think Brashear gives us a couple of other things. He's quicker, he can get in on the puck a little faster. The style of game we're going to be playing, he's going to be a little more effective for us."
Sather on whether Brashear will have problems in the Rangers room after his blindsind playoff hit on Blair Betts: "I think our players are excited to have him in the room. They know he's going to be the man. It's a tough job to do. Colton is a good guy, he works hard and he deserves every cent that he got."