Maybe it is me but I always thought the idea behind a trade was to try to improve your team. When I look at all the stuff being said about the Ales Kotalik for Ollie Jokinen; it makes me wonder why anyone would feel good about giving Glen Sather another chance to spend money?
Better yet what we are seeing here is yet another move designed to squeak into the playoffs so Sather can show the Dolans what a great GM he is and how ungrateful Ranger fans are towards them. It is just an endless circle that pushes the Rangers further and further away from winning another Stanley Cup.
You want to say that Sather was able to clean up 2 of his mistakes; sorry but I will say that all he has done is just extend the original mistakes he has made since his first year as Ranger's GM. I would be here for a couple of hours if I posted all of the players that Sather has brought in and then dumped after discovering what a mistake it was to bring them in the first place.
The short version here is that Sather cleared up cap space this past off-season when he somehow suckered (or so we thought) Canadian GM Bob Gainey into taking Scott Gomez off the Ranger books. While Gomez has found new life with the Canadians, the Rangers got Higgins who was good defensively but could not out score a blind man this season.
But I digress because no sooner than Sather cleared that ugly Gomez contract away then he signed Marian Gaborik. Yes I know Gaborik has earned his money but that is not the point because while Gaborik may have 65 points; what he is not is a stay at home defenseman that the Rangers have needed since Jeff Beukeboom was forced to retired.
If Sather wanted to make a deal then he would have found a way to address the defensive corps that is a combined -23 and can not stop anyone. That is what a trade is supposed to do address a weak area on the team.
OK you want to say the Rangers needed to add scoring which might be right except if all of the scoring is put on one line then the move still makes no sense. All this trade is doing is potentially giving Sather a chance to find another bad player to sign next July 1.
The player I feel sorry for is Brandon Prust as what role is he going to fill on the Rangers? Yes he leads the NHL in fighting majors and yes he does a decent job at it but that is all he does which means he does nothing else.
We must also remember who is the Ranger coach and how little he likes to use a player like Prust. Prust most likely will have more PIMs than he will have ice time under Tortorella.
The player who loses out here is Aaron Voros who despite his limited talent deserves credit for showing up every night when he does play. He and Brashear now will get to hog all the food in the press box unless 1 or both are sent elsewhere.
In adding Ollie they are getting a player who has not done anything with his talent since his days with the Panthers. He has found a way to get big money without having to put up big production which means he fits right in with the current Rangers.
But at least Ranger fans will have a new soap opera to watch instead of "Larry and John at the Bus Stop" cause unless somehow Ollie finds a heart and some courage on his way to Los Angeles then expect him to be in Tortorella's dog house in Olympic record time.
There was one Ranger prospect in action on Monday as Chris Kreider (2009 1st) returned to the 14th ranked Boston College lineup in time for the "Beanpot Tournament". Kreider had missed Boston College's last game for unknown reasons but given the way things have gone for Ranger prospects missing one game is a blessing.
Still in watching Kreider play against Harvard, we are left wondering if perhaps Kreider might be better off playing in the QMJHL than he is at Boston College. Now nothing against Boston College as a hockey power but our focus is what would be the best way to develop Ranger prospects.
The more we watch a "green" Chris Kreider the more we believe that the best thing for his development is to play as many games as possible. 40-45 games at the college level is not the same as getting to play 68 regular season games plus playoffs in the juniors.
Ideally we would prefer that Kreider play in the OHL to develop his 2 way skills but because his rights belong to a QMJHL that is where he would have to play. In watching Kreider against Harvard we did not see him used in situations where his size and offensive skill would do the most.
Didn't the folks at Boston College see Kreider play at the World Under-20 Championships? Team USA took Kreider off the boards and put him right in the middle where Kreider was a monster on offense.
We saw Kreider on the first power play unit for Team USA but the 2nd and sometimes 3rd unit for Boston College. In 20 games with Boston College, Kreider has now 5 goals after scoring 1 against Harvard.
Kreider had 6 goals in 7 games with Team USA and no it was not simply a player on a hot streak; it was using a player to the best of his potential. The goal Kreider scored is exactly the kind of goal we believe he can score more of if used in the middle.
Kreider parked himself right in the crease and the puck deflected in off his leg. Kreider is a power player and power players need to play in the middle of the ice where they can use all of their skills. It was his 5th goal of the season as Boston College just whipped on Harvard 6-0 to advance to next Monday's Beanpot finals against Boston University.
Still we see a player who is going to hopefully develop into a natural power forward for the Rangers as he does have not just offensive skills but he has defensive skills as well.
(Sather courtesy of the Rangers, Kredier courtesy of Dennis Peace)