Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Giving The Devil His Due

You know if you are a New York Ranger fan and you did not like the trade that Glen Sather made today then doubt anything that Sather does other than leaving will make you happy.

Give Sather his due as taking Roman Horak (2009 5th), the Ranger's own 2nd round pick (45) as well as the 2nd round pick from the Bobby Sanguinetti trade (57) and turn it into Tim Erixon (2009 1st) and a 5th round pick (134).

This has to be a good deal for the Rangers because the fans and media of the Calgary Flames are pretty upset with what they got in this trade. For Sather it does continue a pattern of making some very good trades to help improve the franchise.

Now it is time to cross your fingers and hope that Sather finally breaks his other pattern of ruining a great move like this by handing out a big contract to a free agent. If Sather can do this then we can seriously start believing the franchise is finally headed in the right direction.

It also gives Sather a couple of good bargaining chips if he does want to add scoring or a top line center. Now for a change Sather does not have to throw a pile of money at a free agent to address team needs.

Instead Sather can use a defensive prospect or two as tradebait in order to address needs. While it does not mean that Sather can not go after a free agent but what it does say is say to the free agent that if the Rangers do not like his price tag then they can go in a different direction.

In years past, Sather was basically in no position to bargain with free agents as the world knew that the Rangers had no other options. It was free agents or do with out on the roster.

Instead Sather can look at another team that is in need of a quality defender and use it to get a quality player back. Really when trades are broken down to their core, they are moves designed for both sides to get what they are needing.

Sather has been for the most part been bargaining against his own empty shelves with previous free agents. So if Sather can remain responsible with his offers to free agents then the Rangers will be in better shape than they have been.

But really you have to be just loving the possibilities that the Rangers could send out as their top 6 defenders. Just think if the Rangers do not add another defenseman then in as little as 2 years you are looking at a blueline that boasts 5 first round draft picks.
Marc Staal (2005), Ryan McDonagh (2007), Michael Del Zotto (2008) Tim Erixon (2009) and Dylan McIlrath (2010) together in the same lineup. The possibilities are a lot of fun to imagine as there is so many different ways to use this lineup.

Take your pick of Dan Girardi, Michael Sauer, Tomas Kundratek, Jyri Niemi, and Mikhail Pashnin as your 6th and 7th defenders for the roster. Not a bad blueline corp at all and even better is how young this group is.

Of course the deal most likely spells the end for Matt Gilroy as the Rangers do not have to qualify him to keep his rights. It does not guarantee the end for Gilroy as it is doubtful anyone is going to offer him 2 million to get him to sign but he is not in a good bargaining position here.

Pavel Valentenko is also most likely going to not resign with the Rangers as his path to the NHL is now really blocked so he might just head back to the KHL. But the one player who really needs to understand what this move means is Michael Del Zotto.

He needs to really walk his talk of going to be super ready for training camp as while he remains the best hope for offense from the blueline, the Rangers could just decide to get a little offense from each of the others if Del Zotto does not pan out.

And for you Calgary fans who think that Jay Feaster was taken here in this deal perhaps you might want to look closer as he did pretty good for what his options were. Erixon was not going to sign with the Flames so rather than come away empty handed Feaster made the best of a bad situation.

In Horak you are gaining a good center prospect who has solid playmaking skills but will be reunited with his linemate from Chilliwack Ryan Howse. All the 2 of them did last season was combine for 77-84-161 with 34 power play goals.

The duo finished 1-2 in team scoring for the Chilliwack Bruins so you have 2 players who have clearly established chemistry as you rebuild the Flames. Toss in the 45th and 57th picks in a pretty good draft so for a franchise that really needs to rebuild here is a start.

But getting back to the Rangers; here is what has to be the most frustrating part of the Glen Sather era. When it comes to making trades, Sather has for the most part done a very good job.

It is when July 1st rolls around where Sather does the most damage to his own reputation and relationship with Ranger fans. Take a good look at today and you see a very happy bunch of Ranger fans but yet almost to a person everyone is saying the same thing.

Just do not let him sign free agents and the Rangers will be alright heading into training camp.


So with the deadline passing for the Rangers to sign the North American prospects from the 2009 draft class then only Dan Maggio has not been signed. Maggio was the Ranger's 6th round pick from the 2009 draft.

Maggio was in a bad spot given the glut of defensive prospects that the Rangers had. It did not help his cause to suffer 2 injuries and earn a suspension during the 2010-2011 season.

Maggio though is expected to return to the Oshawa Generals who will be needing him to help replace Islander prospects Calvin de Haan and Tony Dehart. We believe if Maggio can stay healthy then he will attract interest from another NHL team.

There is a rumor that the Rangers are going to offer an AHL contract to Max Campbell (2007 5th) but as of this writing there has been no official word from anyone that this is going to happen.

It is a rumor that I hope does come true as Campbell bounced back for a truly horrible junior season at Western Michigan to becoming a key part of WMU's first NCAA appearance since the 1995-96 season.

(Sather courtesy of the New York Rangers)


elroy said...

Jess - WHY were Erixon's ties to Calgary expiring? Historically (Henrik, Prucha, all those 20-something Czechs\Slovaks still on the Rangers 'In The System' list) draft rights to Euro players lasted way past age 20. Was this a rules change in recent years? or related to being a 1st round pick? Because hewas born in US? Thanks for the efforts.

Kmp said...

You were right on Campbell glad they are giving him a shot.

As for the Erixon deal I guess Calgary had no interest in Del Zotto, who's chances of making the club just got slimmer.

Jess Rubenstein said...

Sorry Elroy I did not get your comment (GMAIL so rocks NOT).

To answer your question on Erixon, I am just as confused about why he had to be signed as you are.

My understanding is that European prospects you get to keep their rights for life.

The only thing I can see as a possible answer would be that had they not signed him by the 1st then they would not be able to claim a compensation pick for his not signing with them.

Again my apologies for missing your question.


I am too because Campbell really had a great turn around season. On work ethic alone, Campbell earned this contract but it is only step 1 now he needs to show he can play at the next level