Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Give the man a cigar

(New York Rangers)
If you're a New York Ranger fan then Glen Sather, you have to say is making it very hard for you to dislike him these days. If you don't like how Glen Sather pulled off the Rick Nash deal then I have to ask you why not?

Getting Rick Nash, a third-round pick (they only get the pick if they fail to make the Cup finals) and a minor-league defenseman for the cost of Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a 1st round pick has to be seen as a steal by today's NHL standards.

In the salary cap era, Glen Sather was able to add a first-line forward capable of scoring 30 to 40 goals while moving almost a dollar for dollar salary swap. The best part of this trade isn't adding Rick Nash, but rather how Glen Sather has protected the Rangers in the event that they have to rollback salaries under the next collective bargaining agreement.

Was Rick Nash worth the price tag is debatable as I wonder how well Nash will handle the pressure of playing under the microscope known as the New York Ranger fans. The expectations that will be placed on Nash will be higher than they were for either Marion Gaborik or Brad Richards.

I have to admit I am not much of a fan of Rick Nash's because to me, I will question whether or not he has the kind of mental makeup a player needs to make it in New York. Still it is worth taking the shot for the price the Rangers paid.

Rick Nash is used to losing and that's not all his fault but rather the situation he found himself in with Columbus. There's a part of me though that says at some point a star player has to be able to make the others around him better.

I've never seen Rick Nash do that and we can debate whose fault that part is. It's going to be rough for Nash now that he's going to be playing with guys like Brad Richards and eventually Marion Gaborik.

There will be no excuse for Nash not to produce as as he will be surrounded by much more talented players than he's ever played with in Columbus. Rick Nash wanted out of Columbus and his wishes been granted but at the same time the saying is "be careful of what you ask for as you may get it."

But to me the real star here is Glen Sather as he got the man he wanted at the price that he wanted to pay. Unlike Philadelphia which has to wonder whether or not Nashville will match the offer sheet for Shea Weber; Glen Sather has his man.

If Nash plays as advertised then the Rangers will be capable of matching firepower with any team in the NHL's Eastern Conference. Even better is that Glen Sather still has plenty of room to make a couple of other moves while leaving enough cap space for a rainy day fund.

It took Sather much longer than it should have, but the general manager that Ranger fans were hoping would fix the mess that Neil Smith created has finally done that. I'm not ready to jump on any kind of Stanley Cup winning bandwagon but the team is going to remain pointed in the right direction.

As for what Glen Sather gave up to obtain Rick Nash, it's hard to disagree with what was sent away. It's ironic that two of the players that I nominated for "2012-2013 Ranger whipping boy" were included in the deal.

Artem Anisimov- as I wrote the other night Anisimov has clearly what it takes to be a top player in the NHL. The question is can he do it on a consistent basis because consistency was why Anisimov became expendable.

One night Anisimov could be a first-line player but there were too many nights when he played like a fourth-line player. Columbus will give him the opportunity to blossom and become that star player he's capable of.

The question will be how bad will Anisimov want it?

Brandon Dubinsky- am I sad to see him go? Of course I am as there's no Prospect Park today if it wasn't for Dubinsky. Dubi was more than a player to me and I will miss seeing him in a Ranger uniform.

At the same time, this is a business and I would be a hypocrite if I said that this was a bad trade just because Dubi was part of the deal. Put me in Glen Sather's position and I make the exact same move every single time.

I also realize that this is a great opportunity for Brandon who really needed a change of scenery. Like I said the other night with Dubi; you either liked him or you hated him as there was no gray area with him.

I think away from New York Brandon's going to accept the challenge being offered him today and he will thrive. For that I am happy for him and will continue to root for him.

Tim Erixon- I can't point my finger to exactly when, but I got the feeling during the season that the Rangers lost faith in Erixon as a prospect. I know that the second time that the Rangers brought him up that Erixon looked he was in way over his head.

Given the Rangers lack of quality depth at the AHL level on the blue line, it says a lot about what the Rangers thought about Erixon to include him in the deal. Last year at this time you wouldn't of even thought of Erixon being trade bait.

Something happened and I don't think this is about having to give up quality.

The first-round draft pick was worth including if you believe that the Rangers would at the worst make it again to the conference finals. Unless the Rangers totally collapse and fall apart then you're looking at a pick somewhere around 27-30 which is really an early second-round pick.

I don't have any problem giving up this pick at all.

The last word tonight goes to Brandon Dubinsky who after learning of the trade tweeted this to the Ranger fans.

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