Mon 2 Aug 2010
Hell is about to freeze over because I am going to do something I don’t often do – I am going to praise Glen Sather for his trading of Donald Brashear and Pat Rissmiller to the Atlanta Thrashers for Todd White.
At first look some fans must be wondering what do the Rangers need with the 35-year-old White who suffered through an injury-plagued 2009/2010 (seven goals and nine assists in 65 games). Some fans might be wondering why acquire yet another veteran to take the place of a prospect.
However, fans who are questioning the deal are overlooking one point. Even if the Rangers assigned Donald Brashear to Hartford, his $1.4 million contract counts against the salary cap this year because he signed a multi-year deal after the age of 35. White, who is the final year of a four-year deal signed his when he was 32 so his salary would not count against the cap if sent to Hartford.
While Sather replaces Brashear’s $1.4 million cap hit with White’s $2.375 million cap hit (he will make $2.6 million this year), the Rangers President/GM gained some valuable salary cap flexibility because White’s cap of $2.375 million can be removed by running him through waivers and assigning him to the AHL.
There is even the possibility that Sather could deal him before the season depending on other team’s needs and/or injuries.
At the very worst, White could end up earning a job at the expense of fourth line center Brian Boyle. While that is a lot of money to spend on a fourth line (even though Chris Drury was demoted last season to the fourth line) White would be an improvement over Boyle and only adds $450,000 to the salary cap (Brashear and Boyle make $1.925 million and White’s cap hit is $2.375 million).
White is just one year removed from posting a career season in 2008/2009. In 82 games, he posted career-best numbers in assists (51), points (83) and PPG (12). Of course, he spent a lot of time centering Ilya Kovalchuk so those numbers are inflated.
One thing to remember is that White spent two seasons with the Minnesota Wild and averaged 16 goals and 26 assists while a teammate of Marian Gaborik and Derek Boogaard. The influx of ex-Wild players is not just a coincidence given that former Minnesota GM Doug Risebrough works for the organization as a “scout/hockey consultant. It will be interesting to see if Risebrough’s name is thrown around as a potential successor when Sather decides to end his reign of error (hey you didn’t expect me not to take a shot at Sather at some point).
Here is Todd White’s Scouting Report from the Toronto Star:
ASSETS: Possesses excellent skating speed. Has sound offensive credentials and always gives maximum effort. Can play either center or wing.
FLAWS: Lacks size and strength. Tends to struggle when the checking gets tighter. Is somewhat prone to scoring slumps.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Complementary forward on the decline.
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