Wed 4 Mar 2009
While it is possible that Glen Sather has already completed his 2009 Trade Deadline shopping by reclaiming Sean Avery off of waivers from the Dallas Stars, the probability is that Slats is not yet done. However, anyone expecting a block-buster type trade is in for some disappointment.
Sather’s ability to be a player on deadline day has nothing to with a lack of effort. The Rangers brain trust, as well as their scouts, were in meetings yesterday at the team’s training center in Greenburgh. So while may be willing, the salary cap isn’t.
By overpaying the likes of Scott Gomez, Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival, Sather has painted himself into a corner. I did not include Chris Drury in that list because, in addition to receiving a big-time contract, the Rangers captain also has a “no-movement clause” in his contract. In addition to having a no-trade clause, the Rangers are unable to send him down to Hartford for salary cap relief – were the organization so inclined.
The byproduct of Sather’s summer spending sprees during the last two summers leaves the Blueshirts looking to shop at the bargain basement. They are relegated to looking at players like Mark Recchi – players who have reasonable contracts that expire at the end of the season. This scenario isn’t the worst thing in the world as long as you trading mid-level prospects or mid-level draft picks in return.
The only young name that I have seen in conjunction with the Rangers is that of Chicago defenseman Cam Barker. Mike Casey of Newsday offered that Paul Mara and a second round pick would do the trick. If only it were that easy. Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon would and should get more than an UFA to be and a draft pick. Odds are the Rangers would have to offer one of their top blue line prospects. Plus, I am not so sure the Rangers would trade Mara because he has probably been the steadiest defenseman.
Chicago is looking for some help at center so you might get Barker for a package of Blair Betts, a defense prospect and a draft pick – the better the prospect, the lower the draft pick and vice versa.
Zipay listed a few names that are drawing attention from the Rangers. Unfortunately, none of them fit into the Rangers needs or salary cap. Defenseman Mattias Ohlund and Ruslan Salei both carry heft contracts ($3 million to $3.5 million range). Blueliners Rob Davidson and Shane O’Brien fit the need for size and physical play on the blue line, but Davidson is a spare part at best and O’Brien, as Zipay points out, isn’t much of an upgrade over Erik Reitz.
Chris Neil’s name has been on the radar because he is an expiring contract. Conflicting reports out of Ottawa say it is a situation of Neil re-signing with the Sens or Ottawa will move him. Zipay points out that he would be an offensive improvement over Colton Orr. However, I would point out that Neil is not the enforcer he was because he tends to fancy himself more of a scorer than a fighter these days.
TRADE UPDATE: TSN is reporting that Ottawa received a second round draft pick from Columbus as part of the Leclaire-Vermette swap.