Let’s start with Antropov. Sather did a good job getting Antropov from Toronto, it didn’t cost him much at all, and it filled a huge void. Antropov will definitely help the anemic powerplay, placing a big body in front of the net, one with a scoring touch. He will probably play on a 2nd line with Avery and Drury, which should make for an interesting combination.
Antropov never really lived up to his billing, but as a guy who is on pace for 50+ points this year, that puts him in the top 3 in scoring for the Rangers this year. If that’s not an upgrade, I don’t know what is. I’m looking forward to watching him play tonight.
As for Morris, well, my loathing of him is well known. And apparently I’m not alone on this matter either. I haven’t spoken to Mike or Stas about this yet, but I don’t see an upgrade from Kalinin in Morris. I see the exact same player. The only difference is that Morris cost us Dawes and Pru.
Now, if Dawes and Pru were traded for, say Jordan Leopold, I would be all for it. Leopold is a puck moving defensemen who plays solidly in his own end. Morris is none of the above. Morris is cashing in on his one great season in 2001-2002, where he scored 11 G, 37 A and a +18. He is a -8 on this season, which is actually worse than Kalinin (-7). Kalinin was actually playing better as of late, so much so that it prompted me to take down the Kalinin Count in January. Was Kalinin a $2 million defensemen? Hell no. But is Morris a $3.7 million defensemen? Not a chance.
You can argue that Dawes and Pru were essentially worthless on this team now with Avery and Antropov here. Personally, if they didn’t have a spot, more could have been had for them, at least a draft pick or two.
Sather, again, got caught up in the name of the player and not the results the player produces (see: Redden, Wade). This game has passed him by.
Update 2:30pm: I’m aware that I’m a little unclear in this post. My main point is that Sather gets caught up in the name of the player available more often than not. It sometimes works out in his favor, and sometimes doesn’t. This is what happens when the GM doesn’t travel with the team to do scouting of opposing teams.