In a continuing trend of interviews, Andrew Gross spoke with Glen Sather, who was again candid about his plans at the trade deadline. There was a plethora of moves yesterday, which saw defensemen Tomas Kaberle, Eric Brewer, Ian White, and Erik Johnson all being shipped to new teams. The Rangers have been silent, and Sather will continue to be silent if the asking prices for veteran defensemen remains the status quo:
“Lots of [players out there],” said Sather, adding he’s been making phone calls to gauge the trade market for four months. “I’m listening, watching. It doesn’t matter what the asking price is. It’s what we want to pay.”
This statement remains consistent with what the Rangers General Manager has been saying all year. The Rangers will not forfeit the core youth for a rental in this year’s playoffs. It also appears that the Rangers will not forfeit their first round pick this season in a trade. Trading is an art, that Slats seems to have mastered. It’s about recognizing core players, recognizing when the time is right for a move, and recognizing the right price for that move.
Currently, the Rangers have a few too many holes to fill to make a legitimate run in the playoffs this year. They lack a top line center, a veteran defenseman, and a powerplay quarterback. To fill all those holes, the Rangers would have to gut the roster and the farm system. It’s simply not worth it. Of course, any of the core guys are trade-able in the right move:
“We’ve got a good nucleus of guys who are learning the game and we’re comfortable,” Sather said. “That doesn’t mean things can’t happen.”
Some people might worry about that quote, but it’s a quote that means two things. The first being that just because the Rangers are comfortable with the kids playing, it doesn’t mean they won’t make moves at the deadline. The second meaning is that no one is untouchable, but it would have to take a great deal for the Rangers to part with one of their core guys. There have been so many rumors about who the Rangers will trade, but I think it’s becoming clear that the fears of the fans (ie: trading the core for rentals) won’t be realized.