The affected few

February 29, 2012, by

The Rangers passed through the trade deadline with very little change but plenty of rumour. If you’re in the Larry Brooks camp you’ll have noted that Glen Sather offered half the organisation (comic exaggeration) for Rick Nash. If you’re tending to listen to Glen Sather’s rarely spoken word you’ll believe the reports regarding the Rick Nash proposal were exaggerated (sensationalizing by the press? Never!)

However for sake of argument let’s consider the players – and even pick – named by Brooks in the last offer and think about their futures with the Rangers in the short and mid term.

Brandon Dubinsky

Dubinsky is considered the roster player Sather was ‘willing’ to move. It made sense. Struggling all season, with cap having to go back to Columbus in any Nash acquisition and still a talented player despite his subpar year, Dubinsky was highly likely to have been included.

What does this mean for Dubinsky? Essentially he has the remainder of the regular season games and the playoffs to save his Ranger career and even that may not be enough. He said he needs to play with a chip on his shoulder but mainly he needs to provide secondary offense. If the Rangers fall quickly in the playoffs they’ll likely look to add scoring from outside of the organisation so assume Dubinsky a candidate for change in the summer too. His audition (trial?) has begun.


Christian Thomas

Thomas is in a tricky situation. First of all he’s had an indifferent (but not bad) year in junior hockey – certainly compared to his previous year. The excitement has perhaps begun to wear off. Most of all, his position in the organisation depends more on others than it does himself. With Kreider a certainty for a top six role moving forward, Thomas – like Dubinsky – will be watching carefully how the Rangers progress this season.

Unlike Dubinsky, Thomas cannot influence it. If the Rangers re-visit a Nash acquisition he’d likely be included and if he wasn’t, he’d be buried on the depth chart anyway. Thomas’ future with the Rangers is at risk. If he isn’t packaged for established NHL scoring he’ll need an outstanding beginning to next season to force his way in to the reckoning.

JT Miller

Miller was likely included in any proposal because, simply put, he’s a quality prospect and the type of prospect that’s required in order to prize a marquee player such as Nash away from teams. Miller has developed well with Plymouth of the OHL since being drafted and can play both center and wing which compared to Thomas may aid his future with the organisation. That said if a guy like Nash is obtained then Miller (assuming he wasn’t in a package for the Blue Jackets winger) would also struggle to break in to the Rangers line-up as a scoring option.

Tim Erixon

Whoever you ask it appears the opinion is the same regarding Tim Erixon: he should become a quality NHL defenseman for a long time to come. Erixon has made a handful of appearances for the Rangers this year (13 in total) and has played well for the CT Whale – 27 points, +1 in 37 games – when injury hasn’t slowed him down. A club with such poor team-defense like the Blue Jackets would surely covet the talented Swede.

Unfortunately for Erixon the Rangers have an outstanding (keyword: young) defense and can afford to trade him even if they would like to reap the benefits of his talent themselves. He’s a luxury to the defense-rich Rangers and that will mean that any major acquisition over the summer the Blueshirts look to make might mean moving Erixon. His Rangers future is very uncertain even if it’s not his fault.

The 2012 1st round pick

The 2012 draft is considered deep. Not necessarily deep in top end talented but certainly in defensive talent and it’s this aspect why Sather may be open to moving this pick. As noted while discussing Erixon, the Rangers are blessed with blue-line skill and even Erixon aside, have a quality prospect in Dylan McIlrath waiting to make his mark.

If there was a year the (draft conscious) Rangers would be willing to part with a 1st round pick for immediate help it would be this season. This pick will likely be in play heading up to the draft assuming once again, that the Rangers look to add established NHL scoring.

Don’t Panic Peeps

Many fans baulked at all the rumoured packages Glen Sather was willing to move. Believe what you will but as fans we’ll likely not know what was really ‘in play’. That said, look at some of the names not in play: Chris Kreider, all the kids’ already making waves in New York, the likes of Michael St Croix and Dylan McIlrath. Over the summer, The Rangers will be in a position to add a quality scorer should they feel the need to. The most important part of all this is that it won’t gut the franchise.

Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin, Mike Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, Dylan McIlrath; that’s a hell of a future that’s developing in the New York Rangers organisation and that’s not including relative ‘youngsters’ such as our captain Ryan Callahan, Mike Sauer or Staal and Girardi. Quality drafting gives you options folks.


  1. Zen says:

    The Rangers have an incredibly bright future due to some outstanding drafting.

    • Chris says:

      More reason not panic when Sather looks to use some to upgrade the roster. It’s asset management.

  2. AD says:

    Other than your assessment of Dubinsky’s future, I do not agree that Thomas’ future “is at risk” or that Miller would “struggle to break the lineup” or that Erixon’s future is “very uncertain.” Those are big statements which really cannot be made with substantive reasoning, in my view.

    First, we do not know whether these players were included in an offer. We simply don’t. Second, the path the Rangers take after this off-season to acquire more offensive talent may SOLIDIFY a future role for these players, rather than put them at risk. This is the case if the Rangers sign Parise, or trade for either Dustin Brown or Derek Roy, for example. Dubisnky would likely be included in a trade for either player, and that trade would not require our top prospects — doors would be opened for prospects on the roster at a later date. Third, the Rangers could opt to trade Anisimov and open a slot for JT Miller, for example, who seems to have at least the capacity to perform at AA’s level, but most likely can exceed that. Fourth, Fedetenko won’t be around forever, and that would be another slot open for our prospects, which often start on 3rd lines to begin with.

    Overall, I think there are simply too many alternate paths the Rangers could pursue for more offensive talent that, at a minimum, makes it way too early to conclude Miller, Thomas and Erixon no longer have futures with this organization.

    • JM says:

      AD you seem to miss the portion of the post that says “for arguments sake,” meaning these kids could hypothetically be traded, which isn’t much of a stretch considering they were almost traded two days ago.

      No one is concluding that these kids don’t have futures on Broadway, but it is worth discussing. To think that there is no way these kids could be traded is as stubborn as saying they definitely will be.

      Good post guys.

    • Chris says:

      I never said they DONT have a future at all. But I am questioning their future, yes.

      Tell me, if Nash came and somehow the club kept Thomas and Kreider… Along with Kreider Gaborik Nash, Callahan, stepan, Richards… Where could Thomas play? He needs a scoring role so yes, his future is in doubt.

      • Sioux-per-man says:

        The Whale. Kreider will follow Hagelins timeline if you ask me. He has the NHL talent for sure. But I doubt Torts drops him into the playoffs this year.
        I would be easier to pull Zucc or JAM up, they are AHL Allstars and scoring a point a game.

        I think Kreider could make the team out of camp. Everyone else will have a year or more playing for the Whale, with the top end talent getting games when there is a hole to fill.

      • AD says:

        Well, there is nothing wrong with the 3rd line for a young, NHL-ready prospect. Anisimov and Dubsinky spent much of their developing years on the 3rd line. And, since I believe Dubinsky’s future with the team remains in doubt, and Fedetenko has a limited future with the team, there should be open spots. Nonetheless, I think we are still two, if not three, years away from Thomas being ready for the NHL

  3. Walt says:

    So talent rich, and improving by the day, what more can one ask for?

    Everyone in the sports media had to write a story, so they went about and created their own. We the fans have been through the BS in the past, and will in the future. Brooks likes to write BS, that’s OK, except that some of the people involved, the players, read that crap, and it could get to some of them if their skin isn’t thick.

    I’m glad that Sather didn’t make any moves, other than the Scott trade. That one move will make a tremendious difference come play-off time. Look at Filthadelphia, that punk Sestito, Rinaldo, Simmonds, or Hartnell,let them try some crap, they will be history. As would any other goon on that team. John is something like 54-0 in fights, man that is some history he has, and I wouldn’t want to take liberties knowing that this moose will beat me like a step child!

    After this season, with Feds going, probably Mitchel as well, we can add the Kreider kid, possibly the Miller kid to the roster, at no cost to us. With the return of Sauer, and the loss of Jeff W, Stralman, and the addition of Tim, we would have one terrific Defense, why move any parts.

    • Sioux-per-man says:

      Don’t forget Parise or Weber type player coming in with the cap space we have available. Miller will have to earn his stripes, before he makes the Varsity. I see him playing in the Whale for a full year first.

  4. leatherneckinlv says:

    And as Sather suggested after the deadline had passed, which was the system and a program in place. Two years removed from the deadline now I truly feel confident with our Vision being paramount over a bunch of journalists and simple minded fans who fail to see the big picture. The time to buy may come one day, however with smart drafting and intelligent signings that will never be a true case. Health of an organization is at all levels and not just the parent club. Nashville with their push this year is a prime case of how in two to three years will fall to the bottom of the NHL order if they don’t make bold moves to get picks and prospects. Tampa Bay on the other hand that used the right moves and will be a team to be hesitant to play against because of their approach. The Rangers should make moves similar to Philadelphia, where in we get blue chip prospects and picks. Had Philadelphia not done so, there would be no Giroux, Coutorier, Schenn or Van Riemsdyk on that roster. They selected well with drafting and got back real good prospects to play on their team.
    We have the potential to have a major signing yet again this year whether it be Weber or Parise in July. Those assets not trade this year will be far more valuable at the right time when the team is stocked and prime for that push to win the Cup. So in closing the picture should be the Cup and not haste.

    • Sioux-per-man says:

      We are one of 4 favorites to win the cup this year. Now come July we will add one KEY player, and for sure will be a favorite to win the cup for the next 2-3 years. Without key injuries.

      Now let’s Go Win the CUP THIS YEAR….it could happen.