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With inclusion of Erixon, maybe Scott Howson did better than we thought

July 27, 2012, by

There have been several reports that some variation of the package the Rangers sent to Columbus for Rick Nash on Monday was on the negotiating table for months before the deal was finally consummated.  But Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, who is one of the more clued in reporters in the business, tweeted that defensive prospect Tim Erixon was in fact only added to the deal last week. Portzline added that there was “no question” that Shea Weber’s offer sheet with Philadelphia pushed the Rangers to sweeten their offer and include Erixon.

That nugget drew little attention in light of all the other subplots surrounding the blockbuster trade, but if Portzline’s report is correct, then that tells us even more about GM Glen Sather’s negotiating tactics over the last few months.

It’s likely that Erixon was substituted in for another lesser prospect, but it’s somewhat remarkable that Sather believed he could pry Nash away from Columbus without even including the organization’s top prospect, a player that virtually every pundit in the galaxy assumed would be part of any big deal the Rangers completed this offseason.

Sather demonstrated remarkable patience throughout the tedious negotiating process and it now seems obvious that he was entirely convinced all along that Columbus GM Scott Howson would eventually cave in and that Nash would end up a Ranger.

Rumors circulated throughout the process that other teams were going hard after Nash, but Sather must have been supremely confident that the 28-year-old was never going to consider expanding his list of approved destinations and that the Rangers were really Howson’s only logical option for a trade partner.

We’ll never know what went on behind closed doors for the last few months, but it is now apparent that Sather was fully aware that his hand could not be beat.

That being the case, maybe Howson deserves a bit more credit for holding out for Erixon.  Though most in the hockey community feel that Howson got a poor return for Nash, a package of only Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, a first-round pick and a lesser prospect would have been ripped on a far greater scale.

It’s very likely that Erixon will be the best future Blue Jacket of the bunch.  So though Sather had “balls as big as the building” throughout the negotiating process, maybe Howson really didn’t do badly considering the uphill battle he has been fighting since early spring.



  1. MBN says:

    I wonder who the other prospect was, if Erixon was not in the package the whole time. Can’t imagine it was another forward, and I don’t see any other D-Man that would even be interesting to Howson.

    • Kevin Baumer says:

      You’re right. Could it have been McIlrath pre-injury? Otherwise maybe it was a F. Always thought Christian Thomas made sense.

  2. Steve C says:

    I think the reason ranger fans and the media ripped Howson apart is he opened his mouth and said I want Kreider or Mcdonaugh and Hagelin and Erixon and picks or I wont do it.

    When you look at the deals that he wanted and what he got he looks like a fool.

    But if you look at him trading a guy that demanded a trade has a 7.8 million cap hit for 6 more years and he had little to no leverage.

    have to say getting 2 30-50 point players and potential top 4 defenseman he did not do to bad.

    Most of these guys that are demanding trades team do not get that much.

    • Kevin Baumer says:

      To be fair, Howson never said any of that. We all just inferred it. But you’re right, looking back, he didn’t do badly.

  3. Walt says:

    I wouldn’t want to play poker against Slats, the man knows his stuff, and never shows his cards!

    I don’t care what anyone says, even with Tim included, we came out on top with this deal.

    Lets face it, we have MDZ, McD, Strahlman, Mc Ilrathe all really developing their offensive skills, and yet all are more sound than Erixon defensivly. The organization is deep with young d-men, and Tim was excess baggage. I don’t mean to put him down, I was looking forward to seeing him play for us, but he came up twice, and Torts wasn’t impressed with his performance, so I’ll go with his decision.

    • JimBob says:

      And let us not forget Mike Sauer. Slats has the real details on Sauers health situation – also Dylan McIlrath’s – so, if Erixon was a late add to the deal just maybe Slats knew Sauer and/or Dylan will be fine. I discount the theory that Webers destination had anything to do with this.

      • Kevin Baumer says:

        JimBob – Reports today indicate that Sauer has made “tremendous progress,” so you may be right.

    • Kevin Baumer says:

      Walt: Think you’re really underestimating Erixon defensively. He didn’t immediately become a star like McDonagh, but after McD he probably has the best defensive game of the bunch, or will in the near future.

      • Walt says:

        I don’t discount the kids talents, but with a load d-man, he became excess baggage. I also said that I was looking forward to seeing him play for us, but for what we got in return, it’s a no brainer!

  4. Scully says:

    In terms of Michael Sauer’s tremendous progress, this is the kind of news I want to hear. Of course, until we see him lace em up and practice for at least a month, he’s not going to sniff any ice time. I’d be more than happy if we’re lucky enough to have him on a time table like we did with Staal last season. And, unlike with Staal where he was kind of needed to be Marc Staal as soon as possible, with Sauer being a true bottom pairing defenseman whenever he comes back, we can ease him back into the lineup and not have his lack of timing exposed by other teams as much as with Staal. Either way, his game is such that I think it’ll come back a little quicker than Staal’s as he’s more of a rugged stay-at-home kinda D-man who doesn’t skate with the forwards nearly as much as Staal does.

    • Alan says:

      Sauer a “bottom pairing dman”? Really? Wow. He wasn’t when he last played, but if he’s on our 3rd pairing, we are STACKED on d. If Sauer is indeed progressing better than we all first thought, this team is really falling into place. No need to acquire another dman.

  5. Jim says:

    You have to give up talent to get talent in return. The Rangers dealt from an area of strength in the organization to address an area of need. It was a good deal.

  6. Rob sahm says:

    Face it howson got hosed like gainey got hosed in the gomez deal

  7. J Mase says:

    The thing no one really brings up is that even though the package to CBJ was Dubi, Anisimov, Erixon and a #1 , substitute Erixon for the two 2nd round picks and Roman Horak. Not that Horak looks like he’ll be anything special but Dubi, Artem, a 1st and two 2nds for Nash. I think thats a lot to give up. I love Nash as a player and totally agree we needed to get him. I just really hope he turns out to be worth it.

  8. Leatherneckinlv says:

    With Sauer’s good news and the signing of Stralman and Bickel the D is looking good for a few years and not worry about rushing our prospects. The likelihood of McIlrath getting spot duty with the Rangers as an emergency call up is good.

    Noreau, McIlrath and Delise have a wonderful mentor now in the Boomer…So the defense really did not suffer from the loss of Erixon. Kudos to Sather for holding on to Del Zotto.

    McDonagh and Girardi
    Staal and Stralman
    Del Zotto and Sauer

    That Defense is pretty daggone good

    McDonagh and Girardi
    Staal and Stralman
    Del Zotto and Bickel

    This Defense is pretty daggone reliable

    either way we go we look good and stable on D

  9. flswarty says:

    Personally, I am a little surprised by the overwhelming perspective that Glen “fleeced” Howson. NYR dealt from strength for a strong player who wanted out. Three NHL ready players and a #1 pick is a strong package. I love Dubi and hate to see him go, AA was inconsistent and needs to find his way, Erixon seems tentative to me and given the other youth choices that might have been asked for including McL or JT, he is the right one in my mind. And just what if Nash pulls a Bobby Holik and is just pitiful. Is it still a fleece? I don’t see that happening – the more i see Nash the better I like it – but let’s just not forget that a game has not been played yet. In my mind – good trade for both sides

    • Steve C says:

      I think the reason they think he got hosed was because of all the crazy rumors of what he wanted.

      To want all that and get this it looks bad. I actually agree both teams did good..but Nash if by far the best player in the deal and I would rather get quality then quantity.

  10. SalMerc says:

    Anytime there is a multi=player for 1 player deal there is much conversation about who did better. Typically, the team that gets the 1 player does better in the shorter term, as the one player could be the missing piece. However, the team getting the multi players (sometime young and/or draft picks) need to wait 2-3 years to gauge the success of the trade, as this team has more holes to fill.