Not trading for Brad Richards in 2011 helped shape the Rangers

The Rangers benefited from being patient and allowing Brad Richards to hit free agency.

Think back to the 2011 trade deadline.  The New York Rangers were not yet regarded as an elite team; in fact, they were fighting for a playoff berth, a fight that lasted until the final day of the regular season.

Glen Sather had engaged in trade talks with Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk regarding soon-to-be free agent Brad Richards.  Sather could have had the coveted center, provided he was willing to part with Marc Staal, Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky, the ransom demanded by Nieuwendyk according to Larry Brooks.*

Sather showed restraint, kept his young pieces and watched as the Blueshirts were dispatched by the Washington Capitals in five games.  Richards quickly signed with the Blueshirts on July 2nd.

While it can be argued that Sather’s patience was aided by a common belief that Richards would end up in New York sooner or later anyway, the decision did help shape the direction of the franchise.

Obviously Staal and Stepan both play critical roles for the club and Sather’s ability to retain those building blocks was wise.  But holding onto Dubinsky also enabled Sather to acquire Rick Nash – another instance of Sather’s patience.

Dubinsky was part of the package for Nash and although the Rangers may have been able to appease Columbus with a different piece in the eventual Nash deal, including Dubinsky’s salary was a necessary component to the trade from Sather’s point of view.

It’s also true that the Rangers may have had the assets to deal for both Richards and Nash in trades, but it wouldn’t have happened without decimating the depth of the organization.

The simple lesson: sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make.

*The Post appears to have taken the story down, so this copied version is the best I could recover.

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  • Early on I hated what Sather did to the organization, with some of his sorry moves. It appears that Glen has had an awakening, and has made some terrific moves, or lack there of.

    With Richards he made the perfect move, which was nothing. Again with Nash, Sather was slick with not moving for Nash when Columbus was asking for a load of young talent, and then making the trade when he did.

    I must admit, I’ve become a fan of Glen!!

      • @Brittany, I doubt it. The fact that they have put so much emphasis on developing from within shows that they are committed to this method of winning.

        That doesn’t mean that there won’t be trades where young guys are sent packing to help solidify the team for a Cup run (see: Nash, Rick), but they will hold on to their top guys.

  • Sather has been doing a very good job. The guy who doesn’t the credit he deserves is Gordie Clark. Clark has done an amazing job finding value in the late rounds of the draft to give the Rangers the depth they have.

    I cannot see Slats regressing to adding to his prelockout ways. The core of this team hasn’t hit there prime yet. We have alot of good years in front us as ranger fans. Clark and Slats deserve a big thank you.

    • @Eric, Gordie gets lots of credit around these parts. When Slats went back to the drafting ways, he relied heavily upon Gordie, and more recently Jeff Gorton.

    • @Eric,

      Gordy gets loads of credit on this site. I for one have made mention of what a great job he has done for us over the last few years. If Slats were smart, he’d sign Gordy to a long term contract, with a signing bonus, ha ha ha!

  • I wouldn’t say Slats showed restraint, more or less that Dallas’ asking price was ludacris. Marc Staal was Marc Staal at that point still, Stepan was a good rookie, and Dubi didn’t suck yet.

    I usually love your articles, but this is really kind of taking a weird perspective into this. Slats didn’t make the trade because no body would’ve. He did not show patience, he just knew the deal was a rip-off.

      • @Dave, well, you could say that. but what i’m saying is he didn’t make the deal not out of patience, but because dallas’ asking price was totally not worth it, even now. BR is about as good as marc staal only, not also what dubi was that season or steps

        • @TxRanger, this is very true. Are you positive about that asking price though? I really don’t remember the asking price, but Staal, Dubi and Stepan is an awful lot.

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