Thoughts on the trade deadline deals two weeks later

Howard Simmons/New York Daily News
Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

– This is a rare trade where I think both sides have been pleasantly surprised with what they ended up with.  Columbus fans seem giddy with what Marian Gaborik has done so far and almost in disbelief that the Rangers didn’t know what they had in him, along with Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky.  On the flip side, few Rangers fans knew much of anything about any of Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore, but Brassard has already shown flashes that suggest he could single-handedly make up for a lot of Gaborik’s production, Dorsett sounds like he’ll be a perfect Blueshirt soldier whenever he takes the ice, and watching Moore skate has made it hard not to think of what Ryan McDonagh’s greatest quality does for him.  It seems pretty clear that both teams came out of the deal better than they were before.

– Blue Jackets beat writer Aaron Portzline raised eyebrows when he wrote that Dorsett might have been the toughest player for Columbus to part with.  It sounds a little surprising given the obvious skills of Brassard and the potential of Moore, but neither of those players had established themselves as go-to players for the Blue Jackets yet.  Dorsett was an alternate captain with a decorated history of standing up for teammates, playing his heart out and doing generally everything that coach John Tortorella loves.  Will he be the next Brandon Prust in New York?  The comparison certainly seems to make sense.

– Following the trade there were a lot of questions about how the acquisition of Brassard would affect a potential Brad Richards buyout.  There are two ways of looking at it:
1) Derek Stepan’s emergence as a bona fide No. 1 center made Richards less important and if Brassard proves he can handle the No. 2 job, then Richards may be disposable given his price tag.
2) Having three solid centers may seem like a luxury, but depth down the middle has been essential to nearly every Stanley Cup winner in recent years.  Richards may be underperforming, but having him as a No. 2 and Brassard as a No. 3 or vice versa gives the Blueshirts some very solid pillars to build around.  Add Oscar Lindberg to the equation and New York should be set down the middle for years to come.
In the end, I don’t think Brassard really changes what the Rangers should do with Richards.  If he is abysmal again next season, then New York must give serious thought to severing ties.  But it won’t happen this summer.

– The trade really helped replenish New York’s forward depth for the 2013 playoff run, but it will be really interesting to see how things play out over the summer and next fall.  By my count, the Rangers currently have 12 forwards that are or will be locked into deals (Nash, Richards, Callahan, Clowe, Brassard, Boyle, Dorsett, Pyatt, Powe, Asham, Stepan and Hagelin).  Now obviously plenty will happen between now and then: it’s not a given that Clowe re-ups if his contract demands are as ridiculous as has been rumored and New York may ship any of Boyle, Pyatt, Powe and Asham out of town.  Still, there are four ballyhooed prospects (Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast) that should be knocking on the door.  Where do they all fit?  Maybe a guy like Fast spends a whole season in the AHL before hitting Broadway.

– Ah, the rumored Clowe contract demands.  I find it very difficult to believe that Clowe has been asking for eight-years, 34 million, it just really doesn’t make any sense given his lack of production.  Could the Rangers lock him up for the three-years, $12 million I’d like to see?  Maybe not given the way the market seems to be going under the new CBA.  Still, a guy that has had injury problems and knows that the stats show he’s declining must know that he has no chance at an eight-year deal.  I like what Clowe brings to the table and he’s certainly been one of the guys that has rounded out New York’s depth, but I’m still not sold on the idea of him being a Ranger long-term, ridiculous contract or not.

– Will we see a Girardi/McDonagh/Staal/Del Zotto/Moore/McIlrath blueline next year?  Anton Stralman may have something to say about that, but it could happen.

– I’m not expecting Columbus/New York to turn into a rivalry in the truest sense of the word – there’s just no bad blood on either side – but it will be pretty fun to watch some of our favorite ex-Rangers for the next few years.  Vinny Prospal’s future is a question mark, but expect Gaborik, Anisimov, Dubinsky, Tim Erixon and Fedor Tyutin to be on the other side for the foreseeable future.  Those should be fun games.

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  • its amazing how cbj are going gaga over gaborik when for the most part he hasnt done much to suggest hes making 7.5m.

    they were winning before the trade and are winning now. because of their goalie.

  • Gabby has been lighting the score board since he got to Columbus, and last night two former Rangers were voted stars of the game, Tyutin, and Dubi. Good for both of them, I wish them all the success in the world!

    As for Clowe, I like what I see, but the demands are out of sight. The BSB hated Dubi’s contract, can you imagine what will be written if we sign Clowe to his demands, and he pulls another Richards on us, forget about it!!

    Given the number of forwards signed, next season Fasth will play in the AHL, put some muscle mass on his skinny frame, and learn the North American game. Lindberg stands a very good chance of being either the 3rd, or 4th line center next year. From all the hype, he is solid two ways, and has a scoring touch, sounds good to me. We then can roll out 4 solid lines, unless Torts starts to tinker, how stupid of me to say such a thing!!

    Over all, if I had to make this trade again, I would in a heart beat. Going back to an earlier post, I still believe that Moore is a diamond in the rough, and will be a great addition long term.

      • No I’m not watching the Jackets games, but I read the results, and Gabby has been scoring! I’m not a Gabby hater, or anyone else that doesn’t wear a Pens, or Flyers jersey, but you seem to have sour grapes in your diet.

  • It would be ironic if Nash came to ny to get a chance at the Stanley cup and his old team makes the playoffs while his does not.

    Concerned that the new acquisitions are starting to look a bit too comfortable with the system.

  • on the richards front

    ive never heard of it, but is it possible for hockey teams to restructure contracts like in the nfl cause maybe richards would rather stay and give up money vs being cut, though id doubt it

      • Yea, it’s actually a pretty ridiculous limitation. I don’t see the line of reasoning in preventing a team and a player from re-negotiating a contract if both parties are willing.

        In any other line of employment, if an employee wants to take a pay cut, he’s free to do so.

        It’s an archaic rule.

    • I would buy B.RICH out now.It’s fools gold to keep him regardless what he may do next yr.He will never live up to that contract.Fools gold.Keep Clowe at the right price only the right price.The CBJ guys seem to fit our needs with their skill,skating and youth.

  • If anyone is interested, go to “the prospect park” web site and read Jess’s article on Torts, thought provoking!!!!!

  • There are coaches who coach and coaches who over coach. And I’ve come to the conclusion that Tortorella belongs in the latter category. Look at the great coaches over the years, from Toe Blake to Scotty Bowman and Al Arbour, to even the good coaches, not yet greats, like Joel Quenville. All of them kept their lines together, breaking them up only on rare occasions, recognizing the value of players becoming conversant with linemate’s tendencies and thus being able to anticipate moves and particularities, much like a baseball catcher reading the hurler’s mind. But what does Torts constantly, almost compulsively do? He’s a juggler, moving forwards around with abandon. This consistent, and often mindless, I believe, juggling, wreaks havoc. Does anybody remember the great Soviet teams? Their passing and puck control were extraordinary, and a large part of it was due to the fact that they played in consistent five men units. Similarly, the great Montreal teams, whether under Blake or Bowman, had consistent lines and linemates. Moreover, I find Torts compulsion for shot-blocking to be a crude form of defensive play. Should Maurice Richard or Guy Lafleur have been forced to block shots or be benched? Did the Islanders win four Stanley Cups with Mike Bossy or Trottier or the hated though brilliant Potvin forced to block shots? Should Orr have been reduced to blocking shots or being benched? But that’s Tort’s style, and, in my view, it’s a barbaric style that might reduce shots on goal but reduces players to human shields. With Torts in charge, I believe, the Rangers will never, ever, compete for the Stanley Cup.

    • Not to bring up the same points – again…but many Chicago fans wanted to fire Quenville last season and one of their main complaints was all the line juggling he was doing. It’s a common complaint among NHL fans. These complaints aren’t unqiue to this team.

      The Rangers are blocking less shots than they were last year and yet they won more games. The Pittsburgh Penguins to date have blocked 669 shots to our 674. Not much of a gap and yet everyone’s picking them to win the Cup.

      Further, in 2001 only 2 teams blocked over 1,000 shots. Last season all but three teams blocked over 1,000 shots and those teams were pretty damn close.

      Defensive zone strategies in the modern NHL are not what they were in the 70s and 80s. This transends Tortorella. Hate him if you will, but please come up with a new argument. Tired of reading the same complaints every day in posts that have nothing to do with Tortorella or coaching.

        • It’s possible, but let’s have that conservation if/when it happens. To demand that Torts get fired at this point is pointless. And to be honest, many of the jabs against him have been countered by myself and others over and over again. Enough already.

  • Two points — first fans overvalue guys who fight, so it’s no surprise that CBJ fans miss Dorsett most of all. Just because Ranger fans miss Prust more than Gabby doesn’t make him a better player. Hopefully, Dorsett will be a plus, but Brassard is the main attraction.

    Second, Powe and Pyatt are gone after the season. If the best offer Sather gets for Pyatt is a seventh round draft choice, he’ll take it. So your list is really nine plus Clowe. I really see Clowe and Zucc in the same class, good guys to resign if the price is right.

  • Gaby’s not been scoring a goal a game, but he has been a major contributor with both his scoring and overall play since he arrived here. You guys are going to love Dorse. He’s one of the best “heart & soul” players around. Solid defensively, adds some scoring and always ready to throw a punch in defense of his teammates.
    However, I will disagree with Kevin about a rivalry. Many CBJ fans are still quite upset about Nash’s demand to be traded. After all his talk about loving Columbus, etc. it did feel like a stab in the back. Plus many of us remember a game on our ice, back in the 01-02 season. After a hard fought game, the Jackets were going to win. So the Rangers’ (at that time) coach sent out all his enforcers and fighters for the final drop of the puck. Obviously, a fight ensued. It was such a minor league, even childish, thing to do and all because said coach was pissed that an expansion team managed to win. That could come back to haunt the Rangers.
    Then, there’s the simple fact that many people in Central Ohio just don’t like anything NYC.
    Anyway, best of luck to you guys in the play-offs. See ya next year.

  • The trade had to be done – get over it!!

    Gabby was being put down by Torts and the atmosphere of the locker room suffered.

    These new guys have skills – Moore I expect to be a top 5 D-man for many years (reminds me of McD), Brassard will go through periods of being dormant but has skills and Dorsett has the making of the type of player we need.

    If everythng pans out (including Staal’s health) we have the following lineup next year:

    Girardi — McD
    Staal – Del Z
    McIlrath – Moore

    Nash – Step – Cally
    Kreider – Brassard – Clowe
    Hags – Miller – Boyle
    Dorsett – Powe – Pyatt

    Now that team can score…hit…fight…and skate!!

    Richard’s buyout a definite!!

    ps Did anyone notice Richie on the third line yesterday? Brassard was the #2 center (as it should be).

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