A few more thoughts before I head out for my own hockey game (as far as I know, I wasn’t traded):
<li>I’m OK with these moves. To paraphrase Brian McNamee, they are what they are. Backman provides some needed depth at defense, and Sjostrom gives the Rangers the chance to re-shape their checking line into more of an offensive threat. As much as I think Colton Orr has improved, you don’t need him in the lineup every night, especially in the playoffs. That’s where Sjostrom comes in.
Could the Rangers have fetched more in return for Al Montoya? Maybe. Let’s remember that every other team has scouts poking around the AHL as well, so there’s a chance they were seeing the same holes in his game that the Rangers were.
I still think Marcel Hossa has an upside, but he may have hit his ceiling in New York, and the Rangers likely recognized that.
Bottom line: these moves addressed some immediate needs, and even with Montoya, the Rangers didn’t give up all that much.
Of course, I’ve already gone on record saying Sjostrom is hard to type. And I’m also now realizing that trading Al Montoya means I will likely be spending more time typing the words “Miika Wiikman”. So again, the moves aren’t perfect.
<li>When I asked Sather what his thoughts were on other moves around the league — particularly Pittsburgh — he said he didn’t want to comment on other teams.
Later, he told the Edmonton Journal, “I think Pittsburgh is going to be great. Washington, too. Anything else you want to know? Here’s my list of potential free agent signings. Here’s what I want to give Rozsival and Avery. Oh, and here’s my PIN code for my bank card…”
(OK, not really)