I want to thank Walt MacPeek for his guest blog yesterday, and I think he enjoyed getting back behind the keyboard, and that he will visit us again. Hope so.
I have to tell you … and I don’t want to belabor the point … but we used to argue about Zubov and the trade. I thought he was too high-risk at times, and a turnover machine, and that he could be intimidated early in his career. I thought at the time of the trade that the Rangers needed to get bigger and tougher, especially in the Legion of Doom era.
Well, I was wrong. I admit it.
But two things about the trade. First, Neil Smith was on the verge of trading Petr Nedved and Zubov to Anaheim for Teemu Selanne. That summer, a false rumor went around that Selanne had crashed a car in Finland and was hurt. They worried about him, they backed out, and they made the trade instead for Samuelsson and Robitaille. We know that didn’t work, even though Samuelsson was the second-best partner Leetch ever had. If Robitaille had done what he had always done previously — score 40-50 goals — that trade might have worked fine. And when Robitaille left — after helping the Rangers to the Eastern finals in 1997 — he went back to being that scoring machine with 39, 36 and 37 in his first three seasons back in L.A.
Did you see any of Islanders-Flyers? Did you see how the Isles reacted when Hartnell ran their goalie? Are you a little bit jealous?
If you’re a Rangers fan … or a hockey fan … or a human being … you should read this story by ESPN’s Scott Burnside.