There’s a reason it hasn’t been announced, and probably won’t be announced tonight; a reason (probably) that Higgins was on the ice at the end of the game, and a reason the MSG voices aren’t saying anything about the TSN reports of Kotalik and Higgins for Jokinen and Prust.
And that reason, I’ve been told, is that the complications that arose last night are still not yet resolved.
The complications have to do with Kotalik’s NMC. (UPDATE: It’s a limited no-trade, not a full no-move; there are three teams to which Kotalik cannot be traded without his permission, one of those is Calgary).
Kotalik refuses to go to Calgary—though ultimately he will, for $6+ million reasons.
As far as I know, Jokinen does not have an NMC.
To review, Higgins was going to be an RFA this summer, and probably not re-signed. The Rangers shed the last two years, at $3M per, of Kotalik’s contract.
Jokinen earns $5.5M this year and is a UFA this summer … and perhaps a trade chip/rental at the deadline. Prust is yet another third/fourth-liner, but much, much tougher than anybody the Rangers have right now (98 PIMs).
More as it becomes available.
LATE NIGHT UPDATE, 12:30 A.M.: Sportsnet.ca is confirming what I reported earlier … that the holdup is Kotalik’s limited NTC, which lists three teams—one being Calgary—to which he cannot be traded without his permission.
From the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS POST-GAME NOTES
January 31, 2010 – New York Rangers 3, Colorado Avalanche 1 (Game #56, Road #27)
• The Blueshirts defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 3-1, tonight at the Pepsi Center, marking the first Rangers win at Colorado since a 6-3 victory on Dec. 31, 1998.
• Marian Gaborik tallied all three Rangers goals to record his first hat trick as a Blueshirt, and the 10th hat trick of his career; it is the first hat trick by a Ranger since Chris Drury notched three goals vs. Tampa Bay on Nov. 6, 2008.
• With his first goal at 13:53 of the first period, Gaborik registered his 500th career NHL point; he finished the contest with six shots and a plus-three rating, and has recorded 11 points (five goals and six assists) in the last eight games.
• The Rangers improved their record to 25-24-7 (57 pts.) overall, including a 13-11-3 (29 pts.) mark on the road.
• New York held Colorado scoreless in six power play opportunities (9:56), and are now 13-for-13 in shorthanded situations in their last two games.
• Goaltender Chad Johnson registered his first career NHL win, stopping 34 of 35 shots, while starting in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
• Defenseman Marc Staal tallied a career-high two assists, and finished with a plus-two rating in a game-high 27:12 of icetime; Staal has recorded six points (one goal and five assists) in the last eight games.
• Rangers Alternate Captain Vinny Prospal tallied his 10th multi-point effort of the season with two assists, and registered five shots and a plus-two rating; Prospal has recorded seven points (one goal and six assists) and a plus-six rating in the last eight games.
• Sean Avery recorded the primary assist on Gaborik’s first period goal, and has now registered a point in each of the last two games (one goal and one assist); Avery also finished with a plus-one rating, and has now posted a plus or even rating in 27 of the last 38 games.
• Rookie forward Artem Anisimov collected one assist, and has now registered three points (two goals and one assist) in the last four games.
• The Rangers will conclude their three-game Western Conference road trip on Tuesday, Feb. 2, when they will face-off against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center (10:30 p.m.), in their fourth game in three days; the game will be televised live on MSG Network.