Rangers at Ottawa tonight is interesting. But it ain’t the entree. The main course is the trade deadline, which means the rest of tonight and all day until 3 p.m. tomorrow.
And we all know what to expect: The Rangers making a last-ditch effort to make the playoffs, thinking they might be able to get in and (gasp) win a round. Or in their minds, they could even be thinking “get in and you never know.”
And that’s the thinking which will result in a repeat of last year’s deadline, a wheel-spinning, franchise-freezing, going-nowhere series of moves by the deadline. You know the exercise: Trade guys you won’t sign in the summer for somebody else’s guys you won’t sign in the summer. (See: Nik Antropov and Derek Morris).
That’s OK, until you start throwing in draft picks into the mix. If any trades are made, the draft picks need to be coming this way. Or prospects coming this way. Not the other way around. Because then, instead of spinning your wheels, you are sinking deeper.
If anybody thinks this team is close … wow. But the fear is, the people who make the decisions may not think they’re far away, either.
Me? I would be looking to deal Olli Jokinen and Vinny Prospal, guys who probably won’t be coming back, or if they do, it will be more expensive than it is this year to keep them. And it goes without saying, if one of the two toxic contracts on defense (you know the names and the numbers — 6 and 33) can be moved, then by all means, those would be additions by subtraction. Good luck with that.
I would be looking to jettison this season in order to get younger players and picks, even if it costs me the two home games in the playoffs.
But I’m not making the decisions. And while I am confident most of you agree with that strategy, I think a lot of you will change your minds tomorrow when the Rangers are mildly better than they are today for the short term (again, See: Nik Antropov and Derek Morris). You will be excited by the prospect of having a better chance to make the playoffs.
Likewise, this is the part I don’t get. A lot of those who think they should be selling will be angry and annoyed and blaming the coach and the remaining players if they sell and miss the playoffs. I don’t get that at all, but I know it’s true.
Larry Brooks is reporting that Voros and Lisin are on waivers. Which is probably a pre-trade deadline move in case the Rangers need to add players/salary today or tomorrow. Those guys were two more quality acquisitions, weren’t they?