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Trade winds blowing?

Posted By On February 24, 2011 @ 6:53 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 467 Comments

Or not?

The Monday trade deadline is coming fast, and a lot of teams have jumped out ahead of the parade and made big deals. I still suspect there will be a massive number of trades Monday.

And we will be here, at Blog HQ with youse, from breakfast, through lunch and dinner, with the blow-by-blow of the frantic day’s events, and with analysis of anything the Rangers might do and live transcripts of any conference calls they might have. [1]

So how active will your heroes be?

Not sure. I’m not going to pretend that I know something I don’t — unlike most of these other alleged experts, insiders and internet blowhards, and a few know-it-alls who stop by here once in a while.

Here’s why, and I said this in the comments the other day. When is the last time a Glen Sather trade was leaked before it happened? The Jokinen-Prust deal got out only because it was done when Kotalik caused a delay by trying to invoke his no-trade clause. And even when it got out, nobody — nobody — had Prust in the deal until it was announced.

So nobody outside his office knows what Sather is going to do, and if they say they do, they’re full of it.

That all said, I think the interesting part of the whole equation is John Tortorella, because I think he weilds more influence on Sather than any of his past coaches — and remember, Tortorella is the first non-crony, outside-the-organization coach Sather has ever hired.

And I think Tortorella has Sather’s ear and his confidence, and that Sather believes in Tortorella’s hope and plan to live with the youth of this team in order to build something that will last, something that will contend and then contend again and contend again.

So I believe that Sather’s deal(s) on or before Monday will be low-key. I expect that anybody he trades away will be players the Rangers won’t re-sign this summer anyway, or players who they don’t feel they need going forward. Example: If the Rangers feel they might cut loose a Matt Gilroy — who must be qualified at over $2M this summer, or he becomes unrestricted —  he might be bait for a deal. I’m not convinced they feel that way about him. Just using him as an example.

I think Monday will be a lot like the deals Sather made two years back, when he traded a pick, and a bunch of guys he wasn’t going to keep anyway, for Nik Antropov and Derek Morris. And that the guys coming this way in the deals will be short-term contracts or two-month rentals.

That all changes, of course, if, for example, somebody offers the farm for Marian Gaborik, or if the Rangers feel they can get a Brad Richards and sign him to a new contract. Or if they can get a really good, relatively young player. Then they might deal one of their own youngsters or prospects.

Otherwise, in my opinion, no way a Michael Del Zotto or an Artem Anismov or a Michael Sauer, or even a Grachev, is going the other way for a rental. No way. Tortorella wouldn’t do it, and I don’t think Sather would do it, either.

And, boys and girls, let’s not over-estimate the value of some of the guys like Prospal, or Eminger, or Christensen. Nobody’s going to give up something of great value for those guys.

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