Why you don’t move Derek Stepan for Rick Nash.
First I want to thank Carp for allowing me the chance to write a guest blog … I’ve been following this blog since Sam Weinman was in charge but Carp has brought this thing to a whole new level and it’s awesome. So thanks, Carp.
Onto our boys, the New York Rangers; I think everyone here can agree that this season was a welcome surprise and finishing first in the Leastern Conference was something none of us were expecting at the beginning of the year. The way the team was built with mostly young, homegrown kids was something that many fans had been clamoring for, for years and it was rewarding to see it work successfully.
Here’s the deal ladies and gentleman; “We don’t trade kids.” Can you believe Glen Sather actually said that? Clearly Glen has changed his mindset from the early 2000s and the Rangers have changed their perception in the NHL because of it. It started with Tom Renney and John Tortorella has brought it to a new level. Tom Renney was a great coach for his years with the NYR but hiring Torts, at the time the Rangers did, was the best thing the organization could have done. Between Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, Artie Anisimov, Ryan Callahan, Carl Hagelin, Brandon Dubinsky, Marc Staal, Stu Bickel, and THE KREIDER, etc…Rangers are built from Hartford, which is the way it’s supposed to be.
Now, you might be clever enough to realize I didn’t mention one kid in the list I just rambled off: Derek Stepan.
Recently, there has been much talk about moving Derek Stepan, a prospect, and a pick for Rick Nash, some winger out of Columbus. If you don’t know of this Nash character, he’s a big-bodied power forward who has scored 40 goals in the NHL before. The general manager out in Columbus, some piece of carcillo named Howson, is trying to make the team he trades Nash to, look like Columbus after they get him. The Rangers have been and are still rumored to be the team that ends up dealing for Nash and his $7.8 million cap hit until the world ends (not really — just 2017-18).
Here’s the main reason why you don’t move Stepan as the centerpiece in a trade to CBJ for Nash:
Derek Stepan is a 22-year-old centerman who has put up 20 goals and 50 points in his first two seasons in the NHL. He also has played in every possible situation as a penalty killer, power play point and down low, when they need a goal and when they are defending a lead late. Step is always out there in the clutch times.
Stanley Cup winning teams are strong down the middle of the ice … having big and high scoring wingers are nice but the success of a winning team is right down the middle of the ice, on defense and in net.
Check out this stat. Ever since the lockout here are your top cap hits for each Stanley Cup winning team:
2005/06 — Doug Weight/Rod Brind’Amour- Hurricanes
2006/07 — Chris Pronger- Ducks
2007/08 — Niklas Lidstrom- Wings
2008/09 — Sidney Crosby- Penguins
2009/10 — Brian Campbell- Blackhawks
2010/11 — Zdeno Chara- Bruins
2011/12 — Drew Doughty- Kings
Weight was traded for around the deadline in 2005-2006 but Brind’Amour was the highest paid ‘Cane for the most of the season. Aside from Weight and Brind’Amour, Sidney Crosby is the only forward who has been the highest cap hit on a Stanley Cup Winning team. What’s the one thing Weight, Brind’Amour and Crosby have in common? You guessed: Center ice.
There has not been one team that has won the Stanley Cup since they instituted the cap that has had a winger with the team’s highest cap hit.
All this said, at the end of the day, who wouldn’t want Rick Nash? He’d make the team better and help their scoring woes but not at the cost of Stepan. Who plays second-line center next year without Step? Stepan and Kreider for the next 10-12 years on the same line … who does not want to see that? Step’s arguably the best playmaker the Rangers have and moving him would do more detriment to this team than Rick Nash would do good.
Trading Derek Stepan for Shea Weber? Better argument. Rick Nash? No chance.