The end of the Olympics is coming. The trade deadline is shortly thereafter. It seems clear that GM Glen Sather is going to be a buyer at the deadline, but to what extent remains a mystery. He surprised us all by swapping spare parts for a legitimate upgrade in Olli Jokinen before the Olympic roster freeze. This type of move seems to be Slats’ MO, swapping spare parts and players that have are not going to be a part of the future for upgrades for the current season.
That said, who do you think Slats is going to part with at the deadline? Other than the usual suspects on the wish list (Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival), who simply cannot be moved, the most notable name that I think the Rangers are willing to part with at the deadline is Dan Girardi, and I am perfectly OK with this. Now, before you jump down my throat for joining the trade Girardi bandwagon, you should know that I thought he was expendable in June of 2009, long before this “Trade Girardi” movement.
Girardi is in the third season of his young career, and although his GVT stands at 4.9, good for a top-10 place on this current Rangers squad, it is tough to overlook some glaring holes in his game. For example, he is big, but not physical. He is also slow on his feet, and constantly gets beat like he stole something. Yes, he is good with his positioning, but at his current price ($1.55 million cap hit), and a probable raise on the way, Girardi may price himself into a deadline or draft-day deal. With the defensive depth in the system, and the likes of Bobby Sanguinetti and Ilkka Heikkinen both NHL ready (and both combined make what Girardi makes), it appears that Girardi has run his course on Broadway.
Girardi will draw a good amount of interest around the league. He is young (25), and as mentioned before, has good positioning. Am I saying that the Rangers should dump Girardi for a 5th round pick? No. Hell no. I think a Girardi package has the potential to draw a top-six LW from teams. The loss will sting a little bit, but the trade return and the cheaper replacements on defense who have the potential to produce better results will make it more palatable.