The Rangers passed through the trade deadline with very little change but plenty of rumour. If you’re in the Larry Brooks camp you’ll have noted that Glen Sather offered half the organisation (comic exaggeration) for Rick Nash. If you’re tending to listen to Glen Sather’s rarely spoken word you’ll believe the reports regarding the Rick Nash proposal were exaggerated (sensationalizing by the press? Never!)
However for sake of argument let’s consider the players – and even pick – named by Brooks in the last offer and think about their futures with the Rangers in the short and mid term.
Dubinsky is considered the roster player Sather was ‘willing’ to move. It made sense. Struggling all season, with cap having to go back to Columbus in any Nash acquisition and still a talented player despite his subpar year, Dubinsky was highly likely to have been included.
What does this mean for Dubinsky? Essentially he has the remainder of the regular season games and the playoffs to save his Ranger career and even that may not be enough. He said he needs to play with a chip on his shoulder but mainly he needs to provide secondary offense. If the Rangers fall quickly in the playoffs they’ll likely look to add scoring from outside of the organisation so assume Dubinsky a candidate for change in the summer too. His audition (trial?) has begun.
Thomas is in a tricky situation. First of all he’s had an indifferent (but not bad) year in junior hockey – certainly compared to his previous year. The excitement has perhaps begun to wear off. Most of all, his position in the organisation depends more on others than it does himself. With Kreider a certainty for a top six role moving forward, Thomas – like Dubinsky – will be watching carefully how the Rangers progress this season.
Unlike Dubinsky, Thomas cannot influence it. If the Rangers re-visit a Nash acquisition he’d likely be included and if he wasn’t, he’d be buried on the depth chart anyway. Thomas’ future with the Rangers is at risk. If he isn’t packaged for established NHL scoring he’ll need an outstanding beginning to next season to force his way in to the reckoning.
Miller was likely included in any proposal because, simply put, he’s a quality prospect and the type of prospect that’s required in order to prize a marquee player such as Nash away from teams. Miller has developed well with Plymouth of the OHL since being drafted and can play both center and wing which compared to Thomas may aid his future with the organisation. That said if a guy like Nash is obtained then Miller (assuming he wasn’t in a package for the Blue Jackets winger) would also struggle to break in to the Rangers line-up as a scoring option.
Whoever you ask it appears the opinion is the same regarding Tim Erixon: he should become a quality NHL defenseman for a long time to come. Erixon has made a handful of appearances for the Rangers this year (13 in total) and has played well for the CT Whale – 27 points, +1 in 37 games – when injury hasn’t slowed him down. A club with such poor team-defense like the Blue Jackets would surely covet the talented Swede.
Unfortunately for Erixon the Rangers have an outstanding (keyword: young) defense and can afford to trade him even if they would like to reap the benefits of his talent themselves. He’s a luxury to the defense-rich Rangers and that will mean that any major acquisition over the summer the Blueshirts look to make might mean moving Erixon. His Rangers future is very uncertain even if it’s not his fault.
The 2012 1st round pick
The 2012 draft is considered deep. Not necessarily deep in top end talented but certainly in defensive talent and it’s this aspect why Sather may be open to moving this pick. As noted while discussing Erixon, the Rangers are blessed with blue-line skill and even Erixon aside, have a quality prospect in Dylan McIlrath waiting to make his mark.
If there was a year the (draft conscious) Rangers would be willing to part with a 1st round pick for immediate help it would be this season. This pick will likely be in play heading up to the draft assuming once again, that the Rangers look to add established NHL scoring.
Don’t Panic Peeps
Many fans baulked at all the rumoured packages Glen Sather was willing to move. Believe what you will but as fans we’ll likely not know what was really ‘in play’. That said, look at some of the names not in play: Chris Kreider, all the kids’ already making waves in New York, the likes of Michael St Croix and Dylan McIlrath. Over the summer, The Rangers will be in a position to add a quality scorer should they feel the need to. The most important part of all this is that it won’t gut the franchise.
Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin, Mike Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, Dylan McIlrath; that’s a hell of a future that’s developing in the New York Rangers organisation and that’s not including relative ‘youngsters’ such as our captain Ryan Callahan, Mike Sauer or Staal and Girardi. Quality drafting gives you options folks.