Like all Ranger fans, I've been thinking a lot about Brandon Dubinsky and the thought of him being traded for Rick Nash. And to be totally honest, my reluctance to see him go revolves almost solely around sentimental factors.
Being a fan since 1988, I have not had the chance to watch homegrown players blossom. Its a really special thing, and you develop an attachment. Beyond Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, and Alex Kovalev, there haven't been too many. Until now, of course.
I also have become convinced that the Rangers do not have the secondary scoring to bring a Cup home to New York this year. Brad Richards, while crafty, creative, and at times clutch, has not been the difference maker I thought he would be. Unless he has a hidden gear come playoff time, he certainly does not appear to be the elite talent to carry us over the hump.
And frankly, our power play is absolutely atrocious. Its an embarrasment and I don't want to hear "Boston won the Cup with a shitty powerplay." That was an aberration. Going into tonight's game we're what, 27th in the league? Its disgusting.
The forward driven offense behind the GAS line, and apart from Callahan and Richards, is not being made up by Dubinsky, Mitchell, Hagelin, Fedotenko, Boyle, or Prust. I love each one of them but they can't be relied upon for consistent scoring. In the playoffs, where only Fedotenko has shined, it will be more of the same. Grinding, hard work, gritty play for sure, but the flaw in our game has been exposed as the month of February has waxed and waned.
For those fans from the 'give Wolski a chance' camp I say, hell no. Wojtek Wolski. <---- the effort it took me to type his name? That's twice the effort this kid has ever put in while wearing a Rangers sweater. Inserting him into the lineup does not make a whit of difference. Actually, that's not quite true. Putting Wolski in makes us easier to play against, and that is unacceptable.
Join me after the jump, where my rambling will magically come together into cohesion....
Many fans have said, sit Bickel and Rupp cause they don't give you any offense; they're a waste. I maintain, you need guys like Bickel and Rupp on your team. Especially going into the playoffs. Toughness, board work, and the fact that they're there to protect our stars is invaluable. (I know, I know, the Detroit Red Wings don't have intimidators. They're an exception, not a rule, and Holmstrom and Franzen can actually play that role). Remember, Rupp and Bickel can take regular shifts; these guys aren't Derek Boogaard (RIP brother) where its fight or they're a liability.
Guys like Rupp and Bickel should not be expected to provide a bunch of offense anyway; they're grinders and checkers; indispensable in a Cup run.
Dubinsky, who I love, is being paid like a scorer and producing like a grinder. That's an issue. He held out for more dough; not excessively, but he held out. And he isn't scoring.
Henrik Lundqvist is having a herculean year. We are in first place but our power play and secondary scoring has dropped off the map. How will this play out against the Devils, who won't go away? The Pens? Imagine that game the other night if Crosby was healthy. And she's getting close, is Cindy. The Bruins over seven games? Think about it.
We have an opportunity, possibly, to add Rick Nash to this team and only sacrifice one roster player; likely Brandon. As long as Kreider isn't touched - and he won't be - our D in McDonagh, MDZ, and Erixon won't go either, I say if we can swing the Nash deal we do it. (I don't want to see McIlrath go but we might have to bite that bullet. If Sauer comes back healthy I'm more comfortable letting Big Mac go).
Neil Smith spoke in the paper today, and he had the balls to say he wouldn't move Dubinsky for Nash. The same man who moved Tony Amonte, Doug Weight, and Mike Gartner says we shouldn't do Dubinsky for Nash? Wow. I disagree.
Steve Larmer, Brian Noonan, Stephane Matteau, and Glenn Anderson (despite their wonderful playoff run) are not Rick Nash. This is a once in a generation guy who is 6'4" 220lbs, has excelled in international play, put up good numbers on shit teams in the NHL, and is a tremendous force on the ice. He's only a year older than Dubinsky, by the way. Nash will be a monster contributor on this team after Brad Richards friggin' retires!
If Rick Nash, who has languished in the NHL's basement for nine long years, came to New York on the cusp of a Stanley Cup run, skating in front of Henrik "Vezina" Lundqvist, shit he would iron Tortorella's dress socks if it was asked of him.
I may be wrong, but I say if you can add Rick Nash at 27 to your team and only subtract one roster player, a prospect not named Erixon, Kreider, or McIlrath, and a draft pick or two; you do it.
As long as his cap hit can be managed alonside the guys we have to sign after next season, you do it.
Now tear me apart everyone, lol