NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: The New York Rangers react following a goal by Ryan Callahan #24 of the New York Rangers in overtime to defeat the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on February 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
So the 2012 NHL trade deadline has come and gone and when the dust settled the New York Rangers looked pretty much the same. Aside from a minor depth move (Glen Staher shipped a 5th round pick to Chicago for hulking defenseman John Scott) the Rangers did not make a splash this deadline; although not for a lack of trying. Reports surfaced shortly after the 3:00 p.m. deadline that Sather offered the Columbus Blue Jackets a "massive" deal which was rejected by Blue Jackets' general manager Scott Howson.
According to Larry Brooks that deal consisted of Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, J.T. Miller, Christian Thomas and a first round draft pick. To which I say: Good. I've seen a lot of people question this trade as not being enough. And that's fine. I wouldn't want any part of this deal if I was the New York Rangers, it's simply too much of the team's future.
Howson always had an irrational price for Nash (especially when Nash wanted out and the trade deadline loomed), and now he has an unhappy superstar on his team who pushed for a trade before the deadline was over. Yeah, good luck with that.
It's not all bad though. After the jump are the positives of the Rangers not completing a deal for Nash.
The Core Remains The Same: The New York Rangers have kept their core together. While guys like Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan were never going to be moved, the same couldn't be said for Michael Del Zotto, Carl Hagelin or Brandon Dubinsky. While I had no issue trading Dubinsky, I'm certainly not upset that he's still a Ranger (more on him later). And while there were reports that Zel Dotto was untouchable, as it got down to the wire Monday afternoon it appeared Sather upped the ante. Who knows if Del Zotto was part of that deal. I'm also pleased with keeping Hagelin, who has really blossomed as a reliable third line winger for the Rangers with tremendous upside and serious speed. I think moving Hagelin would have come back to haunt us.
The Farm Wasn't Harvested: You all know my stance on Chris Kreider. He'sa can't-miss prospect, the kind of player the Rangers haven't had in their farm system for years. I was thrilled when Sather put Kreider on his can't-touch list, and even happier that he stuck to his guns. Simply put, there is a reason why Howsonwanted him so bad, more than a few scouts (including those who have no affiliation with the Rangers) are calling Kreider a great, not good, prospect. Here's to seeing him in a Rangers jersey next year.
But Kreider isn't the only prospect I'm glad Sather held onto. Although he was originally reported to be untouchable before the deadline, reports surfaced that Sather was eventually willing to throw Tim Erixon into the pot for Nash. Erixon is having a great season down in Hartford (27 points in 37 games), and figures to make a big splash next year. The Rangers organization truly covets him, and for good reason. It's also nice to know that guys like J.T. Miller, Christian Thomas and Dylan McIlrath aren't on the move either. Fact of the matter is that the Rangers have a ton of potential in their farm system, and none of it was touched this deadline.
Holding Onto The First Round Pick: This year's first round pick almost assuredly would have been sent to Howson in the deal for Nash. More than a few people are writing that pick off because they are assuming it's going to be a late-20's pick. But even if it is Sather can do damage. Look at the players on the Rangers who weren't picked in the first round who have made an impact: Derek Stepan (2nd round), Artem Anisimov (2nd round), Brandon Dubinsky (2nd round), Michael Sauer (2nd round), Ryan Callahan (4th round) and Henrik Lundqvist (7th round). Don't tell me Sather can't make use of a late first round pick.
Room To Maneuver: When the New York Rangers didn't take on Rick Nash they also avoided his $7.8 million cap hit. Nash's cap hit is another reason why Howson's demands were so insane, but enough of that. The Rangers will now have the money to make a splash this offseason or the next (both summers should have big names available), or even for a trade once the season is over (Shea Weber anyone?).
Thanks to Howson the Rangers will have the financial flexability to look into all future options. Well, those are the positives I can think of for this blockbuster non-deal. Later today I will publish an article on the negatives. But why not start the day off on the right foot?
Thoughs on this guys?