Back in February, Glen Sather was at a crossroads. He knew his team needed some offense - although he wouldn't know just how badly he needed the offense until Marian Gaborik would be injured in the first round -- and he had an opportunity to get some in Rick Nash.
But even though his star sniper wanted out of Columbus, Scott Howson wasn't going to budge for just any deal. And it became increasingly obvious that Sather had two choices: He could either include highly-touted rookie Chris Kreider (who had yet to play in an NHL game) in a deal, or let the deadline pass without Nash. In the end, Sather chose the latter, but not before making a final aim at Nash with a prospect-filled deal.
Kreider repaid Sather by having an outstanding playoffs, scoring five goals and adding two assists for seven points in 18 playoff games -- including two game-winning goals.
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What Sather really did back in February was make a realization: The Rangers have a great crop of youth that is making a difference at such a young age. Kreider, at the time, had potential to become another piece of that puzzle. He eventually did, and solidified his role with the team before the playoffs were even over.
Now Sather stands at a similar crossroads. It's been widely reported that Howson is no longer asking for Ryan McDonagh or Kreider. It was also reported that Howson is not asking for Derek Stepan -- which is good since Larry Brooks reported that Sather has also made Stepan untouchable.
But what about players like Carl Hagelin, Tim Erixon and Artem Anisimov? What about them?
Here is my issue with making a trade to make a big splash. Whether it's for Bobby Ryan or Nash, wouldn't trading for the player just open up more holes? Wouldn't moving guys like Stepan, Anisimov, Hagelin or Erixon fix the door only to smash open the window?
Sure, the Rangers would get the scoring they covet. But they would also be giving up on young players who are already playing critical roles for the team. Each brings a different skill. Each loss -- if moved -- would hurt in a different way.
So Howson is known for being notoriously patient. That's all well and good, but Sather can play that game too. And, to be fair, Sather doesn't have an increasingly furious superstar sitting at home wondering why he hasn't been moved yet. If there is pressure on anyone it's Howson, not Sather.
And especially with players like Alexander Semin and Shane Doan on the market, the Rangers don't have to make a big play if the deal doesn't work for them.
Sather will wait for that to happen or he won't make a deal at all. He can be patient too, you know.