Sather Must Stick With Patient Approach to Deadline
A Sunday matchup with the rival Flyers once again ended in defeat for the Rangers and only succeeded in amplifying the voices calling for GM Glen Sather to do something. We've known all season we lacked a true playmaking center and with Michael Del Zotto's struggles the need for a true PP QB has increased too. Some of our conference rivals have already been active making deals to improve their rosters and that would seem to add more pressure for Sather to make a move. Yet I would implore Slats to remain patient even in the face of a second consecutive postseason miss.
Philadelphia acted first grabbing F Kris Versteeg from Toronto. Boston moved to add C Chris Kelly from Ottawa, finally completed their long pursuit of D Tomas Kaberle and in a salary cap move related to the Kaberle deal the Bruins shipped F Blake Wheeler and D Mark Stuart to Atlanta for F Rich Peverley and D Boris Valbik. The Bolts bolstered their blue line by bringing in Eric Brewer from the Blues. Today the Pens stole, I mean acquired, F James Neal and D Matt Niskanen from Dallas.
The Rangers could definitely stand to make an addition or two but they aren't in the same boat as the above teams. Each of the teams listed in the previous paragraph have legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations. The Rangers don't. The Rangers need not sacrifice potentially valuable pieces of their future for little gain now.
New York currently resides in the 7th spot in the East with 66 points. Montreal is in 6th, 3 points ahead of the Rangers with a game in hand. Washington is 6 points up on the Rangers and also have a game in hand on New York. Any move made by the Rangers might solidify their playoff chances but likely won't boost them too much in the standings. They'd still be setting up for a probable postseason contest with Tampa or Boston in round 1.
I know anything can happen once you qualify for the postseason. Not many people pegged a matchup of the 8th seeded Canadiens with the 7th seeded Flyers in last year's Eastern Conference Finals but that's exactly what happened. It wouldn't be probable but it would be possible for the Rangers to go on a similar postseason run but realistically, what are the chances? What type of odds would Vegas put out on a Rangers playoff team making it to the Stanley Cup? 50 to 1? 100 to 1? 250 to 1? To me you only make a big trade in which you give up valuable young assets if it improves your chances of winning a championship greatly. No trade out there can possibly help the Rangers that much.
Sather has consistently said he wasn't interested in dealing for players with a lot of length and/or dollars on their existing contracts. He's also been adamant in not trading away any of their current young core for a rental. I completely agree with that position. If he can make a deal with say, Florida, for a guy like Bryan McCabe without giving up a Chris Kreider or a Dylan McIlrath or a Christian Thomas then he should pull the trigger. If not then we should take our chances with our existing roster.
The Rangers future isn't today, it's a few years away. They need to keep that in mind as they approach this trade deadline. Our core is only going to get better and we need to realize 2011 isn't going to be the next year for a New York Ranger Stanley Cup. It may be 2013 or 2014. We need to plan accordingly and not make a stupid move today to only move up to the 6th seed and a 1st round exit in 2011.