Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dane Byers Traded for Chad Kolarik

In a minor leaguer for minor leaguer trade according to BlueJacketsNHL the Rangers have dealt LW Dane Byers to Columbus in exchange for C Chad Kolarik.  Both Byers and Kolarik were drafted in the 2004 entry draft, Byers 48th and Kolarik 199th.  

It had become pretty clear that Byers was never going to get a shot at a role on the big club for the Rangers even though for a pretty tough guy he had some scoring skill with multiple 40+ point and 20+ goal seasons under his belt in the AHL.  Byers is not a great fighter, but he was willing to do the job as a tough guy when necessary. For Byers this is a blessing in disguise as he gets out of the dysfunction of the Hartford situation and should go to an organization in which he gets a more viable shot at making the NHL consistently.  Glad for Dane.

In Kolarik the Rangers are getting a 5' 11" center who spent four seasons playing for the Michigan Wolverines overlapping with another Rangers prospect in Carl Hagelin.  In his senior year for Michigan Kolarik tallied 30G and 26A in 39 games while a member of the Coyotes farm system.  In 2008-09 he turned pro for the Coyotes AHL squad in San Antonio putting together a nice first pro season of 20G 30A.  Last season between San Antonio and Syracuse after being traded to the Columbus organization Kolarik combined to tally 26G and 24A.  So far this season Kolarik has  4G 6A in 13 games in the AHL.  

The move has to be seen as one looking to boost the anemic offense Hartford has had all season and to provide stability to the center position so players like Evgeny Grachev can stop being flipped around in positions.  All the scouting reports I read on Kolarik speak of his speed and quickness, hands, good finish to speak of his offensive skills but does not pay much attention to the other side of the ice.  Hartford certainly needs offense, but trading away their Captain to get some might only further deteriorate a fragile balance there.