Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rangers Want Pierre-Marc Bouchard from Wild? Gaborik Too Much Personnel Influence?

File this one under the I do not understand category if it is true but yesterday there was speculation out there that the New York Rangers wanted someone from the Minnesota Wild at the encouragement of star Marian Gaborik.  I went through the Wild roster for whom there with Gaborik trying to figure it out and other than Mikko Koive and Brett Burns I did not find much I would want, but I had narrowed the possibilities down to Nick Schultz, Andrew Brunette and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.  Of the three PMB was the one that was the most concerning as a potential target, but also had the highest likelihood of being the guy.  Unfortunately based on the speculation this morning it is in-fact Bouchard who is the guy that the Rangers are apparently after.

A few years ago Bouchard looked like an up and coming play maker who averaged approximately 60 points a season for three season from 2005-2008 and as a result signed a 5 year 20.4 million dollar extension with the Wild.  In the time since his game tailed off in Gaborik’s last season with the club to only 46 points, and if that was not enough last season he played all of one game.  The reason he only played one game is because he suffered a concussion that not only ended his season but did not allow him to play a hockey game from October 3, 2009 until December 1, 2010.  I am always one who is skeptical of trading for players with concussion histories it is why I was against dealing for David Booth once he missed all his time and against the idea of Marc Savard over the summer.  To miss 14 months of hockey with a concussion, be back three games and think that it is a good idea to trade for someone is insane regardless of the cap hit and Bouchard’s is 4.08 million which is no small obstacle.

To me this whole idea speaks to a larger problem the Rangers have created for themselves in giving Marian Gaborik this kind of power to influence who they go after as a way to keep him happy.  To be fair to Gaborik they did the same thing with Jarmoir Jagr in letting him choose linemates and players on the club.  I would argue the move to overpay Voros was aimed at his relationship with Gaborik a year before Gabby became a free agent and certainly taking Gaborik’s advice aided in the vast overpayment of Derek Boogaard this summer.  The Rangers were also connected to Pavol Demeitra this summer on the advice of Gaborik wanting him in New York. 

I understand the inclination of an organization to keep the superstar happy and to some extent I have no problem with it, as long it stays within the suggestion and informational realm.  If it moves to a place where you are signing or trading for a player based mainly on the interests of your star, then we have taken a bridge too far.  Marian Gaborik is a great player and his job is just; to play.  We have a general manager and scouting staff for a reason and whether we particularly like some parts of that equation or not are irrelevant because they get paid for their “expertise” while he gets paid to play.

For me the idea of this trade should obviously be a no as you are talking about a huge injury risk as well as eating up 4 million in valuable cap space on a guy with head issues.  To me the Gaborik side of this is nearly as concerning.

Hit me with your thoughts.