Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sather Only Willing To Pay His Price; Redden As Possible Callup?

Friday was one of the craziest trading days I have seen to the point where you had to wonder who wrote a memo that told the GM’s the deadline was on the 18th and not the 28th.  The New York Rangers were quiet as Tomas Kaberle and Eric Brewer, defensemen they were connected to, were moved off the board to respective Eastern Conference foes.  Some Rangers fans started getting anxious as the names they had been hearing about to sure up the defense were disappearing from the board with no response from Glen Sather.  I understand the trepidation, but I take the approach that with what was being paid for Kaberle, Brewer, and Ian White, that Glen Sather is making the right move in being patient and waiting out the market.  That opinion could certainly change based on what he finally does, but for now Sather is sticking to his guns in building around this core and not sacrificing the future.
This morning, Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports on his conversation with Glen Sather following the flurry of action.  Sather discusses that there is still time and players available and that the price he wants is what matters, not what they want.
“Lots of them,” said Sather, adding he’s been making phone calls to gauge the trade market for four months. “I’m listening, watching. It doesn’t matter what the asking price is. It’s what we want to pay.”
This is a critical distinction that leads to why on a busy day like Friday the Rangers made no moves.  Sather is standing firm to what he thinks a player is worth and protecting what he values in the Rangers system and I applaud him for that.  If in the end he either caves or ends up with a player that has a bad contract just because he was cheap, then I will likely slam him for that at that point. 
As usual, Sather said teams are inquiring about the Rangers’ younger talent. Typically, that includes players such as Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh. The Rangers may also not be eager to lose any high draft picks.
Nothing that is said to be on the market right now is worth the Rangers dealing any of those players away from their core and will not improve this team.
Also coming out of the conversation between Gross and Sather was the idea that Tomas Kundratek, Pavel Valentenko or even Wade Redden could be recalled to the Rangers if no move is made to give them a look.  I do not believe that either Kundratek or Valentenko are ready yet to be at the NHL level, but in some sense they cannot play worse than what the current third pair is doing between the three players that have been there.  Kundratek is the one that is better equipped to make the transition, while fans are enamored with Valentenko’s shot and desire to hit, but I am concerned with his speed at this level.
The idea that Redden could be recalled is one that will drive fans over the moon, but I do not see that as a legit idea.  The day that things get that bad around here is the same day that everyone in the building should be fired.  As great as Redden has been in his mentoring role there is no way he should ever set foot in Madison Square Garden again without a ticket.  It would almost certainly clear re-entry waivers, but could you imagine if someone else claimed him and the Rangers were left holding the bag for three more years at 3.25 on the cap they cannot get rid of?  Now that would be a worst case scenario.
For now Glen Sather is making the right move in waiting the market out, but until February 28th comes and goes we will not know how it finally played out.  Later I will take a look at some of the names still on the board now that a number of them are off of it.