Monday, February 14, 2011

Sather Shares Rangers Approach To Looming Trade Deadline

The NHL trade deadline is now just two weeks away and with that, and the New York Rangers recent struggles, the rumors will only intensify in terms of which players the team is linked to potentially acquiring.  After last night’s win Rangers general manager spoke with the media about his mindset approaching this year’s deadline.  The reports on his approach do not seem to be altered from earlier in the season, which is good news for those seeking to keep an eye on the long term growth of the organization as opposed to making a move purely for this season.
According to both Larry Brooks of the NY Post and Arthur Staple of Newsday Sather will stay active in looking for deals, but is not willing to give up anything of substantial value, and he is not willing to take on salary that last beyond this year.
From Sather’s conversation with Brooks:
"I think we have enough depth in the organization where if a move would make sense we would probably do that now.
"But I'm not going to give up a valuable piece. I don't think that makes any sense."
Staple passes along the following:
"I think we can compete [in the playoffs]. It doesn't mean we're going to do anything [at the deadline] or not do anything. The whole goal this season has been to keep these young guys going as well as they can, to create a team that takes some ownership in itself. It took us a while to get to that stage, but we're getting there."
Some might be frustrated by this mentality because they always want to see their team go for the title, but I would preach patience with them because they are building a long term contender.  Sather's approach here is absolutely the right approach for the Rangers to take this season because it is a year that is focused on developing the young core of this team and getting other young players experience.  If there is a cheap move out there that can help the team get to another level this year without costing anything of significant value then it should be considered, but no player out there right now makes enough of a difference to mortgage anything from the future.  Have to love that at least publicly the organization is showing their commitment to allowing the youth movement to solidify itself without any pressure to make a move for this season.  We will certainly see over the next two weeks if the actions match the words, but they have to this point, so there is no reason to doubt that will continue.  Stay the course and keep keep the development moving in the right direction.
This approach, as Brooks points out, likely means no Kaberle and only McCabe if cheap, while certainly ruling out both Stephen Weiss and Jason Spezza due to their long term commitments.  I am not sure why Brooks goes on to suggest that the Rangers might send their extra second round pick to the Devils for Jason Arnott because that is exactly the kind of move that the Rangers should be avoiding as while a second round pick might not seem like a lot, just look at the current roster and you will realize the work the organization has done with their second round selections over the years.  Brandon Dubinsky, Michael Sauer, Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan were all second rounders with Ethan Werek and Christian Thomas both looking promising for the future.