Saturday, February 26, 2011
When the Rangers completed their quest to acquire Bryan McCabe a little while ago the questions began as to what the next move would be. The answer has come quickly, at least for the short term. According to the AHL transactions page, the team has optioned second year defenseman Michael Del Zotto back down the Connecticut Whale. The move is somewhat surprising in that Del Zotto has played better of late and the Rangers have discussed wanting to continue to develop him at the NHL level.
I must caution that this could be a temporary move as the Rangers could make a trade including a defender other than Del Zotto before the trade deadline on Monday and then recall the young player. There are plenty and will be plenty of rumors floating around about the availability of Del Zotto in a trade over the next few days. I still will not believe the team is trading him until it actually happens and it should be in a package a healthy front line player who is young and under contract not an expiring deal like Brad Richards.
The wait and speculation is finally over as the New York Rangers have pulled the trigger on a trade to bring Bryan McCabe into the fold. TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first I saw with the details, but Darren Dreger was the first to confirm that it will be Bryan McCabe to New York for Tim Kennedy and a 2011 3rd round draft pick. I have been on the fence about giving up assets for McCabe, but at this price the move had to be made as Kennedy has no future with the Rangers and the ability to keep their top three draft pick (one first, two seconds) this year makes this a no brainer move for Sather.
McCabe, 35, has five goals and 17 assists in 48 games this season. He will bring a veteran presence, experience, a big shot and added toughness to a young and emerging defense corps. He should help with the Rangers power play as well given his experience on the point and his quality shot. He is not the type of player at this stage of his career to put a team over the top, but at this price point what he brings is more than worth it to the team. He is an unrestricted free agent this summer and in the final year of his contract earning $5.75 million dollars.
Now that the Rangers were able to add McCabe without giving up a defender in the trade the question becomes, what is the Rangers next move? They could look to trade someone like Gilroy or Eminger before the deadline for draft picks or a prospect. They look to move Michael Del Zotto in a trade for a big piece, such as a top line center. They could also send Del Zotto back down to minors to get more time. There are a lot of options for Rangers’ GM Glen Sather and company to sort through over the next 48 hours until the deadline, but a lot of those options might depend on the knee of Rangers defender Marc Staal as well.
Temporary answer o which option Rangers will choose has come in: Del Zotto Sent Down; Is He On Trade Block?
Great work by Sather once again in the trade market.
What would the world of a New York Rangers fan be if not for another round of conflicting reports on how close a deal for Bryan McCabe is to happening? What went on this morning is no different than what has been going on for the past week or so as one person says it is about to happen and then others chime back in to tell how the people they talk to say nothing is imminent. Before I go into what each person said there are a few baseline facts that appear clear right now: 1) No trade has happened yet, so people acting like McCabe is a Ranger need to stop. 2) McCabe appears to have agreed to waive his no-movement clause to come here. 3) Until a deal actually happens, everything is just a rumor.
According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, Bryan McCabe could be a New York Ranger as early as today and is willing to waive his no-movement clause to come here. Darren Dreger of TSN would respond by saying that his sources in Florida say there is nothing to the McCabe-Rangers trade at this time, but that McCabe will not hold up a deal if one is agreed to.
Per Pierre LeBrun at ESPN, a deal could go down as early as today according to a source and that after spending the last few days contemplating the move that McCabe seems ready to waive for New York.
As of 10:30 a.m. ET, a Panthers source said no trade was in place and there was still work to be done. But expect the Panthers and Rangers to try and work out a trade sometime this weekend.
Of all the reporting this morning, the most intriguing tidbit comes from Arthur Staple of Newsday who says that McCabe is only willing to waive his no-movement clause to come to the Rangers. The reason that this would be huge news is that it should give the Rangers added leverage in the negotiations to lower their price to acquire McCabe. If he is telling Florida that he will only go to New York, then Sather can play hardball and basically give Dale Tallon a take it or leave it type offer. Obviously if McCabe is willing to waive for the Rangers the hold up right now is between Sather and Tallon over the price to acquire him.
The idea of McCabe was a lot more intriguing to me a few months ago than it is today and the price will be a huge factor in how I feel about the move. I still believe that McCabe, while a fit for the system, is not the key to the Rangers making a long run in the playoffs, so sacrificing anything of value from the future (yes, high draft picks count) is a mistake for a team that is in a development not a contention year.