(My girls have laid claim to my computer and I am not able to defeat them)
OK, assuming you are like many Ranger fans and understood going into the playoffs this past season that the team was at least one goal scorer away from being a serious Cup contender, the trade for Rick Nash completed earlier this week has all the markings of an historic acquisitionion for the original six team. There is no guarantee that the Rangers make the finals in the upcoming season but Nash does improve the odds dramatically. He is the kind of player that we as fans have desired but never seem to get excluding Mark Messier. What I mean by that is that Rick is a large power forward with all world skills who is NOT at the end of his career or one whose injury status (think Pavel Bure) was risky.
Simply put, Rick is exactly what the doctor ordered.THE DEAL
I'll allow others to speak on why this went down now as opposed to last years trading deadline. Again, described by many as a "steal", the Rangers parted with two home-grown players in Artie and Dubi. For those who have been reading my stuff over the years remember that I publicly stated many a time that Brandon Dubinsky was a future capatin in the NHL. Each time I did so I mentioned the possibility that he may not captain a team until his address changed. Look, I have liked Dubi since his rookie season. The Alaskan native played well with Jagr and has shown scoring potential. I very much enjoyed watching him stand up for his teamates and the fights with Mike Richards were inspiring. I know, many of you disagree with my assessment of Dubi. It's fair to point out that he regressed as far as production this past season and his third line status was well earned. OK, I get it. Perhaps after eight seasons we have already seen his best. Columbus hopes not. His hold out for $$$ didn't help him with the fans or Sather and there is some warrented resentment there. I still maintain he could possibly become a top line guy. Only time will tell. Moving him could help him as well as it has helped us.
In regards to Artie, he's another guy I enjoyed watching. The problem is that while you can see he has some great skills, it's not always on display and I for one don't understand why. This guy has game. He can quick release a shot using a defenseman as a screen, has some speed and at times showed some pretty good hands to go along with his size. He even scored some very timely goals. His inconsistancy made him expendable on the Rangers roster. The tall Erixon is now on his 3rd NHL squad. Those smarter than I am must know why. He seems to have potential as a former first rounder but the Rangers didn't look like they had long term plans for him. Perhaps like other D-men, he'll grow into a 2 thru 4 type guy. Again, not someone we couldn't part with.
Knowledgable Rangers fans expected to pay more and frankly were a bit scared that Glen Sather would have to include an important piece making the Nash aquisition less likely to lead to a Cup run. If you're trading Stephan or Krieder and Marc Staal to get Nash, why bother? Once again Slats has proven that when it comes to trades, he's the MAN. While it's possible that the Blue Jackets will benifit from the players and first round draft pick, the imediate winner is absolutly the Blue Shirts. When Glen traded for Pavel Bure we all blinked with wonder. I still wonder how it may have worked out had his knee not been ruined by the idiot, Mike (whatever his name is) in a preseason game. When Jagr came to NY and helped us return to the NHL playoffs we once again blinked with wonderment when we learned of the trade details. I challenge you to point out a trade where Slats didn't at least break even. Of course, his free agent signings are another story all together and are deserving of your ridicule.
The Flyers Screw The Pooch, Strike Out And Give The NHLPA AmmoNow, what was your reaction to the offer sheet tendered to Shea Weber? This is not the first time the Flyers have pulled this crap. Ed Schnieder is not someone I trust as far as I can spit. I dislike that my monthly cable bill goes to him. Make no mistake, Holmgren didn't act on his own here. No, this was nothing less than a Schnieder bully move against what he percieved to be a weak opponent. I'd venture a guess that the Flyers expected Nashville to roll over and play dead. I am smiling like the cat from Alice in Wonderland as Nashville DID match and retained the world class D-man leaving the Flyers empty handed during this off season.The liklyhood of Chris Pronger returning to the Philly lineup is slim at best. Unfortunatly for the future Hall of Famer, his concussion may force an early retirement which is sad for him, good for us. Forgive me for the cold emotion here. Chris is a warrior and feared as an opponent. I am merely stating fact when I suggest his inability to play is a good thing for the rest of the Eastern Conference.
And Now The Bad NewsI don't mean to pee in your coffee but the newest Ranger, Rick Nash has set the stage for some terrible news for Rangers fans. You see, the hockey gods have been torturing Ranger fans since 1940. With the exception of the 1994, now I can die in peace, Stanley Cup.....things just somehow crap out for us. With the NHL ownwers and the NHLPA discussing a new CBA, the happy and excited New York Ranger fan base will be prevented from any enjoyment as there will now definatly be a lock out. No, I don't have any secret inside info here....I'm just expecting the hockey gods to punish us once again. We are not allowed to be happy. We are not permitted to have it easy. No, it will be painful, torturous and excruciatingly nasty. Think about it. Has anything ever come our way easily?
So you see.....we are still doomed and as a very proud New York Ranger fan, I never expected anything less.