Few Clouds 28° Good Morning
Few Clouds 28° Good Morning

At the dimming of the day....


             ...your New York Rangers didn't surrender any of the five or six core youngsters, or  top prospects or precious draft picks for middling rentals. That's a positive.

               This wasn't a day of trade winds for a majority of teams. More like occasional  breezes on a humid afternoon. A few factors at play:

               1. The skill pool was pretty shallow. Top enders such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Olli Jokinen, Dion Phaneuf, J.S. Guigere, for example, were gone pre-Olympics. Turns out that was the impact trade deadline, although the Coyotes, Caps and Penguins certainly improved in the last couple days. Chicago, Detroit, Montreal? Many teams now will lose UFAs without getting a dime or a low pick back .

              2. Thanks to immovable contracts, the Rangers (Redden, Rozsival), Flyers and other teams were very near the cap ceiling and few clubs were willing to take on any big, long-term coin without giving a bloated contract back.

              3. The asking prices were high (count the second-rounders) with only a few pure sellers and a host of clubs in the playoff chase in both conferences. This is linked to No. 1; players such as  Dan Hamhuis and Ray Whitney were pulled back.

              The Rangers have been trying for months to swing deals with no takers. GMs want the players that management wants to keep. Think of it this way: The cost-cutting, as well as RFA and UFA signings, will provide drama this summer. 

               So for the rest of the reguular-season, and perhaps beyond, the Rangers will use Corey Potter and presumably Bobby Sanguinetti as emergency defensemen and the existing extra forwards to rotate in.

               With a little more scoring on special teams, Henrik Lundqvist may be good enough to lift the Rangers into seventh or eighth place. On the other hand, if Marian Gaborik is out for more than a week, all bets are off.


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