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Rangers make two minor-league trades at deadline

Columbus Blue Jackets' Anders Eriksson, left, and Calgary

Columbus Blue Jackets' Anders Eriksson, left, and Calgary Flames' Brandon Prust fight for the puck during the first period. (November 3, 2006) Photo Credit: AP

Unable to tempt clubs with high-priced players and unwilling to surrender core youngsters such as Marc Staal and Ryan Callahan, top prospects or draft picks for middling rentals, the Rangers Wednesday settled for minor-league swaps with Detroit and Phoenix on the NHL's trade deadline day.

General manager Glen Sather had been testing the waters for months, discussing potential deals with teams such as Edmonton, Florida, Columbus and Carolina, but the Rangers closed shop at 3 p.m. after two small exchanges.

Goaltender Miika Wiikman and a seventh-round pick in 2011 went to the Coyotes for defenseman Anders Eriksson, and center Kris Newbury was acquired from the Red Wings for Jordan Owens. Eriksson and Newbury were assigned to Hartford.

Eriksson, 35, won the Stanley Cup in 1997-98 with the Red Wings. The Rangers will be the eighth stop for the 6-3, 224-pound Swede, who has played 564 NHL games in his 11-year career, recording 22 goals and 152 assists.

Newbury, 28, has one goal in four games with Detroit this season, and 11 goals and 22 assists in 52 games with Grand Rapids (AHL). He led the team with 144 penalty minutes.

Owens, a left wing who is signed through next season, had 37 points in 67 games last season with the Pack. Wiikman, the Pack's No. 1 goalie in 2007-08, had been relegated to Charlotte of the ECHL.

Trade deadlines in recent years were busy for the cap-strapped Rangers, who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday. The Winter Olympics hiatus, however, prodded teams to cut major deals in early and mid-February rather than wait until now.

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