Rangers Rumors & News
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Glen Sather did his Cal Naughton Jr./Magic Man impression by making Scott Gomez disappear in the offseason, and now he’s taken part of that bounty (ok, bust/underachiever/good-for-nothing, take your pick) that he stole from Montreal and shipped off Chris Higgins along with free-agent blunder Ales Kotalik to Calgary for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust. It seems like a good trade for the Rangers, but how many times is Sather going to have to get rid of his mistakes (Gomez, Kotalik, etc.)? I guess we’ll just have to hope it’s not the last time.

The main positive of this trade for the Rangers is the jettisoning of Kotalik’s three-year $9 million contract. They also erase Higgins from the roster (he’s an unrestricted free agent after this season). Whether fair or not, Kotalik was a healthy scratch much of the time lately, and Higgins didn’t do much of anything after given chance after chance and plenty of ice time. Maybe they’ve both just been unlucky, but all the Blueshirts lose are two ineffective players.

And what do they pick up? The most important thing is what they didn’t acquire: An expensive long-term contract. They get Jokinen, who’s been described as selfish, an underachiever and a bad teammate. But more importantly, he’s a free agent after this season. He may give the team some short-term potential, and will most likely start out centering Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal. His 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists) would place him third on the Rangers (and one less point than Higgins and Kotalik combined). So he could give the team a much-needed offensive boost. How will he fit in inside the clubhouse? And how will John Tortorella handle him? Who knows? But if it doesn’t work out, he’ll be gone at the end of the season anyway. Of course, there’s always the danger that he plays really well, and Sather signs him to a stupid contract. But that’s always the danger with Sather lurking around these parts.

The Rangers also obtained Prust. His most important stats: 98 penalty minutes and 18 fighting majors. I’m more excited about him than Jokinen. And hopefully he will displace Donald Brashear and not Aaron Voros.

So the Rangers pick up some short-term offensive potential and a fighter, and they lose two players who didn’t do much of anything. But the most important aspect of the transaction was freeing up some salary-cap space. Higgins (read: Gomez) and Kotalik were two of Sather’s past miscues, but at least he may be trying to clean up his own mess. Keep going, Glen. Next!

There are currently 6 responses to “Rangers Trade For Jokinen”

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  1. 1 On February 3rd, 2010, Rob A from BBD said:

    This is only a good deal because it gets rid of Kotalik. I doubt Jokinen is going to make a difference. I can’t congratulate Sather for making up for his own mistake when the biggest mistake, Redden, is still out there for the next five, ?, years.

  2. 2 On February 4th, 2010, Jeff Zachowski said:

    Come on, Rob. You wear your Sather Hatred like a chip on your shoulder. You’re not the only one around here who hates the guy. But in order to have credibility when you bash moves, you have to be fair on the good ones. Did you ever think that he’d be able to unload the remaining FIVE years on Gomez’s pact while not taking back salary beyond this season AND picking up a nice prospect? What about the two years, $7M remaining on Kotalik’s pact? Did you think we’d be able to acquire anything other than another team’s headache for that contract? Not only did we swap Kots for expiring contracts, we picked up a wild card who may or may not find chemistry on the top line and at the very least provides some much needed depth at center and some scoring balance (hypothetically) on the top two lines. These are the definition of win-win maneuvers. At the very least, when Messier comes riding in on his white horse to save the day, his hands will be slightly less tied (Ha!).

  3. 3 On February 8th, 2010, Rob A from BBD said:

    You’re questioning my credibility to bash moves? I question your ability to judge any moves at all. 2 days after the Rangers made the very obvious disaster of signing Wade Redden to a crippling contract you emailed me and said that the Rangers were making your dreams come true. In another email you told me that you were never more excited about the Rangers. I was shocked that you weren’t joking.

  4. 4 On February 8th, 2010, Jeff Zachowski said:

    You’re obviously a student of the GOP school of debate, Rob. Why say anything intelligent when you can just misrepresent what the other side is saying and/or falsify what they’ve already said?

    First off, I am stating that an inability to judge a move in a vacuum would impair your credibility. It’s up to you to decide whether or not that description fits you. I am simply saying that it seems you refuse to do so, but maybe your pessimism belies a savvier evaluator.

    As for my ability to judge moves, it’s a fair criticism, if you want to make it, but my record on this blog is peppered with points of reference you could have used to support your case instead of distorting the context of our disagreements in the summer of ’08, an offseason in which I begged and pleaded for the Rangers to push Jagr out the door, and you balked because you loved the guy. Truly I pity the fool who would attempt to put words in my mouth when my own words are recorded in perpetuity in this blog’s archives.

    For instance, if you’re interested in my thoughts on the Wade Redden signing, no need to scour your email – I wrote about it right here.

    Redden’s 38 points last season tied him for 21st among NHL defenseman with Atlanta’s Tobias Enstrom and – guess who – the Rangers’ Michal Rozsival. Those aren’t numbers that cry out ‘SIX YEARS’ or ‘39 MILLION’ to me. Still, the Rangers had a need and it seems they’ve been aggressive here in addressing it. The money only becomes a factor if the offseason progresses and the team finds itself struggling to squeeze under the cap.

    I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. Most of all, I’m anxious to see what’s coming next.

    Sounds like I’m head over heals, huh? Or how about what I wrote a day earlier, when the Rangers resigned Michal Rozsival?

    Needless to say, this move doesn’t please me. The fact that Rozsival is now being paid like a No. 1 or 2 defenseman reduces the chance that the Rangers will go out and acquire a legitimate first pair d-man, whether via trade or free agency. Moreover, in my mind, Rozsival is not a top-pair defenseman, and in fact, following the Blueshirts’ season-ending postseason loss to the Penguins, I cited Rozsival as one of the more overmatched players on the ice. In Rozsival’s defense, he clearly played the Pittsburgh series though injury and underwent hip surgery in the offseason. To me, however, injury doesn’t excuse timid and undisciplined play.

    Pinch me, pinch me! I must be dreaming. Long live the King! SA-THER, SA-THER, SA-THER!

    But I’m trying to be fair here, and yes, clearly I was more upset that Rozsival was returning than angry that Redden was on his way. Even so, to imply that the Redden signing was the fruition of my offseason dreams is a weaselly misconstruction.

    You’re not entirely mistaken, however. I was pretty coo coo for Sather’s ’08 offseason. In fact, just a day after the Redden signing, I referred to Sather’s maneuverings as a “dream scenario for yours truly.” Of course, if you were to revisit what I was actually talking about, you’d find it had nothing to do with Wade Redden but rather the trade for Nik Zherdev, an enigmatic 23-year-old whom I was convinced would blossom into a cap-friendly, 30-goal scorer for this team. Said I, at the time:

    Without question, Zherdev is the first-line scoring wing that the team so desperately sought to partner with center Scott Gomez. Does this mean the end of the Jaromir Jagr Era on Broadway? It sure looks that way, though the team technically still has the cap space to squeeze Jagr in – that is, if his feelings aren’t too badly hurt.

    It certainly appears as if the team is moving on, however – a season too late, in my opinion. Jagr’s ticket out of town was punched the day he proved incompatible with Sather’s free agent prizes from a year ago, Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. Neither pivot was brought here to watch Brandon Dubinsky assume the role of first line center. With Jagr now out of the mix, the team can resume its efforts to build around the pair, with Drury presumably assuming the team captaincy, and Gomez shouldering the offensive load along with the newly acquired Zherdev.

    Whoops. As I said, if you’re looking for instances where I’ve missed the mark, there are two to three years worth of material to draw from in these pages. You should simply think twice before again attempting to misrepresent my opinions.

  5. 5 On February 9th, 2010, Rob A from BBD said:

    Wow, I’m sorry I don’t read every single thing you write.

  6. 6 On February 10th, 2010, Jeff Zachowski said:

    Or anything at all. Bring your swimmies next time.

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