With 18 days until the trading deadline, the rumors are starting to pick up, though most are in their infant stages. Anyone who has been watching the Rangers the last few months knows that the Rangers are going to be targeting a powerplay QB, and the speculation from people with connections is confirming that Sather indeed is looking into addressing that. However, unexpected things happen at the trading deadline every year, and the Rangers are not exactly a complete team. The only places the Rangers can be 100% satisfied with what they have is the goaltending and the 4th line. I could see the Rangers making a move to address anything else; from a top line center down to a #7 defenseman. Let’s look at what has been said recently about the Rangers:
Sheldon Souray- The Edmonton Journal is reporting that the Rangers did in fact send scouts to Hershey to watch Sheldon Souray play, but that they are no longer interested. Apparently, the scouts were dissatisfied with his foot speed, which is logical due to Tortorella’s desire for defensemen who are at least decently mobile. After the abysmal performance by the power play against Detroit I was open to anything, but I already announced my skepticism of Souray and how much of an impact he could truly make at this stage of his career. If nothing else, the article confirms what we all speculated, and Sather is trying to get a defenseman that can help the powerplay. I’ll be a bit surprised if no move is made at all.
Marian Gaborik- Meanwhile, in a report that will likely cause the Rangers fanbase to blow everything out of proportion, TSN’s Darren Dreger states that the Rangers “aren’t shopping Gaborik” but are “willing to listen to offers.” Before everyone throws their Gaborik jerseys on Ebay, let’s put this in context. The Rangers are “willing to listen to offers” on Gaborik. There are very few players in the league that are simply not going to be traded regardless of the offer. The Rangers happen to have one of those in Henrik Lundqvist. Gaborik is not one of those players. Thus, it would be absolutely ignorant for Glen Sather to NOT listen to offers that other GM’s have for Gaborik, or any other player not named “Lundqvist” for that matter. Closing the door on any discussions would be a poor move for any general manager to make. At worst, Sather simply tells another GM that he’s not interested in what they have to offer, but it’s worth saying no multiple times in the off-chance that one GM makes him an offer that he simply can not refuse. That just isn’t for Gaborik. The same applies to Dubinsky. The same applies to Callahan. The same applies to Girardi. In order to maximize your options and assets you need to be open to anything and everything, and so by that logic, yes, Sather is willing to listen that what other GM’s would offer for Gaborik. Just don’t expect discussions to get even remotely serious, let alone for a deal to be executed.
Beat writer Steve Zipay states that Gaborik isn’t going to be moved unless Sather receives a ridiculous offer. An interesting but true comment that he makes is that most rumors are “leaked for a reason.” I believe he’s implying that this might be nothing more than the Rangers trying to motivate Gaborik to start producing. Zipay’s word is as good as anyone’s when it comes to the Rangers, so the fact that he doubts that there is anything to this should make Rangers fans not anticipate any move involving Gaborik, though I’m sure the opposite will happen.
Francois Beauchemin- As an end note, along with Souray, you can cross Beauchemin off the list of potential targets for the Rangers. Beauchemin was traded back to the Anaheim Ducks in return for winger Joffrey Lupul, defensive prospect Jake Gardiner, and a conditional pick in 2013. I’m not sure if I would have liked for the Rangers to have given up that kind of package for Beauchemin, so no big deal as far as I’m concerned.