We’ll get to the big one later. Let’s start with Pavel Valentenko. He played in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack for two years but never quite got into the big leagues. Doug Jenik’s deal expired the day after, and he signed with Detroit, so these two do not affect this trade tree in any way. This is the simple part because the other two do, so let’s go and jump down that rabbit hole.
Chris Higgins would play 55 games with the Rangers finding the net six times and adding eight helpers for 14 points. Not special, but it is a point total the Rangers got from the Gomez deal nonetheless. Higgins would be traded to the Calgary Flames before the end of the season in an attempt to help the Rangers bolster for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Higgins was packaged with Ales Kotalik, a spare forward for most of his career, and sent to the Calgary Flames for journeyman Olli Jokinen and a bit of sandpaper in Brandon Prust. Neither guy would re-sign in New York, so this branch of the trade tree does end here, but wherever possible, I like to add this little bit of unique trivia.
Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust were traded for each other. Prust was sent to Arizona as part of the package for Jokinen, and then the Coyotes decided to send him back before the Flames sold them off to the New York Rangers. How often can you think of two guys traded for each other being packaged off in a deal? It’s just a unique situation I thought I’d mention.
However, this leaves us with the big one, so let’s dive into it.