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Assessing the Trade Market
Rumblings surround Rangers, but is there sound basis?

Newcomer Chris Higgins has been the subject of several questionable trade rumors. (Photo by Dave Perlmutter)
Posted by Dan Akeson
January 5, 2010 at 05:51 pm

Depending on what you read, (and where) you will notice that Ilya Kovaluchuk is coming to the Rangers for nearly the entire Rangers team and a bag of pucks.

In this age of internet-based media and social networking, this is the future of "insider reporting."

Any person can post, tweak, or "report" what they wish without consequence and more importantly without legitimacy.

A juicy rumor is kind of like a car crash. You don't want to see it because you know it's bad, but you somehow need to stop and see the damage.

In the internet world, it drives hits, pageviews, etc. that in-turn provides advertising revenue. From a business perspective, it's golden, especially when it involves a top market like New York.

And where the road would be very clear between journalist and speculative fan, it is becoming far more hazy to discern who is truly reporting from a stance of objectivity and who is merely stirring controversy.

Blueshirt Bulletin, for example, has legitimate NHL press access. Throughout most of the NHL, this is not afforded to just any blogger or writer. In fact, without the successful Blueshirt Bulletin Print Edition, we would find it nearly impossible to be credentialed.

While we don't follow the team as extensively on the road as the full-time beat writers, we have the same access and press opportunities.

So can our commentary be held to the same standard as a fly-by-night website purporting gossip? Hardly.

But this isn't downplaying blogs. Everyone has one. It was a major factor in me getting my start and now the top media-types have one. However, there has to be moderation.

Amongst these rumors currently surrounding the club, there has to be an aspect of practicality. For example, struggling high-priced veteran defensemen Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden cannot just be traded or waived.

I suppose theoretically they could, but the problem is: who will replace them? For a trade to happen, the roster needs to be filled before the transaction and after. Trading two defensemen for a forward doesn't make any sense.

Could Bobby Sanguinetti, Ilkka Heikkinen, Corey Potter, or Mike Sauer be recalled? Sure, but none of them are ready to handle 20+ minutes of ice time a night. So unless there is a parallel move, such as acquiring a Mathieu Schneider or bringing in Wolf Pack veteran Mathieu Dandenault, the move just simply wouldn't make sense.

The other side of this relies in the practicality of the trade partner. Why would Atlanta trade a proven NHL-superstar for two bad fairly long-term defensive contracts? They wouldn't. If you trade a star, you want a top roster player and a sure-thing prospect, as well as several top draft picks.

Certain things are true. The Rangers are looking, specifically in the areas of depth defense and backup goaltending, but at this time it will not come at the expense of youth.

We talked at length over the holidays about the parity amongst the Rangers prospects. Players like Sanguinetti, who are similar in style to Gilroy and Del Zotto, may not have an opportunity to play regular minutes so they become a trading asset.

This is how deals are made and negotiations take place.

So enjoy your rumors like your sweets, with moderation.


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