Key Deals. Devils Reach Out to the Stars. Flyers Desperation Move

I was away for a more of a business trip than vacation, and watching ESPN with the college basketball is not that easy. I am late for this but I just want to express some key points for mostly the Rangers (my specialty), Flyers, and Devils.

You don’t have to read the Rangers section, but I want the Flyers fans to write what they see in Oates. How does Oates fit in?To Rangers: Tom Poti, Rem Murray

To Oilers: Mike York, 4th rd pick in 02

Sure it looks ugly and not a good deal, but you have to reason. First of all, I am not too happy about this deal because I am a York fan, but…you have to reason. York is a player full of talents, he is smart, fast, can make good passes, put the puck in the net, a good leader, can play the PK, and do many things. The only problem with York is that he is a small player in size. Is that the reason why he was traded? No, not at all. Glen Sather got a defenseman who has the ability to score, the ability to skate the puck out of the zone, the ability to play the power-play, and adds depth to the defense. Poti could also replace Johnsson’s spot as well. The Rangers need defensemen and a team never has enough defensemen, plus there were other teams wanting Poti, and Sather got their first. Rem Murray is a solid defensive forward. Fans and the media keep criticizing the Rangers defense but only the defensemen? So many times the Rangers forwards did not take their opponent well or left them open. Notice how Sather is getting more defensive forwards. Now the Rangers have Johansson, Samuelsson, Rem Murray, and Lyashenko who are defensive forwards. The Rangers desperately need help on the PK and need a PK specialist, Rem Murray will be a big help on the PK. The Rangers need changes, they needed changes for the word defense itself. The Oilers get Mike York. This is a perfect player for the Oilers to play with their offense. Now they have two talented players (Comrie and York), and they can improve their struggling offense. I think the Oilers gave up on Poti too early though, but this trade benefits both teams, which is the purpose of a trade.

To Rangers: Pavel Bure, FLA 2 rd pick in 02

To Panthers: Filip Novak, Igor Ulanov, 1st rd pick in 02, 2nd rd pick, 4th rd pick in 03

There is no way the this deal can get criticism against the Rangers, just no way. The only criticism I see is the non-thoughtful comment “Rangers get the marquee player and give away a prospect”. I would use that comment the same way that I use Charmin toilet paper rolls. The Panthers choked on this deal. The Rangers get a player who is able to score 35 to 60 goals in a season. He is a pure scorer, exactly what the Rangers needed as many agreed. Bure adds tons of depth on the PP and could spark the Rangers offense. Although he is poor on defense (the reason why Sather got Murray and Lyashenko), Bure gives the Rangers goals. The Rangers traded a valuable prospect and a 1st round pick, exactly what Pavel Bure is worth. Again, Rangers do have a lot of defensemen (adding Poti), and good prospects, especially Fedor Tjutin (better than Novak). Then the Rangers trade the defenseman who was put on waivers, who was signed in the off-season. Igor Ulanov was put on waivers and if the Panthers traded for him now, then why did they not claim him on waivers earlier? So basically the trade is Novak and 1st round pick for Bure. How can you say no to that deal? You need a scorer, a pure scorer, you get that kind deal going, then you do it. The Panthers teammates whined about Bure as their teammate that he was not scoring enough and blah blah blah, booo hooo. That just shows that the players themselves are incapable of putting the puck in the net and only depended on Bure’s scoring.

Basically, what Sather did is add a lot more depth. Excluding Ulanov, the Rangers received 5 starters (including Rucinsky and Lyashenko) and gave up two starters. Although Bure will also not alow Sather to make many big signings in the off-season, he still adds the offensive punch, but do not forget that the Rangers might not keep Fleury so his salary will give space for the Rangers to sign a UFA.

1st Game With Full Line-Up

It is just one game, but a very good game. Poti scored a goal and had one assist. He played beautifully on the PP and in defense. Why did Oilers fans not like this player? He is a defenseman who can skate very well, who is big, and who can score. He only played 3 and a half seasons with the Oilers and they already disliked him? Pavel Bure is playing well and he actually made some good defensive plays. I have so much criticism towards the Panthers roster and staff for criticizing Bure. He had one “so-so” season scoring 22 goals for the team after last season scoring more than 50 goals. Blame the management for this season because they traded Ray Whitney, who was the smooth passer for Bure, for Kevyn Adams who then got traded to Carolina. Bure got a goal and an assist tonight, scoring well for the Rangers. Rem Murray got one penalty, he played really well on the PK and in the neutral zone. Murray is what the Rangers needed, a defensive forward and he is proving it. He plays well with Fleury and McCarthy. John Davidson pointed something important as well. Murray played with big Georges Laraque, and he would play well with McCarthy, who scored a goal tonight assisted by Murray.

Hockey fans, get this right. GM Sather knows what the Rangers needed. Poti was about to be dealt to the Islanders for Isbister, but Sather got there first with York. The Rangers PK with Fleury and York was abysmal, but with Murray it is better. Look at the team the Rangers had before with Jeff Toms, Steve McKenna, Dale Purinton, Zdeno Ciger, and Manny Malhotra. Now the Rangers have Rucinsky who has played better in the neutral zone than on the offense. Then they have Lyashenko who has played better than Malhotra both defensively and offensively. Then they now have Pavel Bure who gives a lot of space for Lindros. Now the opposing defense has to concentrate on two threats, Bure and Lindros (scored a goal tonight as well). The Rangers now have Rem Murray who will play solid in the neutral zone, in the defensive zone, and on the PK. The Rangers now have more depth, especially defensive depth, especially with Radek Dvorak and Mark Messier out of the line-up. This is a first timer, the Rangers allowed 19 shots against a good team who is just 5 points from first place (Ottawa Senators). Another note, Mike York did not have a goal in more than 10 games, which is also a reason why the Rangers needed a change if they want to make the playoffs. The Rangers got 5 starters in return (Poti, Rucinsky, Lyashenko, Murray, Bure) and traded two starters (York, Malhotra). These were not bad trades, especially if they help the team, which seems likely that the acquired players are helping the team. Sather is still not done creating his Rangers team yet, and this is still his unfinished 2nd season with the New York Rangers, he still has this off-season and next season.

Other Notes

The Nieuwendyk and Langenbrunner for Arnott and McKay trade was not fair. I don’t care what you say about Arnott and McKay, this was a steal by the Devils. I am glad that the Devils finally traded Arnott, and McKay is no one important. Nieuwendyk is a valuable player, and especially a valuable center for the playoffs. Langenbrunner is injury prone but he is a great fit for the Devils. Finally GM Lamoriello did the kind of trade I expected him to do.

Adam Oates to the Flyers for 1st, 2nd, 3rd round picks in 2002 and top goalie prospect Maxime Ouellet. I don’t care what you say about this one but McPhee just ripped off Bobby Clarke. I know Roenick is out for 4 weeks, probably 5 weeks to get back in form, and Keith Primeau out as well, but McPhee just had Bobby Clarke down on his knees. Yes it was a good acquisition to get Oates for his great passing skills and help on the PP, but the Flyers just traded their top goalie prospect. 1. Clarke never had interest in Oates. 2. Oates is 39 years old and a UFA. 3. Clarke won’t re-sign him. I do not like this deal at all. I like the idea of having Oates on the Flyers for the playoffs because I like Oates, but McPhee just stole those top picks and the Flyers top goalie prospect. Adam Oates is worth a 2nd round pick (at most) and a 3rd solid forwards, or a 5th solid defenseman. I actually feel sorry this happened to the Flyers because this was not supposed to happen and they certainly don’t deserve this to happen. Flyers fans, I am sure Oates would play well with the team and help them, but I just do not like what Clarke gave up. What would have been fair was a 2nd round switch like the Rangers did with the Panthers.

I can tell you this though. Melrose mentioned that picks are not important so don’t worry about them. !!!WRONG!!!. Draft picks are important because they are your future players, obviously everyone knows that. The better statement to say about draft picks is this. If you examine carefully, so many draft picks have been traded this season, almost as if they actually do mean nothing, but there is a reason. This draft pick (2002) might not have that many talented and important players. For the Rangers to trade their first pick, but smartly receive Florida’s early pick in the 2nd round, and the Flyers to trade their first top 3 picks and the Devils also give up their 1st pick, it could definitely mean that scouts are saying…there is not much out there this June. So, it could be “ok” for the Flyers to give up that many picks, but Ouellet is their big lost and it should not have gone like this. Thankfully, the Flyers have Cechmanek and Boucher for more years so that their next few picks could involve goaltending. Right now though, this is not what Flyers fans should be concentrating on. Concentrate on hoping for JR and Primeau to make a quicker comeback and hopefully be 100% ready by the first playoff series, and Oates could actually be a key to raise the Cup in Philly.

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