Defending The… Oh God, Gimmie A Sec Here… Defending The… Rangers Trades… OWWWWWW

The extremely publicly desperate Rangers made two notable trades at the deadline:

Rangers acquire F Nik Antropov from Maple Leafs for 2009 2nd Round Pick, 2010 Conditional Pick

Rangers acquire D Derek Morris from Coyotes for D Dmitri Kalinin, F Nigel Dawes, F Petr Prucha

You know, as much as I’d love to rip on the Rangers for these deals, I feel like they’re both somewhat logical in the long-term and moderately improve the Rangers for their playoff free fall slowing run.

Kalinin is a legit if unspectacular NHL defenseman, Dawes is a physical third-line presence whose numbers suggest he’s capable of 20 goals over an 82 game season, and Prucha scored 52 goals his first two seasons in the league, though he’s now mostly known for ending a 50-game scoring draught every time he plays the Penguins. However, Kalinin makes $2.1 million and is a UFA at season’s end, and Prucha ($1.6 mil) and Dawes ($588k) are RFAs; assuming the Rangers don’t re-sign Morris or Antropov, and Prucha and Dawes receive RFA raises on their current salaries, the Rangers will have cleared somewhere in the neighborhood of $5-$6 million in badly-needed cap room for 2009-10, which would currently be almost as valuable to the Rangers as the services of the players and draft picks they dealt. And if Prucha suddenly regains his scoring touch on Phoenix’s power play, it’s still no big loss, cause it certainly wasn’t gonna happen while he was playing 9 seconds a game in New York.

Yes, Antropov is a career underachiever (except against a certain Atlantic Division team) and Morris is another B+ offensive defenseman on a team full of nothing but expensive B+ players, but even if they underperform and the Rangers miss the playoffs or get knocked out early, the franchise will have already trimmed some payroll for next season at the expense of a few replacable players. Plus they’ll have a new GM.

Wait, did I just spend two paragraphs vehemently defending the deadline desperation of Glen “I’m On Such a Hot Seat I Literally Sit On A Flaming Chair During Games” Sather? Crap… maybe I should now just go ahead and come up with some reasons why Chris Brown is an awesome dude.

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