First off, lets look at a few things we have seen so far:
1 - Wade Redden and Dmitri
2 - Despite being given power play time, space on the ice and good linemates, Nigel Dawes hasn't been able to recapture that sniper's edge he flashed last season.
3 - The same can be said for Petr Prucha, who hasn't been able to recapture anything except a spot in the pressbox.
4 - Patrick Rissmiller has been adequate but Dan Fritsche and Freddie Sjostrom bring more to the table in a fourth line slot.
5 - Lauri Korpikoski has a bright future ahead of him, but there will be growing pains before he gets there.
With those five things in mind, what can we do about them? Perhaps a little wheeling and dealing? So grab your Glen Sather cigar and think about who we can target in fair and reasonable deals (and some not so fair or reasonable) and let's start some rumours!
*Let's start big: Redden and a conditional draft pick to Florida for Jay Bouwmeester. The pick will depend on if the Rangers can re-sign the young defenseman at the end of this year. McCabe is already out so the Panthers get an established veteran to base their defense around for the next six years while the Rangers get a younger, bigger player who has yet to show his best stuff. As I mentioned, Redden has shown he still has some offensive skills, but Bouwmeester knows how to play defense too.
*Petr Prucha to Edmonton for Steve Staios. The Oilers get another young, quick skater and the Rangers beef up their blueline with a solid, experienced defender.
*Petr Prucha to Phoenix for Enver Lisin. Lisin is really, really fast and uses it on both sides of the ice. He also didn't endear himself to the Coyotes by refusing to go to the AHL two years back and was barely given a cup of coffee last year. The Russian will find some Brighton Beach comfort in New York and would be a great compliment to Cheraponov if he ever comes over to the States. Prucha has experience, a willingness to work and a scoring touch - Gretzky will just have to work to find it.
*Patrick Rissmiller to Nashville for Ville Koistinen. Koistinen is a Finnish puck moving defenseman who went to arbitration last season and is low on the Preds depth chart. Rissmiller is responsible defensively with good size and some offensive upside that has yet to be tapped (and won't be on the Rangers).
I also figure we hold onto Dawes because he really does have some skills and he just needs everything to click. Unlike Prucha, Dawes hasn't gotten chance after chance after chance to stick. Let's give him them. And all the Kor-pedo needs is time, he has already shown so much in so little time and is well worth a little patience when the times get tough.
So what do you think?