Saturday, February 26, 2011

McCabe to MSG

In recent seasons it has become more and more difficult to question Glen Sather's smarts when it comes to trades but today's move does open debate. Sather pulled the trigger on the long rumoured addition of veteran defenseman Bryan McCabe from Florida, sending Tim Kennedy and a third round pick back the other way.

Losing Kennedy is tough because he is a versatile, tough little bugger who was battling well for the Wolf Pack Whale. Then again, the kid must have slept with Tortorella's daughter or something to have been banished there in the first place and he wasn't likely to ever see the lights of Broadway. Anytime you deal away a draft pick you lose a potential player (duh) but the Rangers' have had little success in the third round over the last 20 years. Dominic Moore is the best of the bunch to come out of the third during that span, seeing as Eric Cairns and Jason Labarbera found their "success" elsewhere. The jury still out on Evgeny Brendl Grachev, Tomas Kundratek and Ryan Bourque.

So the risk isn't high at all, but what kind of reward could we get?

After failing with Berard, Poti, Rachunek, Rozsival and Redden, Sather brings in another puck mover to man the point on the power play. Nice company, huh?

The last time McCabe ever won anything was the gold medal in the 1997 World Championships and the 35 year old was only part of one (failed) Cup run - with Toronto in 2002. The former Islander has played 24 career games in the Garden, collecting one goal and six assists while going +7 but since the lockout he has played nine games, had three points and went -6. He hasn't played in the NHL postseason since 2004.

McCabe had been the captain of the Panthers, so adding someone who is used to being the big voice could upset the chemistry and confidence of the young leadership already in the Ranger room. He has suffered injuries three of the last four seasons and has scored on his own goaltender multiple times over the course of his career. McCabe is prone to stupid penalties, having taken almost the full variety of minors this season - three interference calls, two hooks, two slashes, two cross checks, two trips, one hold and one unsportsmanlike. And a partridge in a pear tree ...

But, at the end of the day, McCabe is a warm body on the blueline that Tortorella should trust (mistakenly or not). He will get decent minutes while whittling away the end of an oversized contract that will not get renewed. His salary should put the Richards rumours to rest, as it will be all-but-impossible to add the concussed Star. Michael Del Zotto will finally end up where he belongs (off Broadway) and McCabe should finally give us someone to hate again in our sweater. Joy.

Interesting, dubious facts: McCabe was traded to Chicago by Vancouver with the Canucks' 2000 1st round draft choice for Chicago's 1999 1st round pick. That pick was later traded to Tampa and then summarily sent to the Rangers, and the Rangers selected none other than Pavel Brendl. McCabe ended his junior career in Brandon, playing alongside Wade Redden. And the overtime goal he scored on his own net against the Sabres was credited to our old friend Alice KotalĂ­k.


Ranger Pundit said...

Scotty. Why don't you tell us what you really think of this trade.

Scotty Hockey said...

I know, I should stop pulling my punches ... =)

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to someone new to hate?

At least you are now admitting your hatred. A nice honest punch in the optimism gut, Scotty. Geez!