Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I wrote my post about Sean Avery leaving, then went to settle down and watch a movie - the Shawshank Redemption. Now, I've seen that flick a hundred times, but its wonderful each watching. I get back to my computer and find another movie awaiting me: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good: The Rangers traded away Christian Backman.

The Bad: The Rangers traded away Fedor Tyutin.

The Ugly: The Rangers acquired Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche.

I had hoped that I would be overcome with joy when Backman was bounced but my celebration is certainly muted by the rest of the deal. The Rangers got rid of the only defenseman on the team who hit people last season for virtually nothing. Zherdev is almost as lazy as Pavel Brendl/Alex Bourret was, has had some minor injuries and has no idea of what the defensive zone looks like. Fritsche is a good heart and soul working winger, but the Rangers picked up two of them YESTERDAY!

Now, I said that Sather had better have something up his sleeve to get Marc Staal back some ice time, but this wasn't what I had in mind. Dealing away half of the best defensive pairing last season, the closest thing to a crease-clearer on the roster was not it.

Losing Tyutin had better be offset with the acquisition of Rod Langway or Scott Stevens out of retirement and a better backup goaltender because otherwise Hank is going to get hurt quickly. The defensive physical play was in question last season and Hank was ran many, many times. The Rangers came into the offseason looking for a big body to help counter it - perhaps Brooks Orpik, who is now returning to Pittsburgh - and instead they dealt away the only player who did something about it.

There has to be a final piece to this puzzle. There just has to ...

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