Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bartering With Burke

Today the Toronto Maple Leafs finally admitted to the worst-kept secret in acquiring Brian Burke as their general manager. While the Rangers' dealings with Toronto haven't been great of late (outright horrible if you ask me), I thought it would be interesting to see what the Blueshirts dealings have been with Burke, a Stanley Cup-winning general manager. Using Outside The Garden's excellent transaction log, here is what I found (with commentary):

1992-93 Brian Burke is GM of the Hartford Whalers
07.09.1992 - Tim Kerr Traded to Hartford Whalers for Future Considerations.
Kerr's glory days with the Flyers were well behind him and after scoring 18 points in 32 games with the Rangers, he only managed six in 22 with the Whale before retiring. Those considerations became a 1993 seventh round pick, Sergei Kondrashkin, who never played in North America.

1998-2004 Brian Burke is GM of the Vancouver Canucks
03.09.2004 - Martin Rucinsky Traded to Vancouver Canucks for R.J. Umberger and Martin Grenier.
Umberger was unable to reach a contract agreement with the Rangers and the Blueshirts got a compensatory 2nd round pick from the Canucks in return - Umberger, of course, signed with Philly and is now underachieving in Columbus. Grenier was a minor league goon who is now in Russia. Rucinsky came back to Broadway after the lockout and averaged more than a point per game with his boy Jagr.

2005-2008 Brian Burke is GM of the Anaheim Ducks
08.23.2005 - Steve Rucchin Acquired via Trade from Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for Trevor Gillies and conditional 2007 pick.
Gillies is another career minor league goon and the Rangers took on Rucchin's salary for the cash-strapped Ducks and made good use of the former captain as a checking center. I have no idea what happened with that pick.

01.08.2006 - Maxim Kondratiev Traded to Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for Petr Sykora and 2007 4th round pick.
Kondratiev spent some time in Portland, a lot of time in Russia, four games for the Ducks and stopped by Ranger camp this year before heading home. Meanwhile, Sykora had 31 points in 40 games and looked good in Ranger blue but the team decided not to re-sign him and he went to Edmonton before heading to Pittsburgh and riding shotgun for Gina Malkin. I couldn't find what happened to that pick.

03.09.2006 - Sandis Ozolinsh Acquired via Trade from Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for 2006 3rd Round Pick.
A former Norris finalist, Ozolinsh played parts of two seasons with the Rangers and was horrible. He was defensively suspect and his alcoholism certainly didn't help. He got sober again and San Jose gave him a shot before he returned home to Latvia this summer. As for the pick, it became defenseman John de Gray, who still plays in the Ducks minor league system with the Iowa Chops but isn't likely to see the NHL.

So what does it all mean? Very little. Burke easily dealt with the Rangers while he was in the West but now that he is in the East he may not be as willing. Plus, since he is at the helm of a rebuilding Toronto team, he will likely be looking for youth that the Rangers aren't ready to part with. While Petr Prucha is still in the early stages of his NHL career, Glen Sather would be foolish to trade him away to another Eastern team, just in the off case that the kid does develop the way we have always hoped. But, you never know ...

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