With the NHL trading deadline a day away, the Rangers are faced with a decision that most teams would prefer to avoid: Buy or sell?
Obviously the ideal situation would be to be in such great shape that buying (or, even better, just standing pat) is clearly the right choice. Unfortunately, the Rangers are on the proverbial fence. They could go either way and legitimately make a case that it’s the best decision for them.
In my mind, though, selling is a mistake. While it’s tough to outright expect Glen Sather to deliver any kind of big upgrade at the deadline (since he hasn’t exactly done very well then in past years), the notion of giving up on this season doesn’t fly with me. I think any time you have as good a goalie as King Henrik, that’s the kind of foundation that puts you in position to succeed if you can pull of the right kind of move.
Should the Rangers give up early draft picks? I’d rather they didn’t. But this isn’t the NFL. The Rangers have decent enough pieces, starting with Lundqvist, that pulling out is a cop-out. Selling isn’t always the worst strategy. It just isn’t the right one for this team.
If you’ve brought in a new coach and you’re going to bring in Sean Avery, then that says to me that Sather is buying. I think that’s the absolute wrong move at this point—giving up prospects, young players or draft picks for a Keith Tkachuk or a Bill Guerin type. That will come back to haunt in the long run.
Unless you believe this team, as currently constituted, can actually challenge—can actually make a run toward the finals—then that’s just crazy and short-sighted. But I do think, with the coaching change, the Avery claim, and with Dolan’s and Sather’s track records, that they will go for it this year. I wonder if they actually believe the Rangers are one or two players away (They are: if one is named Gretzky or Lemieux, the other Leetch).
I’m on record: Bad move. Sell.