Well, there’s no reason to deny the truth any longer. We’ve had a rough set of years, but I guess it’s time for me to be honest and admit I was wrong about you. You really aren’t a waste of a general manager after all.
You’ve grown to become a genius.
These past eight years, you have managed to get Marian Gaborik, Ryan McDonagh, Brad Richards and now Rick Nash. In that same span of time, you also managed to get rid of Scott Gomez and draft players like Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi. Impressive, to say the least.
But really, I’m going to use this letter to talk mostly about the work you did this summer getting Nash because, almost two months later, I’m not over how much of a steal that was, and I’m still questioning how you managed to do it.
Yes, several months ago I said trading for Nash was an awful idea. I stand by what I said. It would have been awful to change the chemistry of a team that was playing so well, clicking so well and definitely showing signs of being able to go deep into the postseason.
The asking price for Nash was too high back then too. At that time you would have gotten Nash, arguably the best power forward in the league and a two-time 40-plus goal-scorer, but at a heavy cost. Giving up either McDonagh, Derek Stepan or Chris Kreider would have hurt, and the very real possibility of having to give up at least two of them was even worse. On top of that, wanting you to also give them Michael Del Zotto would have been bury-your-head-in-your-hands inducing.
It would have been one of the worst things you could let happen to a team performing so well. The feeling of a trade like that becoming a reality can be likened to running a marathon and twisting your ankle with 400 meters left to run.
But that was then and this is now. None of that happened, and instead you managed to pull off one of the greatest steals in NHL trade history.
I’ll be one of the first to say I love Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov. After watching a Rangers team primarily made up of veterans past their prime for so long, it was special to watch two players like Dubinsky and Anisimov come up through the system. They grew up here; they became men on the ice of Madison Square Garden before our very eyes. No matter how you view it, it is sad to see them go.
But while sports are so emotionally charged, the business aspects of the sport are very real and there’s no getting around it. Dubinsky was never going to be more than a 20 goal-scorer with the Rangers, and Anisimov wasn’t going to be much better. To make the Rangers a better team, someone special had to go.
As for Tim Erixon, he’s going to be a very good player. From what we all saw when he was called up to play in games, however, I’m not really sure he would have thrived in this system. I definitely don’t think he would be as good of a part as some other prospects will be in the machine John Tortorella has created. Erixon is all skill and fancy stick and skate work.
That isn’t going to work on Tortorella’s team. This team is 100 percent his, and it’s a team that has no intention of keeping you if you don’t blend in.
Is there still concern about Nash channeling his talent into diva-ness? A little. It would be foolish to think a guy with that kind of talent who played on a lackluster team for nearly a decade wouldn’t have some diva qualities. With that said, I think Nash is just relieved and overjoyed to get a change of pace, let alone going from a small-market team to a giant. He knows he has a lot to do if the season does start as scheduled (ha) and he’ll have to make up for a lack of Gaborik.
And I have full faith in Tortorella. I know he won’t let any bull dung fly.
You’ve done this before, Glen. You’ve done this thing where you’ve let players go and taken players in and it’s totally messed around with the identity of the team.
Unlike all of the other times, there’s faith that this is the first time you’ve done it for the better.