If you have faith in Slats, think Ekman and Zidlicky
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03-15-2004, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Longtime lurker, first time poster, so everyone please be relatively gentle.
1) Also a some-time-poster on BBI . . . wow, small world this internet. (dschwarz in westchester over there).
2) Why is everyone complaining about the Dunham deal? Even a year later this still seems like the worst sort of nitpicking.
The Rangers got a respectable No.1 goalie with a reasonable contract and years of productive hockey left in him. They had nothing, absolutely nothing, like him after Richter went down. What were Sather's options? It's pretty well documented that Montreal wanted a lot at the time for an older, more injury prone (and now retired) Jeff Hackett. Bryon Dafoe had been out of hockey for half a year and has done even worse than Dunham since he came back and signed with Atlanta.
Would letting Trottier start Blackburn another 20 games have been acceptable? Would throwing the entire season in December, with the largest payroll in the NHL, been palatable to the beancounters at MSG? Or to the players in the lockeroom? Hell no. And even if he had, what would he have done this offseason? With a retired Mike Richter and huge money devoted to Holik, Lindros, Kovalev, Nedved, Leetch, et al, he was not going to go into the season with a 20-year-old Blackburn as his No.1 goalie. Even Sather isn't that crazy.
Ultimately, Sather acquired a sound goalie at a reasonable price. (This last half-season not-withstanding).
As for the sour grapes on Zidlicky . . . I have only seen him play in one or two games. So I can't comment too specifically on his play. But I can talk about his numbers. He's older than Poti. Smaller than Poti. His +/- is worse than the allegedly 'defensively inept' Poti's has ever been, and he's playing fewer minutes on a better coached team with better goal tending. Basically he's a late-20's PP specialist, who may or may not evolve into a more complete player.
So in return for this PP specialist who wouldn't even report to Rangers camp, an injury ravaged defensive-defenseman prospect (Kloucek), and a third line forward less than a season away from UFA, Sather got a one time All-Star Goalie and Olympian with two years left on a reasonable contract. How is that not a good deal? Can anyone give me a more reasonable option that Sather had? Because I sure can't think of one.
3) Ekman was/is a real spot to critize Sather. Ekman had a stellar season in the AHL and never even got a whiff of Ranger ice. That Sather basically traded away a younger, smaller, faster, less PIM inclined Martin Rucinsky for a 'C' prospect is alarming.
Similarly, chosing to retain Dan Lacouture and not Ronald Petrovisky would be grounds for valid criticism. Failure to move Petr Nedved at any point in his essentially unbroken three years of substandard play would be grounds for unrest. Failure to remove the inconsistent Vlad Malakhov or the terrifying contract he signed the very limited Darius Kasparitius to are places that we can look to with increasing unease about Sather's ability to GM this team out of the gutter.
(Of course, his continued worship of Messier and his total inability to hire a decent NHL coach are far and away the two most damning aspects of his entire reign.)
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