Sunday, January 08, 2006

Kondratiev goes- Sykora comes

Petr SykoraThe Rangers announced tonight that they traded young, 22 years old defenseman, Maxim Kondratiev to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for 29 year old sniper Petr Sykora and the return of the fourth round pick for 2007 that was awarded the Mighty Ducks in the Rucchin trade.

On paper the deal looks like a steal for the Rangers. It adds another offensive weapon to the Rangers who so far have been relying heavily on Jaromir Jagr. But the deal is also a reminder of deals past that acquired such 'sure shots' as Eric Lindros, Theo Fleury and Pavel Bure and we know how those deals turned out.

Sykora's highlight years were 1999-00, 2000-01 and 2002-03. He was a member of the Devils Stanley Cup Champs in 1999-00 scoring 25 goals in the regular season and nine goals plus 8 assists in the playoffs. The next year he helped lead the Devils to the finals with his best overall season scoring 35 goals and 81 points and capping that with his best playoff performance of 10 goals and 22 points in 25 playoff games. In the 2002-03 season he scored 34 goals and 59 points in helping the Ducks get into the Cup finals. So far this year in 34 games he has 7 goals and 20 points. In his NHL career he has played in 642 games and has 209 goals and 272 assists for 481 points.

Maxim Kondratiev was picked up in the deal that sent Brian Leetch to Toronto. He played 29 games for the Rangers with one goal and two assists. He seemed to be improving with each passing game but the Ranger coaching staff never showed the same patience for this young prospect that they have with sub standard defensemen like Tom Poti and Michal Rozsival.

Poti is with the Rangers for life. He is Glen Sather's boy. Drafted by Glen in Edmonton and after Glen left Edmunton the Oiler fans booed Poti out of town. Sather then sent Mike York to Edmunton for Poti. Maybe Glen will move to another franchise and take Poti with him.

But the fix is in on Poti. The boys in the booth constantly extol every little thing Poti does into outstanding achievements. But there is hope. The last game at the Garden Poti's name was substituted for Potvin. I know this annoys Tom Renney, but so be it. Sitting Lundqvist in big games doesn't bother Renney but booing Poti bothers him. AAh, I love ranting on this blog.

ICINGS: Speaking of Theo Fleury, Inside Hockey reported he was packing the fans into games for the Coors Belfast Giants of the British Elite League. The Irish love Theo and Sportsnet reported he is doing rather well. He's cleaned up and has said he wouldn't mind finishing off his career in the NHL. Hopefully, the man from Oxbow with a substance abuse problem can straighten out his life by playing for an Irish team sponsored by a American beer company. Could he come back to the NHL?

Match Report Coors Belfast Giants:

Much to the delight of the packed arena, the home fans showed their pleasure at Fleury’s arrival with more noise and Canadian flag waving than has been seen since Canada beat team USA in the Olympic finals!

Fleury certainly lived up to his reputation as he scored on not only his first shift on the ice but his first touch of the puck.

Finding Peace in the Land of Giants []

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