Every bank in the country seems to have some form of "toxic assets" on their books. The NY Rangers are in a similar position. Three of their highest paid players: Scotty Gomez, Chris Drury, and Wade Redden are all playing well below their par value. They have had their prime triple-A rating downgraded, certainly to Alt-A, perhaps even subprime status.
Additionally, there are no teams in a position to take these toxic assets off the Rangers books. Like a besieged bank CEO, GM Glen 'Slats' Sather can't afford to take the massive writedowns that loom in his future. Could the government step in and help out? Doubtful, it looks like they have bigger fish to fry.
Washington is all geared up to do some form of stimulus to help jump start the economy. Again, the Rangers are in the same boat. They need a stimulus, a jump start, or most of all a swift kick in the pants.
So this move of bringing up the big Russian center, Artem Anisimov, from Hartford could be viewed as part of a Slats Stimulus plan for the team. Will the Fritsche trade for Reitz count as part of a stimulus package? Or is it just taking a small writedown?
Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants had this take on how the AA move could play out, Anisimov brought up:
In a move that's been expected the past couple of weeks, certainly since Dan Fritsche was traded to the Minnesota Wild, the Rangers have promoted Russian center Artem Anisimov. The 20-year-old, the 54th overall pick in the 2006 draft, has 21 goals, 29 assists and 38 penalty minutes in 48 games for Hartford (AHL) this season.
Anisimov's arrival will bump either Chris Drury or Brandon Dubinsky out of a pivot position. Most likely, Anisimov will be paired with right wing Nikolai Zherdev. It also likely means Petr Prucha's ability to get into the lineup has just hit another road bump...
update: Gross / New-look Lineup? -- skating together this AM: Voros-Anisimov-Korpikoski, and Mara-Reitz.
This morning Larry Brooks at the NY Post wacks the toxic assets and says the Blueshirts Need Personality Fix:
The ceiling seems low for this group of Rangers, earnest as they may be...I would substitute the word stimulus for "personality fix." Sean Avery, for example, was a great example of stimulus package that worked, when he was signed. But, not again for the Grate One. We need a "scoring-ready" plan, and quick.
So what are he [GM Sather] and New York doing with this class of players that seems more like a busload of tourists determined not to get separated from the group than they do citizens of the city the way Jagr was and Avery was and Messier, Leetch, Richter and Graves were? ...
... as bad as Wade Redden has been, Scott Gomez has been immeasurably worse when weighing team need against contribution.
And Chris Drury has been every bit as big a disappointment in his year two on Broadway.
Of course, that old reliable house organ, The Maven, Stan Fishler, goes to bat for the 'toxic assets,' The Maven Responds:
David: Hi Stan, I guess the Rangers didn't need Brendan Shanahan's scoring (three goals already, including the power play). With this putrid offense, how come they didn't sign Shanny? What a shame to have these kids play so well only to lose 1-0 to the Bruins. Scott Gomez is horrible. (What happenned to his game?) Sather better make something happen and get us a sniper! or we're one and done.Some financial experts have said that if the banks can hold on to their toxic assets until maturity they might get better value for them. Likewise, the Ranger might be stuck with their toxic assets and end up hoping for a brighter future. Let's hope the Slats Stimulus plan is scoring-ready and not shovel-ready.
The Maven Responds: Dear David: The Brendan Shanahan Question has been a perplexing one. My belief is that Sather interpreted his lineup in need of more youth and the evolution of Ryan Callahan, Nigel Dawes, Brandon Dubinsky, et. al. proves the point. I disagree with your assessment of Scott Gomez; at least at the moment. Let's see what happens in the next couple of weeks. The club still is better now than at this time last year. Thanks.