Monday, February 01, 2010

Gabby And The Kid And Kotalik Too

For the first time since the Rangers-Devils classic 0-0 game, the Rangers played sixty minutes of hockey last night and guess what? They won. With Marian Gaborik, a hat trick, and Chad Johnson winning his first game, the Rangers held off the Av's 3-1 and snapped a five game losing streak. Gaborik's hat trick was his first as a Ranger and the tenth of his career. His last one was the memorable 5 goal outburst against the Rangers back in December 2007.

However, the big news of the night was the trade, or no trade, of Ales Kotalik to Calgary for Ollie Jokinen, and depending on who you are listening to either Chris Higgins or Matt Gilroy. Enforcer Brandon Prust is supposedly also in the deal. Hopefully it is not Matt Gilroy. Giving up a top prospect like Gilroy for some over-the-hiller is not a good trade.

There is also some rumor that Kotalik is holding up the trade because he has a clause that says he can reject certain teams. Would you believe that the Stealth would give a player like Kotalik a no trade clause in his contract? Of course you would. In all fairness to Kotalik he never got a fair shake from Tortorella and was benched frequently. It's hard to believe that there were twelve better forwards on the Rangers than Kotalik.

Does this trade make the Rangers better? I don't know. Jokinen has been underachieving for Calgary for the last two years. Is he over the hill? Could be. The hope is that he centers for Gabolik and Gabby scores a ton of goals. Guess what? Gabby is going to score a ton of goals no matter who his center is. He already has 33 goals with a variety of centers.

Brandon Prust is a legitimate enforcer and could help the Rangers in that area. Chris Higgins has been a big disappointment. Maybe his injury last year took more out of him than we were led to believe. I would in no way shape or form give up Matt Gilroy to cement this trade. I would kill the trade if they want Gilroy. I guess, the question to ask is, at the beginning of the season would you have traded Scott Gomez for Ollie Jokinen?

A word about the play of Chad Johnson. The kid looked good. Cool, calm and composed. He is an excellent backup for Lundqvist. In fact, I would give Lundqvist one more night off against LA and play the kid again.

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  • Dan Stryker said...

    The kid did look good and has looked good since the second period in Phoenix. I watched the Wolfpac game the other night and Big Vally did not look so good (got pulled). Vally may have just become trade bait...

  • jb said...

    Thankfully, it was Higgins, not Gilroy that was included. A nice guy, Higgy, who just couldn't find the back of the net. Now Torts will shuffle the deck again and see if he can play some winning cards. Maybe the Jokinen will be wild and make our other cards good.

  • ramblin' pete said...

    Hopefully Prust will be that "sparkplug" type we've been lacking since Ryan Hollweg was exiled. And we NEED that type of grit, seriously. This team looks asleep out there half the time.

    And Olli Jokinen, if nothing else, has a great nickname ("The Jester")
    and if there's no chemistry with Gaborik, well, then he's an unrestricted free agent after the season.

    This trade is a no-lose proposition. Kotalik and Higgins were doing nothing.

    re: Stealth?
    Well, even a broken clock is right twice a day...

  • mike said...

    ramblin' pete-Right on with all your comments.