It seemed like the most memorable trade deadline in recent memory for all the wrong reasons. Why would the Rangers, a bottom-five offensive team at the time, trade their most prolific goal scorer at the deadline amidst a postseason push?
Now, 10 games removed from the deal, the Blueshirt's Faithful may be changing their tune.
Derick Brassard, John Moore and Derek Dorsett were the three players the organization acquired, though only Brassard and Moore have seen game action. Dorsett has been out with a shoulder injury for several weeks and isn't expected to be available until the playoffs.
Yet, despite that fact, the deal has still paid immediate dividends for the Rangers. They've gone 7-2-1 in the 10 games since the deadline and goals have been much easier to come by.
The team is in somewhat of renaissance period, as their new-look lineup has allowed for them to play hockey eerily reminiscent of the style that carried them to the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago.
A major player in the team's resurgence is Brassard's ability to solidify the Rangers at the center-ice position. Before his arrival, Brian Boyle was slotted in as third-line center, and although Boyle can be an effective player, his limited skill set handicapped the line. Brassard has injected it with an abundance of speed and creativity, and because of that the Rangers now have three lines capable of scoring goals regularly.
With Derek Stepan, Brad Richards and Brassard down the middle, this team has legitimate depth at center, which is imperative for any team looking to make a postseason run.
Moore was the unknown of the deal. The 22-year-old defenseman had only 86 games of NHL experience before arriving in New York.
He was said to be a great skater, and it turns out he is. He's also got size and strong puck-carrying ability. In his first few games he was hesitant to carry the puck, but as he's grown more accustomed to playing under coach John Tortorella, he's become more willing to use his 6'3" frame and extraordinary speed to lug the puck into the opponent's end.
His play has forced 39-year-old Roman Hamrlik out of the lineup and allowed for the injury to Marc Staal to be less burdensome on a nightly basis.
As for Dorsett, he's yet to dress for the Rangers, but he's been around. You know what you're going to get from him, and that's hard-nosed hockey. His style of play is comparable to that of Brandon Prust's, and for that reason he'll be a welcome addition to the lineup when healthy.
Since the shock and awe of the deal has subsided, it's evident the Rangers made a good hockey move on April 3. It allowed them to ship out a hulking contract in Gaborik and bring in three solid players all younger than him. Beyond that, the potential these players possess and the depth they bring the organization will strengthen the team for years to come.
Glen Sather strikes yet again.
Andrew Capitelli has been featured on Bleacher Report and Farmingdale Patch, covering both NHL and college hockey as well as the New York Rangers. Follow him on Twitter at@acapitelli.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Derick Brassard
- Derek Dorsett
- Marian Gaborik