February 26, 2011
The New York Rangers have Wade Redden(notes) stashed away in the AHL and just traded for Bryan McCabe(notes) of the Florida Panthers. So while many are screaming "redundancy!" today, let's talk about how Panthers captain Bryan McCabe makes the New York Rangers a better hockey team.
First off, it cost them spare part/AHL forward/RFA-to-be Tim Kennedy(notes) and a third-round pick. Not Matt Gilroy(notes). Not Michael De Zotto. Not a single blue-chipper in the Rangers' system for a veteran who can give you 21 minutes a night, be a presence on the power play and a solid citizen for the young defensemen on the Blueshirts.
In short, an excellent deal for the Rangers, who hold on to the young talent and high picks that coach John Tortorella emphatically said today the Rangers had to keep, even at the risk at missing out on some players at the trade deadline.
Tortorella said it was too important for the organization's future, that it was not worth chasing a seventh- or eighth-playoff spot just so the team could get eliminated quickly in the first round to add a high-priced player. That did not mean Tortorella did not want to add a part to improve the team - specifically on defense - but the move had to make sense.
For the Panthers, McCabe was making too much money, he's 35, he's unrestricted next summer and, based on the deal, probably wasn't in the plans for next season. It gives the Panthers 10 picks in what's been labeled a weaker draft this summer, but 10 picks are 10 picks.
They weren't going to get an equal value return for McCabe once it became clear he'd only waive his no-trade clause for the Rangers. But even this feels like a bag of pucks.
Solid veteran addition for the Blueshirts, mostly because of the cost. But like another veteran defenseman stashed in the minors for the Rangers, he's known for having made a mistake or two in his career.
Now, Spector wonders if this salary on the Rangers' cap means no Brad Richards(notes) for the Blueshirts, and Cap Geek has them with $3,853,102 of space after this deal. We wouldn't rule them out.