Thus far, the new-look New York Rangers haven’t fared much better than the team that struggled through most of the season.
New York lost 3-1 to the Boston Bruins on Thursday for their fourth straight defeat (0-0-3-1). The loss came just one day after the Rangers shipped 17-year veteran Leetch to Toronto for defenseman Maxim Kondratiev, forward Jarkko Immonen, a first-round pick in this year’s draft and a second-round choice in 2005.
Thursday’s game was the first the Rangers played without Leetch on the active roster since a 2-1 loss to New Jersey on Feb. 26, 1988.
The Rangers also traded Kovalev to Montreal on Tuesday for a prospect and a 2004 second-round pick, and sent Nedved and goalie Jussi Markkanen to Edmonton on Wednesday for forward Dwight Helminen, goalie Stephen Valiquette and a second-round pick this year.
The Rangers, who have all but clinched their seventh straight season without a playoff appearance, managed just 17 shots and went 1-for-6 on the power play against the Bruins.
“I think there could be some residual effects. I’m OK with the effort, but it has to improve an awful lot,” Rangers interim coach Tom Renney said.
Leetch assisted on three goals in a win over the New York Islanders in his first game with the Maple Leafs on Thursday.
The cost-cutting Capitals have also been revamping their lineup this season, sending Sergei Gonchar to Boston on Wednesday for defenseman Shaone Morrisonn and first- and second-round selections in the 2004 draft. Gonchar scored a third-period goal in his Bruins debut Thursday.
Washington lost 1-0 to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday for its second straight defeat and fourth in five games (1-4-0). Olaf Kolzig, who is also rumored to be traded, stopped 28 shots for the Capitals.