Trade deadline week is always a busy one for The Generalissimo. Early March, after all, is prime salmon fishing season. But when I find some spare time, I do like to do a little hockey player trading. And no one does the trade deadline like The Generalissimo. Heck I don’t know why they don’t call it “Lets Make a Sather” day, cause the history of the trade deadline is littered with The Generalissimo’s gems.
- 2008 – Picked up Christian Backman from St. Louis for a 4th-round pick. Backman was exactly what the NYR needed – a depth defensemen who had no impact on the team. Didn’t score a point in 8 playoff games, but I bet he was good on the bench. Backman was the key piece of the trade that brought Zherdev and Fristche here. [I’m tell you – watch out for Fritsche. He’s due to break out. Gotta talk to Torts-y about getting him some playing time with Vorsy].
- 2006 – Picked up offensive juggernaut Sandis Ozolinsh for a 3rd-round pick in the 2006 Entry Draft. That pick was previously acquired from SJ – you see that? The Generalissimo is so good he can trade other teams’ picks! Offensive juggernaut Ozolinsh scored 3 goals in the final 19 games, and was a force on defense (including for the other teams!). How awesome was that 2-1 he caused when he misplayed the puck 68 seconds in Game 3 of the Devils series! Or the two shorthanded goals he was involved with in Game 2, including poking the puck into his own net? That is what you call an “impact player” my friends. Ozolinsh was such a force in the playoffs, that Renney-ey felt bad for the Devils and sat him for Game 4. Not to mention all the good times we shared over a drink!
- 2004 – Technically a few days before the deadline, but got rid of over-the-hill defensemen Brian Leetch to Toronto for Maxim Kondratiev, Jarkko Immonen, a first-round pick in the 2004 draft, which became Lauri Korpikoski, and a second-round pick in 2005, which became Michael Sauer. Leetch would have added nothing to the NYR’s power play coming out of the lockout.
- 2004 – Snagged Karel Rachunek and Alexandre Giroux from Ottawa for Greg de Vries. de Vries has to go when I told him he spelled his name wrong, and he refused to fix it. Listen if you want to play for The Generalissimo, the D is capitalized, pal.
- 2004 – Traded Martin Rucinsky to Vancouver for R.J. Umberger and Martin Grenier. Umberger was a great pick up by The Generalissimo – he’s put up decent numbers ever since cracking into the league.
- 2003 – Picked up Anson Carter and Ales Pisa RW Radek Dvorak and Cory Cross. Have to admit, The Generalissimo got scammed on this one. I thought I was getting Anson Williams.
- 2002 – Picked up 60-goal scorer Pavel Bure and Florida’s 2nd round pick in the 2002 draft [turned out to be Lee Falardeau] for Igor Ulanov, Filip Novak and the Rangers’ 1st and 2nd round choices in the draft and a 4th round choice in the 2003 draft. Good thing I gave up that 1st round pick, cause picking 9th I would have had to choose from a weak pool of non-NHL caliber players like Alexander Semin [hee hee], Chris Higgins, or Cam Ward. Bure electrified the Garden for all of 51 games, and he attracted media attention just because of his number choice!
- 2002 – Grabbed Tom Poti and Rem Murray in return for Mike York and the Rangers’ 4th-round pick in the 2002 Entry Draft. Poti had been the object of fan wrath in Edmonton, as he was seen as a soft defensemen who was easily pushed around. Ranger fans, on the other hand, would come to love him, chanting his name on a nightly basis.
I should probably stop there. What happened back in Edmonton seems like a lifetime ago. But The Generalissimo’s legend as a Trade Deadline Master goes waaay back.
- 1997 – Sent Miroslav Satan to Buffalo for Barrie Moore and Craig Millar.
- 1996 – Sent Kirk Maltby to Detroit for Dan McGillis.
- 1988 – Sent Moe Lemay to Boston for Alan May. This one sticks out in my mind because “Lemay” is french for “The May”.
- 1983 – Sent Laurie Boschman to Winnipeg for Willy Lindstrom. There’s no room on The Generalissimo’s teams for guys with girls names. I’m looking at you Korpikoski.
What trick does The Generalissimo have up his sleeve this year? You’ll just have to wait and see. But The Generalissimo has ample room to work with under the cap, so his options are wide open! And as far as I know, Martin Rucinsky is still playing, right?