Sunday night, he unloaded Donald Brashear on the Atlanta Thrashers in a trade between the two clubs to see which detritus could be flushed out of the respective locker rooms faster.
The Rangers even dumped Patrick Rissmiller in the deal so that they were able to discard two blotches that were holding valuable Blueshirt roster real estate. Official NYR report is here.
Showing that they could match wits with Slats, the Thrashers gave the Rangers the ever aging and recently injured Todd White, who scored 73 points for Atlanta 2 seasons ago and before that centered a line with Marian Gaborik in Minnesota. That was before he was injured (torn labrum and knee issues) and his production dropped to a modest 26 points last season.
At the very least, Slats again has proven to be a trading genius by unloading two negatives and gaining at least a neutral in return (see Gomez for Higgins, last year). Unlike Brashear, White can be assigned to Hartford without a cap hit since he signed his current contract before he turned 35.
Before you worry that Brashear will don a Thrasher jersey, Atlanta already put him on waivers. So this appears to be a tricky way of the Rangers getting a player from Atlanta that the Thrashers wanted to dump while Atlanta could then dump Brashear's salary. A win-win for the 2 teams.
Just so we can recall how much the signing of Donald Brashear was celebrated last July 1, 2009 by this website, our crack team of researchers uncovered the writings of a wise man who opined about the Donald that day . . . .
4:11 p.m.: I am not saying I am happy about it but the Brashear signing appears to be the piece and the price that Sather feels compelled to pay to ensure that a prolific scorer the Rangers will sign is protected. I understand the logic. I don't have to like it. I understand getting a prostate exam, I don't have to . . . .
A brief bathroom break for me. . . .
3:05 p.m.: It's official. Donald Brashear is now a Ranger. 2 years for $2.8 million. Really, was the price for retaining Colton Orr that much higher??
2:49 pm: The Rangers' antidote to Flyers' signing of Pronger??? Zipay at Newsday is reporting that Rangers acquisition of Brashear is being finalized. The 4th line -- the Rangers' best line in terms of exceeding potential -- is about to be destroyed. Orr gone, Betts will be gone (signing Brashear is like inviting a rapist to live in a convent) and no tendering a contract to Sjostrom. Mark this moment down as when I became depressed over today's events.
Upon further consideration, I think I was way too gentle about likening the Brashear signing to inviting a rapist into a convent.
No. It was far worse. At the behest of John Tortorella, whose inability to evaluate talent is only outdone by his inability to match his clothes, Sather essentially hired Mark David Chapman to replace George Harrison after John Lennon's assassination.
One of these is a remorseless, reprehensible, violent, waste of humanity that is an economic burden; the other never played for the Rangers.
The deal was repulsive, disloyal and unnecessary. I hated the signing back then; I hated it during the entire season, and surprise!, I still hate it. All the Lysol that Slats can pull out of his magic bag of tricks will never remove the eyesore that this signing represents.
Why either Sather or Tortorella still have a job is a mystery right up there with why Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel are still employed by the Mets. But it does show how the ownership of both once storied franchises consist of nincompoops who only know how to count revenue, which by the way, continues to decline thanks to the moronic moves of the sorry quartet that have been given the reins to handle personnel and performance.
I hated being at MSG that fateful afternoon.Somehow, Slats appears to be positioning himself for some sort of big finale -- Signing Kovalchuk? Signing Brad Richards? A blockbuster trade? Demotions galore? Who knows. At least, the franchise's biggest stain is gone. Good riddance. So far the offseason has been positive if only because the Rangers have been able to unload some dead weight.
---The Graying Mantis