This may seem like an odd and random topic to start writing about, but given the fact that the New York Rangers and Phoenix Coyotes have made several trades with each other since the lockout, I thought it appropriate since there are sure to be transactions upcoming this week that may or may not involve the two parties dealing with each other. One of these trades even predates Glen Sather’s former assistant, and current buddy, Don Maloney taking over as their GM.
Since 2005, these two teams have made four swaps, which is the most of any duo in the league. They include:
2005: Rangers sent former first round pick and draft bust Jamie Lundmark to the Coyotes in exchange for another center Jeff Taffe. This trade ended up being boringly even on both sides, but still leaning towards Phoenix because they got more use out of him than the Rangers got with Taffe. Lundmark would skate in 35 games, while scoring five goals and 13 assists. Taffe, meanwhile, played in only two games with the Rangers, going pointless– much like the trade.
2008: Rangers trade goaltending prospect Al Montoya and bottom six stalwart Marcel “Good Along the Boards” Hossa to the Coyotes for Fredric Sjostrom, Josh Gratton, and David LeNeveau. This is another trade that comes out even, as Hossa did not do much for the Coyotes and Gratton and LeNeveau would never even suit up for the Rangers. Meanwhile, the Rangers got good use out of Sjostrom, who was a part of the Rangers penalty killing success in the 08/09 season. Montoya has also become a part of solidifying a once questioned Coyotes goaltending situation.
2009: This is perhaps the biggest of all the deals, as it saw the Rangers trade the much beloved Petr Prucha to the Coyotes along with Nigel Dawes and Dmitri Kalinin for defenseman Derek Morris. Originally, it was seen to be in the Rangers favor. Kalinin was on the bad side of fans, and it was brutally obvious that Tortorella did not care for both Prucha and Dawes. Morris also happened to be one of the more sought after defenseman during the 2009 trade deadline. However, the Coyotes would end up winning this deal because Morris walked from the Rangers that summer, after not even scoring a goal in 18 games. Prucha was then retained by Phoenix, where he would have his best season since 2007, scoring 13 goals.
2009: Rangers trade anther former first round pick to the Coyotes for speedy winger Enver Lisin. Early on it looked like this trade was a steal for the Rangers, as Lisin showed excellent speed and skill at the beginning of last season. However, he would soon fall into John Tortorella’s dog house, and play only 57 games. Korpikoski would not fare much better, as he recorded one less goal than Lisin, with five. The Rangers have since announced at the end of the season that they will not qualify Lisin. Korpikoski, meanwhile, is signed on for another year.
The main reason why I bring up these trades now is because there is a rumor circulating that mentions the Rangers and Coyotes again in discussions for a trade involving Donald Brashear being sent for defenseman Jim Vandermeer. At first glance it seems like a trade that does not make sense, but when looking at it, it not only makes sense, but benefits both sides.
Sather and Maloney have made trades attempting to help each other out in the past, and this move can do both teams a favor. Sather has already said Brashear will not play another game for the Rangers, but he cannot be cut because he is over 35 and the team would be on the hook for his salary.
Meanwhile, Vandermeer makes $2.3 million and really has no place being on the Coyotes next season. Should this swap be made, both teams can then send the player to the AHL, the Coyotes saving money, and the Rangers being able to demote Vandermeer and clear all the salary.
It certainly does make sense, and given the working relationship between the two GM’s, this is the most logical rumor that has circulated in a long time.