by Patrick Hoffman on 02/25/11 at 05:50 PM ET
WFAN producer, WFAN.com New York Rangers/NHL writer, and NHL Live producer Brian Monzo took time out of his hectic schedule to talk about the New York Rangers and what they may or may not do at the NHL Trade Deadline.
PH: What are some of your general thoughts on the trades that have been made so far prior to the NHL trade deadline? Which deal do you think was the best? Why?
BM: The amount of trades have been crazy. Hockey fans love their trades, as do people in the league. It’s fun. Tough to say which is the best trade this minute. The Av’s/Blues blockbuster (Johnson/McClement for Stewart/Shattenkirk mixed with some picks) caught everyone off guard. I think that trade will work out best for Colorado. Everyone seems to think St. Louis got the best of it, but Erik Johnson, despite some struggles is a sick talent. For the Av’s to now build around Johnson and Matt Duchene gives Colorado a lot to look forward to. Tomas Kaberle will obviously help the Bruins, but that aside, I love Rich Peverley going to Beantown too. He is a perfect for that, and can score 20 goals every season.
PH: In your opinion, why do you think so many moves have been made prior to the deadline?
BM: I think GM’s like the luxury of not have to rush and make last second deals. If they make a trade right now, they are getting who they want, when they want them.
PH: What do you think the New York Rangers need to do at the deadline, if anything, to get better?
BM: There is no doubt they need a top center and perhaps two defenseman (one power-player guy and a veteran guy). Unfortunately, whether it be Brad Richards, Paul Stastny (if available) or Stephen Weiss (has a NTC), it will cost quite a bit. Richards, as everyone knows, is a UFA at the end of the season and could walk. Stastny and Weiss are both signed, but it is uncertain whether they will be made available, and at what cost. They’ve been been looking at Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe, but he has a NTC. At 35, he would be more of a rental, so the cost wouldn’t be too devastating, but could fill a role this season. I think they will look at the Jim Vandemeer type route to round out their young defensive unit. It’s too bad for his contract, because I think Wade Redden right now would be a solid fit on this team.
PH: If you were general manager Glen Sather, who would you be willing to part ways with? Why?
BM: They’ve developed a solid group of young players. If the deal is right, they may part with defenseman Michael Del Zotto. I don’t think they want to trade him, but if they can get a huge piece they will. I think they will look to move defenseman Matt Gilroy and maybe even see if there is a taker for Steve Eminger. They may look to package prospect Evgeni Grachev for something. But other than that, I don’t think they will move many other prospects. I don’t think Derek Stepan or Ryan McDonagh are touchable right now. Chris Kreider, Dylan McIlrath or Christian Thomas won’t be moved. I’ve gotten some Tweets about moving Artem Anisimov, and while I cannot confirm anything, I don’t think they will move him.
PH: Is there anything else you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
BM: Just to enjoy the trade deadline. It’s a great time for the NHL, and is a lead in to the playoffs, which are the most exciting playoffs in all of sports. Make sure to watch/listen to ‘NHL Live!’ on Monday for all breaking trades ..
Follow me on Twitter: BMonzoNHL660.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.