Ok,Ok this is just speculation but the Rangers and the Pens have a deep history of making trades. So no one can respond that the Pens would never move one of the best centers in the game to a division rival. But with hints in the air that Malkin may become expendable if Hossa signs back on in the Steel city,it's got to be explored.Looking back on past trades,the two teams may have appeared to be South American gun runners and not NHl clubs with all the fire power moving east to west. In 98 the Rangers sent Kovalev to PA for Petr Nedved hoping to fill in their center position. In 2003 the Rangers sent a slew of marginal players and Stanley Cup champ Mikael Samuelson to the Pens to take him back. In Aug 1995 the Rangers would make one of their worst deals in history sending Sergei Zubov and Petr Nedved to the Pens for Luc Robitaille and Ulf Samuelsson. The deal has been recently deemed the worst in recent history on Blueshirtbulletin.com.,in a fan poll. Even though both teams failed to reach their Stanley cup goals after making these deals, their sure wasn't a lack of star power and possibilities.
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The Rangers are firm on committing to youth and development,while playing around a core of Drury,Gomez,and Lundqvist.I also know they need another legitimate D-Man on the point such as Jay-BOW.But to imagine a line of Malkin with Alexei Cherepanov,and Anisimov (now on the wing) is a really something to ponder. The Penguins like the Rangers,are on the path of greatness. However, it's clear that they have their poster boy already and with Sid in town Malkin holds back a gear. Evgeni had no problem shifting the Ferrari into 4th at Madison Square Garden,and his postseason performance vs. the Rangers had an edge. It's been rumored that Malkin ( who is English shy) is holding Penguins brass under AK-47 pressure,to keep fellow countrymen Sergei Gonchar in black and gold longer term. Would Malkin press hard for a deal to the Rangers knowing that Brooklyn's Brighton Beach is one of the largest Russian communities stateside. It's no fluke that after the Rangers had drafted Cherepanov 17th overall last year in the draft ,that the club was snapping pictures with sexy Russian models in the neighborhood. With NY's ethnic diversity they can play cards that other cities can't and when Sergei Zubov was moved in 95 he missed the city and its proximity to the Brooklyn Moscow. Not only would Malkin have 3 fellow Russians on the club ( assuming Tyutin is not part of the deal),but his agent must drool over the idea of seeing his clients image,jersey,and product all over Manhattan buildings.
I'll let most of you guys figure out possible trade scenarios but,here's some options.Te Rangers could let the Pens pick from any one of several young forwards but Petr Prucha looks to be the most attractive. He could play on the wing with Sid and Hossa and his 30 goal potential is back again. He is also making just over a million dollars so his salary and wing position allows them to fit him in easily.The Pens may want to add a little grit and scoring on the wing as well so Ryan Callahan and his $575,000 salary ease the potential loss of veterans Ruutu or Malone.The Rangers would also have to provide at least 2 first round picks in this and the next draft. With the Draft as deep as it is this year,the Rangers could use its depth as leverage. The Penguins don't have a first rounder this year because of the Hossa deal with Atlanta,and we all know how the Pens keep their hands near the cookie jar. For the Rangers,they need depth at the defensive position and they will be able to find an adequate blue liner in the second round. As most of the Ranger vets near the end of the road,it's becoming more apparent that they are going to need skilled forwards too. Malkin is a beast on the boards and after taking out Mara's legs ( Bad move),he does play with some snarl. I wonder if a Devil takes a run at Cherepanov,if we wouldn't see him take out a few more legs. Speaking Of Cherepanov,it may make bringing him over next year that much easier. With all the issues with the new Russian League the Rangers could use one more card up their sleeve too. Rangers fans may not have to see many growing pains with Cherepanovs game,as Malkin helped Ryan Malone bring his play to new levels. Adding another 6'3" Anisimov to the opposite wing also opens up room for the Russian sniper,and allows him to cash in on Malkins rebounds. Speaking of rebounds the Rangers have been looking for a PP point man for the last few years and after watching Malkins heavy bomb from the point,is there a better shot out there. They already have explored idea using Straka,Cullen,and even brining in Brian Rolston to man the point.But none of those players are the T-72 tank that Malkin is.Moving back to the deal,the Penguins could have Dan Gerardi, ( although it will burn) to fill in the losses of Brooks Orpik and Mark Eaton.So now that's Gerardi,Callahan,Prucha and two first round picks to get started. Staal is off limits so is Sanguinetti,so take it easy Shero with the demands. He will get offers from the Kings and just about every other NHL team ,but needs to take certain things into account. First,Ranger prospects and players are draft with the size of their heart first. It is no shock that most of our young core is playing with the big club because they worked for it. Much of the Rangers team success is attributed to their accelerated development and their desire to win. Shero Will have to gamble on other NHL prospects and the possibility of throwing a wrench into the Penguins recent success and Therriens defensive system. Rangers young forwards aren't shy of back checking and adding 8 possible matches and amped up adrenaline never hurts. Last Shero has to consider that the NHL is no longer the only main option,especially for European superstars. Russian League loopholes are allowing NHL players to jump ship and sign contracts despite NHL commitments. If Malkin starts throwing around threats,it's possible that he could sway a deal to NY over LA.
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