For the New York Rangers on Deadline Day, No Move Is the Best Move

Tom MurrayContributor IFebruary 27, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 14:  Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrates a third period goal with teammates while playing the San Jose Sharks at Nationwide Arena on January 14, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. The San Jose Sharks won the game 2-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In the end, the Rangers decided to stand pat, despite what Larry Brooks of the New York Post described as general manager Glen Sather's "lust" for Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The good news for the Rangers and their fans is that Sather didn't want—or lust for—Nash badly enough to give up too much for him.

Sather was apparently more than willing to part with forward Brandon Dubinsky, defenseman Tim Erixon, 2011 first-rounder J.T. Miller, 2010 second-rounder Christian Thomas and a first-round selection in this June’s Entry Draft. According to Brooks, that was the package offered to Jackets GM Scott Howson. 

Howson wanted more. And who can blame him for insisting on either can't-miss prospect Chris Kreider or Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto and Derek Stepan?

There was a time, not so long ago, when the Rangers wouldn't have thought very long about trading away a sizable chunk of their future for a marquee player like Nash.

Not anymore. And thank goodness for that.

Now the Rangers can forge ahead, intact, and continue to proceed towards the post-season with one of the best young corp of defensemen in the game, with arguably the best goalie in the game, Henrik Lundqvist, and with a group of forwards who seem to have just the right balance of grit, determination and responsibility at both ends of the ice, as well as the requisite skill and speed.

There was a telling moment in the Rangers recent game at Madison Square Garden against Nash and the Blue Jackets just over a week ago. The Rangers seemed to be on their way to a 2-1 victory when Nash—who spent the entire evening hearing a raucous Garden crowd serenade him endlessly with jeers of "We don't want you"—tied the game with just over 90 seconds left in regulation.

The game went to overtime—and it took the Rangers just 22 seconds to finish it: Gaborik and Del Zotto burst into the Jackets zone, engaged in some terrific passing that has become a trademark of late for this team, before Del Zotto found a wide-open Stepan, who cooly scored the game-winner.

For those who were looking for a sign or an omen of some sort, one that supports the importance of teamwork over the heroics of a talented individual like Nash, this was it.

The hunch here is now that the deadline has come and gone, the Rangers should be able to relax—but in a good way. These guys, who've accomplished so much so far this season, know that they're truly going to be together now for the long haul, for when it all really counts, and that they are eminently capable of accomplishing something that would be truly remarkable.