Glen Sather is a magician at trades, and perhaps if he was as good at free agent signings as he is at swapping players, the Rangers might not have been put in the predicament they were in last season.
Last year's team was one of the more unlikeable ones ever assembled in the last decade, and because of that, it has quickly been dismantled. Thirteen players that wore Broadway Blue last season are now playing for different teams, the most recent departure being Lauri Korpikoski.
Yesterday evening, the Rangers acquired right wing Enver Lisin from Phoenix, in exchange for the above mentioned Korpikoski. Not a real blockbuster but it is a significant acquisition nonetheless.
Lisin, a 22-year-old native of Moscow, will provide plenty for the Rangers, even offering more skill then the player they sent packing for him.
In only forty eight games last season he managed to score 13 goals, while Korpikoski scored only six, while playing exactly twenty more games then Lisin. He never showed any raw offensive potential, even though it was his rookie season.
Never a goal scorer throughout his junior career, Korpikoski was the last remaining player acquired in the 2004 Brian Leetch trade (as a 2nd round draft pick).
Lisin, however, is the exact type of player that John Tortorella wants; someone that tries hard and has skills to match the wheels, because Lisin has sure shown his speed through seventy eight total NHL games.
The Rangers, if they do not make any more trades, may even find themselves placing Lisin on the top line to skate on Brandon Dubinsky's wing, with Marian Gaborik of course skating on the other.
Greg Caggiano is a writer on Bleacher Report covering the New York Rangers. He has a New York area sports teams blog called Metro-Sports, where you can read great articles about all professional sports teams that play in the area by a dedicated team of young writers.