Despite the fact that the Rangers season came to a disappointing end when Olli Jokinen appeared to half ass a final shootout attempt that made you think that he was more interested in going home than helping the team win, the trade that brought the Fin to Broadway was a good one for the Blueshirts.
I’m not just talking about the fact that the Rangers managed to get rid of $3 million on next year’s salary cap in the form of Ales Kotalik either. Andrew Rothstein of Puck Prospectus took at look at how all the players performed statistically and determined that the Rangers really got all the value in the deal and that doesn’t even include Brandon Prust :
"Yes. With the Rangers, a team which was 17th in Offensive GVT and 13th in Defensive GVT for 2009-10, Jokinen contributed 15 points in 26 games at the end of the year. The Finnish forward, under the bright lights of New York, almost helped the Rangers make the playoffs when they went 13-9-4 after his acquisition. He immediately aided New York’s man advantage unit, contributing a sixth-best 2:24 minutes of ice time per game during five on four play.
But don’t get too carried away with overstating the impact he had in the Empire State — his ability to get off solid one-timers at the point helped him accumulate only a 1.2 GVT in his time with the Rangers. To be fair though, his puck carrying and passing skills were a massive upgrade over the two players who were sent Calgary’s way.
When Flames fans found out Sutter was dealing Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust for Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins, they were stunned by the lack of value they were receiving in return. Despite New York making yet another move for a veteran to patch a team weakness, they actually did well to only surrender a guy, in Kotalik, who has been horrific at even strength and gets by on chances only because teams love his size, hands and cannon of a shot. Higgins, another piece in the deal, has turned out to be a run-of-the-mill left winger who could be replaced by Calgary starting next year. Combined, they contributed -0.2 GVT over 38 games. That’s not exactly what Calgary was looking for."
Rothstein’s point was not that the Rangers really got a good player in Jokinen, but that they sent absolute crap to Calgary in exchange. He’s right. When you combine that fact with the fact that the trade was essentially a salary dump, at least I hope Glen Sather didn’t think Jokinen was actually going to help this team win, makes this one great trade for the Rangers.
As bad as Sather is as a general manager, he has managed to pull out two amazing trades to make up for a couple of his mistakes (the mistakes being overpaying for Scott Gomez and paying Kotalik any thing at all).
Too bad he can’t trade himself away too.