From Sam Weinman at the Rangers Report...
- The word out of Phoenix on Fred Sjostrom is he has been used by Wayne Gretzky mostly in a defensive role. He has good speed and some offensive ability, and was a popular guy in the Coyotes dressing room (including with reporters). I suspect he’ll be used on the fourth line to start, but we’ll see where that goes.
- Josh Gratton was the Coyotes’ enforcer for most of last season, but broke his finger during training camp and was eventually buried in San Antonio.
- In hindsight, Marcel Hossa’s sudden return rom Hartford in time for Sunday’s game was a classic example of a player being showcased.
- The Rangers indeed also got a conditional pick out of the Phoenix deal.
Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says...
- Sjostrom, 24, is a right wing, former 11th overall pick, and should fit in well for Marcel Hossa. Not a scorer, 6-17-29 in 05-06; 9-9-18 in 06-07; Gratton is an enforcer, with 188 penalty minutes in 52 games in Phoenix in 06-07. I expect Leneveau to be in Hartford.
- Montoya's days were numbered when Henrik Lundqvist was signed to a long-term deal.He's been inconsistent and injury-prone in Hartford, and the rise of Miika Wiikman had bumped him to No. 2.
- Marcel Hossa's effectiveness has been restricted by a bad back. He was 1-7-8 in 36 games.
- Backman had been placed on injured reserve in early February with a cracked bone in his left foot, which he sustained while blocking a shot in a win over. Anaheim. He was 1-9-10 in 45 games.
...so let me get this straight we just traded for an over-priced defenseman, 3 million this year and next year (thanks for the info bpette), who was on injured reserve earlier this month with a cracked bone in his foot. Nice.
...and in our other trade, we traded our one-time goalie of the future and Hossa (who looked good the other night) for a goalie of lesser talent, a goon and 2001 first rounder who Phoenix was trying to turn into a defensive forward. Double nice.
...to me neither of these trades make much sense. With Backman, we now have an average at best defenseman on our payroll at 3 million next year giving us less room to bring in top talent in the off-season. And unless Sjostrom regains the skills that made him an 11th overall pick, we just traded a valuable penalty killer and someone I thought would be effective on the fourth line in Hossa along with Montoya for nothing. Awesome job Sather.