Do you remember the days when the New York Rangers used to go out and sign high-priced free agents to awful contracts? What about when the team used to trade for over the hill players?
In the last few days, Blueshirts’ General Manager Jeff Gorton has shown the team’s fans that those days are long gone. When the team traded Zuccarello on Saturday, February 23, to the Dallas Stars, they got back a 2019 second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft as well as a third-round pick in the 2020 draft.
When the club traded Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets on Monday, February 25, the team received a first round pick in the 2019 draft to go along with a conditional pick and a 22-year-old Brendan Lemieux.
Gorton has done it again with another deal, this time to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blueshirts traded defenseman Adam McQuaid for both a fourth-round and seventh-round pick in the 2019 Draft.
It’s unfortunate that the team did not get to use McQuaid, 32, much this season due to injuries. In 36 games with the club, he had five points (two goals and three assists) and was a +3, which for a team that gives up a lot of goals is impressive.
With that said, Gorton saw it as a way to unload another aging player. Yes, I realize that 32 is not that old, but at the same time, McQuaid is a guy who blocks a lot of shots and plays a physical brand of hockey, which leaves him susceptible to injuries.
So far on deadline day, Gorton is doing the right thing. He is letting go of somewhat older players, getting younger players and draft picks back, and is staying the course in terms of the team’s rebuild.
Have no fear Blueshirt fans. We have a GM that realizes that the club’s future is important and that the time is now to adapt to today’s game.