While this has yet to be officially announced, the general consensus is that a trade is nearing completion involving Calgary Flames centers Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust in exchange for wingers Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins.
According to Larry Brooks of the NY Post as well as Darren Dreger of TSN, there was a deal in place last night including Ales Kotalik, but a late development prohibited it from being announced.
Kotalik flew to NY prior to tonight's game after learning he had been traded.
Rick Carpinello of LoHud explains that the hiccup is still not completely resolved, which may have to do with a no-movement or no-trade clause. However, during TSN's trade deadline analysis, only Wade Redden, Chris Drury, and Michal Rozsival were listed as having NTC.
If this trade were to comensurate, it would provide some longer term cap relief for New York. While the money at this point is virtually equal, Jokinen at $5.25 million and Prust at $500,00 while Kotalik is at $3 million and Higgins $2.25 million, Kotalik has two more years remaining on his contract and Higgins was due to be an RFA in the summer. Both Jokinen and Prust are UFA's at the end of the season.
When all is said and done, it's very possible that the Rangers get nothing back long term. If Jokinen and/or Prust don't re-sign, then Kotalik and Higgins went for nothing, which has been seen before on Broadway.
Similar to when Nigel Dawes, Dmitri Kalinin, and Petr Prucha were shipped out to Phoenix for Derek Morris, but he signed with Boston in the offseason.
It's good to dump a bad contract, but you want some longer term value with your return. This regime has not been able to solidify that.
However, it's a way for GM Glen Sather to admit a mistake without admitting a mistake. With an additional $5.75 million free after the season, it gives him some flexibility to retain Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, and perhaps Vinny Prospal.
The addition of Prust would also suggest that Aaron Voros and/or Donald Brashear could see their tenures come to an end.
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