There’s a price for The Cup.
Back a generation ago when Neil Smith was desperately trying to end the 1940 curse, he paid a dear price by sending future All-Star Tony Amonte to the Blackhawks for Brian Noonan and Stephane Matteau at the trading deadline.
Of course it worked, but the Rangers paid a dear price for losing their young talent. Both Amonte and Doug Weight, who went to Edmonton for Esa Tikkanen the year before, could have been cornerstones for the franchise but were sacrificed in the name of the 1994 Stanley Cup.
Today, Glen Sather may have made a move that could have the same long term devastating effect on the Blueshirts when he sent top prospect Anthony Duclair, along with John Moore and a couple of picks to the Coyotes for Keith Yandle, a prospect and a pick.
If there was ever a move for now, this is it. Getting Yandle fortifies the blue line and gives New York possibly the best six they ever put in front of Henrik Lundqvist when he comes back later this month.
With 40 points on the season, he become the Rangers leading scoring defenseman and now the power play quarterback, something 38 year-old Dan Boyle was unable to do. He’s not Brian Leetch, but Yandle can move the puck.
Being able to have three solid pairings will also allow Alain Vigneault not to overuse any of the D-Men during the playoffs.
However, because Yandle is an unrestricted free agent at the end of next year and Arizona is paying for half his salary, this is a short term move for the 28 year-old. By giving up Duclair and possibly the No.1 pick in 2016, Sather is mortgaging the future in order to win The Cup this year.
You can’t blame Sather for going for it. Lundqvist at 33, only has a few years left in his prime and with the way the team is constituted, the Rangers are built to win right now.
If the Rangers take the championship this season or next season, then this trade will be a success. Otherwise, Sather is taking the risk of losing a potential All-Star (or two) who could be a cornerstone for the team many years to come.
Because they won in 1994, no one is looking back at the Amonte and Weight deals as failures. Smith paid the price to win The Cup and that team is now revered.
Now Sather is going for it.
Is the price for The Cup too high?
We will let you know in June.