The Rangers loaded up every Canadian team at the 2004 deadline. Coincidence? Or was it Glen Sather’s ultimate act of patriotism?
Glen Sather, Canadian patriot until the end.
For one week, 10 years ago, such was his philosophy. Was it conscious? We’ll never know. All we know is Sather made nine trades in one week during a wild New York Rangers fire sale in spring 2004 and there was a fascinating pattern. Behold:
March 2, 2004
The Rangers trade Alex Kovalev to the Montreal Canadiens for Jozef Balej and a 2004 second-round pick (Bruce Graham)
March 3, 2004
The Rangers trade Brian Leetch and a conditional 2004 draft pick (Roman Kukumberg) to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jarkko Immonen, Maxim Kondriatev, a 2004 first-round pick (Kris Chucko) and a 2005 second-round pick (Michael Sauer).
The Rangers trade Jussi Markanen and Petr Nedved to the Edmonton Oilers for Dwight Helminen, Stephen Valiquette and a 2004 second-round pick (Dane Byers).
March 6, 2004
The Rangers trade Chris Simon and a 2004 seventh-round pick (Matt Schneider) to the Calgary Flames for Blair Betts, Jamie McLennan and Greg Moore.
March 8, 2004
The Rangers trade Matthew Barnaby and a 2004 third-round pick (Denis Parshin) to the Colorado Avalanche for Chris McAllister, a 2004 second-round pick (David Shantz) and the rights to David Liffiton.
The Rangers trade Vladimir Malakhov to the Philadelphia Flyers for Rick Kozak and a 2005 second-round pick (Ondrej Pavelec).
March 9, 2004
The Rangers trade Greg de Vries to the Ottawa Senators for Alexandre Giroux and Karel Rachunek.
The Rangers trade Martin Rucinsky to the Vancouver Canucks for Martin Grenier and R.J. Umberger.
The Rangers trade Paul Healey to the Florida Panthers for Jeff Paul.
The Rangers didn’t exclusively trade to Canadian teams, but they covered off every squad north of the border. Maybe the deals to Colorado, Philadelphia and Florida were made to throw us off the trail of this conspiracy theory?
Sather and the Rangers could not be reached for comment on their actions, likely because this is a stupid topic to discuss seriously, But hey, had to ask in case Sather felt like outing himself as the second coming of John A. Macdonald.
Yes, I know it’s
probably a coincidence. But it’s a fun one and worth revisiting.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin