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High prices, satisfaction kept NYR silent at deadline

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 10:35 AM / 2012 Trade Deadline

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

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High prices, satisfaction kept NYR silent at deadline
High prices kept Rangers general manager out of trade market.
The New York Rangers have shown the willingness to pay the price on the ice all season and for that reason, GM Glen Sather wasn't willing to pay the price to land Rick Nash.

The East-leading Rangers, who are the NHL's top team based on points percentage, earned their 40th win of the season Monday, beating the New Jersey Devils 2-0 several hours after Sather decided against tinkering with his young squad at the NHL Trade Deadline.

But, until the trading window officially closed at 3 p.m., the rumors persisted that Sather wanted to land Nash, but the Blue Jackets couldn't find a willing partner to meet their asking price.

"We talked to a lot of people. The way the deals were falling out, it didn't make any sense for us. We like our team, we like where we are, we like the youth we have. We have a program in place. We want to stick with it. You have to be careful in these situations." -- Rangers GM Glen Sather

Sather wouldn't speak specifically about Nash, but said teams in a position to sell wanted a lot for their players.

"The (prices) seemed very high," Sather said. "There are so many teams in the hunt right now. The teams that weren't in the hunt, they were trying to get as much as they could, maximize their assets.

"We talked to a lot of people. The way the deals were falling out, it didn't make any sense for us. We like our team, we like where we are, we like the youth we have. We have a program in place. We want to stick with it. You have to be careful in these situations."

Howson backed up Sather's contention that the prices were high -- at least when it came to the franchise forward in Columbus.

"The price was high for (Nash), and I don't apologize for that," Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said. "It had to be high."

The various reported offers for Nash included Brandon Dubinsky, a mix of prospects Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller and Christian Thomas, and first- and/or second-round draft picks. It's believed that in order to get a deal done, Sather would have needed to part with either Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto, two young defensemen who have been integral to the Rangers' success this season.

The Rangers have risen to the top of the standings with one of the youngest teams in the League and a roster filled with mostly home-grown talent that the organization has developed with patience since the work stoppage. Sather also hinted that 20-year-old Kreider, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior at Boston College with 19 goals in 34 games, could sign with the club afetr the college season ends and be ready to play this season.

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Sather, whose only move Monday was to add forward/defenseman John Scott from the Chicago Blackhawks for a fifth-round draft pick, saw no reason to deviate from the blueprint that's taken the Rangers this far.

"The coaching staff likes the team that we have, I like our team," Sather said. "I wasn't going to dismantle any of the pieces out of the organization, although it was written just about every different scenario you can imagine.

"We're not ready to do anything like that. We don't know how far we can go. We haven't any idea how far anybody's going to go in this. Once you get in the playoffs, you never know. But I like the chemistry of our hockey team, I like the way they're playing. They don't quit, they work hard. We don't win every night, but we've been doing our fair share of it."

There's no denying the Rangers, who are second in the NHL in goals-against, aren't one of the League's most dangerous teams. They rank No. 12 in goals scored, and adding a two-time 40-goal scorer in Nash certainly would've gone a long way in improving that area.

In the end, Sather didn't want to make any drastic changes.

"There's two ways to think," Sather said. "One is you've got a group of players who have worked very hard all year. If you can find a couple pieces that can make your team better, you're letting them down by not doing it. But you can't dismantle the organization for a couple deals."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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