1) Good signing of Wade Redden in the offseason, Rangers. So with that contract, did you think you were signing the Wade Redden of 3-4 years ago? You know, the one that made the Sens pick him over Chara because they couldn't keep both? Six years for $39 million... Don't worry Rangers fans, he only has another 5 seasons taking up a large chunk of the salary cap. And he only apparently has a partial no-trade clause (he wanted a full one, but apparently Sather only would let him submit a list of teams he would be willing to go to if they occasion ever came up that they wanted to trade him). Plus, there were rumors (unsubstantiated and probably untrue) in Ottawa that he was a coke fiend...
2) How does Mike Milbury still have a job? He has been consistently awful for the past several seasons a commentator (before anyone says it: no, it's not because he criticizes the Pens. I don't care about that. His opinions on the sport in general are abysmal.)
This is like Matt Millen becoming an NFL commentator despite his terrible front office tenure (Good idea NBC. Are we supposed to take him seriously and listen to anything he has to say now?). Just to refresh some of Mike Milbury's greatest hits as Isles GM:
17-Nov-96: Islanders trade Darius Kasparaitis and Andreas Johansson to the Penguins for Bryan Smolinksi.
6-Feb-98: Islanders trade D Bryan McCabe, C Todd Bertuzzi and a third-round draft pick(LW Jarkko Ruutu) to Vancouver for Trevor Linden.
30-May-98: Islanders trade RW Jean-Pierre Dumont & NYI 5th round pick in 1998 Entry Draft (later traded to PHI. PHI selected Francis Belanger) to the Chicago Blackhawks for C Dmitri Nabokov.
20-Mar-99: Islanders trade G Tommy Salo to Edmonton for F Mats Lindgren & EDM's 8th round choice in 1999 Entry Draft(D Radek Martinek).
24-Jun-00: New York Islanders traded Olli Jokien and Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.
23-Jun-01: Ottawa Senators traded Alexei Yashin to the New York Islanders for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and 1st round selection (Jason Spezza) in 2001. (We should also add the subsequent 10-year deal they signed Yashin to right after this)
Were it not for a series of owners who skimped on payroll and some outright dumb trades by Milbury, there might be a second dynasty on Long Island today. Consider the following roster:
Goal: Roberto Luongo, Defence: Bryan McCabe, Wade Redden, Zdeno Chara and Eric Brewer. Forwards: Olli Jokinen, JP Dumont, Todd Bertuzzi, Jason Spezza (selected by Ottawa with the first round pick moved by Milbury for Alexei Yashin), Tim Connolly, Taylor Pyatt, Raffi Torres, Michael Rupp.
He also passed up the chance to draft either Dany Heatley or Marian Gaborik in 2000 to select Rick DiPietro, which wouldn’t have been necessary if he’d held onto Luongo.
Almost all of those players were moved, not because they were expensive to retain since almost all of them were just young, affordable players back then, but because Milbury just couldn’t resist making deals.