Glen Sather broke media silence for the first time since the NHL trade deadline on Saturday, and in the process proved the old adage “it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
In chatting with reporters at the NHL Entry Draft after swapping next year’s third round pick in the draft with the Los Angeles Kings for 2003 first round draft pick Brian Boyle, the Rangers’ reclusive general manager had the following to say about the third least productive player to come out of one of the richest draft classes in NHL history: “Boyle’s 6-foot-7, 245 pounds and he’s a good shooter. He’s a guy who needs an opportunity. He shut down [Artem] Anisimov in the [AHL] playoffs.”
The quote — particularly the last sentence — would suggest that the organization may be looking at Boyle, a center, as a replacement for fourth line pivot Blair Betts, who Sather suggested may be Edmonton-bound on Wednesday when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. There’s only one problem: Boyle didn’t shut Anisimov down in the AHL playoffs. In fact, Boyle didn’t even play against Anisimov in the AHL playoffs. The Manchester Monarchs, the farm club of the Kings, for which Boyle played 42 games last season, didn’t even make the AHL’s post season. Boyle hasn’t played a Calder Cup playoff game since the 2006-2007 season, his first year as a pro.
Anisimov didn’t arrive in North America until the 2007-2008 season. The Hartford Wolf Pack’s leading scorer — playing without concussed veteran scorer P.A. Parenteau on his wing — was in fact held to just two points (three, if you count a goal in game five which was very obviously recorded wrong) in the team’s disappointing six game first round playoff loss to the Worcester Sharks (farm club of the San Jose Sharks, for which defenseman Dan Boyle, who’s never suited up for Worcester, plays.) But it was the defensive tandem of Mike Moore and NHL veteran Kyle McLaren who were handed the task of neutralizing the Pack’s top line by Worchester coach Roy Sommer, who seemed just as happy to have his first line offensive guns go head-to-head with Anisimov’s line as he was his third line checkers.
Who Sather thinks he traded for on Saturday is anyone’s guess.
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