April 1, 2013 -- Exclusive to St. Louis Game Time
by Rick Ackerman
In an unprecedented move, the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers will jointly announce today that they have agreed to trade their entire 23-man rosters with each other, with the exception of one player each. The NHL clubs will also exchange franchise names. Henceforth, they will be known as "New York's Broadway Blues" and the St. Louis Rangers.
The move, a first in NHL history, is said to stem from the fact that both teams are loaded with complacent players who need a change of scenery. In a joint statement, Doug Armstrong and Glen Sather, the General Managers of the Rangers and Broadway Blues respectively, said, "We are tired of having to move a player or two in order to shake up the team and motivate the players, which takes time and effort. It just makes sense to do it all in one fell swoop and get it over with."
Both NHL clubs reached the 109 point plateau last year, the Broadway Blues finishing first in the Eastern Conference and the Rangers finishing second in the West and were expected to challenge for the President's Trophy this year as well as contend for the Stanley Cup. However, both clubs are under-performing as the Broadway Blues languish in eighth place and the Rangers in ninth place in their respective conferences, struggling to find consistency.
"We had to do something to right the ship for our fans, whatever it takes", said Armstrong. "We feel we have finally acquired the number one goaltender we have long searched for in Henrik Lundqvist (the new King of St. Louis) and we needed to shore up the left side of the defense with the additions of Marc Staal, Ryan McDonough and Dan Girardi. We also get that number one center in Brad Richards, something we have not had in St. Louis for a long time. Throw in hard-working players like Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan and we feel we finally have a winner."
Sather was also thrilled with the influx of talent coming to his team. "We will match any offers to Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk, who, with Barret Jackman and Roman Polak, give us tremendous depth on defense. And adding rookie sensation Vlad Tarasenko and Techno-Viking Patrik Berglund is a dream come true for New York hockey fans. Throw in hard-working David Backes and Alex Steen and we feel like we finally have a winner."
The "Exception Players", to be announced before the trade deadline Wednesday, are rumored to be Rick Nash for the Broadway Blues and T.J. Oshie for the Rangers. Insiders note that Nash was such a steal from Columbus that Sather would not want to give him up and keep him around as a monument to his wisdom and skill as General Manager. And it is clear that the fan-base in St. Louis would be heart-broken and ready to abandon the team if a popular player like Oshie ever left in a trade.
More to come...