For now, there's nothing new to report. According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the deal that would send Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust to the Rangers in exchange for Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik is on hold. As to why, more from McKenzie:
There are reports that Kotalik isn't prepared to waive his no-trade clause to go to Calgary but the indication is the Rangers were fully able and prepared to do this deal, but Calgary backed away at the last moment.It's worth noting that the Flames play the Flyers tonight in Alberta and Jokinen is in the lineup. Prust may or may not play depending on what Brent Sutter opts to do. As McKenzie alluded to, usually players about to be traded don't play which makes one wonder if this deal is kaput. Perhaps Calgary had a change of heart. But it's uncertain what's going on.
In today's NY Post, Larry Brooks reported that the original trade included Matt Gilroy with Kotalik but the Flames changed their minds and asked for Higgins.The former Hobey Baker winner has been a disappointment posting four goals and five assists with 21 penalty minutes in 51 games this season. While the 25 year-old defenseman has a respectable plus-four rating, he's struggled defensively rarely taking the body. The skating that we saw in an impressive preseason is there but the BU product hasn't been consistent, even getting sent down to Hartford earlier.
It probably doesn't help much that he plays with Wade Redden. However, it's still his first pro season making the jump from college. While younger teammate Michael Del Zotto has turned heads straight from junior, it's been more of an adjustment for Gilroy who signed a multi-year $3.5 million contract as a free agent to play with his favorite team. It would be a mistake to give up on him while dead weight (Redden and Rozsival) continue to embarrass the logo. Besides, he still has one more year to prove himself.
If the Jokinen trade is off, it would be typical. As I said earlier today, it's the Rangers. The Dolan/Slats Error has been disastrous. Anything that can go wrong will. Hopefully, we'll get some good news for once. Just don't count on it.
UPDATE: Per Darren Dreger, it sounds like the trade might still be on and could be completed after the Philly-Calgary game tonight. Whether it is or not, could something please happen so we can end the suspense?