Original Post 6:47AM
According to Larry Brooks in the New York Post, last season the Rangers had a deal in place to acquire rookie, at the time, Steven Stamkos from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Stamkos has 46 goals this season for Tampa Bay and was the first overall pick in 2008.
Brooks says that Sather was dealing with former Lightning co-owner Len Barrie who was told to choose two or three from a list that included Michael Del Zotto, Evgeny Grachev, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Dan Girardi.
…Wow. First, its crazy that the deal was struck and second crazy that two or three of those guys could have been involved. Don’t know how I feel about that. Stamkos is an elite scorer as he has shown this year, but any three for one deal has to be questioned. Losing Del Zotto, Grachev’s potential and Callahan would have hurt the Rangers significantly. But they would have acquired Stamkos. However any deal that included Dubinsky and Girardi would have tilted in the Rangers favor
The deal fell apart when Barrie didn’t have the authority to make the trade
“How close did we come?” Sather asked rhetorically, repeating the question we posed to him as the Rangers practiced in Tampa on Thursday. “We shook hands on it, that’s how close.
“I’d been on it since Europe. I had an agreement with Len Barrie. I asked him if he had the authority to make the trade, and he assured me that he did, because he was an owner.
…And now another great “what if” is added to the list