Just a bit ago, the Wild announced they had traded Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri to the New York Rangers for center Mike Rupp. Obviously, this is far from a blockbuster trade. This is whatever the exact opposite of a blockbuster is. Two fourth line guys who play a hard nosed game, both plying their trade and living the life of a grinder.
The biggest difference here is in size. As you can see here:
#14 / Right Wing / Minnesota Wild
Jun 22, 1985
#17 / Left Wing / New York Rangers
Jan 13, 1980
There is a bit of a size disparity. With players like Zach Parise, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, and Mikael Granlund as mainstays in the lineup, the Wild have been, shall we say, run over by the opposition as of late. They called up Charlie Coyle to add size to the forward ranks, then make this trade to bring in a bruiser in Rupp.
Certainly, no one is expecting Rupp to come in and start scoring breakaway goals against Pekka Rinne to win games. If you are, you're barking up the wrong tree. Rupp is a more skilled version of Matt Kassian, and provides the same attitude adjusting size an grit that Kassian would offer.
Don't get too excited over this move, folks. It's a small time deal moving small pieces to make small adjustments. It's the things teams do when they need to shake things up without completely overhauling. The Wild and the Rangers are both good teams (the Rangers are much, much better), and have their skilled guys. This is two teams making a move to shore up their respective defenses.
Both players are signed through next season and become UFAs after that. Rupp makes about $500K more per season. Rupp has history with Mike Yeo, so they know who they are getting.
Don't discount the fact that the Wild included Nick Palmieri in this deal. The kid has an attitude problem, and no one wants that around their prospects. Hopefully Palmieri gets the message, since it is highly unlikely the kid ever sees Madison Square Garden, and if he does, and cops an attitude, the NY press will eat him alive. Careful what you wish for, folks.
From our friends at Blue Shirt banter:
You'll see a lot of Rangers fans talk about how happy they are that Mike Rupp is gone, but it's not really a fair assessment of his game. He's an outstanding character guy, a great locker room voice and obviously fills an enforcing role. He's slowed down, though, and wasn't used for more than five minutes a night with the Rangers. In the right system he's a serviceable fourth liner. With Tortorella he was dead weight. Wish him all the best, though, he's a heck of a guy.
Thoughts from the Rangers angle can be found at Blue Shirt Banter.
Some Rupp action over on YouTube:
From the Wild PR department:
MINNESOTA WILD ACQUIRES LW MIKE RUPP FROM NEW YORK RANGERS IN EXCHANGE FOR LW DARROLL POWE AND RW NICK PALMIERI
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired left wing Mike Rupp from the New York Rangers in exchange for left wingDarroll Powe and right wing Nick Palmieri.
Rupp, 33 (1/13/80), has totaled 94 points (53-41=94) and 765 penalty minutes (PIM) in 565 games during parts of 10 NHL seasons with New Jersey, Phoenix, Columbus, Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers. He totaled 12 PIM in eight games with the Rangers this year after netting five points (4-1=5) and 97 PIM in 60 regular-season games with the Rangers last season. The 6-foot-5, 243-pound native of Brunswick, Ohio, was originally drafted by New Jersey in the third round (76th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and helped the Devils win the Stanley Cup in 2003, scoring the Cup-clinching goal.
Powe, 27, has posted a plus-1 rating and 9 PIM in eight games with the Wild this season. The 5-foot-11, 212-pound forward posted 13 points (6-7=13) and 57 PIM in 82 games with the Wild in 2011-12, his first season with the Wild. The native of Saskatoon, Sask., totaled 43 points (22-21=43) in 204 games during three seasons (2008-11) with the Flyers to start his NHL career.
Palmieri, 23, has totaled 21 points (10-11=21), a plus-12 rating and 35 PIM in 40 games with Houston (AHL) this season. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of Utica, N.Y., played in nine games with the Wild in 2011-12 after being acquired from New Jersey on Feb. 24, 2012. Palmieri has totaled 25 points (13-12=25) and 20 PIM in 87 career NHL games in parts of three seasons after originally being selected by New Jersey in the third round (79th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.