Over at Blueshirt Banter, Joe Fortunato, our own Mike MacLean, and I had some good back and forths about the fallout of the Rick Nash deal for both sides.
I had a few more questions for Joe, and he was nice enough to give us his thoughts, plus I answered a few of his own concerns about the former Columbus captain. Check it out and let us know what you think!MM: Prior to the trade, where did Tim Erixon fit in with the Rangers? Was he penciled-in on next year's blueline? Also, where did he rank in terms of the Rangers' prospects?
JF: Erixon was the team's top prospect. He wasn't fantastic in his first stint with the team at the beginning of the season, but looked much better when he came up for a couple of games at the end of the year. He tailed off a bit (in terms of offense) at the end of the year and in the playoffs with the Connecticut Whale, but many experts peg him as a potential first pairing who can play on both sides of the puck. He's small (thin as a rail) so he might get worked off the puck easily and isn't a physically imposing defenseman, but he probably would have had a spot on the Rangers next year.
MM: When they're at their best, what can Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov bring to the table?
JF: Dubinsky can be a grinding, possession-based, 50-point player. He's good in the corners, does what it takes to win and plays the hustle card every chance he can. You can never question that kid's work ethic. Anisimov is more of a wild card. He has the tools to be fantastic offensively, but he hasn't been able to implement them in the NHL as of yet. Still, there's no reason to assume he can be a 50-point player himself. What Ansimov really brings to the table is his defense. He's a brilliant defensive forward, and can create offense with his defense.
MM: Will Anisimov ever crack the 25 goal mark?
JF: Can he? Yes. Will he? Well, that's always been the knock, he never seems to put it all together. Let me put it to you this way, if he scored 20 goals next year with more minutes and some power play time, I wouldn't be surprised.
Check back later - we'll have more with BSB as we talk more about how the newest Blue Jackets may fit in Columbus!