Apparently, according to Glen Sather, Grachev asked to be traded last year and the Rangers shopped him for over a year. The Blues were the only team interested.
Rangers fans for the most part were pretty annoyed after the trade was announced. I wasn't annoyed at all, or surprised for that matter as my initial post indicated.
I think many fans fail to realize that Grachev was selected by the Rangers in the third round, 75th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Until I did some research I thought Grachev had been drafted earlier. To have a third round pick from three years ago, who hasn't done much in either the NHL (in limited action) or the AHL request a trade and be able to flip him for an improved draft pick is actually not a bad thing at all.
Grachev played 8 games last year with the Rangers and didn't register any points. Truthfully, most of those eight games his time was spent on the fourth line. In 2009-10 with Hartford he finished with just 12 goals and 28 points in 80 games and then last season played in 73 games in Hartford and finished with a slightly better 16 goals and 38 points [Stats]. Not terrible numbers for an AHLer, but certainly not the type of numbers that indicate that a player is busting at the seams ready to make the jump to the NHL to contribute in a top six forward position.
The St. Louis Blues traded pick number 72 of the draft (3rd round pick) to the NY Rangers for Evgeny Gradchev.
The Rangers then used the third round pick to select center Steven Fogarty.
Some Rangers fans may be very surprised by this move but honestly to me it's not all that shocking. Grachev has been given several opportunities with the Rangers and has never shown his coaches enough to stick with the big club, instead spending the majority of the time in Hartford.
I like the first sentence of the scouting report that I just read on Fogarty, he "plays a physical brand of hockey, grinding it out on the boards and getting dirty in front of the net."
Wait, it gets even better:
[Fogarty] bullies his way around the ice, excelling at playing a power game. Has the ability to finish in tight and pick up his fair share of garbage goals. Has pretty good hands for a big guy and can stick handle with the best of them. passing could use a bit more touch but this is not a glaring weakness. Does not have elite speed but is a mule on his skates.
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