Tue May 25 04:38pm EDT
Why is Chris Noth standing in front of the Union Jack and dressed like Dick Duff? Actually, that would be Ron Stewart, who played in the NHL from 1952-1972 and was a 4-time all-star with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Why is Ron Stewart appearing on this blog? Simple: He was involved in the last trade between arch rivals the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders back on Nov. 14, 1972. OK, "trade" might be slightly deceiving; unless he was dealt for a guy named "cash."
What does that have to do with May 25, 2010? What, you don't read headlines?
The Islanders and Rangers completed their first trade in over 37 years today as the Blueshirts acquired 19-year-old defenseman Jyri Niemi for a sixth-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. That's right: The last Islanders/Rangers trade happened nearly twice his lifetime ago.
A member of the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League last season, Niemi attend the Rangers' annual Prospect Development Camp.
Their previous trade occurred during the Islanders' inaugural season, back when they were a cute little puppy of a franchise to the Rangers' Original Six big dog. Then the Islanders won four Cups, and the puppy stopped being so cute. Even in the franchise's broken-down, flea-ridden dog days in the last 15 years, no trades happened between the city rivals until today's minor deal. One can only assume this thawing of the ice is the first step to Glen Sather offering Wade Redden(notes) for Kyle Okposo(notes).
For comparison's sake, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers have made eight trades in that 37-year span, including one blockbuster that sent Mark Recchi(notes) to Philly and Rick Tocchet to Pittsburgh. There were at least nine trades between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees in that span, including Robin Ventura for David Justice in 2001.
The Rangers/Islanders trade ... a true hockey rarity. As opposed to the Rangers/New Jersey Devils trade, which is evidently a hockey impossibility, seeing as how it's never happened in the 28 years of Devils hockey in Jersey.