After repeatedly promising to hold out for a return befitting “an elite player,” what Howson got were four question marks.
1. Dubinsky – a 26-year-old center coming off a 10-goal, 24-assist season; signed through 2014-15 with a $4.2 million cap hit.
2. Anisimov – a 24-year-old center that had 16 goals and 20 assists in 2011-12; set to become a restricted free agent next season.
3. Erixon – a 22-year-old defenseman with just 18 NHL games under his belt; drafted 23rd overall in 2009.
4. A first-round pick that’s likely to come late in the round.
Not that Howson didn’t acquire potential. Dubinsky is a two-time 20-goal scorer that may benefit from a change in scenery and an increased role in the offense. Anisimov had 10 points in the playoffs, tied for fourth on the Rangers. Erixon is still young, and defenseman often take longer to develop. And there have been plenty of impact players drafted late in the first round.
But no matter what Howson says in the wake of the trade, you can bet he wanted – and expected to get – more.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, who broke the trade, “Howson managed this trade his way, but the components of this deal were available at the deadline and again at the draft.”