Rangers Rumor Roundup: Assessing the Derek Stepan trade buzz
Hello All! @NHLRumorsDaily here with my first of what I hope to be many posts on FullTiltNYR. With the impending trade freeze almost upon us and many more rumors to come over the next few weeks, we start by looking at the most recently developing of all NYR rumors.
When the Rangers were eliminated in 5 games by the Penguins in the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, the discussion immediatly turned to blowing up the Rangers “core”. One of the many NYR forwards rumored to be on the move then was center Derek Stepan and not shockingly his name has been prominent now.
If you haven’t been glued to Twitter over the past 72 hours unlike myself, TSN’s hockey insider and Twitter legend Bob McKenzie lit the fuse to what has been one of the hottest rumors around the hockey-sphere over the past day or so.
NYR centre Derek Stepan’s name is fairly prominent in trade chatter. Stepan’s contract has four more years with AAV of $6M.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 14, 2017
Hearing this should come as no shock to NYR fans who have been intently following the direction of the team since last season. The Rangers, who have been looking to get younger, are shopping the 26 year old center for help on the back end, in the form of a young, top pair defenseman as per the NYPost’s Larry Brooks.
Although rampant speculation began from some Montreal and Rangers fans regarding a Alex Galchenyuk for Stepan swap, a trade of that nature wouldn’t make much sense for either team. For a short period of time, little was known about any teams interested in Stepan till once again, Bob McKenzie tweeted out this gem late last night.
ARI, BTW, is one of multiple teams with serious interest in NYR C Derek Stepan.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 17, 2017
Stepan to the Yotes?
Arizona would be an interesting trade partner considering they hold what the NYR have been reported to covet… a young, top pair, stud defenseman by the name of Oliver Ekman-Larsson. As this post is being written, there are no verified rumors pertaining to who the NYR are interested in return for Stepan, but one can conclude that OEL would be a player that GM Jeff Gorton would show interest in. However, a majority of hockey insiders have stated that OEL is not being traded.
Another player to watch from Arizona would be prospect Christian Dvorak, a 21 year old, 6’0″ center who just completed his first NHL season, putting up 33 points in 78 games this year.
Right now, information has been hard to come by due to the ambiguity of the expansion draft, but in between Rumor Roundups, if you do have a Twitter, you can find the latest NYR rumors by following myself, @NHLRumorsDaily, as well as any one of the great members of FullTiltNYR!
Once again, I am looking forward to keeping you all updated on the latest news throughout the offseason, but until then, Cheers!
Editor’s Note: We look forward to rumor season as much as anyone, but remember that rumors all called rumors for a reason. As far as Stepan goes, the consensus here at FullTiltNYR is that Stepan will be moved before his NMC kicks in July 1st.