Ranking potential New York Rangers trade targets for the March 1st deadline
Rangers looking to make a move?
The NHL trade deadline is Wednesday, March 1st and the Blueshirts have been active scouting and calling teams leading up to it. Top on their list is a right handed defenseman to play top or second pair minutes.
Reports have surfaced the Rangers have contacted the Blues about Kevin Shattenkirk, and are scouting the Kings heavily as well. We also learned that the salary cap will not change for next season, which means the Rangers will have to be very careful when going for certain players.
That being said, Jeff Gorton will not overpay or mortgage the future to just make a move for making a move’s sake.
1 – Kevin Shattenkirk, D (28 y/o, $4.25M AAV)He is the name that has come up more than anyone else. The Rangers and Bruins remain in hot pursuit for the upcoming UFA blue liner who would be a big upgrade to the Rangers right side.
The Blues have been trying to work a sign and trade, but that isn’t going well. Rumors say Shattenkirk could be looking for 7M per and with the cap not going up, it could be a problem for many teams. However, Boston doesn’t seem scared off by it and could land Shattenkirk by the deadline.
That’s where it will be interesting for Gorton. If his plan was just to wait and sign him as a UFA, it could be in real jeopardy. So does he make a move now and give up players of value? To make matters worse, Darren Dreger reports that many GM’s only see him as a second pairing defenseman at best on a contending team.
2 – Jacob Trouba, D (22 y/o, $2.5M AAV)I have to believe with the current situation in St. Louis and the Rangers desperate to fix their blue line, Trouba is a target. To be fair, the Jets aren’t actively trying to move him and when they were, they wanted a similar defenseman in return. The Rangers don’t have that.
However, with stud rookie Patrik Laine looking like the real deal, maybe they could be enticed with a package featuring Derek Stepan. The Rangers could also add a prospect defenseman as well, even if it has to be Sean Day. Who knows, maybe the Rangers can extract Bryan Little and turn this into a blockbuster.
Remember the Rangers have made a commitment to Kevin Hayes to play center and have Mika Zibanejad in the fold too. Stepan makes 6.5M and will have a no trade clause kick in this summer. While I admit this is a long shot, Trouba who is a top pair RD is still a target.
3 – Dougie Hamilton, D (23 y/o, $5.5M AAV)
The Rangers really need a true PP QB on the blue line and Hamilton is a right handed fit. He would also improve the top two pairs and at 23 will be a longterm fix.
What will it take to get him? That’s a good question and would have to start with a player like J.T. Miller. That is not a player I want to part with, but how bad do the Rangers want to fix the blue line is the question.
4 – Matt Duchene, C (26 y/o, $6M AAV)Duchene is an offensive upgrade over Derek Stepan, but Stepan is an all around better player. Still, take your pick…want more goals and a better PP then you go Duchene. Want a team leader who plays both ends of the ice well and kills penalties then you go Stepan.
A swap of the two centers is plausible but if that were the case, a bigger deal could be in the works with maybe Klein and Iginla (COL would have to eat half his salary) switching homes. This is one player that seems to be flying under the Rangers radar but could happen.
5 – Thomas Vanek, RW (33 y/o, $2.6M AAV)
The Rangers were considering him during free agency this summer and it looks like the Wings will move him as a rental. As the Rangers PP continues to be hit or miss (more miss), Vanek’s prowess on the man advantage is something they need and could get cheap.