The belief is the Rangers will have to decide between keeping Fs Chris Drury ($8.05 million next season) and Scott Gomez ($8 million) because they can’t afford both.
This really isn’t a surprise. Of course they can’t afford both. Gomez is the easier of the two to move, as he only has a limited no-trade clause, while Drury has a full no-movement clause (for details, visit the NMCs/NTCs page).
Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey has taken the analysis a step further, noting that San Jose could be a potential trade partner for the Rangers, while dangling Marleau or Michalek.
Michalek intrigues me a bit. He’s 25, a $4.3 million cap hit, albeit for the next five seasons (thru 2013/2014), and so far has put up impressive numbers, averaging 25/35/60 since 2006-2007. He has the potential to be a #1 winger, given the right situation. The Rangers have a glut of players at center, and will be looking to clear some room to get Anisimov some time there, and then eventually Grachev. Can the Rangers get Michalek? Doubtful. Marleau is probably the odd man out in San Jose.
People have already beaten the Drury for Marleau horse to death. But would Gomez for Marleau straight up work? Doubtful. The Rangers would definitely have to pick up Brad Lukowich and his $1.8 million for 2009/2010, and send a prospect (Sauer or equal caliber) and/or a pick to the Sharks. It could be a draft-day deal, but I doubt it. Blockbuster trades like this are a rarity in the NHL today. Personally, this deal is one that I would jump on. Losing Gomez would suck because I think he would do well in a Torts system, especially with Avery and Callahan as his linemates, but financial stability in the salary cap era is more important.
I’m still skeptical of any trades involving big contracts actually happening. I think we are stuck with all of them.