As the trade deadline grows nearer, there is discussion amongst fans about whether now is the time to buy for a Cup run. I posed that question and got some yes’s, but mostly no’s in response to selling off some youth for some key parts that may be necessary for a run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Most are hesitant to expunge the youthful core for a veteran filling a role for a few months, and with good reason. The Rangers have great chemistry and have been showing all year that they may not be the most skilled, but they will out-work opponents for wins. That said, there are three “trades” the Rangers will make between now and the deadline that will bolster the Rangers for the end of the season and post season.
- The Rangers will trade absolutely no one for a 30-goal scorer and game changer after the All-Star break. Marian Gaborik’s slump won’t last forever. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he is till playing hurt with lingering groin issues. He is not playing in this year’s All-Star game, which will give him ample time to rest up and heal for the stretch run. That week off, with the recent addition of Wojtek Wolski (and the possible addition of Vinny Prospal, see below), should help bring Gaborik’s best game out, which the Rangers need.
- The Rangers will trade Dale Weise and/or Kris Newbury for Ryan Callahan. Callahan has resumed skating, albeit without a stick, and is aiming for a return after the All-Star break. This will likely push one or both of Weise and Newbury off the roster. There will be some line combination issues when Callahan returns, but regardless, the team will be significantly deeper with Callahan back in the mix and getting regular ice time.
- The Rangers will (may) trade an underachieving forward (if there are any left) for Vinny Prospal (assuming he’s healthy). This one may or may not happen, and the most likely candidate to go will be Sean Avery. However, Prospal is another one of those veteran presences that may help Gaborik find his game. This is the “trade” least likely to happen, but may have a significant effect on the Rangers most important scorer.
Ok, I admit, I cheated here. These aren’t really trades in the traditional sense, but if you expand your mind (legally) a bit, these are non-traditional trades. Regardless, these are significant roster moves that are going to happen that will greatly bolster the Rangers scoring and forward depth. Of course, these do not rule out the traditional trades that may or may not occur. Should Glen Sather stand pat at the deadline, the team will still improve with some of the players returning from injury. I apologize if you expected legitimate trade rumors and speculation.