As the trade deadline grows nearer, there is discussion amongst fans about whether now is the time to buy for a Cup run. The Rangers are the best team in the Eastern Conference, and are just points behind the Detroit Red Wings for best in the NHL, with games in hand. That said, many feel the Rangers are overachieving, and might be best served letting things go as they are, and not mess with chemistry. Others feel that now is the time to make a deal. Well, luckily for the Rangers, there are two “trades” the Rangers will hopefully make between now and the playoffs to make their team stronger.
- The Rangers will trade Steve Eminger or Anton Stralman for a top-four defenseman: If and when Michael Sauer is healthy, he will return to the lineup and make that strong blue line even stronger. Right now, the Rangers are getting by with Anton Stralman playing top four minutes. If Sauer can return healthy, then he adds an extra element to the Rangers that they haven’t had since December, and it costs them Stralman’s or Steve Eminger’s presence in the lineup. That’s a solid trade there.
- The Rangers will trade absolutely nothing for a streaky 20-goal scorer: Brandon Dubinsky won’t stay in single digit goals for long. He is one of the streakiest players on the Rangers, and they have been winning despite his lack of offense. The defense and goaltending have really saved Dubinsky, who has seen a lot of time on the bottom six. Dubi is still a key cog for the Rangers with his defensive and physical play, but they are paying him to score 20+ goals. He won’t get there this year, but he could be a wild card if he gets going.
- The Rangers will trade nothing for one of the best centers and powerplay point men in the game: Brad Richards is starting to come alive. He struggled mightily, ironically around the time that Olivia Munn broke up with him. But now, his game is getting back on track, and the powerplay is starting to look better and better. They are doing the right things, and they are finally starting to see results. A hot Brad Richards is a dangerous Brad Richards. Imagine where this team can go if their powerplay starts clicking at a 20% clip.
As you can see, the word “trade” is used rather liberally here. These aren’t really trades, but they are players that the Rangers hope to get back from injury or purgatory. Nevertheless, these are significant improvements that the Rangers can see from their players without even giving up a draft pick.