Scouting the trade market: Identifying potential trade partners

June 18, 2012, by

As the offseason ramps up and we get closer to the draft, trade rumors take center stage. While many writers –MSM and bloggers alike– will try to stir up the conversation by using the E.K.L.U.N.D. rumor strategy to try to convince people they are true insiders, we won’t even bother with that. We are not insiders. We do not post fake rumors or even “logical” rumors. We take a step back and look at what the Rangers strengths are (i.e.: a position to deal from), where the holes are, and see where possible trade partners fit in.

First things first, the Rangers strength as an organization is not where you might think it is. Many are pointing to defense being a main strength of the Rangers and a possible position to deal from. If the playoffs taught us anything, it’s that the Rangers are actually not that deep on defense, especially with Michael Sauer’s career in question. They have one of the best top-four in the league, but they lack a legitimate bottom pairing. Dealing from the NHL roster on defense weakens this club.

The Rangers main strength is in their farm system. Players like Christian Thomas, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Michael St. Croix, and Andrew Yogan are at the head of an incredibly deep stockpile of forwards who have the potential to be anywhere from top-six forwards to defensive specialists. Teams looking to reload their prospect system must look at the Rangers, as they have so many players to look at.

Another strength of the Rangers is their stock of bottom-six forwards. These are the role players that teams need to help fill out their roster when the skill is already there. These are the guys that aren’t being paid to score goals, but to prevent the opposition from scoring. What they do doesn’t show up on the score sheet.

With two identified strengths, the Rangers are in prime position to make a few moves to help fill holes in their roster. Those holes being a top-six forward and defensive depth. Luckily, there are a few teams that match up well with the Rangers on the trade market.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Let’s get the easy one out of the way first. The Blue Jackets have no prospects, and one key asset that can help them kick-start a full-blown rebuild process. That said, unless the rumored asking price for Rick Nash comes down, I find it unlikely there’s a deal to be made. For more details on Nash, read up on this beauty by Chris.

Winnipeg Jets: When news broke that Evander Kane would refuse to negotiate with the Jets, another team vaulted to the top of the trade list. Like the Blue Jackets, the Jets have few prospects that have top-six/top-four  potential in the system. Kane won’t fetch as much as Nash, but he will give them a good haul. Another great aspect of the Jets: they don’t need much help on the blue line. That’s another part that plays right into the Rangers strengths.

Edmonton Oilers: This is a club that needs help at the bottom-six forward level. There is so much skill in Edmonton, but few players that can prevent the opposition from scoring. It makes you wonder if they are willing to deal from skill to acquire some much needed defensive help.

Calgary Flames: Whether they want to admit it or not, the Flames need to rebuild their club. Disastrous trades and signings have left this team with a few good prospects, but not enough to consider them a “deep” farm system. The Flames make a good trade partner in theory, but there isn’t much on that roster that is intriguing.

These four clubs have two things in common: They are all non-playoff teams, and they are all teams that have a need that is met by a Rangers strength. The Rangers have already been linked to CBJ and Nash, but if that asking price remains high, there are plenty of other options out there for the Rangers. A team looking to make a splash will go after Nash. A team looking to build for the present and future will look at Kane.

Removing Calgary from the equation due to lack of intriguing assets, the Edmonton scenario sure is an interesting one. If they decide to move some of that skill to help build a more rounded team, then there’s blockbuster potential here. There’s going to be a flurry of activity around the league leading up to the draft. It’s going to be fun to watch the carnage unfold.

Categories : Offseason


  1. JoeP199 says:

    I can see us getting Iginla from Calgary for a reasonable price, and I think he’d be a good fit, but it would also depend on his contract. I don’t know how many years he has left.

  2. Mark says:

    I think out of them all I like Kane the most. He is 20 years old. He is a big forward that has elite skill. He won’t command the king ransom Nash will nor does he have the cap hit that Nash has. We could make a move for him and still sign some defensive depth and Winnipeg won’t ask for too many roster players. If Schultz isn’t available we could look at some solid 5, 6 defensman like a Hal Gill or even Sheldan Souray who could help our PP… Iginla isn’t going to be a Ranger so i wouldnt even bark up that tree… But the Oilers idea does spark some interest. Maybe a guy like Gagner could fit in nicely with our team, but I haven’t read much about Edmonton looking to move their skill…

    • Kevin Baumer says:

      Gagner had a killer 2 week stretch, not enough for me to change my opinion of him. Entire career more indicative.

  3. Mike B says:

    Kane and Bogosian for Dubinsky, St. Croix and Del Zaster. Sorry, I’m dreaming here, love Kane and Bogo’s from my hometown. Realistically though, if we could get Kane, let the Sharks overpay for Nash. I like Nash, but not at the price Howson is demanding, guy’s on crack, I just hope Sather doesn’t hand him the pipe. I have pretty good confidence in Sather when it comes to trading, it’s free agency where he gets lost and can’t help himself, so hopefully we’re good on the Nash front. Should be an interesting next couple of weeks.

    • Dave says:

      We do not refer to Del Zotto as Del Zaster here. It’s a stupid nickname made by someone who is so biased that it affects his writing.

  4. Scully says:

    This is slightly off-topic so I apologize, but apparently Jaromir Jagr is looking to test free agency this summer. What was his contract last year? I don’t remember. If we were looking for a one-year stop gap a la Iginla, Jagr would come much cheaper and has tons of experience in NYC. Thoughts? I can easily see this as being a “definite no” but he’s intriguing, especially with Gaborik hurt.

  5. Leatherneckinlv says:

    I am going to propose a question to you all.

    Question is this the players I mention tell me what you think his ceiling will be and when he has reached his ceiling what would he bring back in a trade

    players are

    Christian Thomas, Steven Fogerty, Michael St Croix, Chris Kreider, JT Miller, Andrew Yogan, Dylan McIlrath, Sam Klassen and Tim Erixon

    When Nash first came into the league…had he been a Ranger prospect I am certain many would have packaged him for a player on another team.

    something to think about

    • Dave says:

      Thomas – either top 6 or a bust
      Fogarty – too early to tell
      St Croix – same as Thomas
      Kreider – top six
      Miller – top six potential, could play bottom six
      Yogan – bottom six, if anything
      McIlrath – top four
      Klassen – nothing
      Erixon – top four

      Nash was a top five pick. None of the players above were top five picks, so it’s comparing apples and oranges.

  6. Jeff P says:

    I wonder if we could try to steal Magnus Paajarvi from Edmonton – had an awful second season a la Del Zotto, but he’s 21, has tons of skill and supposedly responsible defensively.

    • Kevin Baumer says:

      Suppose it’s possible, but I don’t think they’ve quite given up on him to the point where we could get him cheap just yet. If he hasn’t developed by this point next year, then maybe.

  7. Rob sahm says:

    Old or no old or high salary iginla would be a good pickup .as long as howson wants a kings ransom firget nash as a ranger toronto will overpay

    • mdzz says:

      A lot of veteran players may not want to play for torts . Torts wants players he can dominate , guys like Jagr may look to play in a different system where they are not one mistake away from sitting

  8. wwpd says:

    why are we the only people talking about evander kane, i am starting to feel duped

    • Kevin says:

      You’re right, no one else has picked up on it after RDS. Seems like it’ll be a non-story.

    • Tim B says:

      Evander Kane is young and scored 30 goals but what if he is like Antropov or Dubinsky? They score a whole bunch 1 year and the next year they hardly ever score. I would trade for him but if he doesnt get a goal in 8-10 straight games than i would trade him to San Jose or maybe even Columbus and get a few draft picks.

      • Jackson says:

        I don’t picture Antropov or Dubinsky as likely models of the player Kane is going to mature into. Why sell prematurely and at low value anyway?

  9. Jess says:

    I am so disappointed in Dave violating the 1st Commandant of honest bloggers by using the name of “he who makes up crap when he isn’t stealing from others” on his blog.

    As punishment Dave should be forced to stand outside 1255 Hempstead Turnpike for 2 hours wearing a sign that says “I like Fishsticks”

  10. Mikeyyy says:

    I would go after Kane. Then sign Jagr.

    That’s a nice power forward and a stopgap till gabby is better with his torn labrum.

    That gives you
    Kane Richards Jagr
    Hags Stepan Kreider
    Dubi AA Cally
    Mitchell Boyle Prust.

    That’s not bad.