Yesterday, Suit discussed potential trade targets for the Rangers at the deadline, specifically addressing the case that Marian Gaborik gets traded. While the Rangers are indeed going to be aggressive at the deadline, they won’t pull the trigger on a trade unless they know the player they are getting fills a hole on the club. While everyone is enamored by the big names, sometimes it’s the smaller acquisitions that make the most difference, as they round out a team’s weaknesses.
The first major hole the Rangers need to address is a forward that is capable of putting the puck in the net. The big names that Suit discussed include Martin St. Louis and potentially Jarome Iginla, but there are several ways the Rangers can address this. The cheapest way is to acquire a third line forward, one that isn’t a star but is still a reliable offensive player. Since J.T. Miller is relatively versatile, the Rangers can look for a center or a RW (Chris Kreider has the LW spot) to fill this hole. There is a slight chance that Jesper Fast(h) can fill this hole, but I wouldn’t count on it.
The other big hole the Rangers need to fill is a puck moving defenseman. The one thing the Marc Staal injury has taught us is that the Rangers are incredibly thin on defense, and lack defensemen that can join the rush at the right time. Dan Boyle is the popular name here, but there might be some cheaper options available that don’t involve gutting the roster. A right-handed shot is preferable, but it’s not a deal breaker. Unfortunately, every single team is looking for a right-handed puck moving defenseman.
One final hole the club might look to fill is a depth forward, someone capable of rounding out the bottom three and not complain about being a healthy scratch. The Rangers have (had) this in Jeff Halpern, but since he’s been waived, his Rangers future is uncertain. The player the Rangers would look to acquire here is one that fits their mold of balance, skating, and effort. A physical edge wouldn’t hurt either. Hopefully Arron Asham fills this need a bit.
As the deadline approaches, a lot of names are going to get linked to the Rangers. There’s going to be a lot of smoke blowing, but hidden in that smoke can be some little nuggets of truth. As you peruse the inter-webs for trade rumors, remember the holes that this team needs to fill.