It’s that time of year again. That time of the year where everyone begins discussing who the Rangers will target, if they are buyers or sellers, who they are willing to give up, or if any deal will happen at the deadline. Today is one of those days where the hockey gods are laughing, as it is April Fool’s Day, and there are really bad jokes running rampant around the Twitter-sphere.
Instead of trying to sift through the jokes on Twitter, there are a few thoughts in my head that make some sense as to how the organization will approach the deadline. Before we begin, let’s remember that the Rangers are barely above .500, have been inconsistent, and have cap worries for next year with Carl Hagelin, Ryan McDonagh, and Derek Stepan as RFAs.
- Are the Rangers in a position to move prospects and picks for a veteran rental to put them over the top? My gut reaction is no. They won’t sacrifice assets on a team that may or may not make a splash in the postseason. This team has not proven they are ready to make a run. They will stick to the plan of looking at players with expiring contracts, so they do not have any cap commitments for next season.
- In the end, I doubt Marian Gaborik gets dealt at the deadline. That cap hit is scaring people, and it is more likely that if he gets dealt, it will be in the offseason.
- The Rangers will not trade Brad Richards.
- Expect a lot of smaller trades, much like the John Scott trade last season. It may not be what you want, but it’s what’s right for this team at the current stage of the season. If this team showed they could actually win at a regular pace, then you might see some gambles. This is not the year they will gamble, especially if the cost for someone like Ryane Clowe is Sean Couturier (rumored).
- The Rangers will still look to fill their depth issues via trade, and one piece that could be interesting is Brian Boyle. J.T. Miller has usurped control of the third line center position, and while I think Boyle is best suited as a fourth line center, he could feasibly be dealt for one and another useful piece. Players like Boyle are useful, and teams will be asking about him.
- Stu Bickel, Matt Gilroy, Roman Hamrlik, and Steve Eminger have zero trade value. They will not fetch anything of use, but could be throw-ins for roster purposes.
- This is a seller’s market. The prices for what the Rangers are looking for are astronomical, which is another reason why we shouldn’t expect anything big.
This trade deadline has the makings of being a dud, with Ray Shero stealing everyone’s thunder last week. There are just too many buyers and too few sellers, creating a huge supply/demand gap that favors the sellers. Slats and Gorton won’t sacrifice the future for a question mark like this year.