After trading Michael Del Zotto to the Predators for Kevin Klein, many assumed the scouting of some teams would end. This included the Colorado Avalanche, who the Rangers have been scouting for quite some time. Adrian Dater noted that as recently as yesterday, the Rangers were still scouting the Avs. But with Klein on board, the Rangers don’t necessarily need another right-handed defenseman, so the Ty Barrie rumors should be put to rest.
Suit discussed some potential targets from the Avs this month, noting that Ryan O’Reilly (can’t be traded until March) and Paul Stastny are two centers that the Rangers may be targeting. Since Suit discussed the pros/cons of each one, I’m not going to re-hash that here. But it is interesting to note that the Rangers are still scouting the Avs following the acquisition of Klein, who filled two holes on this club.
John Mitchell’s name has been tossed around the interwebs (from a variety of sources), as has P.A. Parenteau’s name. I find that to be relatively humorous, since both were former Rangers at one point during their careers. Parenteau has another two years left on his deal at $4 million, so it’s unlikely the Rangers deal for him if there is no salary heading back to Colorado. The Rangers simply don’t have the cap space.
Mitchell is interesting only because he’s a player the Rangers probably should never have let go in the first place. His expiring contract is a cheap one ($1.1 million). He’s a fourth line guy, and the Rangers don’t really need someone like him at this point. They need a top-nine guy, preferably top-six. Mitchell doesn’t fit that bill.
Since both Stastny and ROR are known entities around the league –and the Rangers have been scouting the Avs for quite some time– a different conclusion can also be inferred. Jamie McGinn ($1.75 million) is a player with an expiring contract. He’s not exactly a guy that lights the lamp (12-7-19 in 49 games this year), but at 6’1 and 210 lbs, he adds much needed size to the forwards. He’s another LW and a left-handed shot though. It’s clear where Stastny and ROR would fit in the lineup. McGinn…not so much.
It is a scouts job to attend games on a regular basis. It’s why I usually blow off the reports of “scouts at XYZ team” rumors. But when the Rangers scouts are on hand for multiple weeks in a row, scouting the same team, it makes you think something is there. Trades don’t happen overnight, and it wouldn’t shock me to see something go down between these two teams. The Olympic roster freeze is fast approaching, which was the main trade deadline four years ago. Expect movement around the league.