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Potential trade target: Matt Moulson

Moulson is another rental that could fill a hole.

Moulson is another rental that could fill a hole.

Last week, we spoke how the Rangers might target Mike Cammalleri at the trade deadline to fill a need for top-six scoring consistency. It is the only real need for this team since the trade for Kevin Klein, as that trade addressed two needs: toughness on defense, and a right handed shot for the third pairing. With the blue line stabilized, the focus turns to offense.

Moulson was shipped to Buffalo ┬áby the Islanders in the Thomas Vanek deal. While that deal may have been puzzling to say the least, it doesn’t take away from Moulson’s value as a rental player. The 30-year-old LW has three straight 30-goal seasons under his belt, not including a 30-goal pace last season. He may not hit 30 this season, but his 15 goals would put him in second place tie in New York.

Moulson carries a $3.13 million contract through the end of this season, so the Rangers can fit him easily under the cap without a need to dump salary. Moulson is also rather durable, missing just one game in his tenure on Long Island. Those two alone could make him a better option than Cammalleri.

His #fancystats aren’t bad, and are definitely affected by the teams for which he has played. His +1.1 CF% relative (45.4 CF%) screams bad teammates. He’s been getting top competition across from him (29.4% ToTm% QoC) while starting less than half of his shifts (48%) in the offensive zone.

Perhaps the one concerning issue with Moulson is that he appears to be a powerplay specialist. Half of his points this season have come with the man advantage. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the Rangers already have one LW who scores almost entirely on the powerplay in Benoit Pouliot. Pouliot has shown great chemistry with Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard as well. Moulson is the better player, but sometimes you stick with what’s working.

Moulson doesn’t have the name pedigree that Cammalleri does, but I would expect his price to be around the same. I would expect it would take either a tier 2 prospect and a first round pick, or a tier 1 prospect and a second round pick to land him.

As the trade deadline approaches, Glen Sather is going to look at all possibilities to upgrade the forwards for a playoff push. There aren’t many options available, which makes this a seller’s market come March. Moulson represents a player that is familiar with the division, and a player that would help the top-six scoring consistency. However the Rangers are pretty set at LW (Pouliot, Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin), and already have one who scores primarily on the powerplay. As a pure rental, he might be one of the better options out there.

18 Responses to “Potential trade target: Matt Moulson”

  1. supermaz says:

    I’ll pass on Moulson.

  2. Walt says:

    If there is no chance to re-sign Moulson, why waste a prospect, and a #1 pick, I’d pass as well!!

    Now if he would be willing to sign, at a reasonable price, the I’d be forced to move Hags to make room, but I wouldn’t be too happy if that were the case!

    • Gary says:

      What THEY said…

      • Gary says:

        Well, what supermaz said anyway. Walt, I hear ya but I don’t want Moulson at all. Not the type of player GM Gary would be looking for.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      I’d rather acquire Moulson and resign him rather than get Vanek. Moulson owns the crease he stands on and is better than anyone we have in that area on the PP. For screens, deflections, and rebounds. Kreider is still young and needs to find consistency. If Richie is gone then a Center must be in the works but that would be a start. Buffalo is a team that might be interested in Hagelin.

  3. AD says:

    Our club is not dealing from a position of strength going into this trade deadline.

    If either Girardi or Callahan cannot be resigned, they would be traded for less than fair value as impending UFAs; and, if they are resigned and Sather tries to add a “rental” the club does not have the luxury of a deep prospect pool or extra draft picks to justify a 2-3 month rental risk. The organization would pay dearly in upcoming seasons with little in the way of prospects being developed.

    Also, if we do trade either Girardi or Callahan, and then acquire a high end player like Moulson, won’t the net effect of what we received and what we give out be comparable to simply letting Girardi or Callahan stick with the club until end of season?

    Like I implied, I don’t see trading for “rentals” as being a positive action for this club. The Rangers need to manage their UFA player risk (sign or trade); compete as best as possible for and through playoffs with the existing roster; and strengthen during the off-season for a more competitive team next season. The last 4-5 weeks of hockey seems to have given some a belief this team is close to a deep run at the Stanley Cup, when trading away the future for rentals may be justified. It is not that type of team right now.

    “You ‘gotta know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em…”

  4. TxRanger says:

    Unless it’s to move Girardi or Callahan, I don’t think the Rangers make any big deals this deadline.

    • Centerman21 says:

      Why would you want to trade the Captain of the team and the top pairing Defenseman on the right side? Righty defenseman aren’t easily replaceable as we’ve seen over the last 3 seasons playing 4 lefties. Callahan isn’t getting 6-7 mil per on a 7 year deal. He might be a little ticked from when the team chose to pay Dubinski over him. Girardi I believe is much closer to being signed but it’d be impossible to find a righty to play the mins Girardi does and the way he plays them unless you’re willing to pay Shea Weber $7.857 mil until 2026. Aside from Webers shot and offense, Girardi plays the same defensive game.
      The Rangers could stand pat if they like but they did that in 11/12 and the loyal soldiers ran out of gas with Torts pressing game. I think if the Rangers want Moulson, they should just wait until the summer. I do think they have a couple pieces they could live without. They have Moore & Boyle who are essentially the same player except Moore skates better and is much better with the puck on his stick. So why not take calls on Boyle. Sather said he had teams interested in Boiler during camp and in the preseason. Hagelin is a player Ranger fans all have plans for but does he fit on this team right now? He’s small and doesn’t score enough to be a true top 6 LW. Why not try to get something for him and Boyle. Even in a package deal if need be. Dorsett will be back soon and Boyle makes a little too much to be a 4th line LW. I think as I’ve said before Sather should make a play for Stewart in St Louis. He is a player that can play anywhere in the lineup. He might just be a monster in the playoffs. I honestly think the Rangers have a shot at a cup this season. Adding the right player could create time and space for Nash to go to work and add some more consistent goal scoring from the top line. That is what the Rangers need.

      • TxRanger says:

        Woah…um…I didn’t say to trade those guys, I just don’t think the market is gonna be enticing enough for the Rangers to make a move unless it is dealing those guys.

  5. paulronty says:

    Totally agree that a rental is not the way to go. Besides often when you bring in guys like that it is hard for them to adjust. Tikkanen wasn’t good till the next season and with Moulson you are not guaranteed of a next season unless you sign him as a UFA.

  6. craig says:

    Enough! Callahan for Stewart from St Louis straight up and be done with it ! Sign Girardi.
    I believe this will pan out anyway for the Rangers in the long run!

    • Centerman21 says:

      Trading your captain in a year you will be in the playoffs does nothing for you. It will kill moral among the players and we will get bounced in the 1st round. Bad idea. Callahan is just asking high (6-7 Mil Per) because Sather will low ball him and they will meet on middle ground. Be a fan

      • craig says:

        Callahan has been my favorite player on the Rangers for years but the reality is that he will not be signed at the ridiculous amount he is seeking. When he has been injured, the Rangers didn’t fall apart and now have the talent to adjust. Hockey as well as any other professional sport is a business and changes and adaptations are part of it. The Rangers, this year are very good, but will not beat some of the more skilled and bigger teams (in a seven game serious) like Chicago, Boston, Anaheim, Pittsburgh. I seriously doubt that the rest of the team will fall apart because they loose Callahan. He is not a superstar and is asking way to much. His worth is 4.5 to 5 mil a year. He is a great hustler and does many good things but never scored more then 54 points. If we hold on to him and go deep into the playoffs but not all the way, he will eventually walk away and we get NOTHING! Do your homework on Stewart, you might be surprised. HE IS NOT NOTHING, but a very decent player that is young, tough,can score and on the upside. In one year he has score 64 points and has averaged 20 goals a year. It would be a bonus if we get him at this point under these circumstances. By the way I have been a Ranger fan since 1970 faithfully.

  7. Ray says:

    There’s a temptation to try to do something, but the truth is that the Rangers don’t have any weaknesses, except for a shortage of true impact players. And one does not remedy that with players like Cammalleri and Moulson. Unless Sather creates a hole by dealing Callahan, he should stay away from these guys. Otherwise, a player like Vanek is a good addition, but really nothing less. Perhaps give up a sixth or seventh rounder for a healthy scratch to be used in case of injury.

  8. FlynBrian61 says:

    If what Centerman21 says is true about Moulson owning the crease, I do believe we need a player like that. (Remember Gravey?) So far, I haven’t seen anyone stand in there, in a long time.

  9. Jess says:

    I find it always so amusing to see the various trade rumors that Ranger fans love to post. That said it is scary when Glen Sather is the safer choice to be making Ranger trades than 95% of Ranger fans out there.

  10. ranger17 says:

    Kreider and Pouliot stand in the crease as well as Cally when he is on the PP.
    Flynbrian61