May
24

Analyzing the potential for a New York Rangers blockbuster trade

May 24, 2016, by
Photo: Andrew Theodorakis/NY Daily News

Photo: Andrew Theodorakis/NY Daily News

Unless you were living under a rock this season, you noticed that the Rangers need to make some changes if they wish to stay relevant in the NHL. Without singling out specific players, they were slow, apathetic, careless, and sloppy all season long. Some of it was attitude, with the apparent expectation that they could just flip the switch in the playoffs. That didn’t work.

The bigger issue was the inability to get the puck out of the defensive zone to transition to offense. On defense, only Keith Yandle consistently moved the puck out of the defensive zone. But he’s going to command $6 million on the open market. That snowballed throughout the lineup, as the forwards were unable to generate speed through the neutral zone. That stymied the offense, especially in the playoffs.

Even with the salary cap ceiling estimated to increase to $74 million next season, the Rangers are in a precarious position. Major changes are needed to compete while Henrik Lundqvist is still able to play at his generational talent level. And by major changes, I don’t mean blowing up the roster for a rebuild. That isn’t needed. But some outside-of-the-box thinking is required.

Dan Girardi
Trading Girardi is one of the top priorities to most fans, which is incredibly tough to say. Girardi is an absolute warrior and has bled for this team, which resulted in his six-year (four years left), $5.5 million per year deal. That deal is one of the two major albatrosses on the club, as Girardi hasn’t been able to keep up in Alain Vigneault’s overload/man hybrid defensive zone coverage. Since AV appears to be unwilling to adjust, so it becomes a matter of getting the right personnel.

Girardi has name-brand value, but the real “prize” in a trade would be shedding the contract. A trade would likely be preferable to a buyout, but the cap space to make the necessary changes to the roster is critical. Teams like Colorado –Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic are on record saying they value plus/minus– and Dallas –willingly traded for Kris Russell– come to mind here. Girardi’s no-move complicates things, though.

Marc Staal
The other player that folks want to see traded, Staal’s story is a bit more heart breaking than Girardi’s. Staal was an extremely effective defenseman early in his career, but a freak eye injury made him a relative liability with the puck. He can skate and keep up in the system, but his reads have been off for a while. I’m a huge Staal fan, always have been, so watching this unfold stinks.

While I wonder if Staal may do well with a move to the right side (making his blind-side the boards, and not the slot), a trade is again the better scenario to shed his $5.7 million deal for another five years. Staal also has name-brand value, and a strong playoffs may help his value. But like Girardi, the value is shedding the contract, not the return. Colorado and Dallas again come to mind. His no-move also complicates things.

Ryan McDonagh
This idea has been floated by a few. McDonagh is on a sweetheart deal and has some tremendous value to the club. He’s a fantastic defenseman who has been dragging Girardi around for quite some time. McDonagh hasn’t been given help on his right throughout his career, but he’s still managed to be the best defenseman on the team. Thus his value in a trade would bring back a significant haul.

Seth Jones brought back Ryan Johansen. While not direct comparables –Jones is cheaper and younger– their stats are similar enough that we can assume McDonagh would bring back a comparable return. Every single NHL team would want McDonagh. The Rangers won’t trade him unless the deal blows them away, though.

Rick Nash
Nash is the only expensive forward that a large group of fans seem to want to jettison from the roster. While trading Nash is certainly an option that should be explored, it shouldn’t be for the reason that the majority of the “Trade Nash” contingent wants. Nash is one of the best even strength producers in hockey. That said, his powerplay production is pretty rough, and he carries a $7.8 million cap hit for the next two seasons.

The idea to trade him has been discussed numerous times on this site (here, here, and here) by three different writers. The consensus is the same: A trade is likely an immediate step back, but a potential future step forward. Of all the skaters listed in this post, Nash is the most likely to be dealt. He has a lot of value, even at that cap hit. His NTC (12 teams he will accept a trade to) complicates matters, but not as much as with Staal or Girardi.

Henrik Lundqvist
Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes! The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

This is the ultimate nuclear option, but not the smartest nuclear option. The market for goaltenders is incredibly weak, even for a generational talent like Hank. Cory Schneider brought back one first round pick. One. Uno. Un. En. один. Schneider wasn’t proven then, but Hank is 34 years old. Let’s assume those balance out.

The return for Lundqvist doesn’t meet or exceed the benefits of trading him. I’d rather have him at $8 million than either Dallas goalie for $5.9 million (Lehtonen) or $4.5 million (Niemi).

Notables: Chris Kreider. Derek Stepan. Derick Brassard. Kevin Klein.

The Rangers need to make adjustments to stay in contention and get with the times of the new NHL. To do that, they will need to be creative and think outside the box. But can they make the necessary moves? This is the offseason of Jeff Gorton, and we shall see.

"Analyzing the potential for a New York Rangers blockbuster trade", 4 out of 5 based on 16 ratings.

58 comments

  1. Jerry says:

    Trading Klein would be a mistake for a few reasons.
    1-He plays the right side
    2-He’s cheap
    3-He’s is a very good defender
    4-He has a decent shot
    5-He’s somewhat physical, something the Rangers lack

    I think his name should be off the “trade table” even as a notable.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Klein is an ok defender, not a very good defender. Having said that, he has way more value than Girardi and Staal and I would be disappointed if he’s moved and the team is still left with DG and MS.

    • Alec says:

      Klein has demonstrated that he is a 2nd pair D at best, love when he plays the off wing on the PP. At this point the Rangers have to keep him unless STL/COL rumors happen and you want Girardi as a 6 & McIlrath as a 4.

  2. Walt says:

    The first two are obvious as day. Now, who in their right mind would want either unless they are hard up for defensemen, and or are cap floor teams. One can only pray that the stars align just right, and we rid ourselves of at least one of them! Dan anyone ??????????

    Nash can be moved, and if the return is what we think it should be, well I’d jump at it ASAP……….

    Mac Truck, may be one of the few players on our roster that I’d almost say is untouchable. There again, the return has got to be sooooo good for me to want to make the trade. You hit the nail on the head, Mac has had to carry Dan for years, it would be nice to see him skate with someone who can hold his own, and let Mac Truck be the best that he can be!!!!!!!!!!

    As for the remaining names, well I’d like to see what transpires at the draft, trades, and FA signings before I’d commit to anything else. I stated that if they can trade The Great One, then no one should feel too comfortable knowing that they may be next. We can’t field a team of half hearted effort players, lazy players, or too many soft players who lack speed, Hayes, who won’t give 100 % with each outing. Bottom line, every players on the roster should be looking over their shoulder, and be concerned that they may be gone soon !!!!!!!!

  3. roadrider says:

    Rangers will likely have to retain some salary in deals for Girardi or Staal. That said either one could be persuaded to waive their NMCs if it was made clear to them that their roles would be diminished if they stayed. It sucks to do that to those guys who have given everything they had to the team but that’s pro sports. Even Brian Leetch got traded and neither of those guys is Brian Leetch.

    You don’t trade MCDonagh unless you’re blowing up the club and, as you pointed out, that’s not necessary.

    Agree that trading Nash in a salary dump is a bad idea. Trade him if the return will improve the club.

    • Ranger 11 says:

      I agree we would have to retain some salary if we moved Girardi or Staal. The question is how much salary. I’m also wondering how Girardi is gonna look next year. I’m pretty sure he was playing hurt all year. We know he had the cracked knee cap so how much could he really heal playing his posisition. While we know he had a bad season last year I just can’t believe he could drop off that much in one year. So my point is if we end up keeping him this year maybe we’ll see him looking more like the Girardi we used to see.Plus they could move him down n give him less minutes which should also help

  4. pas44 says:

    Bookmark this post. It’s the one we will all be thinking about the entire off season.
    It sums everything we all have in our heads up nice and tight…

    Oh Boy….

    What a difference a season makes!

    LGR!!!!

  5. SalMerc says:

    Look, as I see it, we have multiple battles here; one is a battle with the CAP and another is a battle to put together two teams on the ice (yes two).
    Team 1 – Offense – Put together 9 forwards that have speed, tenacity, grit and sharp-shooter mentality that scare the bejesus out of the opposition. Probably have 6 of these 9 forwards on the team already (don’t know if Buchavich is one of them yet). These guys also make up the front line of the PP so I would say those guys are not on the roster or the PP coach is not on the bench.
    Team 2 – Bottom 3 Forwards and Defense – Need to make this crew play a defensive game but quick in transition that can make the breakout pass that springs the offense into action. Probably have 2 of the forwards on the roster and 4 of the defensemen. How we modify the backline will be the greatest challenge. If we had a boatload of 1st and 2nd round picks, the taks would be easier, but we know that story too well.

    I see us having to live with both Girardi and Stall on the roster. Us moving Klein (because he is trade-able) and bringing in someone to play with Skjei.
    I think Oskar’s injury complicates things, and I also think Hayes does not get re-signed. While I would see what kind of return is out there for Nash, I would be more apt to move Stepan for a bundle of second round picks and a first next year.

    • AD says:

      in my view, our battles relate to Cap, Contracts, and Prospect Pool.

      Moving and acquiring players is relatively easy if a team is on the right side of those battles. Presently, the Rangers are on the wrong side of those battles.

      “Adjustments” won’t make us a contender; and we weren’t a contender last year, presuming the thing we are contending for is the Stanley Cup.

      This is going toe a lengthy, multi-year reconstruction of the roster. And that is ok, as long as we have a plan to get there.

    • joe K says:

      We would be fools to give up on Hayes. I have no problem moving Stepan who as soft a player at center ice on this team by far. Moving one defensemen of Girardi or Staal makes sense if it can be done. No Klein trade as we would use Skjei an McIlrath to replace Boyle an Yandle. I would like to keep Yandle. Moving Henrik maybe a good move at this point, along with Nash. We need cap space.

      • ken says:

        So let me gets this straight. You want to trade our best all around center, a guy that puts up 50+ points a season, a guy whose numbers have gotten better every year and a guy who is probably our best penalty killer to keep Kevin Hayes?? You call Stepan soft, but yet you want to keep a guy that shies away from contact all the time! If it wasn’t for 2 injuries and a strike Step would have 3 60+ seasons! A young player who improves every year are the kind of players that you hold on to!

        • SalMerc says:

          I am by no means a big Stepan fan, but even I would keep Stepan over Hayes. I would trade Stepan because he is valuable and would bring back some decent return and cut some cost – but not to save a spot for Hayes. Hayes needs to go regardless.

          • rich says:

            Reasons to unload stepan
            1. was invisible in the playoffs…..as always
            2. soft, slow, no shot
            3. rated somewhere in the 30’s compared to other centers
            4. always getting crunched and hurt
            5. maybe used as part of package to unload girardi

            we have center depth and maybe could use money to sign one of younger russian centers

            • Ranger 11 says:

              How invisible was Step in the playoffs last year in game 7 against the Caps? Every time he’s been out of the line up we’ve struggled a bit. When you say his ratings are in the 30’s amongst centers in the league he was actually 28 the last I seen a few days ago n do you realize how many centers there are in the NHL? Just counting 4 on each team gives you over 120 so even in the 30 is good

        • Joe says:

          Don’t forget Step is also signed for several years still. I totally agree with you. Step has a great hockey sense. I wouldn’t give up on Hayes though only cause of his size. We’ve needed size up the middle for so long. Having said that he does need to move his ass n get in the tight spots n battle with that 6ft 5 body.

      • Alec says:

        Can’t skate, can’t take the body, doesn’t want to backcheck; what’s not to like with Hayes as a center?

  6. genetics73 says:

    Let’s just keep Tanner Glass and build the team around him. All other players are expendable, don’t you see?

    • Joe says:

      Fin ally someone with real hockey smarts. I don’t get why other fans don’t see it but Tanner Glass is clearly the best player on the team. He’s got a wicked shot n blazing speed. By the time his career is over fans will be saying “Wayne who”. I think they should just start building a statue for Glass outside MSG right now.

  7. amy says:

    it is time to make changes getting younger would be a start you saw how Pittsburgh played with speed this is what the rangers need to do and to get younger don’t get rid of prospects also resign the core of the team

  8. Roger Domal says:

    while watching the playoffs with the remaining teams, I have come to realize that we are a ways away with competing with any of the final four, let alone a couple of other teams who went out in the last round.

    However, those teams aren’t complete either. Pittsburgh’s defense is basically Letang and pray. Can you imagine Hitch coaching the Rangers? His goalie change sure backfired. TBL has been unreal with puck luck. And Sully’s goalie change was worse than Hitch’s.

    So, what does it all mean for NYR? Well, as has been said in the comments below Dave’s great article, there isn’t a lot of dissent when it comes to resigning #93.

    Let me dissent. He was a 2.5 cap hit on a cap distressed team. He’s going to get a 6.5 million deal for a long term from someone. Without the twins moving somewhere, we would again be over 50% of our cap on D and goal. That is not a workable number and we would once again be hamstrung within the season up against the cap.

    Yandle was mishandled by the coaching philosophy all year until the desperation set in late and he was given PP responsibility commiserate with his pedigree. But, the PP ranked low with him too. NYR spent the fewest minutes in the league on the PP last year, and Yandle was on ice for the most minutes as a playmaker. The question then becomes “if I finished last with you, I can finish last without you!” 25th actually. Rangers had 41 PP goals, Yandle had a point on over half of the PP goals. Unless the Rangers get more power play time, Yandle becomes a very expensive specialist. Burns of SJ played over 100 minutes more of PP time than Yandle, with just a handful more points. Ekman-Larsson of Arizone logged 160 more power play minutes than Yandle.

    So, I’m actually saying Yandle is a great power play specialist on a team not built to draw penalties. Therefore, why are we looking to pay him a lot for something we are incapable of accomplishing? Yes, he’s fantastic, yet he’s a luxury.

    It’s the cap. Plain and simple. We need Yandle, yet, we don’t need him because we don’t do what he’s great at.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      He’s also very porficient at moving the puck at even strength… something the Rangers don’t do well from the back end. I’m in the camp where we sign him, even if Girardi and Staal are on the roster the day we sign. And if we can move them 1 or 2 years later, we live with the expensive blue line until then. I would not forgo Yandle just because 2 other defenders are overpaid- reason being, it will be some time before another player with his skill set will become available.

      The caveat is if signing Yandle would bump someone else of importance from the roster. In other words, I would not lose Miller to sign Yandle. But if we could trade Nash to clear necessary dollars to sign Yandle, then I do it.

      If we’re taking the ‘assigning dollars’ approach, then I would allocated Boyle’s 4.5 mil less Skjei’s entry level 1mil ish, which net’s 3.5 mil to add to the resigning Yandle pot. Then the finessing comes from finding another 3 mil by trimming fat elsewhere.

      At the end of the day, I see Yandle as more than a PP specialist. He’s great at moving and controlling the puck- which helps both on the man advantage and even strength.

      • Walt says:

        Hatrick

        Great points, but for what term?????

        Let’s not forget he is 30, and would you go along with 5 years???

        We could be at the same place we are currently if we do, and I don’t like being in that position, Just look at the bookend twins that we have to live with …….

        Just thinking out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          Fair point Walt. I’d try for 5 yrs but settle for 6. Does 5 yrs @ 6 mil get it done? Probably not, but to me that’s reasonable for a player of his calibre.

          The Staal / Girardi contracts would be ideal to just kind of, you know, reassign to Yandle : )

          • Walt says:

            I’m not enamored with Keith’s play in the defensive zone, and I’d like to see if we can get some solid defense first type guy signed before I’d resign him. Sorry, I wouldn’t do the deal, there has to be a better choice, cheaper, younger, and more defensively sound, puck mover out there. I believe that the Graves kid can move the puck, and they say he has a cannon for a shot. But then, what do I know ??????

        • Alec says:

          If an expansion draft is announced between now and July 1, You frontload a 5 year contract w/ Yandle to the max allowed in year 1 and expose him in the draft or trade him wherever after the season. No draft, no Yandle in 2016-17.

          Frontloading contracts is one of the few ways MSG can use their financial muscle to gain a competitive advantage in a hard cap environment.

    • "The Original Rob" says:

      I understand and respect your logic towards Yandle, however the Rangers PP actually got stronger as the year went on especially late in the season. Also, the desperation you talk of was an increase of ice time for Mr. Yandle due to an unfortunate injury to Truck.

      Also, you can’t say the goalie change didn’t work for Hitch as they won the first game but lost the second after the change.

      Otherwise, I believe you bring up some interesting thoughts Roger.

  9. Chris A says:

    Dave, you’re right about Staal. It is heartbreaking to watch him breakdown like this. He should have been in that second tier of all-time great Rangers defensemen, it just didn’t work out with all the injuries.

    Not saying we should keep Marc Staal, I just wanted to throw some praise in Staal’s direction.

    • "The Original Rob" says:

      He was looking stronger towards the end of the season. So, that’s something he can build on should we decide (or, should HE) to keep him going forward.

      I love Staalsy too, and feel he’s one of those guys that get overlooked by the casual fan, as his attributes are often overlooked and understated, if or when he’s playing healthy.

  10. pas44 says:

    Question, can anyone name other teams that have the same CAP vs. Skill problems like the Rangers do?

    I am trying to think if I know of teams that have this many big salaried non performers…?

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      Everyone would have said SJ until May of this year.

      Thornton and Marleau would have highlighted their argument.

      • Fotiu is God says:

        You nailed it, Hatrick.

        It’s as if Jumbo Joe got a big shot HGH, or whatever PED the Russian athletes are injecting.

        On-ice he’s recaptured all the energy and imagination that made him an elite center man in years past. Off-ice you notice his demeanor is upbeat, switched on.

        Marleau, arguably, to a lesser degree, sure. But he’s never been as noticeable or dynamic a presence as Thornton. Marleau’s simply a finisher, not a maestro. He’s pushing the play. Seems more engaged. Inasmuch there’s no mistaking those legs are 36-years old.

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          Thanks FiG ! It’s great watching an effective Joe Thornton.

          Good on mgmt for not making a drastic trade to shake things up. The have a lot of talent in that core.

          Deboer stepped right in and is doing very well his first year there. Might make 2 SCF appearances in 5 yrs…. not too shabby. Changing the coach sure seems to have sorted out a lot of the baggage that was in SJ.

          • Walt says:

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t SJ want to trade both Joe & Pat, they declined any move? Isn’t that the reason they took the captaincy from big Joe?

            • Fotiu is God says:

              Correct, Coach Walt.

              Marleau was rumored to our club on a couple of occasions.

              As far as Jumbo Joe losing his C, word has it his undoing began at one of Swarty’s gentleman’s clubs.

        • wwpd says:

          “simply a finisher” recent (and not-so-recent) Ranger history would argue that it’s not so simple to find a consistent finisher!

          • Fotiu is God says:

            Indeed.

            But my mention of Marleau as “a finisher” was to lend contrast to Joe Thornton’s broader, more accomplished skill set. Especially so his playmaking abilities, if not vision.

  11. kevshockey says:

    NMC I don’t think really would stop Staal or Girardi from jumping to Dallas if they came knocking. They’d immediately move to a better, younger team that controls the puck better and wouldn’t be relied on as much on the backend. And when they are called upon they just need to do more than nothing (which is what Dallas currently does in their own end). More importantly though they get a raise immediately with the lower taxes in Texas. Smart move financially especially for Girardi who could be looking at this at his last contract in the NHL. Both would be served better is a slower old school collapsing system of play though; but there aren’t that many of them left, or that would be desperate enough to grab a Girardi or Staal at those contracts.

    A raise, no more Larry Brooks and just one reporter to worry about? What Ranger’s D man wouldn’t take that deal?

    Honestly I think after this playoffs Dallas will be calling about Lundqvist not any of the Rangers Dmen. If they believe they can win within 2 years with an elite goalie and don’t know where else to turn. I think they have to make a pitch to try and get that done. Who knows if Hank wants to go there or not. Doesn’t mean the Stars won’t make the pitch. Given the Stars youth, possible desperation and the likely fact of the Rangers taking one of those terrible goalie contracts off their hands will likely lead to a bigger return than the Schneider deal between NJ/Van. Even though he’s on the backside of the career Hank is a proven elite goalie, while Schneider still hadn’t become an elite #1 yet at the time of the deal. Gotta think way closer to the Miller deal that StL made a few years ago, only offseason would make it the return a little higher and make pieces more flexible and not just cap orientated.

    • Ray says:

      Pittsburgh likely has a goaltender to trade – not sure which one.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Smart money says Fleury.

        But boy oh boy, they’d be ufffcked if Murray turned out to have a Steve Mason-esque career path….

      • kevshockey says:

        Would you consider Fleury the elite goalie that Dallas would be looking for if they made the decision they needed one? I wouldn’t. Maybe in the regular season but he hasn’t been that great in the playoffs. Tampa lights him up tonight in game 6 and sends the Pens packing, I don’t think Dallas makes that move. I’d put Fleury in the same class as what they have now, possibly a little higher but just as injury prone at this point as Lehtonen.

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          I very much disagree. He for sure was that guy with post season ‘meltdowns’ a few years ago, but has been more stable since. Last year he was extremely solid in the first round against us. I think those days are behind him.

          He would be a much stronger option than Lehtonen and Neimi.

        • Ray says:

          To be fair, Fleury is rusty (which is why he won’t start tonight). As a trade target, considering salary and age, I would expect anyone would choose Fleury over Lundqvist.

          • pas44 says:

            I am pretty sure Sully went with Fleury for tonight’s start…

            How could he not, if he went back to the kid and lost he would look even worse…

            If Pitt loses this series this goaltending move will be looked at as the pivotal point…

            • pas44 says:

              I am incorrect, what happened, I see now that pitt went back too the kid, man I couldn’t sworn I saw Flower to start this morning…

              apologies…

  12. RANGERS_UNDERSCORE says:

    Don’t do a thing! If we are to go down, we should all go down together. Captain AV is at the helm steering us into the jetty.

  13. Ray says:

    There’s an old adage in business, but I think it applies here as well. Buy low, sell high. A good rule for Gorton might be to listen to all the advice from the media and blogs like this one and do exactly the opposite.

    Everyone says resign Yandle. That means everyone agrees he deserves a really big contract. And suddenly everyone is into puck movement, defense be demanded. There is absolutely no question that Keith Yandle is overvalued – what is debatable is by how much.

    Staal and Girardi are trickier issues. The fan base clearly undervalues this duo with no understanding of how good typical defensemen are. The Penguins are actually playing the ridiculous Justin Schultz, who is no Tanner Glass. Management needs to objectively evaluate the duo and what they can actually draw in return. I sincerely doubt trading Girardi is wise. In the case of Staal, well, if his decline is real and irreversible and the league hasn’t caught on yet, a move may be a good idea.

    One of the problems that plagued the Rangers last year was that they had a very clear plan. They needed to move both Hagelin and Talbot – and with desperation, they got so very little in return.

    And one of the reasons goalies fetch so little is because no one ever tries to trade a goaltender for the right price. They either keep them or commit to a trade.

  14. Peter says:

    Regarding Hank: If the club is going to attempt minor changes in the hopes of another cup run, then you don’t trade him. My own view is that this is a losing proposition for the club’s long term competitiveness, but it is also the most likely path.

    If the club is going to go through a major overhaul, then you see what you can get for Hank, if he is willing to consider being moved. Dan, I understand that the return on goalies has been low. Well, if the rangers get low offers for Hank then you simply don’t bite. But, if they are going to go for youth, speed and a major revamping, the it would be silly not to explore what the market is for Hank.

    Regarding McDonough: Because of his relative youth and reasonable cost, he is one if the few Rangers who I consider almost untouchable. Sure, if offered a fantastic deal they should consider it, but that is unlikely, even for a solid Dman like Ryan.

    Nash: Rick is far more talented than most of the Ranger forwards. But his age, cap hit and recent tendency to be injured undercut his value to the club long term. You see if you can work a deal that brings both youth and talent. If not in the off-season, then maybe at the trading deadline where you. Might steal a young talented forward.

    Keith Yandle: No one on the club passes the puck like Keith. But, unless there are major cap savings somewhere else, I don’t think the Rangers can afford to keep him. That is a shame in and of itself, but also losing DuClair first and then Yandle too makes me utter expletives.

    Staal and Girardi: Both men have been great players for the club and deserve everyone’s respect. But, they are clearly not who they once were physically. Unless Gorton works some magic, I am afraid that both will be on the roster next season with their eroding skills and huge cap hits.

  15. Swarty says:

    Something must be done and not one player should be exempt from a trade that would make the club better in the long run.

    I personally would rather see a Blockbuster type deal that shakes things up a bit. And I don’t consider moving Nash a blockbuster.

  16. Roger Domal says:

    Someone asked a few posts back about similar cap hell like the Rangers. Check out the LA Kings. 20 % of their cap on Jeff Carter, Brown , and Gabby for years to come. Brown is coming off 3 solid years of under 30 points, Gabby is forever hurt, and they still have to re-sign Lucic, get some defense and a back up goalie. They have to replace Lecaveilier too. And Kopitar was given 10 a year starting next year. I think they own Jeff Carter until he’s 90. Gabby will be 35 making 4.8 until he’s nearly 40. And they have already traded their first and third in this draft.

    I think everyone of the “going for it” school never thought the cap would stop growing. If it grew by the same target as earlier in the contract we would be looking at a cap closer to 80 million which would relieve some pressure on the higher capped teams.

    Somebody mentioned the Sharks. Not in awful shape at all. Only a year left with Thorton and Marleau, and if they get to the finals (or win!) everyone will be on a high. They have no first round pick either.

    St. Louis has holes to fill this year in the off season too. And they are paying Taresenko a lot to have a stinker just when they need him most. They however are only paying two good goalies for a combined 6 million. And they have their draft picks.

    Tampa doesn’t hit the cap skids until next year. Foregone conclusion that Stamkos is a goner. Only one of the triplets will get a raise this year, but Hedman becomes a UFA after next year, and so does Bishop. Capt Cally’s deal is awful, but if they win it this year the glow will last into the bad years. And they have more than their own draft picks.

    Pitt is paying Gino 9.5 to miss an average of 20+ games a year. He has 7 more years left. They have 2 second round picks this year, but no first or third. They do have Letang signed LT, but they are crushing him in minutes which historically has accelerated declines. And Maata gets a big raise in salary starting next year.

    So, even though the Rangers are in awful cap shape, there are several teams in the same or worse. This off season will be pivotal for a number of clubs including those like Montreal whose decline this year was shocking. Subban deal at 9 is going to be an albatross if they can’t compete with their forwards.

    • Puckpaul says:

      Well, maybe we move Henrik if we can get someone to take Girardi as a package deal?

      Not as big a Yandle fan as some here. I was cringing most of the year watching him try to play defense. I think he is too expensive to sign to a big deal and not good enough.

      Gorton has a tough task ahead! Can we get Hagelin back?

  17. Phil says:

    Good article. Love the Ghostbusters quote.

    I think trading Nash only makes since if they don’t have to eat any salary. Probably would have to though.

    Trading Mac is not gonna happen and would be a terrible move. There is a reason every single NHL team would want him.

    Agree they need to shed some salary on the blue line

  18. Rick Kapossy says:

    To me, Trading Staal is priority. Girardi you can dump next year and I also think Klein has seen his best years. Getting rid of Staal ( maybe he’ll agree to go wherever Eric goes)should help signing Yandle. If we can trade Nash, great… I don’t see it happening. If we are serious about signing Stamkos then I believe it’ll be Hank who needs to go. He should be easiest to move, if he agrees. There’s just no way you can get Stamkos if you’re already paying 16 million for Nash and Lundquist. And you’d probably have to think about trading either Brassard or Stepan. Too many centers.

  19. Michael O'Sullivan says:

    Trade Stepan and Hank to Tampa so I can move south and watch the real Rangers play….awful trades of late!

  20. Bloomer says:

    McDonagh doesnt have a no trade clause and would fetch a decent return. Throw in Fast as well and acquire a young gifted offensive forward. The cap savings would allow the blue shirts to sign Yandle.

    • Walt says:

      I’d let Yandle walk before I would do what you suggested. Mac Truck is our best defenseman, Yandle is a defensive liability !!!!!!!!

  21. Dan says:

    Larry brooks saying front office has no intention of buying out or trading Girardi and don’t expect to resign Yandle. With that the cup window slams shut.