Exploring the trade market for centers

Over the last four seasons Tyler Bozak averaged .68 points per game. During that time, Derek Stepan averaged .73.

Tyler Bozak

The Leafs backed themselves into a corner with the signing of Patrick Marleau and now exceed the summer salary cap threshold, leading to speculation they may have to trade a veteran for some relief. But with both Joffrey Lupul and Nathan Horton on the roster in name only and headed straight for LTIR, Toronto isn’t in nearly as bad of shape as it might seem. Still, the Leafs have a glut of forwards so pending UFAs James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak continue to circulate through the rumor mill. With the players carrying nearly identical $4.2 million cap hits and not part of the Leafs’ future plans, there’s reason to believe Toronto might move one of them before the season.

New York would likely be interested in acquiring either player. A move for JVR would cement J.T. Miller’s move back to the middle, but give the Blueshirts impressive depth down the wings. Bozak, 31, would slot in as the second center behind Mika Zibanejad and be capable of matching Derek Stepan’s offensive production while also representing a huge upgrade at the faceoff dots. The Rangers would surely try to build a trade package for either player around Nick Holden, an expiring contract himself. But while Toronto might view Holden as a useful addition to a patchwork defense, Holden’s own $1.65 million cap hit reduces the allure somewhat.

Ryan Spooner

Despite amassing 88 points across the last two seasons, Spooner, 25, has fallen out of favor quickly in Boston. The hybrid center/winger is gifted offensively, but a train wreck in his own end and awful at faceoffs. He’s probably an affordable piece for the Blueshirts to add, but as a one-dimensional player it’s hard to say with conviction that he’d make New York a better team. The Rangers have no shortage of offensive-minded centers – they’re looking for a reliable two-way player, or at least one that isn’t a tremendous liability in his own end. Still, the multi-position flexibility of Spooner is attractive, as is the price tag and his age. There’s a chance of a deal here, but if New York coveted Spooner, a deal likely would have happened months ago as Boston has seemed eager to part ways.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Many noted the massive Connor McDavid contract extension and speculated that with Leon Draisaitl’s still to come, Edmonton might have to shed salary in a hurry. Unfortunately, that’s quite wishful thinking. The Oilers still have nearly $17 million in cap space for this season – enough to pay two Draisaitls, if it were necessary. After years of futility, Edmonton is finally on the cusp of contention, so there’s no chance the Oilers are going to immediately dismantle their roster by shipping out RNH prematurely. A day of reckoning may come in a year or two when Nugent-Hopkins’ $6 million cap hit is too cumbersome to bear, but it’s not going to be this offseason.

Matt Duchene

Colorado’s search for a Duchene suitor willing to pony up a bounty for the 26-year-old’s services has led the Avalanche nowhere. GM Joe Sakic continues to insist on a blossoming young blueliner plus much more and thus far he has not met a deal to his liking – even with Travis Hamonic purportedly on the table from the Islanders and Ryan Murray from the Blue Jackets. Sakic would love to pry one of Nashville’s horses away, but the Predators have made it abundantly clear that’s not going to happen and may have ended their pursuit of Duchene with the signing of Nick Bonino. No doubt Duchene would be a huge acquisition for the Blueshirts, but since they rightfully won’t part with Brady Skjei, there’s just no deal to be made here.

Zemgus Girgensons

Somewhat similarly to Spooner, Sabres fans have soured on Girgensons, the No. 14 pick in the 2012 draft. Girgensons is still just 23 years old, but the consensus seems to be that he has little room left for growth Girgensons is a perfectly capable bottom-line centerman that brings some grit, but one that’s not necessarily an upgrade over what New York already possesses. Girgensons might be affordable to acquire, but there’s not a lot to indicate that giving up any sort of assets to bring him into the fold would be a prudent move.

The Golden Knights

It has been well documented that Vegas has a plethora of centers. But GM George McPhee has also made it known that he’s hoarding young players and it doesn’t make a ton of sense for him to shuttle any of them out of town before seeing how his team comes together on the ice. The Knights’ building process will continue to play out over the next couple years, but it’s hard to come up with a compelling reason for Vegas to deal a guy like William Karlsson before he plays a game for them. If New York wants to dangle a first- or second-round pick at McPhee, then he would surely listen. But if the Blueshirts weren’t willing to pay that price to protect Oscar Lindberg in the first place, then there’s little reason to believe they’ll turn around and pay the piper now.


When Edmonton inked Jussi Jokinen, the last attractive UFA forward for New York’s needs was plucked off the market. There are still over two months to go until the season, so GM Jeff Gorton will continue to scour the trade market – but the pickings are slim. Most teams have the rosters in place they want to go to training camp with and aren’t clinging on to extra solid centers in the hopes a rival GM might come calling with an offer they can’t refuse.

While the possibility of a swap will always loom overhead, it’s far more likely that the Blueshirts will enter training camp with Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes and David Desharnais locked into three spots, with Boo Nieves and Lias Andersson competing for a job and Miller the fallback option if neither rookie is ready.

"Exploring the trade market for centers", 3 out of 5 based on 15 ratings.

69 thoughts on “Exploring the trade market for centers

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 7:25 am

    I am guessing you are probably correct in assuming that the roster is pretty set. The bigger problem than at center is the glut of defensemen for the 3rd pair. Some could even be considered second pair ( okay a bit of a stretch). We may wait for another teams injury to open a need for a Holden that clears the jam and opens a spot for a young D man to show their ability. It also could end the JT at center experiment if it doesn’t produce.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Still think Holden is very movable if they want to. But as many guys “knocking on the door” as there seem to be, we haven’t seen several of them in NHL action yet

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm

        Plus there may not be a big trade market for defensemen at the moment. Vegas needs to pass a bunch through waivers in September.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I like Bozak a lot but what would be the trade cost? As much as the Leafs need a D man, it will be hard to sell Holden on them. Maybe Holden, Graves, and a pick? He would be the guy to solidify the center position.

    Spooner is an interesting case. He may be a train wreck in the D zone but is that more of a train wreck than having Desharnais as our #3 center? I think that would be awful in itself.

    Last resort is Miller to center and acquire a top 9 forward, because Zib, Hayes, Desharnais, and whomever is not an option or should not be. At all.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 8:37 am

      DD would be the better 3c than Spooner on this team, RS is more of a winger. I think if Miller somehow makes the transition to center (doubtful) then a bottom 6 forward would come through a trade. JG knows he has to fit Buch up in the top 6 somewhere.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Not given anymore then Holden an a pick. Leafs need to shed cap space as well, an I am sure Bozak is making more then Holden.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 7:59 am

    i say you do it from within try J.T and Hayes

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I’m assuming that Fogerty has a zero chance of making the team as a 4th line center. I mean he’s a big 2 way right-handed center iceman supposedly decent on face offs and was captain at Notre Dame. Not to mention, he was a scoring machine in the BCHL before going to college. What’s holding him back? His skating?

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 8:28 am


      That’s a name I’ve mentioned myself on many occasions. He has leadership skills as well, but if there is a problem, it may well be his skating, or lack of blazing speed?????????????????

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 8:50 am

      No he will have a shot just like anyone else and especially since Fast is out. The kid sucked at the 2 pre season games last summer and from there that was the last time that I ever heard about him. I have Boo’s chances being increased by 50% to make the team instead. I must add that there’s a idea that Andersson could make the team from camp and as AV or JG said, “he’ll have every opportunity to play” so that might help Fogarty all out of favor.

    • Jul 14, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      When they signed Fogarty, I think the expectation of his full-on ceiling was 4C, if all went well. Nieves, however, I think they are seeing him as a higher ceiling player. Some websites were even talking top-six potential not all that long ago, with many noting that he’d have to build his frame a lot though, as an asterisk.

      Boo might not be considered to have a ceiling quite that high anymore after his first full AHL year…but it also wasn’t a very complete year at just 40 games in the AHL and one in the NHL, either. And of course, Hartford was terrible, which probably stunted all the prospects’ output to some degree.

      In any case, I think we are hearing about Nieves more because he’s the more potentially exciting player, and also is more well-known from his college career…but, without knowing for sure what the organization sees in Fogarty, I’d have to imagine he’s at least lurking in the realm of possibilities. Fogarty may be getting more attention in the front office than he is in the blogosphere.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I suspect that we make no moves until camp opens, unless a trade happens to fall into our laps!

    JG, and Gordy seem very high on the Andersson kid, and he more than likely will be in the starting line up when the season begins. Now having said that, if we can work out a deal, my choice would be Bozak. Solid second line guy, still young enough so that Lias can still develop if need be, and has a proven track record. Such a deal affords us the luxury of having Zib, Bozak, Hayes, and DD as our starting four centers, with a scoring threat from all four lines.

    Best case would be Holden goes to the Leafs, along with a draft pick, maybe a #3, and we still can get Staal out of town, then this entire off season would go down as one of the best ever for this organization!!!!!!!

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 8:42 am

    terrifies me that staal and holden are both around. Staal is immovable right now, so holden needs to go.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Plus he is the last of “AV’s favorites” left. If Gorton is clearing the bench of these types, you would think Holden is on the block.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I wonder if Bennett or Lazar are available from Calgary. They seem to be falling down the depth chart

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 9:53 am

      I think you’re a tad early on both. They just got Lazar from Ottawa a few months ago – need to give him a real chance. And Bennett still just 21 – although that situation does seem to be a little strange

    • Jul 13, 2017 at 11:45 am

      I like the idea of Bennett for sure although, I think Calgary would need a decent return for him

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 9:06 am

    However, the premise of the Maple Leafs being over the summer cap was debunked yesterday by James Mirtle in a column and pretty much confirmed by the NHL.

    Even though Staal is still sliding, he actually had a better year than 2 years ago!

    Man, he was good before the injuries.

    Make or break year for JT, btw.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Miller has the skill set to play center. Still some free agent wingers out there that Rangers could sign to give them some forward depth. Doan Stafford or Vanek come to mind.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 9:32 am

      I don’t think we need to stock our team with names on the wing. We need our own names to put up numbers. It is really time that Krieder, Zucc, Nash, Zinbad, JT and Hayes do some real damage. This should also allow our second tier players like Vesey, Buch and Grabner to go against the opponents lesser lines and show that they belong.

      I am really tired of bringing in retreads like Vanek, or god forbid Jagr. We pay our top 6 pretty well. If they do not perform, send them the way of Stepan. Then it may really be time to retool the entire team. Nash to a contender, and so on. Get lots of picks and build a young club that has speed, youth and skill. I think our top 4 on defense if pretty damn good. If our top 2 lines can score and our defensive line can stop a (for example) a Crosby line, we should be okay. If Hayes and JT disappear for long stretches, then cut bait early and bring up the kids.

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        If we suck this year and decide that a quick rebuild is in order then okay, trade Nash, Hank, Zucc, anyone 28/29+, but to “cut bait early” when it comes to Hayes and JT would be dumb, they’re 25 and 24 respectively, not even in their prime yet. Also, what kids are you referring to?

        • Jul 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm

          Yeah – I agree I’d like to see more from some of those names. Will not argue there – especially when it comes to consistency.

          Nobody is really knocking down the door to replace them, though. Even our best forward prospects – prior to this draft, I mean; the Kovacs, Stromwalls, Nieves of the world – are not really blue chip prospects. Andersson (because of his well rounded two way game already) and Chytil (sheer upside) pretty much went straight to the top of the list. Andersson may be able to step right into the NHL, but very few (if any) scouting accounts of Chytil would leave one with an impression that he is close at all, despite his high skill level. Very young still, very raw game in some areas, apparently.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Nick Jensen is gone to the khl now. Not that he was gonna be on the team this year but we at least know it’s one more guy out of the way for Andersen to have a chance of making the team. I know I would love it if he was able to make the team That will be a tough task for an 18 year old to pull off. Maybe it’s just hope but I have a feeling this kid will be a good player and a rangers fan favorite some day

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Sorry to see Jensen jump, but he must see the writing on the wall with regards to his chances of making the club. With the year he had last year, you would have thought he was a shoo-in for the 4th line, but that rarely happens in Rangerland.

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm

        If Jensen blossoms with an expanded role in the KHL, the Rangers can always bring him back by simply signing him to a contract in two years.

        The Rangers will still hold Jensen’s rights

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 2:27 pm


        Due to a contract offer made by us, he is still our property, and if he becomes the real thing, he has to play for us at least a year!!!!!!!

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Andersson is a center, Jensen is a wing, so what difference does it make?


  • Jul 12, 2017 at 9:58 am

    A well written and well researched if not very sobering article by Kevin. If Kevin is correct, then I fear we are in a world of hurt. We have two centers right now, and neither of them have shown they can be a 1C.

    We lost Stepan. We lost Lindberg. Neither were great players, but both were solid. Our depth, which was one of the strengths of our team, has taken a huge hit. You can make the case we now have among the weakest group of centers in the league.

    So I go back to a question that was posed a few weeks back…..are we a better team TODAY then we were when the playoffs ended? Until or unless we address this problem, the answer is clearly no. I’m not even sure we are a playoff team at the moment.

    Huge, huge pressure on Hayes, Mika and maybe even Miller to take huge steps forward. Frightening.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 10:07 am

      But some huge strides on the blueline. Maybe the best top 4 in the Metro division. Is that enough to overcome the loss of our #2 and #4 centers? I don’t know. Mika should be #1C material. Hayes is #3C material. JT could be #3C material. We have a few guys fighting for #2C and #4C. I am choosing to look at the cup half full – thinking that the negative presence of Stepan in the lockerroom (and his removal there) outweighs his on-ice performance and that the guys we brought in (Deshar-something and Andersson) can handle #2C/#4C duties, I think we will hit some bumps, but I think we will be okay. I think our goals against should drop too.

      Don’t go to the ledge yet my friend.

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm

        We didn’t lose our #2c & #4c… we lost our #1c & our #4c.

        And the 4c was one of the league’s best.

        Regardless of what Hayes or Zib ‘should’ be, up until now, the only thing which even comes close to ‘1c’ status between either of them are their offensive capabilities.

        (Actually, I’ve said this before, but Hayes has the most potential on that front IMO. You can’t teach size & elite passing skills.)

        That being said, however, neither has shown any inkling whatsoever that they are capable of shutting down other team’s offensive players nearly as well as Stepan did.

        No one has addressed who will make up for the fact that Stepan was a defensive sponge – we outscored teams 3 – 2 while he was out there!!!!!! That’s ~20 minutes a night of solid defensive play that has not been replaced (unless Mister Andersson saves the day)….

        … Which is what frightens me about this situation – I can see it now…. Hayes (as the 1c-A or whatever) has a great season, puts up ~65-70 points like we all know he’s capable of……. all while neglecting to play any defense whatsoever.

        And, because the ‘big center withhh pointsss!!1111’ would be due a contract, I could see them doling out some absurd deal which fails to account for the fact we’re not actually better off (in terms of total on ice impact) with him out there.

        So yes, while having Shatty over Girardi is huge, I don’t know if we, as a whole, are better off in lieu of the aforementioned situation.

        • Jul 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm

          Hayes is a wuss that doesn’t like to get his hands dirty. Can’t stand his style of play, backs off from virtually every aggressive situation on the ice. He’s the only 6’5″ 220 lb figure skater on the rink. He’s no 1c or 2c nor will he ever be, IMO.

          • Jul 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm


            While I agree that Hayes is somewhat shy about contact, why didn’t you, or others say the same about that sissy, pantie wearing Daisy, who had a history of contact aversion? I think I will tolerate Hayes a bit more than the other choice…………….

            • Jul 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm

              Hey Walt…
              Maybe because when someone is built like an NFL tight end, but reminds me more of Brian Boitano than Ron Gronkowski I have a little problem.

            • Jul 12, 2017 at 5:37 pm


              Brian Boitano, now that is funny as hell!!!!!!!! You got me there.

              By the same token Daisy acted more like Boitano when wearing those tights, and running like hell away from any contact, especially after he got concussed.

              I’m still laughing my ass off with the comparison by the way!!!!!! Keep them coming…….

              • Jul 12, 2017 at 5:56 pm

                I don’t know Walt… compared to Stepan

                Brian Boitano would kick an ass or two…..

              • Jul 12, 2017 at 6:04 pm


                LMAO again!!!!!!!!!!

          • Jul 12, 2017 at 5:49 pm

            I’ve always said I thought he plays under his size.

            However, the kid has a level of talent which dramatically exceeds the ceiling of a bottom six center.

            If he could/would learn to play defense, he’d be a great player.

            Like I said, that’s what worries me.

            … He’ll get PP time, have a great year on paper (but in reality be responsible for more offense against than he’s actually generating).

            And they’ll see big numbers (scored by a big pivot who has also shown dramatic improvement on the faceoff circle) and lose control of their checkbook.

            … And you’ll see a 6.something (or worse…) cap hit dropped on a player (for term, with the obligatory ‘Sather Special’ NMC) that doesn’t actually help us win….

            Hopefully that doesn’t happen (or, he learns how to play defense and/or hit someone).

            • Jul 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm


              Can’t argue the points made, you hit on something here!!!!!!!!!

            • Jul 13, 2017 at 10:19 am


              Dirty little secret, but Hayes was the checking center last season from mid December on, playing against the other team’s top line.

              Look what line started most home games. (Hint: it wasn’t Stepan)

              Another little known fact: Hayes’s skating was much improved last season.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Tyler Bozak, get it done!

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Yes we are a better team today because Daisy is gone, we got a first pair d-man who can QB our PP. I’d do that deal again in a heart beat!!!!!!!!!

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm

        Amen to that brother!!!!

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 3:51 pm

        Stepan got us a boy with lots of skill who might needed to be closer to home so he can focus 100% on hockey. He’ll become real professional when he sees all the perks of being a NYR compared to a Yote.

        Stepan also got us the ability to try a new QB on the PP that we all can realistically dream that he’s the right man for the job. This hopefully would allow Mcd and DeAngelo to QB the 2nd PP which already improves both of the PP’s. Mika get’s a more high IQ specialist to work with along with Zucc.

        I thank that Daisy because his essence opened up more opportunity for the team besides just flexible cap space.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      I feel Miller is better on the wing than at Center.

    • Jul 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Definitely still a playoff team. The C situation at this moment is far from inspiring, for sure. It sucks, but we may not get any closure until preseason on who our Cs will be. It happens sometimes. Point being though, it’s not like losing Stepan and Lindberg was all that happened to this team, with no push the other way. The defense should be a lot better – losing Girardi was addition by subtraction, as was Klein retiring given his back had clearly completely stripped him of his just-average skating ability he had even in his prime. Adding Shatternkirk was another big plus. Smith looked really solid in the playoffs to me, and settled into the system by then despite some early shakiness, so I expect him to pick up where he left off. DeAngelo is a complete wild card, but there is plenty of skill there if he does make the roster.

      So, I wouldn’t quite say all is lost. Definitely would not say this is a non-playoff team, even if nothing more gets done at center. We just may not have that well-above-average 4th line we have become used to, really. That’s the main effect I see.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 11:09 am

    #1. Anybody can be traded if the price is right, and the season’s still 3 months away. GM’s are constantly evaluating what they’ve got, and who might be available. Good ones are able to find fits where others can’t.
    #2. Now that Stepan’s gone, all of a sudden we have a gaping hole at the 1C? Interesting how that happens, isn’t it? Imagine if we’d kept him, and gotten Shattenkirk, which could have happened.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      joe, without trading stepan we never could have acquired shatty. the rangers still need to sign mika and have just enough space to do it and perhaps make one depth signing. the stepan trade sucks because we lost a valuable player who could play on both special teams units, put up 55 points, and had a lot of playoff experience in critical situations, but without trading him it would have been a lot more difficult to sign shattenkirk as well as bringing back Brendan Smith who did a good job for us.

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 1:23 pm

        All you need to do is buy out Stahl.

        • Jul 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

          Which has it’s own set of lingering monetary issues.

        • Jul 12, 2017 at 3:52 pm

          I believe that its a worthy investment to buy out staal because not only does his contract suck, but he’s a detriment on the ice for the rangers. He’s slow, provides no offense. Can’t defend anymore, and does not mesh in AV’s system at all. That being said, they already bought out girardi and doing the same to Staal would give us a lot of dead cap space for the foreseeable future. I think they will entertain the idea more next summer but for the time being staal will be a ranger and he will play for us. The logical move is to trade Holden to open up a spot on the right side for Tony D. The rangers do have another buyout window this summer but it seems unlikely that they would do it with Staal. That being said, our top 4 is good and if Staal can be even slightly more responsible with a lot less ice time then we should hold on to him for one more year to alleviate the consequences of a 2nd buyout, at least for now.

          • Jul 12, 2017 at 5:24 pm


            As much as I want to see the other pylon twin go, a buy out would be toooooo costly on the team for years to come. Let’s not forget that Girardi got bought out, combined with Staal, we would carry some $4.5 to $5 million a year of dead cap space, over a course of seven years or so. Think long term, how devastating it could be to have your hands tied for that long due to dead cap space. Sorry my friend, we are on a different page with this issue, even though I’d love to see the turnstile get moved out of town!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      We would still have a gaping hole with Daisy taking up space, and contributing nothing!!!!!!!!!

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm

        I dont know what these guys were watching…….you’d think stepan was the 2nd coming of wayne gretzky!..
        We are better today….addition by subtraction!

        • Jul 12, 2017 at 5:27 pm


          Even his defensive play deteriorated some over the last two years or so, I don’t understand it myself. The boy, I can’t refer to him as a man, hated to muck it up, didn’t fight for the puck along the boards, always dumped the puck at the blue line not to get hit, slow as shit on skates, what do they all see in that pantie wearing boy???????????????

        • Jul 12, 2017 at 6:04 pm

          Rich, it’s like I’ve said with the departed Daisy – it’s not so much what happened while he was out there so much as it was what didn’t…..

          If Andersson can play defense as well as Stepan did (and versus elite players) while putting up Stepan’s points minus the PP time, and if Deshainais can slot in as the new 4c, then I’ll say we got better (when factoring in the Shatty/Girardi ‘swap’).

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Hayes continues to improve and I already think he gives more of impact than Kreider. I’m sure some would like to disagree with that but in the 200 ft radius game Hayes controls the puck much more fluidly and more and I don’t need possession stats telling me otherwise. I think sometime down the road this season the Mika and Hayes duo will challenge the Brass and Stepan duo in terms of position growth. That’s how well I think Mika will fill the 1c spot and Hayes as the better 2c. This club trust starting with AV is high on them for a reason, I could see him pushing for this vision in behind the scenes. I think this upcoming season each of them will set extremely high numbers in career highs. Then they’ll eventually balance out in putting up low to high 60s points.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 11:54 am

    The Rangers are way better than they were last year. Two turnstiles on defense and a number 1 center in bad slump. What was so great about that team? It was kind of a miracle they did as well as they did in the Metro. Now we have a great top 4 blue line, two high end center prospects, one that might make the them out camp (two players that have both played with men the last couple of years) and last but not least all kinds of potential on the back end. I watched the Frozen Four and in the game against Denver Neil Pionk was arguably the best player on the ice. I watched the Memorial Cup and Sean Day looked nearly as good as Sergachev and he was faster in a sprint. To get better we need to move out Stall (easier said than done) and Holden and open up a competition for the third pair. I say trade for JVR with Holden and a pick and let Anderson and JT fight it to be the fourth center. Right now we are short a wing until Fast comes back. Toronto is holding out for a top four defenseman. They are not going to get one. Is Winnipeg Chevy now going to change his mind and make Trouba available because it is Toronto especially for guys with no term? Ditto the Wid the Ducks, the Canes? I don’t think so. Toronto will take a third paid D like Holden to reduce their Cap from $4.2 for JVR to $1.65. It just might take some time.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Great updates Stuart …
      Glad to hear such positive reports on day and pionk……
      What sides do they play, lhd or rhd?
      Assuming both will definitely not make the rangers this year , I would like to see if holden can be better on his left/natural side….giving us another asset to play or trade.
      As far as Miller I want to see him play the year at center before we decide he cant…….and maybe peumple is still in the mix?

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    agreed stuart. a guy like bozak or jvr with one year left on their contracts will not be able to bring in a top 4 d man at this point in the summer. the rangers have a handful of impressive defensive prospects and now is the time to dangle them to acquire a player like tyler bozak that can win faceoffs, is a righty (we lack those), and can really solidify our centerman. im not sold on hayes being an effective 2nd line center. too inconsistent especially in big games. rangers also need to move a defesneman to give deangelo a shot at 3rd pair. you don’t trade a player like stepan for a young kid like deangelo and then sit him in the press box

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    I agree. Gorton right now is both lucky and smart. He has rebuilt the team depth with a lot of young free agents and Shattenkirk was a gift. However I think guys who succeed in high stakes player acquisition have to be smart. I think Gorton is one of the smartest and hardworking GM’s in the league. It is easy to suck for 10 years and pick in the top 5 every year until you figure it out. Gorton can’t do that in NY and has to rebuild the team from the Sather era the hardest way possible. I think he outworks every GM in the league because he has to. He is smart and I know he sees what we do.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      He also got very lucky with getting shatty as a gift as well as vesey last year and hayes the year before!!!! But he certainly seems to be making the right moves!

      • Jul 12, 2017 at 4:10 pm

        What Hayes did in his rookie campaign compared to Vesey I’d have to say JG got more than a gift in that one. Hayes even got Tanner Glass a gift wrapped goal along with AV to be there to see his pride and joy score one.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Pionk is a right shot and Day is a left shot.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Who do you think is better, closer to nhl ready?

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Just read article on NYR site where AV thinks JT more valuable at wing than at center. Feels there are centers in camp that can fill the void. Fun begins when camp opens. Likes what he sees from the new kid Andersson.

    • Jul 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      I am not too happy with the prospect of DeSharnais as the 3rd line center. I am encouraged however if they are thinking Andersson will be one of the four.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Holden would be attractive to many teams to eat up minutes. Toronto could use him but could use another ‘D’ too. Graves could go in that trade as well but Graves has lots of upside and younger. I still would rather have Van Reimsdyk and see how camp shakes out for 3rd, 4th line centers. JVR would be great while Fast is out, then Nash becomes expendable.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    One other option is to move Miller to Center and use DeAngelo as a RW. DeAn has lots of offensive skill and Rangers have a lot of options for 3rd pair defense.

  • Jul 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Yeah, it might be a lineup that experiences growing pains and it isn’t win now, but Zibanejad, Hayes, Miller (or DeSharnais) and Andersson (or DeSharnais) is likely to be who the Rangers have at Center. Boo might make it. Then Gorton might get a winger. I am fine with JT at center.

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