What can Michael Grabner fetch in a trade?

January 30, 2018, by

When the Rangers signed Michael Grabner to a two-year deal two summers ago, it seemed like a deal designed for the expansion draft. Grabner certainly had a unique skill set and some value, but was never going to be relied upon to be the team’s leading goal scorer. However he’s done just that for the Blueshirts. He led the team with 27 goals last year, and is far and away the leading goal scorer this year with 21. He’s on pace for a 30 goal season.

A revitalized career in New York has done wonders for Grabner, who will certainly cash in on his back-to-back 25+ goal seasons. He won’t fetch a McDonagh return, but there is a good case to make that he could bring back a nice haul. After all, teams always need speed and goal scoring, and are willing to pay handsomely at the deadline.

It’s not hard to figure out what exactly what Grabner may fetch, as we just need to go back to last year to see what Minnesota paid for Martin Hanzal. That trade saw Hanzal go to Arizona with Ryan White (AHLer) to Minnesota for Grayson Downing (AHLer), a 1st rounder, a 2nd rounder, and a conditional 3rd rounder. That’s three draft picks, including two top picks, for a guy who had just 16 goals (10 assists) at the time of the deal. Hanzal was also a pending UFA at the time of the deal.

Even if you think that deal is way too high for Grabner, we have tons of evidence to show Grabner will fetch more than just a mere 2nd round pick. After all, Patrick Eaves was sent to Anaheim last year for a 2nd rounder. Tomas Jurco, Viktor Stalberg, and Brian Boyle each fetched 3rd rounders. None of these guys were even close to sniffing Grabner’s past two seasons.

“But Dave,” one might say, “Grabner is being overvalued by fans, right? Most of that is empty net goals.”

Usually I say yes here. However here’s one last key piece: Michael Grabner is one of just 21 players to have 48+ goals in the past two seasons. Teams pay for recent production. Plus when you look at that list, it’s tough to find someone who is as defensively proficient as Grabner. Scoring empty net goals means he’s trusted in those situations to defend a lead.

It’s important to level-set and not get hopes too high. Needs change at the deadline, and you never know where the market goes at any given time. However it’s also tough to ignore prior trades and what might be. Grabner is a very valuable piece to many teams, and should hopefully fetch the Rangers some much needed draft picks.

"What can Michael Grabner fetch in a trade?", 5 out of 5 based on 17 ratings.


  1. Richter1994 says:

    A first and a very good prospect.

  2. ManUtdTobbe says:

    A first OR a good prospect OR a package with a 2nd + decent prospect is what i expect as the core to the deal. Then there might be adds and stuff depending on the market.

  3. Mikeyyy says:

    You will get more for Grabner than mcd.

    Grabner is playing hard scoring and has elite speed.

    Mcd is injured coming of two bad seasons and hitting 30, his point production isn’t stellar as is his pp or pk

    You can get an extra pick for mcd at this point.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      If both were on expiring contracts I’d still disagree with that….but given McDonagh has another year on his 4.7 mil contract and Grabner is an expiring UFA this summer I think you’ll have a hard time backing that one up

      • Egelstein says:

        Not to mention, GMs who pay more attention to advanced stats will also understand that McD has been saddled with poorly-performing (by top pairing standards, anyways) partners for the last two years.

      • Mikeyyy says:

        You forget his nmc that kicks in July 1.

        No you will get a first rounder and a top 4 dman or top 6 forward.

        He’s damaged goods with an nmc.

        Try not to overvalue our players because everyone else undervalued them.

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          #1 defensemen like McDonagh always bring more in trades than third-line wingers with an inconsistent scoring history like Grabner.

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          No one acquiring McDonagh would really care at all about his NMC. They likely fancy themselves contenders this year and next…. like we were when we traded for Yandle. Even so, prevailing sentiment would dictate that McD would likely be willling to waive the NMC next deadline if the team floundered in 2018-19 so that he could end up with another contender.

          All in all, I think a NMC is a non-factor.

          Furthermore, as MC says below, “#1 defensemen like McDonagh always bring more in trades than third-line wingers with an inconsistent scoring history like Grabner.”

  4. Richter1994 says:

    From Rotter’s blog, AV on Shatty:

    “Alain Vigneault said that he has been aware of the injury since before the season and that the hope was that the injury would improve and heal on it’s own with treatment.

    At times this season Vigneault noted that Shattenkirk was a work in progress and had more to give offensively.”

    If the coach knew about the injury they why is he complaining about the player? Is he clueless or just plain stupid?

    • Walt says:


      A lot of both!!!!!!!!!

      • Richter1994 says:

        Just dumb bro. Why say anything? Or, say he’s banged up?

        • Walt says:

          I don’t recall anyone ever calling AV a cerebral giant, but many have referred to him as a mental midget!!!! He’ll be gone soon enough…….

          • Richter1994 says:

            I hope so, the Rangers cannot move forward with him as coach. Same for Ruff. New blood is needed, except for Allaire.

          • upstatetom says:

            let’s hope so but the brain brain trust signed him to an extention & wasted more of their $$$.

      • wwpd says:

        AV was defending the player, who was learning a new system, and we now learn, was also injured. If you read the rest of AV’s comments he was basically just being supportive. You guys are making something out of nothing.

        • Lace says:

          Thank you. Finally someone that can see both sides of the coin rather than just the negative. I’m not a believer in many of the moves AV has made of late but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad coach and the things the NYR accomplished under him are nullified. He’s a good coach and if the NYR fire him, he will have another coaching job in minutes. I just hope it’s out west.

        • Richter1994 says:

          “You guys are making something out of nothing.”

          So? Gives us something to talk about and get good differing opinions like you just gave. 🙂

          Besides, we like to make something out of nothing, especially when it comes to the coach, lol.

        • Mintgecko says:

          Yup I agree

          This blog gossip about how the players turned on the coach but yet there’s zero proof to that. His young guns like Hayes, JT and Skjei are obviously team AV and if it would have affected Hank than the dude would have called him out by now. People don’t like looking for the clues because there’s a chance that it debunk there narrative on the subject. Ps I hate AV but the stuff that’s said about him is about 55% false when you really read into it.

    • wwpd says:

      Maybe we are reading the comment differently? When we learned of the injury, that statement about having more to give made a lot more sense. But where did you interpret that it was intended as a critique of the player rather than a vote of confidence he would contribute more as the injury healed?

      At the time, I didn’t think AV was calling the guy out. Plenty of problems with AV but this seems like a pretty benign thing.

      • wwpd says:

        I accept all your downvotes!

      • Lace says:

        It is but many fans are mad at AV and want him gone so they either jump on the bandwagon or they allow their judgement to be clouded by their feelings for the coach. It happens to every coach after 5 seasons behind the bench. Remember Torts after 5 seasons?? They were ready to go to MSG with torches & pitchforks. This is AV’s last season. I’ll let him have it in peace. There’s nothing he can do short of winning a cup with a rebuilding team to keep his job.

      • Richter1994 says:

        AV knew of the injury before the season, so why ask for something that the player could not physically give? Forgetting talent, abilities, etc.

        • wwpd says:

          I’m out of my depth at retroactively second-guessing medical decisions but it seems like a crazy move at many levels of the organization. Silver lining if that injury was nothing unrecoverable but finally the straw the broke the camel’s back getting the team retooled.

        • Mintgecko says:

          Maybe that’s his way of flipping off JG and outing the club doctors that a special shot wouldn’t keep him at ease? You can ask the same question about JT playing center. After that game of him saying that “he saw enough” in regards to benching him for two full periods is the same situation. It was clear since 2014 that AV never liked JT at that position and recently after when Hayes went down he told the press about how he knew about how JT doesn’t necessarily like that role. Him benching the kid was a statement to whoever pushes for the final say. Same idea for when he called out Shatty out at one point. I believe it was to either call out the club for pushing him to play or maybe even Shatty himself. You can’t act like he was all for him to play on a busted leg. For all we know is that he was in the room telling him that he doesn’t approve of playing like that.

          • Richter1994 says:

            ok, let’s say you’re correct, then why go to the media for this crap? Keep it in house.

            And I would be more inclined to give AV the benefit of the doubt except you never hear him take blame for anything.

            I would trust what Coughlin said in a second because he has a history of putting responsibilities on himself for his team’s/players’ performances. I don’t hear that from this coach.

            So it is easier and more convenient to blame an injured player than his lousy “system” that has been proven not to work.

            PS, I have no problem with AV benching Miller, but do it to Staal also after the 15 gaffes he has just in the first period alone. Exaggerating but you get the point.

            • Spozo says:

              “Then why go to the media about this crap?”

              He was asked in a press conference about Shatty. He responded that he thinks he could be better. What is he supposed to say? That he’s playing well? Then you would rip him apart for his awful ability to evaluate a defensemans play. And if he pulls a Tortorella and says “next question” you would jump all over him for either hiding something.

              Literally nothing the guy could have said in that situation would have escaped critique from you.

              So what should he have said when asked how he thought Shatty was playing?

              • Richter1994 says:

                How about this:

                “Shatty’s a little banged up so it is difficult to properly assess his play at this time.”

                It’s not rocket science my friend.

              • Spozo says:

                So Shattenkirk says he’s well enough to play, the medical staff says he’s well enough to play. So you then publicly use an injury as an excuse for poor play?

                Maybe it was a “hey, you’re telling me you want to play and you’re saying your knee isn’t obstructing your game. So I’m not giving you a feee pass for the missed assignment on the first goal last night. If you’re well enough to play then I expect you to play well.”

              • Richter1994 says:

                We don’t know what Shatty said, maybe he didn’t say anything.

                But again, isn’t the COACH’s responsibility to monitor his players? The decline in play was obvious and with prior knowledge of an injury then AV had more information than anyone else.

                In my next life I want to be a weather person or an NHL coach because evidently neither has a responsibility to be right or wrong or any responsibility whatsoever. I wish my job had that kind of latitude.

                You’re entitled to your opinion of course, but IMO, your defense of the coach boarders on being blinded by a tainted regular season record. Overall, the man has won a lot of games having the benefit of having the 2 best goalies of this era win 72% of his wins during those years.

    • Ray says:

      Sometimes injuries limit what a player can do and sometimes this just hurt. We really don’t know how much the injury affected Shattenkirk. Given that his performance was not vastly below his career performances, it was clearly not a case of him being a cripple on the ice.

      In fact, we don’t even know why he elected surgery now. It may very well be that he could have toughed the year out and the surgery was a long term decision by a team that has decided to write 2018 off. Or, maybe he got tired of hurting. Or maybe it was starting to affect his game more. Or …

      • Richter1994 says:

        The coaches and players are together all the time. At some point, I cannot believe that a player can “hide” a serious injury forever, especially when it was obvious that something was wrong.

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          It’s probably easy to hide injuries with Vigneault—AV only sees what he wants to see in a player anyway. Ha!

          Vigneault’s reasoning probably went something like this: “Sure, Shatty’s hurt—but a bum knee means he can’t skate the puck out of the zone…he will be forced to make tiny outlet passes or stretch passes, like a REAL Vigneault defenseman is supposed to!” Vigneault would have then opened a fresh pack of doublemint gum, straightened his tie, and chewed 6 pieces of gum in a calm and self-satisfied manner.

          • Richter1994 says:

            Yep agreed, or better yet, it was going to heal itself.

            First 2 months Shatty was pretty good. Starting in December he was declining. Do you think that if you had the benefit of knowing that Shatty had an injury that MAYBE you address it instead of saying that “he’s a work in progress?” leaving people to believe that the player ios just not playing well?

  5. Walt says:

    The decision to trade Grabner is going to be very tough, but it should be made for the right return.

    The guy has speed to burn, with more speed on top of that. He plays a very sound two way game, kills penalties, is a good shut down player. His conditioning is maybe second only to Kreider, and will play for a few more years, at least. Currently is leading goal scorer for us, again, what’s not to like about him?

    Having said all this, Martin Hanzal brought back a haul, this man is better so why not expect to get at least the same return? If we can get a #1, & #2 picks, with a prospect, I’d do the deal. It’s fun to speculate but the market dictates what the return will be. If a team is in dire need of a players with Grabner’s skill set they will pay whatever they think is fair to acquire him.


    I’d let Mike know in no uncertain terms that should he want to return as an UFA next year, we would welcome him back with open arms!!!

    • Richter1994 says:

      Yep, I would tell him that thy will try to sign him back. Actually same for Nash if the $$ are right.

      • roadrider says:

        I’m not sure they’re allowed to do that (tampering?).

      • Swarty says:

        You guys beat me to the post on this one.

        With much deference to my man Fotiu, not only would I tell him that they want him back – they should make sure he understands the reason he is being shopped is so they can bring back assets that will greatly improve the prospects of the team upon his return….

        • Richter1994 says:

          I’m sure, if he is traded, that they have discussed it thoroughly my friend. 🙂

    • upstatetom says:

      minnesota was just STUPID to give up that much .

  6. Ray says:

    Why are we trying to sell Grabner? . Every blogger is rattling off all his
    Good points and what they think he is worth to other teams.
    He is not only our best scorer with or without a goalie in net
    He is also our best defensive forward. He turns defense into offensive
    He’s every coaches dream. So lets give him away.
    So we can go looking for another one like him.
    Lets trade stuff that we dont need first or that we know
    will cost us too much to keep.
    Even if we decide to reup him he would still be a bargain at that time.
    And maybe just maybe our power play coaching genius just might try putting him on our enemic power play whic has trouble entering the zone
    Before selling him off.

    • Walt says:


      I know where you’re coming from, but there are no assurances he will resign with us, so why chance it? It’s clear as day the team is looking to reboot, and needs young blood to do so. He will never be worth more than he is today, so maximize your return now. It’s like the stock market, buy low, we did with Mike, and sell high, which we should. He may want to come back next season, and if so then we have him, and whatever assets we got for him!

      • Flatbush says:

        I think Grabber is the easiest asset to fetch a good return. A rental to a team ready to win now. As the NHL has gone crazy for speed and goals he fits perfectly and he is not a defensive liability.
        McD should also net a good return however he is overrated as a defensive D. All his promoters blame his partners over the past 2 seasons. He is good just think Grabner has the most overall upside to a team ready to win now

    • roadrider says:

      Its because he’s a UFA. You either trade him at the deadline, trade his negotiating rights before the draft or risk losing him for nothing. The Rangers need an infusion of talent. Grabner has been great the past two seasons but the team hasn’t really been.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      I’ll echo the same sentiment as Walt and roadrider….

      Despite the fact we all want him to stay, the smart money goes with asset management. UFAs for non contenders are a commodity. Like any perishable commodity, Grabner has an expiration date. He’s 30 and his value is at an all-time high. It is a forgone conclusion that he will be traded.

    • Mancunian Candidate says:

      1. The Rangers are going nowhere.
      2. Grabner’s value will likely never be higher, and he’s a UFA after this season.
      3. Your argument would be sensible if applied to McDonagh, as dmen are more valuable than third line wingers. Certainly the consistent McDonagh—a US Olympian, a team captain, and a true #1 defenseman—should fetch much more than the feast-or-famine Michael Grabner. Arguing to retain Grabner would fall under the “silk purse for a pig” category. Grabner’s value to NYR is in what he can bring back. The team sucks with or without him.

      Lastly, you’re the one who’s said all year that the Rangers won’t make the playoffs. How then does retaining a very tradeable asset that will likely bring a massive return haul make the Rangers better? As good as Grabner has been, if you can turn him into 3 future roster players then it’s a move that’s gotta be made.

      • Jerry says:

        Thank you MC, you saved me a heck of a lot of typing!

      • Ray says:

        “Lastly, you’re the one who’s said all year that the Rangers won’t make the playoffs.”

        Is that actually true? Please note that there are two Rays. I predicted the Rangers would not make the playoffs, but I am not sure the Ray who posted this has even been commenting on BSB since the start of the season, though this is certainly not his first foray into the arena.

    • Ranger17 says:

      AV has tunnel vision same 5 all the time no matter what . Grabner with his speed can gain the zone better than any forward on the team , he is not much on setting team mates up but at best we gain the zone and go from there . Who knows it just might work . Think the only reason he is not getting a chance is because of his passing skills .Littieri isn’t much of a passer but he will put the puck on net when he has it on his stick . Can’t stand the way he is so stubborn , hell when Ziba was out i would have put Fast on the PP for a right shot ,especially when he was hot at the time . But what do i know only been watching the Rangers since 1949 same old same old .

      • wwpd says:

        We could have used this version of grabner a few years ago! Of course a few years ago he was a 10 goals a year player.

        Anyway, wish him the best, hope he continues his comeback with his next team, seems like a good guy.

    • Richter1994 says:

      Raymond, I think that we need a group intervention here my friend.

      • Ray says:

        Please note my comment to MC above. JFTR, I would trade Grabner if the return was decent.

        • Richter1994 says:

          What if the return sucked? The Rangers are not going anywhere anyway this year. Why not get something for him now and re-sign him during the summer? The players understand the business part of what they do for a living.

          • Ray says:

            Why, e.g., I wouldn’t take a 4th round draft choice for Grabner.
            1. Only the willingness to say no to a bad offer can induce a better offer when there is no bidding war. If you say a second or nothing, if there’s even one chance in five of getting what you want, it’s a good deal.
            2. Why insult Grabner for almost nothing? Plus you do have a better chance to re-sign if you keep him. I’m not saying keep him, but don’t give him away.
            3. The Rangers have a very slim chance of winning the Cup and this sell-off will make that chance even slimmer. Still, strange things can happen. Chityl and Andersson might reinvigorate the team. Giguere got Anaheim to the SC Finals in 2003 by playing over his head. What if the Rangers stumble into the playoffs and Hank plays just as far over his head.
            4. Winning is better than losing for team morale. And morale breeds success.

            Again, I would trade Grabner BUT I don’t just want to give players away.

            • Richter1994 says:

              I didn’t say give players away. Not at all.

              Given the recent past history for trades involving rentals, Grabnerr should be able to bring back very nice assets, whether they are future or NHL ready.

              • Ray says:

                Be honest here. You literally said that Grabner should be traded even if the return sucked. I gave an example of a return that sucked.

                You are disagreeing with me even though you actually agree with what I said. There is a line and if the return is below the line, a good organization doesn’t trade him.

                We may or may not disagree with where you draw the line (that didn’t come up), though I think we both agree that a 4th rounder sucks as compensation for Grabner and a 1st rounder doesn’t.

              • Richter1994 says:

                ok, you’re right, I did sound contradictory.

                I guess what I was saying that you do not need to hit a home run, but basically get something for him.

                My bad.

    • Rich S says:

      Ray…….Spot on ….everything you say is 100% correct!!!!
      The idea that trading our BEST player since he got here two years ago is just plain stupid!!!!! Ranks up there with letting Strallman walk, trading Rick Middleton for ken Hodgeand the Mike Ridley trade……
      We finally get a game changer, probably our best player since Jagr and all I see is who to trade him for!!!!! DUMB!!!!!
      What are the chances we get a better player in the draft ? .0001%
      A game changer with great speed and a role model for our many young

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Best player since Jagr? Maybe if you’ve been watching the scoresheets instead of the games

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        I think Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik want a word with you, Rich. As does Ryan McDonagh, Marty St Louis, and Chris Kreider. As much as I love what Grabner has done for NYR, he’s 31 years old and can bring back a lot in return.

        • Rich S says:

          St Louis??????????????????????????????????????
          Your argument just lost all credibility!!!!
          His playoff performances against LA and next year Tampa were the worst performances I have seen from a rangers forward in the playoffs in 50 years of following team.
          Nash ……not the game breaker and he plays on PP which grabner doesnt……
          Gaborik, I liked but not the defensive player grabner is……
          Kreider……cant argue with…..but grabner is never invisible for stretches of games……

  7. Leetchie Nut says:

    Slower players who can’t score as much

  8. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    Question is what’s the $$$ to keep him ? You can’t teach speed ! There’s plenty of deadwood around to get rid of

    • roadrider says:

      If you trade deadwood you get deadwood in return. If you want to improve the team you have to trade guys that other teams want. Guys on expiring contracts are a must sell unless you’re making a serious run at the Cup (which the Rangers can’t do this year).

  9. kevshockey says:

    Hanzal is a center, and there are usually less centers available at the deadline especially ones that can slide into a 2nd line/3rd line role that can balance your attack more. Grabner while producing more, is a winger so I just don’t see that kind of return. As a Rangers fan I would love to see it, but 3 picks is likely stretching it.

    Grabner’s return is going to be determined based on how desperate teams get as names fly off the board and where they go. A team that starts to slip and sees the team chasing them grab Nash or Max Pacioretty (insert any other higher valued scoring winger here) might be more willing to deal a lot to keep themselves in the playoff race.

    I could see the Blues being interested, especially if someone lower in the Central division or the Preds make a move at add more scoring. I could also see the Blues very interested in Zuccarello to pair up with Tarasenko.

    • Ray says:

      I think Grabner is a specialty player – fast, good defensively, good on the counterattack, not a PP or top six player. For what he is, he is as good as there is in the game. A number of teams have no real use for such a player, but for those who do, there is simply no better option. I don’t see teams settling for him because they can’t get anyone else.

  10. jrrangersdad says:

    Does this sound about right in trade value (Apologies if off in either direction):

    McDonough – Top young NHLer, #1, #3
    Nash – Top Prospect, #1, #3
    Grabner – Top Prospect, #2, #3

    JG needs to figure out if there is a Top Young Defensemen out there that can be had for a #1, #2, and #3 (or Prospect). If so, then we can try for a Top Young Forward on McDonough deal.

    The Result (roughly):

    1 x Top Young Forward
    1 x Top Young Defensemen
    2 x Top Prospects
    1 x #1
    1 x #2
    2 x #3

    …and we can potentially resign Grabner and/or Nash. The latter being the more likely as Grabner price will be too high for our tastes. Nash may give us a discount.

    I would be quite satisfied with that haul come April!!!

  11. Peter says:

    Mike Grabner has been terrific as a Ranger. He is one of the members of the team that seems to always have his head in the game, not taking a day off. Coupled with his unique skills it makes him hard to let go. But, the Rangers need young, fast, inexpensive players and dealing Grabner is a sure fire way to bring back young pkayers and/or picks. Grabner very deservingly will command a hefty raise next contract. That means that the Rangers may not want to sign him anyway at 30 years old, even though he obviously works at keeping his legs in top condition.

    I love the guy, but in the cap era it makes sense to sell Grabner and reap some decent returns. I’d love a young prospect and a second rounder at least for him.

  12. Richter1994 says:

    I noticed that Dave is really trying to make “fetch” happen again.


    lol 🙂

  13. pas44 says:

    Grabner is not being traded

  14. Mancunian Candidate says:

    DeAngelo and Holland were recalled from minors, Lettieri was left behind. McLeod is now the extra forward, which is to say that he’s the guy who AV will replace Buchnevich with in the lineup when AV gets mildly upset with team performance.

    And by the way, wasn’t Vigneault publicly saying the team needs to shoot more? Good thing a puncher is here to take a shooter’s job away.

  15. Jake W says:

    Pat Maroon and a 1st round pick

  16. Peter says:

    The Jets are playing the Bolts tonight. Going to catch that one; it should be worth watching.