It is almost September, which means the Rangers are almost back on the ice for preseason hockey. The 2018-2019 season is expected to be a rough one for fans, as the Rangers are expected to be bottom feeders in the Metro and not compete for a playoff spot. They are not tanking –and there’s a big difference between tanking and not winning– though, which leads us to believe they are going to try to be competitive, but with the bigger picture in mind.
The bigger picture is loading up on young assets by deadline assets. Those assets are usually expiring contracts, but someone with multiple years left can be dealt in the right deal. The Rangers have a few of those guys, so it’s expected they will look to grab more prospects and picks in 2019.
This is the most obvious one. Hayes’ one-year deal this offseason all but sealed his fate as trade bait, especially with Ryan Spooner and Vlad Namestnikov inking identical two year deals. The difference between Hayes’ deal and the Mats Zuccarello home town discount a few years back is that Hayes didn’t take a discount. He didn’t want the multi-year deal, and he wants to go to free agency (or so we’ve been led to believe).
With that in mind, the Rangers lose value each day that Hayes remains on the roster. Any acquiring team will want him in the fold for as long as possible. He’s a legit middle-six center, and those guys have value in the trade market. Hayes will be traded, and the time of the year will determine how much the Rangers get for him.
Ryan Spooner/Vlad Namestnikov
These guys each have an extra year on their deals, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be dealt. Teams are always looking for middle-six centers, and these guys come cheap enough –or the Rangers can eat enough salary– for teams to look at taking on that extra year. Both are middle-six centers, and a strong year from either one can lead to a bunch in a trade.
Of course, a strong year from one could mean a multi-year contract as a role player for the kids in New York.
Yes, this needs to be said. It pains me to say, but Zuccarello is likely the most valuable trade deadline piece. He’s a top line forward on any team, and he’s on a ridiculously cheap contract for his production. Zucc, like Henrik Lundqvist, likely wants to stay in New York. I wonder if they can do a trade and then re-sign in the offseason with Zucc. Crazier things have happened, like him not getting traded.
Yes, DeAngelo needs to be mentioned here. If the Rangers are looking to trade him, then he either a) didn’t have a good year, or b) got beaten out by other kids who surprised. Whichever way you slice it, DeAngelo is hitting restricted free agency next season and trading him, most likely in a package as a sweetener, is a legitimate option for the Rangers. Not that I think it will happen, but as mentioned above, crazier things have happened."A peak at 2019 trade deadline chips",