Archive for Irresponsible Rumormongering
There’s not much going on today in the world that is the Rangers. Regurgitating the same content about the team is getting old. We know the forwards are good. We know the defense stinks. We know the goaltending is getting better. The trade deadline is coming, and with it comes the hopes (fears?) that the Rangers will make a move to address their weaknesses. But in the back of everyone’s mind is something coming up in June: The Expansion Draft.
There are some that think this year’s trade deadline will be quiet because of expansion. Multi-year deals are going to be tough sells, especially if teams can’t protect an additional player. Teams can only protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie (or 8 skaters and 1 goalie). Rookies/second year pros are exempt, but players with NMCs must be protected. But all AHL guys beyond their second year must be exposed. Teams can only lose one player to expansion.
It hasn’t quite worked out. Kulikov has played in just 31 games this year, missing time with a lower-back injury suffered in the first preseason game that has also caused running pain down his legs for much of the season.
Kulikov has logged just two points and now seems like an afterthought in Buffalo’s future plans rather than a building block. Indeed, there have been growing rumblings that Kulikov could be on the block as we approach the trade deadline.
Dennis Wideman is perhaps best known for crashing into a referee last season, which earned him a 20-game suspension. However, he’s just two seasons removed from a 56-point campaign in 2014-2015 – the fourth-most points in the league amongst defensemen that year.
Wideman, 33, has been a workhorse throughout his 11-year career, averaging over 20 minutes a night in 10 of his 11 seasons. He’s nearing the end of the line though and has seen his ice-time reduced over the last two years, especially on the power play.
It’s that time of the year. Teams are jockeying for playoff spots, trying to identify their team needs for the stretch run. Non-playoff teams are starting to pool offers for rentals. Buyers are trying to figure out what they can part with. Trade deadline rumors are abound.
For the Rangers, every rumor worth reading has them linked to a defenseman. I say “worth reading” because there were one or two rumors that said they want a forward. Considering the depth they have, I don’t buy those. Just looking at the teams solid offense and porous defense shows that they need help on the blue line. But with all the names that have been dropped, the one thing we have yet to hear is what the Rangers are willing to give up.
The defensemen on the Ducks have been a topic of conversation all year. Cam Fowler was the rumored odd man out, but Bob McKenzie said he has been so good for the Ducks he’s practically untradeable. With that in mind, I thought I’d revive a little idea we had on the podcast some while back as it pertains to fixing this blue line: trading for Josh Manson.
You see, the Ducks are in a bind. They have a fairly stacked blueline, plus need to protect Kevin Bieksa in the upcoming expansion draft due to his NMC. They can’t protect all of Fowler, Bieksa, Manson, Sami Vatanen, and Hampus Lindholm, so it stands to reason that one of them will end up being traded or the Ducks risk losing them for nothing. While there’s certainly a chance that ends up being Vatanen, I’ll save that hype-train for Dave, who more or less is his biggest fan. Instead, let’s imagine that Manson is the odd man out here.
The Twitterverse got a little excited yesterday, as rumors broke that the Rangers are heavily scouting the Kings. They had Doug Risebrough in Ontario to watch LA’s AHL squad, and are rumored to be checking out the NHL squad with regularity. I don’t know much about the source, but people I trust have vouched for him. So, take that as you will.
We know the Rangers want a right handed defenseman. From LA’s standpoint, they need cheap depth scoring. Outside of Kopitar, Gaborik, Toffoli, and Carter, they have very little in terms of skill, scoring, and speed. On paper, there’s a match to be made assuming salaries can sync up. Trying to figure out who LA is willing to part with is a little challenging though.
The NHL trade deadline is less than a month away, and as always the big market New York Rangers are at the center of online trade rumors. It’s no secret that the Rangers are in need of upgrades on defense, but that doesn’t stop outlets for saying the Rangers are in the running for names like Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan. The Rangers are also in a very odd position this season that may throw a monkey wrench into possible plans.
The Rangers are in the best division in the league, where 5th place in the Metro would be 3rd in the Atlantic division. This provides something odd as the Rangers will likely play either the best team in the Atlantic Division (Montreal) or the second place team in the Metro, which will likely be better than Montreal. Either path provides a difficult and path in round 1 and an even tougher matchup in the second round.
Note: No goal breakdown from last night. Sorry about that.
Today marks one month until the trade deadline and buzz continues to build that the Rangers are seeking help for the right side of their defense. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that the Blueshirts don’t want to part with any of their young forwards in a swap – but they are expected to look for cheaper solutions.
We’ve already discussed Michael Stone and Ryan Murphy, so today we’re taking a look at Cody Franson. Two years ago, Franson was one of the hot commodities at the deadline and he was shipped from Toronto to Nashville with Mike Santorelli in exchange for Olli Jokinen, Brendan Lipsic and a first-round pick.
During last night’s broadcast, Bob McKenzie shared his thoughts of the Rangers needs and plans for the trade deadline. He didn’t shed any light on their needs, as they are still targeting a top-four right handed defenseman. The problem is that the rest of the league is looking for the same thing.
McKenzie also provided some insight as to the Rangers’ approach, which is to not sacrifice any of the core they’ve assembled thus far. That is the open-ended statement that can be interpreted many different ways. What defines the Rangers core? What are the Rangers willing to part with from the roster?
Last week we began examining possible trade deadline targets to help the defense with Michael Stone of the Coyotes. This week, we’re turning our attention to another righty D-man – Ryan Murphy – that has been pushed down the depth chart and no longer looks like he has a future with his club.
Murphy was Carolina’s first-round pick in 2011 – three slots before the Blueshirts selected J.T. Miller. He was billed as a future power play quarterback and offensive dynamo, but Murphy has only played 135 NHL games with the Hurricanes and never more than 48 in a single season.