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Category: Irresponsible Rumormongering

Potential trade targets: Keith Yandle/Zbynek Michalek

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix NHL Arizona Coyotes are not making the playoffs this year. That much is all but guaranteed. What waits to be seen is when they start shipping off players that are not in their future plans, and who they ship out. Rob Klinkhammer was already sent to Pittsburgh for prospect Philip Samuelsson. With seven players headed towards unrestricted free agency, GM Don Maloney will probably be busy.

There are a few players that may interest the Rangers, specifically defenseman Keith Yandle, if Arizona decides to trade him. Yandle isn’t a pending UFA, but the ‘Yotes have Samuelsson and Brandon Gormley vying for NHL spots in the near future. There is a need to open up spots on the blue line for these kids, and Yandle, a 28-year-old on a $5.25 million cap hit, would probably bring back the biggest return.

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The obligatory Taylor Hall post

Photo: Edmonton Journal

Photo: Edmonton Journal

After the Edmonton Oilers fired Dallas Eakins, club GM Craig MacTavish said that no one is untouchable on the Oilers. Immediately, rumors started to fly that Taylor Hall was on the block, as the return he could net would bring in many valuable assets that would fill multiple holes. In Hall, the acquiring team would be getting an All Star winger and a game breaker. Of course, Ranger fans started with their own trade scenarios.

Before we get into what it would cost the Rangers to land Hall, it’s important to know what kind of player the Rangers would be getting. In 272 games thus far, Hall has put up 100-143-243, close to a point per game. Of those 243 points, 143 of them are at even strength, including 55 goals. Hall produces at all strengths, and doesn’t just rely on gaudy powerplay numbers. But for Hall, it goes beyond the numbers.

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Potential trade target(s): Martin Marincin and Jeff Petry

Petry and Marincin (Photo: Windsor Star)

Petry and Marincin (Photo: Windsor Star)

The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly listening to offers for anyone on the roster. The Oilers are very heavy on the wing and defensive prospects, but thin at center and NHL defensemen, Theoretically, they are looking for an NHL ready center, and are willing to deal anyone on the roster.

Martin Marincin (22 years old) and Jeff Petry have been brought up a few times in trade rumblings a few times, but it was more speculation than anything substantial. The reasoning is that the Oilers are heavily invested in Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference, Nikita Nikitin, and Mark Fayne beyond this year. They have Darnell Nurse (OHL), Oscar Klefbom (AHL), and David Musil (AHL) knocking at the door as well. Guys like Petry (UFA, high salary) and Marincin (RFA, squeezed out by younger, better kids) could be used to address their needs.

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Potential trade target: Riley Nash

Nash, of the Riley variety.

Nash, of the Riley variety.

In my daily perusing of pending free agents on bad teams, I came across Riley Nash of the Carolina Hurricanes. The 25-year-old center is in the final year of his second contract, one that pays him at a $575,000 cap hit. Basically peanuts. This year is, for all intents and purposes, Nash’s second full pro season. On paper, Nash is a 52% faceoff guy who put up 10-14-24 in 73 games last year. He has 4-6-10 in 13 games this year.

A few things jump out at me about Nash. He’s a right-handed shot (hooray!) who is putting up solid numbers thus far on an awful Hurricanes squad (and he wins faceoffs). His 18% shooting rate won’t last, but he’s been an 11% shooter over his NHL career. That’s actually pretty good. The uptick in goals this year is a combination of the unsustainable SH% and his willingness to shoot the puck more. Regression is expected (he’s not going to be a 75 point guy), but he will certainly eclipse his career highs this year.

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LeBrun: Tomas Kaberle to skate/practice with Rangers

Per Pierre LeBrun, UFA defenseman Tomas Kaberle will skate and practice with the New York Rangers. The Rangers are not signing him immediately, but will see how he does and make a decision from that point. This is basically a PTO without any games being played. Kaberle last played in the NHL in the 2012-2013 season, playing 10 games with the Montreal Canadiens.

This is a desperation move at best. Kaberle hasn’t been relevant at the NHL level since the 2011-2012 season.

Friedman: Rangers have interest in Andrej Sekera

Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers have expressed interest in Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera. Sekera, a left-handed shot, had a career year last season, putting up 11-33-44 with a poor Hurricanes squad. This season, Sekera has four assists in nine games, but is still on pace for about 40 points. At $2.75 million this season, the Rangers can actually fit him under the cap without moving salary (which is not what I expected, but Capgeek is never wrong), but his cost is limited somewhat since he is a UFA at the end of the year.

Sekera would certainly be a boost to a decimated blue line in the immediate term. He’d also be a considerable boost over John Moore on the third pairing, if it comes down to that.

Report: Kevin Hayes makes the Rangers

Per BC Hockey Blog, the same blog that broke the news about Chris Kreider signing his ELC (hey, one for one so far), Kevin Hayes has been informed that he has made the opening night roster for the Rangers. Hayes had a strong preseason, and it appears that the injury to Derek Stepan cleared his path to the opening night roster. There was nothing flashy about his game, he was just very solid.

Hayes likely only made the roster because of Stepan’s injury, but the seasoning he would have needed in Hartford was minimal. It’s still likely the Rangers send him to the AHL once Stepan is ready to go.

Report: Anthony Duclair makes opening night roster

Per Blueshirt Banter, citing Jeremy Filosa, Anthony Duclair has made the opening night roster for the Rangers, and it will be confirmed tomorrow. Duclair played in five of the six Ranger preseason games, putting up three goals and two assists while holding his own without the puck. Duclair shot 30% during these five games, so that scoring rate will likely come down some, but the kid is more than just goals. His speed gave all three of his opponents (Chicago twice, Philly twice, New Jersey) fits.

If the report is true, the Rangers will need to get rid of a contract before opening night. If none of the three on waivers are claimed, a trade will need to be made.

Friedman: Rangers trying to move a contract

Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers are trying to dump a contract via trade to make room for Anthony Duclair, should he make the club out of camp. Duclair is playing incredibly well, and the Rangers have nothing to lose by keeping him around as long as he earns it (his ELC clock starts this year regardless). However, since they are at 50 contracts, they need to dump one before Duclair can play an NHL game.

Even if Duclair doesn’t stick with the club, dumping a contract would give the Rangers trade flexibility in the future.

Brooks: Marc Staal contract rumors

Per Larry Brooks, the initial negotiations for a Marc Staal contract have begun. Per Brooks, Staal is looking for around $6 million on a 6-7 year deal, while the Rangers are looking to give Staal a Dan Girardi-esque deal:

Staal, who will turn 28 in January, is believed to be seeking a six- or seven-year deal in the neighborhood of $6 million per — perhaps somewhat more. The Rangers are believed to be offering the same deal to which they signed Girardi, six years at $5.5 million per — perhaps somewhat less.

The wording of this is somewhat suspect, since Brooks says Staal’s demands could be somewhat more, and the Rangers offer could be somewhat less. The general consensus has  been that Staal will get the same deal Girardi received, so that’s not really a surprise. If Staal’s demands are indeed in the range that Brooks states, than this deal shouldn’t take too long to get done.

It’s worth noting that a few different outlets have said nothing is imminent with Staal.