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Category: Irresponsible Rumormongering

Friedman: Girardi linked to Anaheim

A few media outlets (Ottawa Sun – Bruce Garrioch, Per Fourth Period, CBS Sports – Chris Peters, CBC – Elliotte Friedman) are noting that the Rangers are listening to offers on defenseman Dan Girardi. We generally dismiss rumors from Garrioch and TFP because they tend to report speculation instead of true rumors (not the case 100%, but we don’t find them to be as reliable as others). But Peters and Friedman are not in the rumormongering business.

Girardi was initially linked to Boston, but this is the first time we’ve seen him linked to Anaheim. TFP specifically mentioned players the Rangers are looking at as well  (Sami Vatanen, Kyle Palmieri, Patrick Maroon, Rickard Rickell). The rumored asking price for Girardi is close to the Marian Hossa asking price: two NHL ready prospects, a good prospect, and a pick. He could very well fetch that.

Friedman also mentions Michael Del Zotto, and that the Sharks could be a “stealth” team to land him.

Trade bait

Package deal?

Package deal?

It’s no secret Glen Sather has been shopping Michael Del Zotto for weeks. Unfortunately, the names attached to the trade rumors (e.g, Gardiner, Franson, Wiercioch, etc.) aren’t really anything to get excited about.

It seems MDZ’s trade value has plummeted this season and all we could apparently get in return are bottom-pairing d-men who are also in and out of their respective lineups. I mean you know things are bad when GM’s are hanging up on you over names like Marc Methot and Raphael Diaz.

With the Olympic roster freeze just over a month away and the trade deadline about a month thereafter, Sather still has time. However, the likelihood of MDZ turning his game around to the point where his value could fetch an elite player or prospect remains a pipe dream. If Sather really wants to upgrade this team significantly, players are likely going to have to be packaged together, which brings us to the point of today’s post.

Who on this team is good enough to have value on the trade market, but isn’t considered an untouchable or a critical piece to our championship aspirations?

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Addressing the Dan Girardi rumor; Michael Del Zotto rumor update

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

A lot of noise has been made over the past 12 hours about Glenn Healy’s comments on Hockey Night in Canada last night. For those who missed it, Healy said the following:

If the Rangers trade (Del Zotto) it will be a D for a D because of the Stralman situation but look for the Boston Bruins to call the Rangers about Dan Girardi. That is going to happen because that is a good player and there is no deal done. He isn’t for a whole host of a ransom but it still isn’t done. If they can get a lot back they will make that move.

This is just Healy spitballing, in my opinion, and isn’t really something that would happen. With Anton Stralman out, Girardi is the Rangers last right handed shot on the blue line. Throw in the Marc Staal injury, the uncertain future of Michael Del Zotto, and the inconsistent play of John Moore and Justin Falk, the Rangers can’t afford to deal one of two guys they can count on for defense. Despite his struggles, Girardi is still a top-four defenseman, and dealing him in the current situation –to a conference rival no less– isn’t something that I see the team doing unless the return is unreal.

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Dreger: Cody Franson a potential target

On today’s Dreger Report, Darren Dreger noted that the Rangers are still shopping Michael Del Zotto, and that the Leafs are still a potential fit. Since the Rangers are looking for a right-handed shot on the blue line, Cody Franson is the name that Dreger has thrown out as a potential target. Dreger also mentions that Jake Gardiner is being shopped by the Leafs.

If I had a choice between Gardiner or Franson, I’d take Gardiner. That said, Franson for MDZ is something I’d probably pull the trigger on. He’s a right-handed puck mover, is an RFA after this season, and has a comparable salary to Del Zotto. Both of their zone starts, quality of competition, and puck possession metrics are similar, although MDZ starts a lot more shifts in the offensive zone.

The roster freeze is tomorrow at midnight (11:59pm), so a move might (MIGHT) happen soon. If not, then teams can make moves on December 28.

Addressing more MDZ rumors

Photo: Bruce Bennet/Gerry Images

Photo: Bruce Bennet/Gerry Images

In case you missed it, new Michael Del Zotto trade rumors surfaced recently. Apparently the Colorado Avalanche are interested in the defenseman, per Bruce Garrioch (I know…). Del Zotto has also been tied to Toronto and Edmonton. Suffice it to say, Del Zotto has been tied to all 29 teams in the NHL. Pretty impressive.

The Rangers have been pretty steadfast in their approach to trading the former first round pick, they want a right handed defenseman in return for Del Zotto. Garrioch noted that the Avs aren’t going to send the Rangers a defenseman, so that one is pretty dead in the water. While that may eliminate the Avs for the time being, it doesn’t mean the MDZ rumors are at an end.

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Obligatory Del Zotto rumor updates

The more the season progresses, the more the Michael Del Zotto trade rumors swirl. Darren Dreger noted yesterday that the Rangers spoke to Ottawa and that no match could be found. The Rangers wanted either Marc Methot or Chris Neil, and Ottawa countered with Colin Greening, Eric Gryba, or Erik Condra. Those players did not fit with the Rangers. We all know what Chris Neil is, but Methot is a hard hitting defenseman that the Rangers could use. Problem is two-fold: He’s not the swiftest of skaters and he’s a left handed shot.

Dreger also noted this morning (on the radio) that the Rangers were talking to the Leafs as well. Jake Gardiner was the name tossed out by Toronto. In a vacuum a deal like that makes sense, since both might benefit from a change of scenery and Gardiner was teammates in Wisconsin with Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh. But again, Gardiner is a left handed shot.

Dan Girardi’s uncertain future could hold up a Michael Del Zotto trade

Dan Girardi’s struggles may extend Michael Del Zotto’s tenure in blue

Despite all the recent trade rumors swirling around Michael Del Zotto, the young D-man may remain a Ranger beyond this year.

I’ll spare you the argument that Del Zotto is still very young for a defenseman at just 23 years old, because frankly I don’t buy that as an excuse for his erratic play any more either.  But though Del Zotto hasn’t lived up to expectations, he is still pencilled in as a top-four defenseman in New York’s short- and long-term plans.

That matters because another key member of the top-four, Dan Girardi, is set to be an unrestricted free agent in July.  And the way things are going, Girardi might not be back.  Girardi has been better than Del Zotto this season, but not by much.  He’s coming off a down year under John Tortorella, so Girardi’s struggles can’t be blamed solely on the coaching change.  No, at 29 years old, it’s likely that we’ve already seen the best of Girardi, and quite possible that he’s begun his decline. Read more »

Muir: Rangers interested in Vernon Fiddler?

Per Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated, the Rangers may have interested in Dallas Stars center Vernon Fiddler. Now we need to take this with a grain of salt, because despite the fact this is in SI, Muir gets some basic facts wrong. Yes, Connor Allen and Dylan McIlrath are intriguing prospects, but neither are ready to play a role on a team built to win a Cup. Also, he mentions Michael Del Zotto as a trade piece, but misses the ball on his contract status (Muir states MDZ is a pending UFA, when he’s a pending RFA). I completely misread the article. My bad.

But looking at Fiddler himself: a left handed center with 2-3-5 in 21 games, 45% CF%, 28.2% TotTm%QoC, and 39.9% O/D% Zone Starts (eliminates neutral zone starts from the equation), he’s not what the Rangers really need. He’s never cracked 32 points in a season.

The Rangers need a RHD and a right handed forward. I’ll file this under irresponsible rumormongering.

Why the Rangers should consider moving Michael Del Zotto

Del Zotto has fallen on hard times in New York

Del Zotto has fallen on hard times in New York

For anyone that watches NHL Tonight, this week you’ll have seen Darren Dreger discuss the Rangers apparently having had contact with ‘five or six teams’ interested in acquiring Michael Del Zotto. The moment Del Zotto’s regression offensively caught up with Alain Vigneault’s lack of trust in his defensive game, this kind of rumour always surfaces.  For those of you not in the know regarding Dreger, he’s not the kind of guy who recklessly gossips so there are legs to this story.

The Rangers should definitely explore trading Del Zotto. The Rangers need help offensively and/or they need more physicality on the blue line. Trading Del Zotto could help the Rangers tend to one of their needs as despite Del Zotto not having a good season so far, his previous offensive production, his relative youth, his affordable contract situation and his draft pedigree all combine to make him a very moveable asset.

Whether the Rangers decide to move Del Zotto will likely depend on the return, but if they are to move Del Zotto the time is now. The modern day NHL requires asset management and right now Del Zotto is a declining asset. With his recent trips to the press box and with just four points on the season, Del Zotto appears to be regressing. His importance to the Rangers has also diminished as John Moore slowly but steadily develops. Include Ryan McDonagh’s offensive progression, and he could become a Norris-worthy defensman. In short, Del Zotto’s time in New York could be running out.

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Friedman: Rangers looking at OHL free agent Colin Suellentrop

Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers are showing interest in OHL defenseman Colin Suellentrop. The 6’1, 190-lb. right-handed defenseman was drafted by the Flyers in 2011, but was not signed by the June, 2013 deadline, making him a free agent. Suellentrop also went unsigned this past summer.

Friedman notes that Suellentrop may be a classic late bloomer, as his skating was a cause for concern. It’s actually why the Flyers (and the other 29 NHL teams) passed on signing the former fourth rounder this past summer. Positioning was also a concern.

The guys at In Lou We Trust have a great bio on him, although it is very old. He was a defensive defenseman on a bad Oshawa Generals team when he was drafted, which made his numbers especially atrocious. The Flyers website also has a profile on him (it’s a bit homer-ific), noting that they liked his size, physical play, and his ability to make a smart first pass.

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