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Category: Irresponsible Rumormongering

Everything you need to know about the Dan Girardi/Ryan Callahan situation

Throughout the year, there have been rumblings about trading Dan Girardi or Ryan Callahan. We’ve mostly been dismissive about them. Over the past two days, we’ve seen a big blowup in the rumors, and received a bunch of emails. So let’s answer all of them:

Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Q: What exactly is going on?

Both Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the year, and both are due for relatively big pay increases. There have been rumblings –from multiple media members, including Bob McKenzie– that the Rangers are entertaining trade offers for both. The rumors are that they will trade them both instead of risking losing them for nothing. It seems that Girardi is the one who will most likely re-sign soon, but Cally’s contract negotiations are not going well.

Q: What do they want in their next deals?

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Rangers still scouting Colorado

Perhaps McGinn is a target? (Image: NHL.com)

Perhaps McGinn is a target? (Image: NHL.com)

After trading Michael Del Zotto to the Predators for Kevin Klein, many assumed the scouting of some teams would end. This included the Colorado Avalanche, who the Rangers have been scouting for quite some time. Adrian Dater noted that as recently as yesterday, the Rangers were still scouting the Avs. But with Klein on board, the Rangers don’t necessarily need another right-handed defenseman, so the Ty Barrie rumors should be put to rest.

Suit discussed some potential targets from the Avs this month, noting that Ryan O’Reilly (can’t be traded until March) and Paul Stastny are two centers that the Rangers may be targeting. Since Suit discussed the pros/cons of each one, I’m not going to re-hash that here. But it is interesting to note that the Rangers are still scouting the Avs following the acquisition of Klein, who filled two holes on this club.

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What if the Rangers decided to sell?

Girardi. (Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Girardi. (Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Yesterday I was locked in a very interesting discussion on Twitter with Adam Herman (NYR Blog), Kevin Power (Blueshirt Banter), and George Ays (RangerSmurf) about the feasibility of a Rangers fire sale at this year’s trade deadline. Without getting into specifics of whether they should sell or they shouldn’t (it’s worth noting that the contract extension for Henrik Lundqvist all but locks the Rangers into win-now mode, whether you like it or not), the one thing we all agreed on is that the Rangers have a few pieces that could net them a really solid return.

There are two paths the Rangers could technically take when it comes to a fire sale:

  1. A complete blow up and rebuild, which would mean selling off as many assets as possible for picks and prospects. This would involve tanking, hoping to draft Connor McDavid in 2015, loading up on lottery picks, and using them to follow the path laid out by the Penguins and the Blackhawks. This would easily set the Rangers back at least five years in their Stanley Cup hopes. That said, tanking doesn’t always work. Just look at Edmonton and Columbus (and potentially Florida and the Islanders).
  2. Selling off assets with no future on the team in an effort to retool. This would likely mean selling off any player that the Rangers do not have in their long-term plan, or any player that could fetch them a king’s ransom at the deadline. This is the route that the Bruins took, and it worked out pretty well for them. This isn’t fool-proof either, but it also doesn’t have the five-year waiting period. A retooling would set the Rangers back 1-3 years, depending on the return and player development.

For the sake of this post, let’s assume that the Rangers would choose option #2, and retool the team.

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An interesting trade partner emerges in Colorado

A match made in Denver?

A match made in Denver?

For the past month or so, there have been many reports that the Rangers have been scouting the Colorado Avalanche. We don’t play them for another month, so I think it’s safe to assume the Rangers aren’t pre-scouting and may be exploring trade opportunities.

If the latter is true and the Rangers are taking a hard look at Colorado’s roster, then it certainly begs the question — is there a fit? Looking over Colorado’s roster and contract situations, they’re flush at center, short on wings, and somewhere in the middle on defense.

We’re pretty set at wing. Neither Step, Richie, nor Brass are true #1 centers. A right-handed defender remains our biggest need overall. So there are a few trade possibilities worth exploring. 

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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.