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Category: Irresponsible Rumormongering

Potential trade target: Matt Moulson

Moulson is another rental that could fill a hole.

Moulson is another rental that could fill a hole.

Last week, we spoke how the Rangers might target Mike Cammalleri at the trade deadline to fill a need for top-six scoring consistency. It is the only real need for this team since the trade for Kevin Klein, as that trade addressed two needs: toughness on defense, and a right handed shot for the third pairing. With the blue line stabilized, the focus turns to offense.

Moulson was shipped to Buffalo  by the Islanders in the Thomas Vanek deal. While that deal may have been puzzling to say the least, it doesn’t take away from Moulson’s value as a rental player. The 30-year-old LW has three straight 30-goal seasons under his belt, not including a 30-goal pace last season. He may not hit 30 this season, but his 15 goals would put him in second place tie in New York.

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Potential trade target: Mike Cammalleri

Source: Calgary Herald

Source: Calgary Herald

As the Rangers chug along towards a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, they will likely be buyers at the trade deadline. They’ve already made one significant move, trading Michael Del Zotto to Nashville for Kevin Klein. The move addressed two holes for the Rangers: A right handed shot to solidify the third pair, and a physical presence on the blue line. Since the trade, the Rangers have looked much more stable on defense.

One other hole is a top-six forward, as the top-six so far have been relatively inconsistent. That’s where Mike Cammalleri fits in. Unlikely to re-sign in Calgary, thus likely to be dealt at the deadline, Cammalleri would give the Rangers added secondary scoring, and serve as insurance in case a forward gets injured. When the deadline comes, the Rangers would be able to fit his $6 million cap hit under the cap. His contract expires after this season as well, making him the perfect rental candidate.

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Identifying potential trade targets for Ryan Callahan

Still don't think he's going anywhere

Still don’t think he’s going anywhere

Last night, news broke that TSN’s Bob McKenzie joined the discussion about the possibility of trading Ryan Callahan. While McKenzie did not specifically state Cally would be traded, he alluded to the fact that he will either re-sign or be dealt by the trade deadline. I am sticking to my prediction that Cally re-signs, but when McKenzie says there’s a chance Cally will be traded, you listen.

I again need to be on record: A team that is in the thick of things in the conference –and has a legitimate shot at representing the Eastern Conference this May/June– doesn’t trade their captain. It doesn’t happen. That said, McKenzie’s comments have shifted things, and for the sake of argument, there are 29 teams that could use Cally’s services. So let’s go through these possibilities.

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Cally’s “$7 million demands” are not that surprising

Photo: Hockey This Week

Photo: Hockey This Week

In case you missed it, Darren Dreger reported on TSN Insider yesterday that captain Ryan Callahan does not want seven years and $6 million, he wants $7 years at “between $6.5 million and $7 million.” Dreger is not one to really mess around when it comes to rumors either.

Breathe.

Now before I go into my spiel about negotiations, step one in the process, et cetera et cetera, let’s point out that this is just that: Step one in the process. Also, read this post.

All caught up? Relaxed a bit? Ok good. Let’s point out the specifics of this demand, and why it really shouldn’t be all that surprising to anyone. Remember, this is step one in the negotiations process.

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Daily News: Callahan’s agent allowed to speak with other teams

Cally

Cally

Per Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News, Ryan Callahan’s agent Steve Bartlett has received permission to discuss a contract with at least one other NHL team. Naturally, this news has brought about panic, as the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres are reportedly interested in the Rangers captain. Before the panic hits red alert mode, I think we should take a step back and address this news with clear minds. It’s why I didn’t post on it yesterday when the news broke.

It’s clear what Cally’s market value –in terms of dollars– is. He’s in the $5.5 million to $6 million range. That’s market value for so many other comparables out there. The problem is that the organization and the player cannot agree on term. The Rangers want to shorten the length and offer more money annually (rumor is they offered 5 years at $6 million a year). Callahan wants 7 years. A seven-year deal would keep Cally a Ranger until he is 36 years old.

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Dreger: Rangers doing homework on Chris Stewart

Per Darren Dreger, the Rangers are supposedly gathering intel on Blues right-wing Chris Stewart. It has been reported that Stewart is available, as his $4.15 million cap hit (this year and next) in relation to his production (hasn’t eclipsed 20 goals since 2009-2010, although his lockout year was a 30-goal pace) hasn’t been good value for the cap-floor budgeted Blues. It is worth noting that Stewart should hit 20 goals this year, as he has a line of 15-10-25 in 52 games so far.

Stewart’s peripherals: 49% CF, -5% CF rel %, 62.7% OZ starts (!!!), 27.7% ToTm QoC%, aren’t really impressive by any stretch. He’s also sporting a 103.7 PDO, which means he is due for a slump/regression to the mean soon. That said, Stewart is one of the best even-strength producers in the game, per George Ays.

Dreger is insinuating that the Rangers might look at dealing Ryan Callahan for Stewart. If it’s straight up, it is not a good deal for the Rangers. Slats is no fool with trades, but I’m hoping all he is doing is kicking the tires.

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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