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Trade Deadline: Scouting Edmonton

Part One: Toronto Maple Leafs
Part Two: Florida Panthers

With the NHL trade deadline a little over a month away, the trade rumor mill is going to begin to boil. There have already been numerous rumors linking the Rangers to Calgary, others linking the Rangers to Toronto, and other stating that the Rangers are looking to trade Marian Gaborik (note: listening to offers and actively looking to trade are completely different). The Rangers have a few holes they need to address if they plan on making a run in the playoffs, most notably they need another scorer and a veteran presence on the blue line. There are a few teams that are already out of the playoff picture, with the Edmonton Oilers being one of them, that are worth scouting for fixes to the holes.

The Rangers aren’t going to sacrifice the core future for a playoff rental, it doesn’t fit with the current team plan. So there don’t need to be any worries about trading a guy like Brandon Dubinsky for Jim Vandermeer. It’s just not going to happen. The Rangers are going to be looking for guys with expiring contracts, so there are no financial commitments for next season. Obviously this is a general statement, as there are going to be exceptions (see: Wojtek Wolski trade). With the Panthers out of the race, they are going to look to reshape the roster by selling at the deadline, so let’s look at their trade-able assets:

Forwards

Andrew Cogliano (RFA): Cogliano is a name that has been linked to the Rangers for a long, long time. There were many rumors of Cogliano coming to New York (with Sheldon Souray) for Michal Rozsival and Brandon Dubinsky. Luckily, Souray broke his hand, and the deal never went through. Cogliano is young, fast, and cheap from a salary perspective. But, he hasn’t been able to put together a scoring touch, and he would require a relatively decent return. With the Rangers getting healthy, there’s no need for him.

Ryan Jones (UFA): He has 11 goals this year, which is pretty good for the 26 year old. If the Rangers need to acquire Ryan Jones, then something else is wrong.

Zack Stortini (RFA): Another bottom-six guy isn’t needed.

Jean-Francois Jacques (RFA): See Stortini.

Liam Reddox (RFA): See Stortini/Jacques.

Steve MacIntyre (UFA): Pass.

Defensemen

Jim Vandermeer (UFA): A veteran defenseman that would come cheap, and help stabilize the blue line a bit. He’s not going to be a show stopper or a booming shot, but he would be a nice reliable guy to have back there. Of course, the Rangers don’t need another guy like him, they need a scorer on the blue line. He would be nice in the locker room, but he’s just not what the Rangers need right now.

Jason Strudwick (UFA): And you think Rozsival is slow?

Ladislav Smid (RFA): Would likely require a good return to get his services. However, with the Rangers defense as young as it is, is Smid necessary? I say no.

Theo Peckham (RFA): I really like this kid. The dude is just mean. He won’t score much, but he would fight anyone and hit anything in his path. Edmonton isn’t letting him go.

The Oilers don’t have many assets that have expiring contracts. If they want to deal, they are going to have to deal guys with years remaining on their contracts, and it doesn’t look like Glen Sather is ready to do that just yet. Although the Oilers and Rangers would likely make decent trading partners, the timing isn’t right for a trade between the two teams.

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9 Comments

  1. With all of the returning forwards I don’t think there is great impetus to acquire a first line center right now. At the very least they will give Prospal several weeks to see if he is healthy enough to play first line minutes with Gaborik. And even if he is unable to do so it is doubtful that there will be a center available who is significantly better than what we have now regardless. And let’s not forget that Wolski was recently acquired and has given the offense a nice boost with 7 pts in 9 games. So at this point in time I don’t think there needs to be a move on offense.

    As for the defence, the only glaring need is that for a L-handed offensive d-man who can play the point on the power play, and preferably has a good shot too. But with MDZ returning it looks like he will get another crack at it which really isn’t a bad idea IMO. If this doesn’t work out then Bryan McCabe looks like the best option to me. I just think that considering skill, personality, and contract status (impending UFA) he seems like he may be a perfect fit. I don’t have anything against Tomas Kaberle I just think that since he has spent his career in Toronto he may require a greater adjustment period. And I think the asking price is likely to be significantly higher for Kaberle as opposed to McCabe. One aspect of our defence that I was concerned about coming into the season but no longer is the need for a big, physical crease-clearing d-man. I think that the unit to a man has improved in this regard and is no longer a major concern. As for a depth d-man I would prefer just sticking with Eminger. I see no point in acquiring a Jim Vandermeer type when players like Michael Sauer and Ryan McDonagh have responded well to increased playing time.

    1. You are right. I would be very shocked to see the Rangers get another forward. I get the feeling that EC’s days as a Ranger are numbered, I would have to assume that he would be the spare part in any deals including roster players.

      1. Agreed, although they are very different players I think for both short-term and long-term Kris Newbury has become a better option than EC.

        And after your post last week Dave, I think more and more that McCabe is a great fit if MDZ falters. It looks though that he’s doubtful to be back from IR before the deadline. Any chance Slats takes a gamble on an injured McCabe? If it lowers the asking price?

        1. This is much like the Souray scenario last year, depends on price and scheduled return. The injury probably lowers the cost, but minimally, maybe instead of a 2nd round pick and a prospect, it’s a 3rd round pick and that same prospect.

          MDZ isn’t in their plans this year, at least that’s what they are leading us to believe. He won’t get traded though.

  2. Not that I want either of them, but Gilbert Brule and even Alex Hemsky are probably available. Brule stinks, and Hemsky is basically Gaborik-lite (incl the injuries)

    1. They are definitely available, but Slats isn’t going to trade for people with multi-year deals unless some salary is going the other way. That’s the main reason why I’m only including expiring deals in these posts.

    1. Ahead of JFJ and MacIntyre. Leave it to EDM to waive the best of their 3 useless guys.

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