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The Alternatives (or lack of)

Do you own a pair of skates? Give Glen a call, you could be of help!
Do you own a pair of skates? Give Glen a call, you could be of help!

Yesterday we discussed how the Rangers may eventually look outside of the organisation for help on the blueline. Unless you think Stu Bickel, Matt Gilroy or Steve Eminger are the answer then it’s perhaps inevitable that the Rangers are on the lookout. Of course, this is assuming team brass do not want Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh on the ice every other shift. So, with other teams such as the Red Wings signing viable alternatives such as Kent Huskins already, who’s still out there that could help?

The Rangers decision to bring in another defenseman will depend on what the Rangers want from their last pair. The options from either a free agent or trade perspective are limited, but there are some intriguing options, both defensive and offensively.

Chris Campoli

From the unemployed pool, Campoli would likely be the most expensive, but at this stage of an abbreviated season, anyone looking for work isn’t likely to make dollars a major stumbling block. The former Islander has likely plenty of gas left in the tank, but has been injury plagued in recent times. What makes him appealing for the Rangers is that he only costs dollars. Given the issues with moving the puck out of the zone, Campoli could help given that he’s a solid puck mover. If it’s offense and mobility the Rangers are after, then Campoli is the best of the rest at this stage.

PK Subban

If the Rangers wanted to make a splash, or get desperate because of results, they could always call Montreal and see what it would take to get Subban. Nasty (dirty?), offensively gifted and with a bright future, Subban would be a huge upgrade. But the return demanded by Montreal –to part with their only prized, young defensemen– may be prohibitive. That said, it was probably assumed Ryan McDonagh would cost a lot and he was a now infamous throw-in. The longer Subban’s contract situation drags on, the more the rumours of a potential departure will grow.

Pavel Kubina and Milan Jurcina

Depending on how desperate or open to suggestion the Rangers are, there could be short-term options in Europe such as veterans Kubina and Jurcina. Kubina in particular offers an intriguing blend of size, experience and a solid shot from the point, but just how much he (or Jurcina) has left in their tanks is the major question-mark. Kubina is in the Czech league and would surely have a preference for another NHL shot, while Jurcina is in the KHL and playing poorly. Still, with plenty of NHL experience between them are they any worse than the current 6th defenseman option on the Rangers?

The minimal trade options

Aside from Subban, whose trade would be a huge surprise and at present highly unlikely, the trade options for any team in the league right now are by all accounts limited/unattractive in part because of supply and demand. Several general managers have stated demands are currently prohibitive and this would certainly be an issue for Glen Sather if he looked to acquire a player currently with an NHL club.

Want to look a little deeper? Other re-treads such as Derek Meech (former red Wing, currently in the AHL), Shane O’Brien (healthy scratch in Anaheim) or Aaron Johnson (over 250 NHL games, Bruins property) could probably be had for a minimal cost, but as you can see, cheap, quick fix, short-term solutions are going to be hard to find in the NHL this year.

It may well be a case that the Rangers have to ride out a rough period with their lack of current depth. There is a lack of potential upgrades on the free agent market, and the price on the trade market is too high to simply upgrade the bottom pair. Either way, it’s a situation that’s far from ideal and one that could become a growing concern as the season develops.

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  • Here is the REAL SKINNY….With a 48 GM schedule, every game is a premium..PERIOD..Glen cannot wait to pull the Trigger on a Deal…We need 2 20 Goal Wingers, and 2 D-Men that can move the puck out of our zone.

  • Zipay says emminger will start on D tonight with Bickel on the wing. Of course this doesn’t mean Bickel won’t get a shift or two on D but at least we can see what Emminger looks like out there.

    • If anyone should be playing forward, it should be Gilroy. But I’m not a big fan of moving guys from defense to forward and vice versa.

  • Alexei Semenov. Rangers invited him twice. He accepted a contract both times. However his wife talked him out of the first contract back in 09-10 training camp. He had a 105 mph shot. Why not??

  • The season is only gearing up, and we’re talking trades already. What GM in the NHL, in his right mind, would make a trade at this stage of the season?

    Lets look at the Whale, and see what, if any player could help, later on in the season. Defensmen are at a premium, and when a team has a good-great one, it takes an act of Congress to get that player away from these teams. I would be shocked if the Flyers don’t make a move first, after watching them last night, they are hard up on D!

    A thought, and it won’t ever go anywhere, because it involves the Islanders. Nino Niederreiter is upset with the direction of the Islander organization, and it is reported that he wants to be traded. If it can be worked out, he would be a nice addition on the wing for us. Everyone knows that it can never be worked out.

  • O’Brien’s a healthy scratch on Colorado, and has a $2 million cap hit for 2 more seasons after this one. His contract takes him out of the running.

    I think Sather is saving his cap space for the deadline in case Iginla, Perry or Getzlaf is available for the right price. A good plan B at the deadline might be trading for Prospal and Aucoin from Columbus (assuming they’re not in the hunt for a playoff spot).

    • It looks like the club is definitely going with a wait and see approach, but I don’t like the options they are wait-and-seeing with.

      JCA mentioned Aucoin at the deadline, which I like. I also like the idea of Derek Morris (take 2), I forgot who floated that idea.

  • I don’t know much about this guy but the flames got a defenseman up for grabs.a guy named babchuk.he makes 2.5 a year and is 28.

    • Expiring contract, Flames likely to be a seller at the deadline, it’s definitely something I’d look into. I’m unfamiliar with his peripherals though.

      Just looking at GVT/DGVT, Aucoin wins over both Babchuk and Morris. But that’s just one part of the equation. I haven’t looked at QoC, RCorsi, or Zone Starts.

  • He’ was a first round pick of Blackhawks 21 overall in 2002 which doesn’t mean 282 games he’s got 106 points.

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