Irresponsible Rumormongering

The Rangers Shouldn’t Buy this Trade Deadline

kevin klein

The NHL trade deadline is less than a month away, and as always the big market New York Rangers are at the center of online trade rumors. It’s no secret that the Rangers are in need of upgrades on defense, but that doesn’t stop outlets for saying the Rangers are in the running for names like Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan. The Rangers are also in a very odd position this season that may throw a monkey wrench into possible plans.

The Rangers are in the best division in the league, where 5th place in the Metro would be 3rd in the Atlantic division. This provides something odd as the Rangers will likely play either the best team in the Atlantic Division (Montreal) or the second place team in the Metro, which will likely be better than Montreal. Either path provides a difficult and path in round 1 and an even tougher matchup in the second round.

In either case it does look like the Rangers will make the playoffs, which naturally leads to the band-aid improvement mentality for rentals to make a run. This is something that I simply am not in the mindset to do.

The Rangers are locked into Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. It is highly improbable either is moved in the month. Not only do they have negative value, but their contracts are likely not something another team wants to take on. Those are two of the Rangers’ defense spots set in stone. Add in the obvious one of our Captain Ryan McDonagh and you have half of the Rangers defense who play significant ice time, for better or worse, ready for the playoffs.

Nick Holden, someone who cost the Rangers a pick already and has won the trust of newly extended head coach Alain Vigneault, is likely a shoo-in as well. This leaves two spots on the team, one of which is likely already safe with Brady Skjei as well. This leaves Kevin Klein’s spot, but only if he is included in any potential trade.

Instead of the Rangers looking for the classic “improve on one guy by using him as part of the trade” move, in my opinion the Rangers should make a two part deal. Step one is to trade Klein, who for all his awful play is still better than Girardi. Contrary to popular belief, I think Kevin Klein still has some value. He is a veteran right handed defenseman with playoff experience. Those guys always return something of value at the deadline. Heck, Roman Polak landed Toronto picks last year, and Mike Weber got a pick for Buffalo as well.

Since Klein has one year remaining on his deal, there is added value since he’s not a pure rental. He can also be exposed in the expansion draft, and will likely go unclaimed. Now, the Rangers won’t be getting a top pick in a trade, but a mid rounder can help quite a bit.

Following a Klein trade the Rangers can experiment a bit. Yes that opens up a spot for Cody Franson or Michael Stone, but if they cost a lot of assets it may be counter productive. I’d only advocate for a a trade of these players if for some reason their teams are practically giving them away. Instead, I want the Rangers to take a risk on another Adam Clendening.  A young, right handed defenseman who may have been leap frogged in another organization, or simply couldn’t earn the trust of a coach.

The very easy target could be Toronto Maple Leafs, Frank Corrado. The almost 24 year old puck moving defenseman hasn’t been given a shot at all in Toronto. Playing behind Polak and given the dearth of games that he has played, he obviously looked rusty in the 2 (!) games that he has played, but has shown flashes of skill. If he doesn’t work out the Rangers can always send him down.

Another guy to look at is 25 year old Alexei Marchenko, a player with some good possession numbers in his 100 NHL games. The Red Wings have a lot of young guys nipping at the heels so maybe he can be had for chep. I have also seen some pretty good play out of San Jose’s Dylan Demelo as a defensive defenseman, but can’t say whether or not he may be available.

These players likely cost less than it was to theoretically trade Klein, they’re in the age group that can fit the team along with Clendening, and maybe one of them can likely be a nice third pair guy for next season as well. That is important, these guys are not the saviors to defense. But if you can get a young guy who fits the molds you need before the summer, you can target other guys *cough Shattenkirk cough* and suddenly have a bit of a respectable go around next season.

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  • Unless Gorton pulls off a miracle and acquires a “Trouba/Franson” combo without gutting the forwards, they should save their assets for the offseason.

  • I’m still not convinced we’re getting Shattenkirk. I know he says he wants to be a ranger but I wouldn’t be shocked if another team gets him. I hope I’m wrong but I get this feeling Toronto grabs him. I don’t really know what they have or don’t have on defense but I know they got young good talent on offense and I think they could afford paying him a nice hefty salary that would more then we could offer.

    • It isn’t crazy to see him go to the leafs, that organization and hockey history is so jacked right now it has to be a tempting place to play for any player!

    • Not sure Shattenkirk works for Toronto mid to long term. Sure they can afford him today, but what happens when they have to break open the bank in another 2 years for guys like Matthews, Reilly, etc.?

  • Thanks Josh. These are the types of names we should be hearing. If we do not want to try Graves, then we take a flyer on one of the players you mentioned. Low risk moves that could pay off. Maybe in a new system they blossom. Better than another $5M mistake.

    • Graves is cool and almost ready but I really don’t want him to be up here right now. At the moment if he was called up he likely gets paired with G, KK or maybe Holden. For a rookie that may be tough to gain confidence, it will be easier when we can shelter him and have a puck mover to help him out.

    • He has an Olympic gold medal that he won for his country against the best players in the world. Not at all clear that he would trade that for a Cup. So no pity please.

    • Standing pat is fine too, I am in the camp that they shouldn’t give assets up for a first round exit.

  • I’m in the camp that if we can get cheap help, and do some wheeling, and dealing during the off season, well so be it. Agree on moving Klein, if possible, and then one of the twins in the summer, we could get some decent replacement players, and be respectable again on defense. Whatever we do, please don’t give away the shop, or a load of young players, for a last shot at the cup for Hank’s sake, that would be stupid. Based on how he is playing, it’s an exercise in futility !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By the way, for the benefit of my critics, I’m not anti Hank, but until he regains his form, I wouldn’t worry about the so called window ????????????????????

    • I understand the concern for Hank but personally I am not worried because his current play is a huge 180 from what we are used to. I don’t think a talent like him can drop that far and be that bad for so long, its a rough patch that is accelerated with poor defense. There are shots he should save, there are also a lot of shots that really shouldn’t be that close to the net either. Just a bad mix

      • I agree, but the meaning of my post is simple, there are plenty that say we should do whatever it takes to get Hank a cup, whatever the cost. I’m of the opinion that we do what’s best for the organization, and not the player, any player, done !!!!!!!!! We have traveled that road for too long, with piss poor results, case in point 2 cups, repeat 2 cups over the last 76 years !!!!!!!!

  • Spot on Josh. We have to face the fact that unless Gorton walks on water there is unlikely to be a major revamping of the Rangers’ blue line until at least the off season. I expect a minor move by the trade deadline. Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t mind putting Graves and Clendening in the lineup and letting them sink or swim if the can’t find suitable deals by the deadline.

    I am far more concerned with the outcome of the team’s moves over the next 5 years than I am taking another shot at a deep cup run with a flawed team by patching it with a rental or over the hill veteran.

    • Peter, there is no way I see AV putting Graves & Clendo in the starting lineup. Before training camp, you recall Gordie Clark saying that Graves was close to being an NHLer and would push others in training camp. Never happened for whatever reason. I too am more concerned about the next few years than a present filled with desperation moves. As long as team management harbour what looks to be the delusion that they can win the Cup with AV & current players, then young D will have to sit it out. It takes a long time to develop a D, as Eddie rightly points out, but you have to start sometime. I used to envision Graves & DMAC as a future pair, but that is no longer a possibility. Day & Zborivskiy are future young D, but they are a long ways away. The only other places the Rangers might find useful D are in Europe or undrafted NCAA guys, the latter usually being guys who aren’t that good. The Rangers are really stuck on D it seems.

  • This trade deadline is a perfect opportunity to move klein and nash in order to dump their salaries. In return the rangers should ask for defencemen that can help them now and it the future.

  • Both Klein and Nash I believe will have rather limited trade value. They are not going to get a lot of immediate help by moving them. Maybe some picks.

  • No criticism of you in particular Josh, but let’s get the standings right. At the moment, the third place team in the Atlantic, TORONTO, is ahead of the fifth place team in the Metro, ISLANDERS (though the Flyers are nearly tied with them).

    It is more accurate to use points per game than to just use points. It didn’t used to matter very much, but now teams get these breaks scattered throughout the season and there is a wide imbalance in number of games played. So Toronto has six games in hand in comparison to Boston. Pretending Boston is ahead of Toronto is just silly.

  • Josh,

    I personally disagree that Klein is playing better than Girardi, not that either is playing well. That being said he is movable for a 5th based on his contract and I have no problem with that.

    Personally dont see Detroit and moving a young guy only older guys. I also dont think Toronto is, however if Toronto is moving Corrado, Id stay away. They have one of the best current coaches, and their management team is rediculous, if they are OK with letting a young player go there are reasons.

    Id like them to find a first line RHD and understand the cost of a Trouba/Hamilton and would do it. But if they arent going the first line defense, by getting a player that will take Girardi off that pair, none of these moves will move the needle. So I want no part in that, a slightly better third line defense when the first is still shambles wont fix anything.

    Also giving up anything for Doan or Ignla is crazy.

  • “The Canadiens placed Mark Barberio on waivers yesterday. I understand that the Canadiens have a logjam of defensemen having gotten Greg Pateryn and Andrei Markov back from injury plus the trade acquisition of Nikita Nesterov but Barberio has been an analytics community favourite for a while now. The Canadiens seem to have exposed a good one here.”

    ^From DobberHockey

    Unfortunately he shoots left, not right but still maybe worth picking up. He’s been nearly a point per game defenseman during various years in the QMJHL and AHL. Haven’t dug up any peripheral metrics, but curious if he’s on your radar Josh.

  • I say bring in a depth defenseman for cheap, and go for it with what we have. You never know though. Maybe Gorton has something up his sleeve to acquire Trouba/Franson. Bringing in one of those guys, then added Shattenkirk in July, our defense will be another story next season.

  • Trade Zuccarello

    – wrong side of 30;
    – reasonably good contract;
    – still producing;
    – playoff experience;
    – club is not a Cup contender in foreseeable future

    Similar logic to Brassard trade, by and large

    Love you Mats, but this is a business

    • I mentioned this is a previous thread as well, concocting a blockbuster with the Wild involving Mats, Stepan, Klein(they might prefer Skjei or Staal) for a nice return of two D, a roster player(Coyle my preference) and a prime prospect or two). I could see something like this going down at the deadline.

      • I didn’t see that but we are definitely on the same page. I like your blockbuster trade proposal as well.

  • I like the thought process Josh. We haven’t done anything stupid yet so let’s hope that continues.

    Klein should have value at the deadline.

    Shea Theodore would be an interesting youngster to look at.

    I hate to say this but with the Metro as tough as is, It’s no lock the Rangers make the Stanley party.

  • trade more senior [terms of NHL games played, not chronological age] vets
    keep young core

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