Irresponsible Rumormongering

Potential trade partner: Anaheim Ducks

sami vatanen josh manson
Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG

Update: The injuries to Vatanen/Lindholm have minimal impact on the expansion draft. They will still need to be protected by Anaheim, and Vegas would still jump at the opportunity to get either of them. It may impact Vatanen’s trade value. albeit minimally because he is only 25.

The biggest task of the offseason for Jeff Gorton is to retool the Rangers’ blue line. While we’ve covered the futures of Dan Girardi and Marc Staal extensively, there is still a giant hold at 1RD. It’s a position Girardi has filled for the past decade, but simply cannot do so going forward. While Kevin Shattenkirk is certainly intriguing, the price tag may make him unrealistic. In that regard, Gorton must turn to the trade market.

Identifying trade partners takes an unusual twist this summer, as teams are going to look to make trades to position themselves favorably for the expansion draft. For some teams, that may mean trading a defenseman that may be lost during the draft. That is exactly the case in Anaheim.

The Ducks are in an odd scenario. They have six forwards (Kesler, Getzlaf, Perry, Rakell, Silfverberg, Cogliano) they’d like to protect, but also have five defensemen (Bieksa – NMC, Vatanen, Fowler, Lindholm Manson) they’d like to protect. Even if they get Bieksa to waive his NMC, that leaves them one over the limit. Without a trade, they will lose one of Vatanen, Manson, or Fowler for free. Allowing that would be bad management.

Luckily for the Ducks, they have one extra forward spot to use for protection. They are in a unique position where they can deal an asset from the blue line for a forward and not lose anyone of significance to the expansion draft. And luckily for the Rangers, they have a plethora of forwards that would intrigue Anaheim.

Disclaimer: I’m aware that the Ducks could simply just have Bieksa waive his NMC to protect Vatanen, and then trade a pick to Vegas to ensure they don’t take Manson. That’s a real option that can’t be ignored. There’s also room with the Ducks for a potential blockbuster involving more players, but let’s keep things simple.

Anaheim is really shallow up front, with a solid top-six but not much scoring depth beyond that. The Rangers have someone like Kevin Hayes or JT Miller who would certainly be enough to land either Vatanen or Manson. Acquiring either pushes Andrew Cogliano and Antoine Vermette down to the third line where they likely belong. And naturally we see the benefit for the Rangers.

Either Vatanen or Manson is a win here, and let’s remember they are both 25 years old. Manson is certainly cheaper, while Vatanen carries another three years at a $4.875 million cap hit. Manson is also bigger than Vatanen, but Vatanen is significantly better offensively and can be a nice right-handed presence on the powerplay. There’s no wrong answer with either defenseman, and both likely cost the same in a trade.

This is a potential deal that would need to be struck before the expansion draft and before the buyout period, as the Rangers would need to buyout and/or trade one of Girardi and Staal –or ask them to waive their NMCs– to ensure they can protect Vatanen or Manson. Either way you slice it, the Ducks and Rangers match up well for a pre-expansion draft trade.

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  • Doc Paul

    For your sake I’m glad the Pens won. For my sake I’m pissed off, now I’ll continue to hear it from my son in law!!!!!!!

    As for a trade, it would be great for us to send Stepan to the Ducks for Manson, that would be a win win for us!!!!!!!!!! Cap relief, and a very good defensman, who could ask for more????????????????

    If I have to give up JT for Manson, that’s OK as well, we still could trade Daisy to another team for additional defensive help

  • I am thinking you can’t do Vatanen unless you move one of the Girardi or Staal contracts. It puts too much money on the blue line.

    His history of injury also worries me. I think Manson would be a nice and cheaper addition.

    • Good reminder. Probably any change/upgrade on the blueline is contingent on at least one of the two vets being moved.

      I wonder Charlie Manson would require more than one for one swap for Hayes or Miller, or would another chip has to be tossed in

    • July 1st Girardi has 15 teams to submit to Rangers he doesn’t want to go to. So we can trade him and hols salary. Why not Stepan or Krieder to Carolina for Justin Faulk, a win win trade for both teams.

      • While possible, it is more likely that Carolina looks to move Faulk after Aho and Hanifin sign after their ELCs, not now. The defense corps is the strength of Carolina and Faulk is a huge part of that, wears an A, and is on a cost controlled contract.

        Stepan to them is highly unlikely with the NMC/NTC. Kreider would have to be your starting point and significant assets that are cost controlled on top of that. Hurricanes ownership is not going to take on our toxic contracts because they’re nice guys, so no Nash, Girardi, Staal, etc are not going the other way.

        • If Step gets dealt, NTC no longer valid unless Carolina agrees. Beyond that, great value for CAR.

          • The player would, unless crazy, ask for the clause to be reinstated.

            But again, with Lindholm, Rask and Staal down the middle in Carolina, management just won’t fork over another $6 mil for what would be an interchangeable 3rd/4th line of Staal and Stepan.

            With the way Lindholm and Rask are developing I don’t see them messing with that to force them out of position for Derek Stepan.

            If you want Carolinas attention they need winger who can play with those two and create space for Jeff Skinner

  • Vatanen is out for a very long time with a torn labrum. Not many teams will trade anything of significance for an injured player. Manson is definitely a possibility though.

  • Vatanen and Lindholm are both getting labrum surgery. They are out 4-5 months and maybe longer. Exposing one or both of them no longer carries as much risk and they’re probably not going to get much back in a trade for either. Rangers would be taking a huge risk trading for one of them. Which also means Manson will surely not be traded and Fowler probably not either.

    • Vegas would jump at the opportunity to get either. Lindholm is 22 and a top defenseman in the league. Vatanen is 25 and a rare right-handed PP QB.

      • Would you have Vatanen take over PP1 from McDonagh and have that 4F play on his off hand at the point? Getting shots from the point off quickly makes a big difference.

    • I agree especially for Hayes who I feel is a definite piece to what Gorton is trying to do and AV is obviously in his corner. Unfortunately JT would probably get the boot but imo I think the FO is trying to figure out who should play on the other winger of those two. They’ll use Stepan for a top 4 name even if something else has to go with him for it.

  • I don’t see you trading J.T Miller yet or Jimmy Vesey or Brady Skei you can build around them but I would like Manson here he would fit very nicely

  • I like this Manson kid, I would gift wrap Hayes for him in a NY minute. I would also go after Evander Kane who is available. Gorton needs to begin to change the persona of the team, they are too comfortable to play against, to a team that the opposition gets a knot in their stomach, particularly when we are playing at home.

    • Al;l in on Manson, or Montour, forget about Kane…wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole

    • Hayes isn’t going anywhere, I get a sense that the club is more high on him then some fans are.

    • Staal, but maybe because he can go long term IR due to vision?????

      Besides, we have plenty of help on the left side, not so on the right……

    • It’s a tough one. A Staal buyout would necessitate an 8-year cap hit, while Girardi’s would only be 6. Granted the last 4 years and 3 years respectively are pretty low hits (less than $2 million in either scenario), but still…

      On the other hand, Girardi carries a higher hit those first 3 years when money is going to be tight as it is.

      If we could find a way to use Girardi as a 3 RHD, then I’d have to say buyout Staal.

      • Solid points, and I agree with your last sentence. I choose to keep Girardi in the fold provided he be slotted properly as a 3 rhd. I truly believe he can still be effective there.

        • Hat

          Not to rain on your parade, but really??? Do you honestly believe that AV wouldn’t be tempted to put him on first pair? Let’s get the guy out of town so that we don’t have these arguments all next season with Dan playing first pair, and me getting a heart attack!!!!!!!!

        • Do it at the same time. Like the way waiters at fancy restaurants present the food to everyone at the same time. Have guys behind them both and present the buyout papers simultaneously.

          • It’ll be something like a $7 million cap hit combined for the first couple years. Can the organization sustain that and still resign who we need to while filling those two holes on the blueline?

          • Yeah, I had read that.

            I wasn’t suggesting that it would cost the organization more to buy them out, obviously the whole structure of buyouts results in a reduced cap hit. I’m not sure where there has been a narrative that it’s financially more expensive to buyout Staal/Girardi than to retain them, which is what that article was largely rebutting.

            But it’s still a decent chunk of dead cap space, so has potential to handicap options over the next couple of years.

          • The dead cap space hit is still less than the $11.2 million of dead cap space if they remain next year.

          • It isn’t $11M of dead cap space. You underestimate these players. Watching last night, methinks Pitt would have appreciated Girardi in place of Maatta.

            Considering Girardi for the moment, he is certainly a serviceable right defenseman that most teams would like to have AT THE RIGHT PRICE. You may not think he is any good, but the critical observer does not think third pair dmen on most teams are any good. It may be that he should not be first pair for anybody and he should not even be second pair on 2/3 of the teams, but for almost anyone he would be a steal at $1M per year.

            I believe there are suitors at $2M surely and a good chance even close to $3M. A deal with such a team would involve less of a cap hit loss.

            The Rangers problem is not bad defensemen, it is too many third pair guys.

          • Really who cares, we get younger players, who can skate, and play on cheaper contracts. I’m sorry Chris, these two have their best days in the rear view mirror from two, or three years ago!!!!!!!!!!

          • Touche…… so you got the surf (Staal) and turf (Girardi)…… but which do you bite first?

          • And if you happened to be allergic to one, in a hypothetical scenario, which would you more easily be able to move on from? Just talking hypothetically, of course 🙂

      • Under no circumstances can Girardi be a Ranger next season. I hate repeating myself, but if Dan is on the roster, AV will play him 1st pair, and that would be down right NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! The guy can’t skate, or is everyone defending him blind????????????????????

  • As much as I enjoy Manson’s style of play, the Rangers need a right handed defenceman that can run their PP. Vantanen would be a better choice. But as with pursuing Shatterkirk, New York has little cap space to work with.

    Unloading Rick Nash at the trade deadline would of put New York in a ideal spot right now to shore up their blueline. But instead, Gorton pissed away yet more draft picks for another rental in Smith. Teams like Nashville and Anaheim have built depth on defence through the draft. The Rangers need to do the same.

    • What save draft picks?????? Listen to the sages on this site, they think otherwise, and they know best!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Couldn’t agree more. Why are the Pens, going to the finals as champs again, so deep in their system, could it be they drafted, even if they drafted last in the 1st round??????????

      • I think the pens have only drafted in the 1st round two years since 2012. I can’t find it right now but I remember seeing that the Pens have taken among the fewest draft picks of any team in the past 5 years or something like that? Like almost as few as the rangers

          • Yes amazing what having two dominant centers in the prime of their careers either of whom could be league mvp and scoring leaders in any given year can do for a club!

          • true but it was their kids who took them to the promised land last season!!!!! Even with Cindy, and Igor they were playing lousy until Sullivan brought them up…………..

          • Good point Walt, but Sid and Geno do open up the ice for these speedy youngsters. We don’t have that dangerous dominant center the other teams have to game plan for or even a forward. Without the big stud center you must have snipers who get loose because of puck carrying D. Someone has to create space and time for the shooters. The Rangers don’t have neither. The remake resign Smith buy out both G and Staal. If a trade with Vegas can be worked out for a RHD great(see above). Trade Stepan for the best RHD that can be attained. Give the Russian, Plock and Graves a real shot at winning spots(two spots).. oh can’t forget about Sean Day. Sign Shattenkrik only if it a fair price like four years at 5.5.

          • Harlem

            People won’t give credit where it’s due. Look I understand the value of a real #1 center, of which we lack. It was the speed of those kids that caught everyone off guard last season, and now everyone is trying to replicate. How did they get that speed, draft that’s how, but all our GM’s on this site think that picks don’t amount to squat, and will give them away for a retread.

            I guess I’m too stupid to understand that, and maybe too old to change my ways, but if doing the same garbage over, and over, while winning ONE cup in the last 77 years is their goal, so be it. I on the other hand want a dozen more before I get to be eaten by worms!!!!!!!!!

        • Then explain how in the hell do they have such a deep bench down in Wilkes-Barre, where at least three or four played in the cup final last year, and another is leading them in goals this season in the PO”S????????

        • wwpd

          For the record

          2016 Pens had 2 #2, 1-3 1-4
          2015 1 #2
          2014 1 #1 Kapanen
          2013 1 #2, 1-#3 Guentzel ( currently leading them in goals)
          2012 2 #1 Matta & Pouliot 1 #2, 2 #3 Murray ( won the cup last year with him in net)
          2011 1 #1 1 #2 2010 1 #1 Bennett, 1-#3 Rust 1-#4 Kuehnhachl

          These are the players who the Pens are playing today, all from the draft except Bennett, who was moved for an asset. What have we got to show for the same draft period? Squat that’s what, so laugh all the hell you want, but they will win another cup this year, while we choke our chicken again, for the 77th year with a one year break in the action!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yeah I was on that boat that laughed at the idea of giving away those picks for free like that. It hurt because those were good enough picks to find whatever that would be necessary to help the Rangers farm team grow. I think maybe even a new version of Hank in a different position could have been founded with one of those picks. It’s best to try and negotiate with Smith about a new contract is worth it for the sake of not losing out.

      • “I think maybe even a new version of Hank in a different position could have been founded with one of those picks.”

        I also think we would most likely have unearthed an organizational stalwart with capabilities of almost single-handedly buoying a franchise to relevancy from the depths of mediocrity either this year with the 83rd overall pick or next year with somewhere around the 3rd or 4th dozen overall pick.

    • And NYR built up some solid prospect depth this month with the Pionk and Bereglazov signings. There’s more than one way to build prospect depth. For all the traded picks, Slats/Gorton have done a good job signing UDFA’s and former first rounders (Vesey/Hayes).

      • Dave

        Yes let’s continue to pursue the same path as we have over the last 77 years, and one, again ONE cup, while the Pens have been around for 50 years, and have as many cups as we have in our entire history of what 90 years. Let’s also remember we won three cups before expansion in 1967, when Pittsburgh came into the NHL.

        I’m tired of this argument, giving away picks for retreads, and marquee names who’s glory days are about a dozen years removed has served us well!!!!!!!!

  • By this date next month, we will know a lot more about the ability of Gorton. He will have to work some magic with McPhee, use some power of persuasion with a few of his own players and work the phones in earnest to secure some speed, youth and agility on the blue line. He needs to do all that and keep the Cap in mind and not destroy what was 4 pretty good lines.

    He has to use his trade chips wisely, but rid the team of the soft persona that is incapable of getting past the second round of the playoffs. Can he do all that in one off-season? Will he sell off the future draft picks to do it decimating and already depleted Hartford team?

    My guess is that he gets some blue line help, re-signs Smith, loses Klein and Holden and keeps Hayes, JT and Stepan. Fan outbursts towards a player rarely sways a GM to do anything in this town.

    • “He has to use his trade chips wisely, but rid the team of the soft persona that is incapable of getting past the second round of the playoffs.”

      Changes need to be made. But the team is not made up of players who cannot win playoff games or get past the second round. These same players who we need to move on from are the ones who have played in more playoff games than any other team since 2012. I think you have our team confused for the Capitals?

      • No Hatrick – I think you seem to think our “core” is too good. Quite frankly, it isn’t. We never have the best player on the ice. Quantity does not win over quality. Just because we have 4 very good lines does not make us better than a team with 2 great lines.

        We need to get some greatness and some snarl. We need some emotional leadership and a real PP coach and QB – of which we have neither. Crosby takes that team on his back by making play after play for the Pens. He doesn’t have to score the winning goal, because he does so much else. Who is that player for us? McD? Your beloved Stepan?

        • I am not saying that. I am saying that the core which we both agree that we need to retool was capable of getting past the second round. They did so 3 times since 2012. 3 times out of 6 attempts- which is nothing to brush off or forget. Few organizations can boast the same recent record. So while I agree that we need to make the organizational moves necessary to ensure that type of success continues to happen, I would like to make sure that all of us keep in mind what this group has accomplished along the way.

          And for the Nth dozen time, I am not a “beloved Stepan” fan. I’ve advocated a few times now that I would like to see him go in the “right” move this off season before July 1.

          • The goal of an NHL franchise should not just be to make the playoffs. If that is the goal, that just lines the pockets of the owners with cash from the revenue from ticket holders and concessions. It should be to build a team that can win the Cup. Clearly this team was NOT Cup ready. Could we/Should we have beaten Ottawa, yes, but I doubt we would have beaten the Pens. We still need some strength down the middle (like someone who can win faceoffs more than 55%) and some stud defensemen (plural) who can skate out of the zone. If Gorton can pull that off AND rid ourselves of one of the 2 bad defensemen contracts, he did okay. If he gets us a stud forward (one with an attitude), he hit the trifecta!

  • At this point you can find out the fake news and the logical speculation by reading what teams are involved in what. A Ducks and NYR trade won’t be happening this summer due to them not needing Stepan, Staal and Girardi. If I see serious speculation later down the road that is about them then I’ll know that it’s about a blockbuster trade in the works which would involve Getzlaf or Perry. Gorton won’t trade our big time point producing winger or our possible future 1c in Hayes yet who both are cost controller names that score big for us. Realistic trades will be coming from teams who are desperate to get out of a couple of contracts or teams that view Stepan as a 1c.

    • 1) We have assets the Ducks can use (young, cost controlled forwards/wingers). The Ducks have assets that we can use (NHL level defensemen).

      2) Why the hell would we go after Getzlaf or Perry? Getzlaf is an absolute stud, but he is old, has a NMC and is expensive. Regardless of his appeal, it’s ironic you question the realism of the article when your comment is even whackier than the article to begin with.

      • A Ducks-Rangers trade has been talked about for years. There is obviously a level of interest there between the organizations but the timing and / or specifics have never lined up properly for either side to pull the trigger.

        This off-season provides the most realistic environment for a such a deal to finally be made with both sides needing something the other has readily available and would possibly lose for nothing if not for a trade.

        That warrants at least a little examination and speculation about what could be in the works.

          • Sorry, I was referring to a trade involving a D for F swap.

            Right now the environment is finally primed for such a deal to happen. So it’s more than simple wishful speculation.

  • We would be better off trading with Minnesota than Anaheim. At least they may actually want Stepan. Give them Step and something for Dumba.

    • They already tried that last year, Minnesota didn’t budge. Won’t now, either. Not after Step’s recent showing.

      • I remember reading towards the early months of the training camp that Minnesota didn’t think he was worth flipping their younger names for that still have time to grow. Only two names were brought up and I think they was some smoke with fire to it but it was for Dumba and Coyle. I feel like someone like Parise has alot of pull I behind closed doors with Fletcher. That alone makes me think that Stepan won’t ever be a Minnesota Wild or at least not during this generation because there’s no way in hell that Parise or Suter would talk in any of the managements ear to call up asking for Stepan lol.

    • I’ve been gone and missed most of the playoffs and come home to this on multiple websites.

      Minnesota is in as bad a cap situation as we are. They only have $11.4 mil in cap space and still have to sign RFAs Niederreiter, Haula, Granlund as well as at least 2 defenseman and 2 forwards to fill out a roster for next year.

      Stepan straight up for Dumba is a plus gain of around $4 million for the Wild. That lowers their cap room to about $7.4 million and still need to sign those RFAs and now 3 defenseman and 2 additional forwards. is your friend when proposing trades. Trades as Dave pointed out need to benefit both sides. Taking in 6.5 million for Stepan and weaken their blue line when they can just as easily trade a draft pick not to draft player “x” makes no sense nor benefits the wild.

      • I like Dumba a lot.
        You’re right though. Minnesota won’t b interested in Stepan. I think he’d b 3C there at 6.5 million.
        Not happening.
        Who would fit there would be Kreider. The Wild need a top 6 winger

  • When evaluating players one must look at the even strength numbers , that gives a more accurate analysis of the players ability and performance……..PP points inflate numbers especially for slow players who normally wouldnt put up many points……
    Grabner had 27 even st. goals, followed by kreider with 22 and jt miller with 20….nash and hayes each had 16……
    Watching vesey and buck play one day they will reach 20 Even St, goals also…..zib and zucc had 10 but injuries played a role….
    Therefor all of the above named are UNTOUCHABLE as of now……..
    Nash however because of his age and 8.5 million hit is trade able……as is stepan because of his 6.5 million hit and because he flat out STINKS……

    • According to your brilliant analysis of players, Ovechkin was as good this season as Kevin Hayes.

      • Well maybe I should learn by now since you never have your stats correct. Kevin Hayes had 15 EV goals this season while Ovechkin had 16. So Ovie was barely better than Hayes.

      • You make a great point spozo….hard to argue with…
        but consider;
        1.You need to look at multiple years not just one, I should have said that….

        2. Last year Ovie had 31 Even st. goals ….in 2014 he had 28…….in 2013 he had 27 Even…… this year was an aberration or he has gone downhill rather quickly…..either way another early playoff exit!

        Many players have inflated numbers because of PP points…..Main point is that it easier to score on PP than at regular strength!

        Careful when you evaluate a player just based on total points!
        Give me a team of high even strength totals and high Plus -minus numbers any time!

        • Ovie will be 32 next season, is a power player that has played in almost 1000 NHL games. Lots of warning signs there. When the goals go away, they rarely come back.

          To be fair, his shot totals were down tremendously, so maybe he comes back. Maybe Trotz gives him the green lightnext season.

      • You cannot/should not extrapolate my comments and say that I believe hayes is better than ovie………..I dont think that and I never said that, now did I ?????
        I said ‘more accurate analysis of the players ability and performance’…….
        Notice I was careful NOT to say ‘perfect analysis’……
        You must read more carefully grasshopper before you attempt to denigrate someones opinion!

        • The mistake you’re making is you’re assuming all players would, if given equal time & the same quality of teammates, produce at the same rate on the PP.

          That is obviously not true. If Hayes got to play on WSH’s top PP unit, do you think he’d score at the same rate as Ovechtrick? Probably not.

  • Boy, do we overestimate our own players or what?

    JT Miller has 1….that’s one….ONE playoff goal in his whole career.

    He had his typical hot streak of 10-11 games, and his back end of the season was absolutely dreadful.

    If someone wants to give us an asset for him, them I’m all in.

    • If AV hadn’t changed how he deployed Miller & Hayes a 1/3rd of the way through the season, Miller would’ve potted 30 and Hayes would’ve been over 60pts.

      Now maybe AV was told to change it up to limit their trade value or their next contract, but I doubt he knows what a long game is beyond that Islanders game that one Easter.

  • Al,
    The kid is 24 years old and when I watched him play I saw a fast , puck carrying physical , talented player who will continue to get better……
    as will vesey, buck, kreider, sjkel and hayes…….
    Of course I would love to see more playoff goals and I think that will come but again he is only 24…..
    And who is going to score 20 even strength goals in his place?
    Every year his totals have increased, a good sign……

  • I think the Ducks will wait to see the extent of the injuries to their D men before they start trading people away.

    OEL’s brother signed with the Yutes so that probably means that OEL will be staying in AZ, for now anyway.

    The Faulk rumors won’t go away. I wonder if Staal is part of a potential deal there (along with Stepan) because of Jordan.

  • Trade Stepan and Staal to Canes for Faulk.
    Buyout Girardi.
    Trade KK to the Oilers for a 5th round pick.
    Sign Lindberg for 2 years at $1M per.
    Sign Zib for 4 years at $5M per.
    Sign Shatty for 6 years at $6.5M per.
    Sign Purcell for 2 years at $2M per.
    Protect: Nash, Zib, Lindberg, Hayes, Kreider, Zuc, Miller, McD, Shatty, Faulk, and Lundqvist (Vesey, Buch, and Skjei do not have to be protected).
    Lose Fast in the expansion draft.

    13th forward



    I did this on armchair GM and forgot to save it but there’s over $5M in cap space left based on $73M.

    • Tony,

      As someone who follows the Canes from my days in Virginia, that trade while possible is not likely.

      Carolina’s ownership is not very big on spending huge. Right now they only have Jeff Skinner for one more year and with Noah Hanifin, Sebastian Aho, Lindholm, Slavin and others all coming due for contracts. Jordan Staal is the only Cane with a contract north of ~$4 million. Some of those names listed above are going to push that.

      Coupled with the realiziation that defense is Carolina’s strength, I don’t see them substainally weakening that to take on Marc Staal, at $5.5ish, for sentimental reasons. Justin Faulk is so far better than Marc Staal it’s like comparing a Pinto to M1 Abrams tanks. On top of that, throw in Stepan at $6, with a NMC/NTC and that’s a double whammy for the Canes. Ownership there is not as keen as throwing those out. Currently the only Canes with them are Cam Ward, Jordan Staal, and Jeff Skinner. Scott Darling might have got one.

      Is it possible for a trade with them? Of course. For justin Faulk though I think you need to start with Krieder and go from there. You offer a Krieder, Hayes/Miller, and then a Staal with at least half retained you might get their attention.

      • Thanks John, you’re probably right but I wanted to live in a world that I could get the Ranger line up that I want, lol.

        But I will say that the Faulk rumors persist. Maybe it’s a guy like Miller that goes and then throw in Staal, and maybe a high draft pick. The Canes have a ton of young D prospects coming so they may see Faulk as expendable since the D side is not necessarily a strength for him.

        • Forgot to add before, Skinners expiring contract is north of ~$4 million too. So Jordan Staal at $6 and Jeff Skinner at $5 are the only “high” contracts.

          I do see Faulk getting moved, but I see it around this time after next season. After the 2018-2019 season a lot of good young players will be up on their RFA deals. So I see him getting moved next off season when he’ll have 2 years left at a team friendly ~$4ish mil deal then UFA.

          I just think ownership and Ron Francis realize how important he is to that team. He wears an A and he deserves it. I will say if they decide to name a C, and if he gets it they won’t move him.

          • Some people that live in Carolina say the “Stepan for Faulk” talk is rampant. Doesn’t mean it’s true but they don’t go away.

            Time will tell.

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