Irresponsible Rumormongering

Derek Stepan “prominent” in trade talks

derek stepan

The news came fast yesterday. First came the front office moves. Then came the Matt Puempel extension. Then the Dan Girardi buyout. Then came the next bombshell, as Bob McKenzie noted that Derek Stepan’s name has been “prominent” in trade talks around the league. Now that doesn’t mean Stepan is going to get traded, but McKenzie is not “Rumor Break” or “Hockey Insiderrrrrrrrr” or “NHL Rumors Daily.” When McKenzie says it, it’s legitimate.

With the Girardi buyout, Kevin Klein’s potential retirement, and now the possibility of a Stepan trade, GM Jeff Gorton is making some serious moves to retool this team for a Cup run in Henrik Lundqvist’s window. The Girardi buyout and the Klein retirement save $5.8 million ($2.9 million each) on the cap. As for the Stepan trade, there are several ways Gorton can go, and each option is intriguing.

Trade for a defenseman

This is the prevailing logic. The Rangers need a right handed defenseman, and Stepan is a solid chip to try to land such a piece. There are a few options here, with the Ducks being a primary target. Stepan for Sami Vatenen isn’t a deal I’d make, but I would certainly do Stepan for Josh Manson+. Minnesota is a solid choice too, although the only two pieces are really Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin. Dumba has a ton of offensive potential but could be tough to watch in his own zone. I’m not really sold on Brodin, but have been told he’s worth his contract.

Those are two logical choices, however there are a few wild cards. The first is Tyson Barrie in Colorado, whom Larry Brooks mentioned could be a target. There’s Justin Faulk in Carolina, but that’s an in-division trade. San Jose, who just lost Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, could also use another center. Brendan Dillon would look nice on the right side of the defense.

A trade for a defenseman is certainly the most logical, however there are a few other options.

Trade for a forward

I know it seems counter-intuitive to land a forward, but there are a few perks. Let’s be clear: Derek Stepan is a solid center. He’s consistently a 50-point player and he is one of the better two-way centers in the game. He’s a smart player who is good in all three zones. That has significant value.

The biggest name that also seems to be available is Alex Galchenyuk in Montreal. The Habs have this strange habit of making trades that make us scratch our heads (PK Subban), and a Galchenyuk trade would certainly be another one of those.

Galchenyuk is really the only name/team that I can think of that would want to swap a forward for a forward. I’d venture a guess that something like this would happen after the expansion draft. This type of trade isn’t one designed to take advantage of a team in an expansion draft compliance problem.

Trade for futures

This is an idea that seems to have gained traction, as people are generally obsessed with getting picks and prospects. It’s a fair idea, just the wrong timing, which unfortunately makes this the wrong idea. The Rangers are a few moves away from a legitimate Cup run, and they’ve already made two (including Klein). Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t have many elite seasons left, and retooling the team for runs while he can still play will be key.


Replacing Stepan is going to be tough for the Rangers if they don’t land a forward in a trade. The idea that Mika Zibanejad can be a 1C is fine, but neither Oscar Lindberg nor Kevin Hayes can be trusted as a 2C. Even if Hayes finds a way to produce consistently, probably with more offensive zone starts from Alain Vigneault, then the Rangers would need at least a bottom-six center.

Someone like Erik Haula from Minnesota fits this bill. So it makes you wonder if something like Stepan for Haula and a defenseman could be in the works. What about Montreal and Galchenyuk and a defenseman (good lord not Beaulieu)? San Jose and Dillon+Hertl?

There are a ton of options here if Jeff Gorton is going to get creative. But the biggest piece here is for the Stepan haters: He’s worth more in a trade than you think. Remember Scott Gomez?

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  • I managed to piss off half the site yesterday, so why not today. Stepan can go to Colorado for Barrie, for as I read elsewhere Duchene????? Matt can play center, and or wing, options are great. Others have mentioned Nathan Mac Kinnon as another possibility??????? Either would be an improvement over Step, but Mac Kinnon would cost more than just Daisy.

    I really don’t care who comes back, preferably a RHD, who can skate, and defend. Bottom line, Stepan has got to go before July 1st, while the team gets great cap relief, and a load of flexibility as well. We then can sign both Smith, Shatty (not to keen on him ), and the RFA get their raises, and still have money left over after they get Staal out of town as well!!!!!!!!!

    Now all the pissed off guys start coming down on me today, get your rocks off if it makes you happy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Walt, you know I love ya like a brother.
      Your opinion is JUST as valid as ANYONE else’s on here, and I appreciate your point of view. I was one of those who requested you return from your self imposed exile a while ago, and glad you’re back.
      What ruffled some feathers, wasn’t what you said, just the way you said it.
      That said, keep posting my friend, don’t stop………..

      • Jerry my friend, some want everything sugar coated, I can’t seem to satisfy them with my posts. I speak the truth as I see it, and some can’t handle it!!!!!!! Sorry if they get their feathers ruffled……..

        • You’re not alone in fighting the good fight, Walt.

          As Yeezus tells us- dont ever stuff your lips with collagen to say somethin when you gon end up ‘polagin

    • Just wondering how long it will take for you to decide you hate Duchene, should a trade like that go down? In other words, if Derek = Daisy how long until Matt = Magnolia? 🙂

      • Hat

        Listen I’m tough on these guys who don’t produce at the rate they should, and don’t go all out for this team. Stepan held out twice on contracts, so when he gets his demands from the team twice, we should expect an honest to goodness effort, and results. Just look at Zucc, he didn’t pull the nonsense of holding out, gives his heart, and soul to this team every shift out there. Stepan refuses to get dirty, gets top billing on the PP, has no shot to speak of, and then doesn’t get the results expected for the money. When you make demands, then live up to expectations!!!!!!!!!! Also, do we need to be hamstrung with his NMC???? I like flexibility, and options, which we lose out on both with his contract…………..

        • But he does produce in line with what a similarly paid center in free agency would get you. That’s the frustrating part with you Walt.

          • Since I’m being lazy today, I’m going to quote myself from below:

            “He has a two year, NMC clause. Ages 27 and 28 are the only years he’d have to be asked to waive it for. Why are people refusing to accept that, and make it sound as if this NMC clause lasts 329,847 years?

            Centers way worse than Stepan have been moved OVER the age of 30 for decent returns. Stepan’s NMC ends before he’s 30.”

          • So you are conceding that he produces at a rate expected of a free agent center in his situation?

          • I concede nothing, he still is useless, and the team will be better off without him!!!!!!!

    • Walt,
      What you say, your opinions and your take on this team is always spot on and music to my ears……The rangers would be a better team just by not having stepan on the roster, regardless of who we get back.
      In other news congratulations to Dylan McIlrath for helping Grand rapids win the calder cup! He now has more pro championship rings than AV !!!!!

      • RFich

        Nice that we agree, but I have been wrong at times, and when proven so I fess up to it!!!!!!!!

      • Rich S, the UNDERTAKER will be the RED WINGS answer like having the 2nd coming of Bob Probert & Joe Kocur. The kid will be a solid and feared NHL D man.

        • I hope he gets a legitimate shot with the redwngs and if he does I think you and I will be proven right , he will be a solid defenseman a feared one!

  • Derek had a subpar playoffs this season 2 seasons removed from his game winner against Washington but I see Gorton being creative and moving him back home to Minnesota we saw how Brass did in Ottawa

    • Which part of Minnesota is in a worse cap situation than we are, does everyone have difficulty comprehending?

      Minnesota does not have the cap space to take on a $6.5 million dollar contract without an equal contract coming back our way. You want Pominville? You want Koivu, age 34 and fading?

  • I really want Dumba from Minny, but what would you think about a guy like Gallagher from Montreal? Not saying they would do it, but we could sure use another pesky guy like that on the wing.

    I am really thinking this is going to be a 3 team deal involving Vegas somehow.

    • I’m not saying a Step for Gallagher trade is of equal value, but I couldn’t agree more with you Sal, that we need some players who are a pain in the butt to play against and irritate the opposition.

      • Why would we trade a center for a wing? Centers are MUCH harder to replace than wing.

        And replace a 50+ point producer with an average of 37 point player; one at that who is frequently hurt?

  • I am in the camp that feels we’ll miss Step if/when he’s gone. I will disagree with Walt on a point he has made in the past, that Step is “soft”. He came back from Prust’s inflicted broken jaw while existing on a liquid diet. He played with a fractured rib(s) and anyone who has suffered through a broken rib knows how painful it can be to breathe, much less skate, take faceoffs, shoot and (Walt don’t beat me up too much on this), check. Younger players, his teammates, see that and take note. That dedication and heart much like Girardi has shown, helps build a good culture within the locker room. Toughness can be demonstrated in different ways, not just dropping the gloves.
    Step is not the fastest, not the flashiest, not the most physical, but he is without a doubt an intelligent center who enhances the play of his wingers.

    But Step has a no-trade clause that kicks in 1 July. I believe he has good value in a trade. So I would think Jeff is weighing all the options. One thing he MUST consider if Step goes, is a viable replacement as a first line center.

    As far as I’m concerned there are very few “untouchables” on this team. And Step squarely falls into that category.

    I have lots of faith in Jeff as our GM. If he trades Step, I am sure he has a plan. And a good one.

    • I feel as a GM, you need to remove contract restraints. Any NMC you can get rid of, for a player that is not in your top 3, you should look to move. You just cannot afford to be handcuffed by these in the future.

      Players get older and these albatross contract limit flexibility. Stepan is a nice player, but he isn’t all world. Use the asset to fill a void and move on.

      Get a PPQB, get a #1 draft pick and keep Lindberg, but move on.

      • Sal

        Agree 100 %, we never should have handed out the NMC contracts to Step, Staal, and or Girardi. Those type of contracts go to superstars, of which none of the mentioned are!!!!!!! Just look at the hoops we are jumping thru to get rid of these contracts!!!!!

        • At least Gorton is ridding the team of these types of contracts, rather than handing them out (and 1st round picks). Of course, that will probably all change this summer.

          • This is the type of misinformed, unaware insight I was talking about yesterday, Walt.

            Of course I agree with the buyout. But, unlike you, not because I think Girardi is a defensive liability or a bad hockey player. He simply is no longer the player that he was when hr earned his contract. (Yes, earned.) He was no longer performing at a level that justified his expensive price-tag. His contract just became too much for this cap-strapped team.

            This sentiment will prove to be the right one as Girardi will definitely be an NHL player next year. He won’t be paid $5.5 mil, though.

          • Someone who claims sarcasm, but finishes a sentence with two dozen exclamation points is lying.

          • I’ll ask again for any verifiable measure to show that Dan Girardi the past three or four years has been an NHL defenseman.

            He’s near or at the bottom of every stat imaginable. He single handedly neutralized the best defenseman we have had since Leetch.

            And I’ll say it again, it’s not his fault he was put in a position to fail like that. That is on the management above him who put him in that position instead of seeing how badly he was struggling.

            It’s highly unlikely Dan Girardi is in a NHL uniform next year. Other organizations have been attacking the right side of our defense for the past 3 years. The secret about how bad his ability is at this point is out there. If he’s signed, most likely to a PTO I’m will to wager he will not last long.

            PS- Shot blocks are not admissible. Shot blocking means the puck is in our end and that’s not a good thing. Kinda leads to goals against if you allow enough shots.

          • 43

            You know fella, calling me a lire is crap. I didn’t attack you on a personal basis, and I don’t appreciate it at all you prick………..Now that’s a complement for you in this case…….

      • He has a two year, NMC clause. Ages 27 and 28 are the only years he’d have to be asked to waive it for. Why are people refusing to accept that, and make it sound as if this NMC clause lasts 329,847 years?

        Centers way worse than Stepan have been moved OVER the age of 30 for decent returns. Stepan’s NMC clause ends before he’s 30.

        • Stepan is one of the worst #1C’s in the league, according to the numbers. Ranking somwhere between 26 and 30.

          • Who said a 1C? I said centers.

            Martin Hanzal has scored 40 or more points twice in 10 years of NHL play and scored more than 20 goals, once. All figures greatly eclipsed by Stepan in 7.

            Hanzal fetched a prospect, a first round pick, a second round pick, and a conditional draft pick. He was 30.

            Again, his no move lasts for 2 years. Ages 27 and 28.

          • Stop comparing Stepan to other bad players who teams over paid for. He’s the Rangers number one center and one of the worst number one in the NHL. When you look at number two centers he falls even farther down the list(see Malkin).

          • I’ll say it again, centers are more valuable.

            NHL teams will pay for a ~50+ point center.

          • “Stepan is one of the worst #1C’s in the league, according to the numbers. Ranking somwhere between 26 and 30.”

            “worst #1C’s”

            See, I’ve quoted the important part.

            He’s STILL a #1C, a thing which has quite a bit of value in a league with 31 teams & 124+ centers. Especially considering his contract.

            Now, if he made Nash money, you’d all have a legitimate gripe on that front.

    • Jerry

      You had me until you said that Stepan is one of the untouchables. I beg to differ with you on that point………….

    • Stepan doesn’t and never has made his wingers better. He gets BS points doesn’t drive the play in the Ozone he floats and others do the work. Wouldn’t be missed at all. Like he’s the anchor or something.

  • I’ve heard Galchenyuk may fetch Drouin, but that Beregvin would have to include high picks. But, if that’s the price, I doubt Stepan alone will fetch Galchenyuk and the likes of Jordie Benn (no thank you) or Jeff Petry.

  • Losing Stepan would leave a gaping hole at center ice. The Rangers already need to shore up their defence and if Raanta goes, that leaves New York with just their inconsistent aging superstar goalkeeper to mind the net.

    The Rangers have traded away so many 1st. and 2nd round draft picks in an attempt to win during the Lundqvist “window” that they have compromised the future of their franchise.

    Nash should be the player the Ranger offload as he is the most expensive “2 way” hockey player since Chris Drury.

    • Drury compared to Nash is ridiculous. Nash is a consummate 2 way player who plays hard in all areas of the ice, every time, every shift. Drury could not polish his shoes as far as his Ranger years are concerned. If Nash is moved it is because Gorton thinks we need to rebuild. If a CUP is in the cards for the Rangers next year, than Nash will be on the team.

    • You just bump everyone up a spot and find a 4 line center. Where not talking about Sid here.

      • Nope find a 3c if Oscar is still around for the 4c role. I’m thinking either Buch or Vesey are one of the wings on that 3rd line.

  • For all you haters out there, Stepan is GOOD. 18:37 TOI per game (second among forwards to Zucc by 13 seconds, next closest –
    Zib – was at 17:00. Was first in TOI among forwards in the playoffs).
    Third on the team in scoring (within 4 of team lead). Kills penalties. Plays on PP.
    Only 27 years old.

    Objectively speaking, there is no replacement on the roster or in the minors, and
    you don’t just give a guy like this away.

    • I tend to agree with this opinion. However, the Rangers do need to get better, and his NMC is a huge pet peeve of mine. So while I believe Stepan brings a lot to the table, trading him quite possibly could make the Rangers better.

    • He is a superior 2nd line center and barely cuts in as a 1st line center.

      These guys are all over the place.

      Easily replaceable.

      Just another case of fans overvaluing their assets.

    • Stepan has ONLY 13 even strength goals in 97 playoff games ….and a career -8 for those games……pretty big sample to argue against!
      The fact that he plays about the MOST minutes of any other forward makes those stats even worse!
      His defense has gotten horrible, directly cost us 3 goals these playoffs by NOT covering his man in the slot or near the net because he is deathly afraid of contact and has been since his concussion!
      Soft as they come…..time to go!!!!!! Easily replaceable!!!

      • Look, the ‘easily replaceable’ statement is patently false. He’s a #1 center in the NHL. He’s not Crosby or McDavid, and he’s towards the bottom of the #1 center list, but that’s not easily replaceable by any measure.

        And he plays toughest defensive assignments too.

        • Yet Hayes(who some think couldn’t play checkers) had a P60 that was .07 behind the great Stepan even with tougher deployments.

          Stepan & Staal to Carolina for Pesce and this year’s 1st, keep your powder dry to offer sheet McDavid in 2018 for $15mm

          • Anything short of something absurd (17.5+++) would be matched without hesitation.

          • You can only offer 20% of the cap, which is $15mm on a $75mm ceiling.

            You front load it where it is $25mm the 1st year and there’s no way they’ll match.

            Of course you’d have him for 1 season before the next lockout starts, so asides from that 1st year the contract is quite reasonable for what you’re getting.

          • Ah, didn’t know that.

            I would do it. Guys like Joe don’t understand how the cap isn’t as important per se so much as getting unrivaled talent is, even if it comes at a premium.

            Look at teams with loads of effective dead space (us with Girardi, Staal, and Klein this past season, for example), or even cap-floor teams getting to the conference finals (OTT, anyone?).

            In other words, it’s not the cap, but rather, what you do with it in totality.

          • Did the cap math, would have to be something like $15mm/8, with $20mm the 1st 2-3 seasons then starts sliding gradually until you get to $7.5mm the last 2 seasons.

            This contract would absolutely kick off the early lockout, but the team would still have McJesus until 29

            If you clear out Step & Staal, you would be able to pull it off and take care of Hayes & Miller and Graves. What makes it work is the likes of Day & Berezgalov(and potentially Pesce) on ELC/Bridge deals.

            That is worth 4 late 1st rd picks.

        • Sorry disagree a 2nd line center should average 33 to 55 points a game. There’s lots of those.

          1st line centers typically average about 55 to 86.

          Just because there isn’t enough 1st line talent in the league doesn’t make him a 1st liner by de facto.

          He is a first liner because he is the best we got. Not the best that is out there.

      • “… time to go!!!!!! Easily replaceable!!!”



        So, how many centers under the age of 27 (who are signed to a fair market value contract relative to production for 4 more years) are on the FA/trade market this year?

        Oh wait, that’s right – none.

        Sorry but, just because he’s ‘soft’ (he’s tough, but plays a nonphysical game) doesn’t mean his value as a player is approximately zero.

          • Um, actually, per his cap hit, his production is pretty spot on. Look at comparable contracts; Dave (and others) have posted it 10000x. His production is not out of line with names such as Bergeron, Toews, etc…… That is not an opinion, it’s a fact.

            The NMC is another, frankly, irrational hangup that doesn’t actually affect anything. He’s young, it’s a short contract, and the NMC itself lasts for a whopping two years. Again, a non-issue, even if the concept of NMC’s disturbs you. If he were 5 years older, you’d have a point.

            Again, with all due respect, this kind of crap is bordering ‘trade hank he sux’ in terms of stupidity.

            Mind you, I want to see him traded.

    • Jeff

      It will be interesting to see what the return for Stepan will be. If he is half as good as you seem to think, we should get a boatload in return!!!!!!!!!!

      • If Drouin, who, while younger, is nowhere near as accomplished or as good a defensive player, brings a potential 1st line D, then Stepan can bring back an established 1st line D.
        To me, of all the names I heard, Trouba would be the only acceptable return.

        • Yes, but we’d have to add, something like a first round pick in addition, to say, Miller & Raanta. Even that may not be good enough.

          Trouba is that valuable (IMO).

        • Jeff

          Sorry my man, he is being way over rated by you, and others on this site. He isn’t that good, and for the life of me, he looks like he goes thru the motions, and never seems to break a sweat. Look at the way Zucc goes all out, that’s never been the case with Step………….

    • Hockey is a sport you have to look a the tape when evaluating players. Stats in hockey are for agents when looking for a new contract. It’s a team game with to many variables. Again only in baseball due stats tell a story. You can look at a scorecard and pretty much what happened in a game. In hockey guys are jumping on and off the ice etc. etc.. Trade Stepan and you still will be able to make ice at MSG.

      • Sorry to disagree, but stats do tell a tale; something that even regular viewing can miss. Too much action so you see moments rather than the aggregate. The stats don’t tell you that Clendening was soft along the wall, but they do tell you that he was a serviceable D(which he was even if the coach couldn’t see it.)

        I keep going back to the Stepan Hayes defensive assignments, but it’s striking.

        Last season when Step was starting at home against the top line, his home stats were fugly even though the team was winning, While Hayes was on a 70pt pace.

        Around mid December when AV gave that role to Hayes, Step’s home stats rebounded(but not putting him on a 70pt pace) while Hayes’ cratered. Their road stats were fairly constant in relation.

        Where I screwed up was not looking at playoff splits, where matchups & changing on the fly are more common.

        • Stepan and Hayes GF/60 is very similar: 2.55 vs 2.53.

          But Stepan’s GA/60 is almost a full goal lower! 1.68 vs 2.47 for Hayes. Defensive zone starts can’t account for that big of a difference.
          In fact Stepan’s GA/60 is lowest of any Rangers’ regulars, forwards or D.

          • Again, look at the home/road splits, especially before and after roles changed. You’re inch deep on the stats.

          • He’s not invoking some nebulous and irrelevant statistic.

            How many goals you score per 60 minutes of ice time (or are on for against) is something I pay attention to.

            Like I’ve said, Stepan is not some ‘bum’ whose cap space ‘must be cleared’ or some crap. It’s not true. It’s a narrative as dumb & made up as ‘hank sux trade now’.

          • Then you’re paying attention to the wrong things.

            Not a bum, but no longer doing the things that were once expected from him.

  • Nice and thoughful piece. I am a fan for 57 years and I love math but not for hockey. I hope NYR does not trade Stepan as it would, in my opinion take pure luck to get a return equal or more valuable to the team than Stepan. It is more than time to focus on building from within instead of trying to buy someone else’s star.

    As for Lundquist, he is a good goalie but not close to the best in the league nor is he indispensible in a run for the Cup. In fact, I believe that he made his rep during a period when the NYR stressed team defense and that support more than his own brilliance made his rep. The “window”, in my opinion is nonsense and a distraction.

  • There are actually four reasons to make moves, though one really only applies to deadline deals. You want to bolster the team in the near future. You want to contend in five years. Or you just want to placate the fans.

    If the Rangers kept Girardi, Staal, Klein, Holden, Stepan, Glass, Vigneault (missing anyone?) and ended up with another season like this one, the outrage on this site (and presumably others) would be strong. Not just complaining, but complaining about the same things. If a lot of those faces are gone, the fans will be more tolerant, even if the team has a slightly lesser record.

    A few guys don’t care about #3 at all, but they are rare. John Tortorella, a coach admittedly, is one such and see how fast he was out the door when things went south. However, a good GM keeps those cares to a minimum – else you end up doing a lot of selling low.

    So far, we don’t know what Gorton is up to. Were he going to strip the team for draft choices, the Girardi buyout would have been dumb, but we don’t know if this is part of a very serious well thought out plan to improve the Rangers short term OR just rearranging the deck chairs in a way that placates the fans.

  • Hello All,

    Take this as a grain of salt but wanted to share..My co-worker who lives in Minnesota and one of his son is in juniors in MN is pretty in tune with all levels of Hockey in MN. When the Wild traded C- Graovac yesterday to the caps, he texted me and said the Wild are short on centers now and Hanzel will not be signed.In addition, there is a lot of chatter in regard to a trade in the works between the Rangers and the Wild for Stepan.

    Derek family is up in Haskings, MN and with the system Coach B runs up there, Derek would be a good fit. The Wild do have plenty of D-men on their roster who they’re going to lose for nothing and in their system. Just speculation of course, but boy, sure feels like these moves over the last two days opening up spots sure make sense to be good trading partners to address their individual needs.

    • There is some definite synergy between the two clubs. Whether they can agree on a deal before the deadline and before they submit their rosters for the expansion draft is another story. I am betting they get something done, but the NYR will have to eat some salary.

      • Sal,

        I agree that there is some synergy between the two clubs but, there is no way NYR should retain any salary on Stepan. Eating salary on a deal for Staal or Girardi (if he wasnt being bought out) would be one thing but to do it on Stepan is another. With Girardi’s buyout hit it just doesnt seem feasible to retain salary on some one with value.

    • I posted it up there. The Wild do not have the cap space to take on Derek Stepan’s salary. They have right around $11 million to sign their RFAs which include Neiderriter, Haula and Granlund.

      The only way the Wild gain cap space is if Zach Parise comes this way. If even Pomenville or Koivu comes this way it’s only a wash.

      Yes it’s a “feel good story”. However the players the Wild are actively shopping, trading Stepan for them would be a major fleece by them.

  • This Stepan situation is interesting, he is not a top tier center although he is a first line center, ideally a number a number 2 but getting paid like a low end number 1. Moving him before July 1, when the NMC kicks in is a big reason, but the question is for what.

    Trading for a RHD fills one whole, but creates a new one. Personally, if that keeps them from signing Shatty then I’m all for it. Is there any way to use Stepan to pry Ryan Ellis out of Nashville, who is light down the middle? What about a deal with Winnipeg, I know they want a LHD for Trouba, but what about asking for Tyler Myers (yes I know he was injured most of last season), which actually gets rid of the problem of ice time for Trouba on why he wanted to leave. If they trade for him for a RHD, id like to see a second move to bring in another center.

    Trading up for a better a center is something I could get behind the question who and what would be included to get something better. Would love Duchene but Im pretty sure Colorado want to get younger so bringing in someone a year older doesnt work. Im sure there are others out there as big names are usually kept quiet.

    Either way I expect some fun days ahead between expansion draft and July 1.

    • 1. Why would we trade a good center for a poor oft-injured defenseman? Centers are hard to replace. Centers who put up 50+ points are even harder to replace.

      2. Who are you in turn trading for a center? Please tell me we’re not back to Fast, Peumpel and a 3rd for McJesus. Because someone of high value, and that’s actually someone’s because centers require more, is going the other way.

      3. Matt Duchene has been trending down, way down each year. He’s approaching the word bust. After his good year in Roy’s first season, he’s pretty much quit on the Colorado Avalanche. I don’t think we need a player who quits.

      • 1. Using an example of a defenseman that can be played on top pair, knowing that getting Trouba would cost a lot more and could be someone worth looking at.

        2. you mean a trade like that wouldnt happen. Actually, the player Id use to is JT Miller. Cant wait to hear how hes untouchable.

        3. Matt Duchene is trending down and quit cause the whole team was a dumpster fire, Id take someone of his skill on this team every day of the week.

        • Tyler Myers is, not good. Not a first pair RD and would simply replace Girardi as an anchor to McDonagh.

          The NY Rangers have no prospects or players that we could trade that would net us a young elite center. None. They are not available and they only become available via incompetent GMs (see Charelli (sp?)). If you’re proposing JT Miller at center, he has performed poorly when deployed as a center in our system. Very poorly.

          Matt Duchene has been trending down since the conclusion of his 2nd season. He had one 70 point season 4 years ago. Even with that 70 point season, his goals, assists and points per game are nearly identical to Derek Stepan. Matt Duchene quit the past 3 years on the Avalanche when the going got tough Nathan Madkinnon never quit and played his heart out every night. Says a lot about a persons character.

  • Folks – FYI I’m having an issue with the comment filter. A lot of comments are being marked as spam and/or trash by my filter. I’m doing the best I can to keep up and approve ones that clearly aren’t spam/trash.

  • Listening to TSN 690 on the Internet this morning they’re talking of reports that rumors of Nash going to Montreal and also Nash to Caroline With Carolina probably Flippin him to somebody else. The one thing is as of now ,nobody saying what teams are on Nash list of team he would except the trade too.

    • I’ve heard that they’re also really fond of Nash, so, even if this happens, I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up signing another contract with us next year.

  • Why would Step play hard for AV. He would ruin it anyway!
    I’m sure everybody forgot how bad AV is.

  • Stepan for Galyenchuk very strong right now. Mackenzie saying that Gally to be traded sooner than later and I have also heard that Stepan very likely to be traded. For each other? Stay tuned.

    • I call BS on any of those potential deals. Gorton is going for the kill shot to revamp the D so Stepan would most likely bring back a top 4 name.

      • Stepan for just a mid pairing (ie, top 4) defenseman would be a travesty – for us.

        Even for Gal, they would need to add.

      • We’ll see. I just heard Stepan for Gally and a 3rd.

        Gorton does not want to be down a center.

        • …. ugh. If they made it a first (in exchange for our second or third next year), that would make more sense.

          • This is a Brass for Zib deal all over again, if it comes to fruition. And the rangers get cap space.

    • Trading for Galchenyuk is just getting younger and worse. Sure, MTL doesn’t know what to do with him, but do you think the current coach would know any better?

  • Rangers waited too long due to win now crowd, can not try for a swindle overpayment.

    Do not want that NMC to kick in.
    competitive bids will make return decent at min to solid at best

    accept best offer, prob = most quality assets, regardless of position
    strong pref for futures

    Rangers would add to get Hertl, not vice versa

    best play is prob
    NYR 21 + Raanta for Flames 1st [16OA]
    16OA + Stepan
    AZ 1st [7OA] + Chechyrn

    • This is starting to get out of hand.

      Please explain why the Flames want to move down in the draft? In a “weaker” draft you want to move up to get a more “sure” selection.

      Then please explain why in any realm of logical thought, an organization devoid of talent would want to trade away a 19 year cost controlled young high potential defenseman AND move down in the draft, in again a weaker draft, for a 26 year old Stepan? Not that Stepan wouldn’t immediately help them, but theyre not in a contending position and by time they are his contract would be over and he’d leave.

      Please please please explain your thought process.

      • “Please explain why the Flames want to move down in the draft? In a “weaker” draft you want to move up to get a more “sure” selection.”


        Huh…? There’s no such thing (outside of guys like McDavid) as a ‘sure thing’…. if anything, to maximize the lack of talent (given that, in a weaker draft, the actual draft order actually has less meaning, not more), you’d think they’d WANT to trade down.

        As for your second point, while I don’t think they’d make the trade you’re criticizing, they would do it because they need a 1C. As would any team making a trade for him. Because that’s what Stepan is – a 1C who is younger than 30 & on a fair contract.

        Also, given that OTT was just 1 goal away from possibly winning the SC, it again should be fairly obvious that any team (especially one loaded with young talent like AZ) can take a sudden step forward in any given year. This is not the NBA.

        • That is why I put “sure” in the quotes. Moving down and adding a pick or two, increases the chances you’re going to hit with someone, yes I agree with that. However, moving down also removes the players with more potential to develop. Diamonds in the rough will still exist as always. But you’d have to agree, you have a “better” chance to develop a player drafter up near the surface of the draft, than to develop a “worse” player down near the bottom. And those are all relative terms. Its more likely a player drafter earlier in the 1st Round will develop faster and closer to full potential than one later. I do agree that it isn’t an exact science and things happen. Mistakes will always be made; i.e.- drafting a player too high or how in the world was he overlooked so long.

          I don’t think that they need a 1C, as Dylan Strome will be with them all year. With the whole ownership and stadium situation in flux, it’d be hard to see them taking on a $6.5 contract as well, especially with OEL coming up as an UFA before Stepan’s contract would expire.

          I think Arizona does have a good future. Strome, OEL, Duclair, Chychrun, and Keller will all be or are good. Past them though, its very much hit or miss. The potential is there with the right development. Unless they shed Mike Smith though, I don’t see it where they could make that huge a leap to the playoffs. I think with Smith, they won’t compete with Colorado for the worst team but they’ll still be in the bottom 5. They shed Smith and improve in goal, I can see them getting out of the Bottom-5 and move into that second rung, the Bottom-10, the 33-37 wins range.

          • “That is why I put “sure” in the quotes. Moving down and adding a pick or two, increases the chances you’re going to hit with someone, yes I agree with that. However, moving down also removes the players with more potential to develop.”


            That is why this is considered a weak draft. When you look at the outputs of this class point wise versus prior years, you’ll notice that they are lacking. I think the most skilled guy in this draft failed to put up even 100 points in juniors (Yamamoto).

            This is also in stark contrast to the last few drafts, where the middle rounds had plenty of talent to choose from.

            There is little difference between mid first rounders and later round players this year. Moving up and down has little meaning because statistically, there isn’t much separating these guys from one another. Several GMs have lamented about this, actually.

            In other words, the depth in this draft is not there.

            As for your second point, if they find a goalie, if their talent takes a step forward, then the sky’s the limit. Like I said, look at OTT – how many of you had them as a playoff team, let alone 1g away from being Eastern Conference Champions (at the minimum)?

          • Exactly. Currently Arizona has the #7 pick. I think they’d rather take their chances with a #7 and a #12 than a 12 and 16 plus lose a good cost controlled defenseman.

            Quite a few did have Ottawa making the playoffs before the season. As far? No. Devils advocate you’d have to admit that the talent level on Ottawa is for the most part has already developed to their potential than Arizonas. Possible? Always.

          • “Exactly. Currently Arizona has the #7 pick. I think they’d rather take their chances with a #7 and a #12 than a 12 and 16 plus lose a good cost controlled defenseman.”

            That’s the thing though. There is little consensus among scouts as to where the top 15 or so will be drafted, other than the top two or three guys. The rest are, essentially, a jumbled mess with relatively little separating them.

            Also, the talent level drops off considerably after this first round, meaning that second & third rounders will have relatively less value this year than in others. In prior years, you had players who might’ve been first rounders (such as Duclair & Buch) drop off because of concerns & the sheer quantity of draft eligible point-producing players. Teams figured, ‘why take a risk’ when they didn’t have to.

            This year, however, there aren’t enough talented guys, so even the question marks (such as Yamamoto, with his size) will be first round selections this time around.

            The lack of players putting up solid numbers in juniors is a hallmark of a ‘bad’ draft, and is also a great reason not to trade up. There’s no value in it; you’re getting roughly the same caliber of player regardless of where you draft exactly. And, as I’ve said, when you look at their numbers, it’s not pretty.

            For example, both players who will probably go #1 overall this year (Hirshier & Patrick) are projected as 2nd line centers; think of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as an example for their ceiling.

            And sure, there’s always a chance you could get a great player in a weak draft (Hampus Lindholm was 6th overall in 2012, when Fail Yakupov went 1st).

            Personally, I think that guy this year could be Brannstrom, which is why I kind of liked (despite the aforementioned relative lack of value in doing so) Bernmeister’s earlier trade proposal that would move us up from 21 to 16 at the cost of Raanta.

          • Raanta isn’t going to get us the 16 though. Pretty sure Kevin Weeks was the last goalie to fetch a 1st round draft pick somehow. Odd that Wweks netted a 1st and Luongo didn’t. Two horrible GMs combined to make that happen though. That was the perfect storm of stupidity. Rick Dudley and Mike Milbury.

          • No, it was Raanta + the 21st for the 16th. And yes, they would be dumb not to do that.

          • I’ve been looking. I can not find a trade where a goalie, a backup one at that, netted that kind of return.

            Ben Bishop, a proven starter was shopped for almost an entire year and only netted a 5th. When Calgary needed a goalie then and like now.

            I’ll keep looking, but traditionally goalies don’t have high trade value. Even all the Luongo trades didn’t net high draft picks, and biggest “name” was bertuzzi.

          • Huh? Did you not see Talbot net what he did? Did you not see even what Martin Jones & Robin Lehner went for? I don’t mean to be rude but there are multiple examples…. where are you getting your information from?

            Raanta is worth (at least) a second rounder. 21st + 2nd rounder > 16th in a weak draft. They’d be dumb not to do it (unless they too want Brannstrom).

          • I was going team by team, why I said I’d keep looking. Anderson on Toronto did net a 1st as well. All of them were also younger than Raanta is now too.

            im in 100% agreement that Raanta is worth a 2nd rounder and a 3rd just like Talbot, or a mid-range prospect. I don’t think Raanta has that much value around the league. I expect him to net a high 2nd this year and another pick next year for us so that we have a pick between the 1st and 4th rounds which we currently don’t.

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