Thoughts as we wait for trades

The Rangers are sellers at this year’s deadline. We knew this as far back as one year ago when the Rangers released their public letter stating their intent to rebuild. Nothing major has happened yet, but the Rangers have acquired a pair of 2020 7th round picks for Cody McLeod and Marek Mazanec. Acquiring extra dart board throws is always good, so that’s a pair of wins already. As per usual, I have some thoughts.

1. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Adam McQuaid, Mats Zuccarello, and Kevin Hayes will be traded. There are the usual caveats (legitimate offers), but those are the “big” three of the Rangers that will be on the move. Hayes will fetch the most, followed by Zucc, and then McQuaid should at least fetch what the Rangers paid for him (4th + 7th). Chris Kreider’s name has come up, but it will take a huge offer to pry him loose.

2. But as per usual, the haul for these guys is yet to be determined. There’s hope because the Predators may have set the market by sending a 2nd to New Jersey for Brian Boyle. Counterpoint: There are a ton of players available. Ottawa’s entire roster is available. Artemi Panarin is probably available. There are ten teams below the Rangers in the standings, including Ottawa, and all of them have available players. The market is flooded with players better than Hayes (Panarin, Stone, Duchene), and Hayes will be the fallback option for teams, not their first choice. That may hurt the Blueshirts.

3. When it comes to Zuccarello, there’s a lot of talk about a trade and re-sign. There was a lot of hope with that for Michael Grabner and Rick Nash too. It’s exceedingly rare for this to happen, but Zucc does love it here. If Jeff Gorton handles this properly –sending Zucc to a legitimate contender and letting him “choose” where– then there’s a shot. I want this to happen. I really do. But for every Keith Tkachuk back to St. Louis, there’s hundreds of players that don’t rejoin their teams.

4. During the Winnipeg broadcast, Dave Maloney mentioned that Jacob Trouba is unlikely to want to stay in Winnipeg. His wife is a doctor who cannot practice in Canada. The 24-year-old is a top pairing RHD, and those are worth tons. If there’s any big-name player the Rangers trade for, it would be Trouba. Let’s assume that’s a draft-day deal, though. Wonder if Kreider is a starting point for that discussion?

5. Speaking of Kreider, there’s a very good case for trading him now before he starts getting into his thirties. Remember the Derick Brassard trade? Same concept, just a different player. It’s better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late. That said, there’s also a very good case for keeping him: Locker room, speaks Russian, many Russian prospects coming over soon. I don’t necessarily think there’s a wrong decision here. I can get on board with either.

6. I wonder if there is any possibility of the Rangers moving a body on the blue line. Marc Staal probably isn’t moving, but Brendan Smith has been experiencing a bit of a revival with bottom-pairing usage. At 50% retained, he might have some value. Kevin Shattenkirk might have value too, but I see both as draft day moves, and not deadline day moves. Neal Pionk, though, is someone that might generate some attention. I’ve been on record a lot that moving Pionk now is in their best interests.

7. Hartford is going to be sending bodies to New York after the deadline. I know we want to see players get big minutes in the AHL instead of bottom-six minutes in the NHL, but Hartford is such a mess that may just even out. That team is a train wreck, and it has very little to do with the prospects down there. They’ve been so bad for so long you wonder if the environment is toxic. If the Rangers are about development, something needs to be done down there.

"Thoughts as we wait for trades", 5 out of 5 based on 19 ratings.
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  1. At this point, I would not be surprised if both Hayes and Zuc are traded and re-signed.

  2. Dave, here are some thoughts as we wait. Your item # 3 is the most appealing scenario. The jets big D man would be nice but at what cost? Another thought goes back a few discussion about Ruff. He is the least of our problems. I’m not getting too excited about all the trade rumors. we need various aspects of our game to improve. There is no one big item that will get us at the top of the heap.

    1. Dave thinking that Kreider would move the needle for Trouba is a laughable offence. Jets, Bruins and Preds will be in on Stone or Simmonds for their go to. Kreider needs to be sent in a under the radar type of trade. I don’t think JG could finesse Kreider for a Leafs D man due to the market right now.

      1. This comment reads like a laughable offense. If you’re gonna throw barbs like that, at least get your teams right. *Jet’s* D man.

  3. Bob McKenzie ” NYR getting good action on Zuccarello. Could go for a second rounder and a prospect perhaps. If the return on Kevin Hayes is soft, I could see NYR keeping him and trying to sign him. McQuad will go for at least what they gave up: 4th and 7th rders ”

    If the Wild GM wants to make a stamp and shuffle his core around than they should try and trade for Zucker.
    Kreider, Skjei and Andersson for Zucker, JT Brown and Dumba and a pick. I would love to try and get Greenway, he’s become a real threat ever since December.

    1. Mint, your posts are so stupid, it’s like you are writing them in crayon. Trading Kreider for JT Brown (a 4th liner who’s currently in the minors for a team that is mediocre), Matt Dumba (out for the year, hurt since December), Jason Zucker (14 goals! And overpaid and undersized! WOW!), and a pick?

      Kreider has the same amount of goals as Dumba and Zucker combined, and he plays a position at which that the Rangers are really thin on in terms of organizational talent. So you’d trade their best winger for a minor leaguer who was an NHL 4th liner, a relatively seriously injured player who won’t be able to play until next season, a 3rd liner, and a pick?

      Laughable. But coming from you, Mint, it’s pretty typical.

      1. MC- agree, but when back and fully healthy Dumba is a great player. Easily would be our best defenseman and still young.

        1. Hat—Not saying Dumba isn’t a good player, but to trade Kreider, Skjei, and Andersson for one good player, a third liner, and a minor leaguer plus a pick? No way. Mint’s proposed trade is idiotic.

  4. “It’s better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late”.

    The king of this practice was Sam Pollock, and he was able to win a cup, and have the #1 over all pick the following season, Guy La Fluer. Timing is everything, and some deals could get you an unexpected player that’s outstanding.

    I like Hayes, love Zucc, can’t wait to rid ourselves of McQuade, and see what they bring back in players, and picks. Shatty, Smith, Poink could get traded, and the organization will be much better off, but the return won’t be that great. Now on to Kreider, I don’t believe we should rid ourselves of him. He is the only player who when on his game can be physical, is good in the locker room, smart, fast, and self proclaimed nerd. He has been consistent in his scoring over the last few years, and is a team guy. If he is moved the return has got to be exceptional.

    Ten more days before we see what all transpires, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. LGR!!!!!!!!

    1. I believe that when Pollck drafted LaFleur, the “gentleman’s agreement” that gave the Habs first choice among French speaking players was still in effect. That may have had some impact on him getting that choice.

      1. Joe

        Not the case at all. The fact that Montreal had first dibs on French speaking players ended when the draft was introduced in I believe 1967, and expansion. The deal that got them that overall pick was with I believe the Golden Seals???????????

  5. Our AHL is a mess because of lack of talent. We need quality and depth and you get that by acquiring picks and grabbing prospects. We are going nowhere and will pick between 8 and 15. Move our the UFAs and get some talent.

  6. No 1 I do not want to trade Kreider.. I think for Zucc I can see something like Zucc and maybe Shattenkirk we retain some salary for Bennett and a no.1 and a prospect.. or how about Hayes and Skjei to winnepeg for Trouba no.1 and Brendan Lemeuix.. as for Mcquaid I’m in the minority here, I’d like him to stay. Maybe we can do Smith or Staal to Toronto for a 2nd rd pick and a prospect… we need assets, we also need to get bigger and a little tougher, especially if we trade Mcquaid.

  7. We do not know Gorton’s plan yet. Does he want to pay $6M for a 2nd line center? Would we be better paying a scoring winger $8M? I am thinking Gorton needs to move out some players and acquire some first and second round picks, but also look to have a better campaign next year. How? By going after some talent on the open market or by making a big trade. He has to know the defense is in trouble. He has to know we need another scoring line other than our first line. I am just going to guess that not all of the trades he does are dumping players for picks and prospects.

  8. The more I read about Hartford, the more concerned I’m becoming. This is a franchise that is in a very public rebuild, and all of our prospects are falling apart down there. This organization needs to take a very hard look at things down there quickly, as it’s almost now more important than all the deals they’re getting ready to make if they cannot put these prospects into an environment where they develop properly. I hear they are a mess with coaching and management of things. But that really doesn’t matter if the development of guys like Lias Andersson and Libor Hajek (and others) plateaus. I am not getting the impression that either of those guys have benefited much from playing down there this season. Are they busts? I certainly hope not, but the perception is starting to trend that way… especially if you don’t follow the nuances.

    This whole rebuild project goes nowhere if they don’t fix the issues in Hartford, IMHO.

    1. I don’t know how measurable this really is across the league, but it seems to me that in the last 8 years or so, a striking number of Rangers prospects just never hit their projected ceilings. That’s not to say prospects should be expected to hit their ceilings at a high clip, mind you. Still though, when was the last time a Ranger prospect ended up hitting their projected ceiling, let alone going above it? It’s either on one hell of a coincidental run of prospects not really panning out, or there’s something there, and it is more than fair to put Hartford under the microscope at this point.

      1. A. They didn’t have a first for four years. The 2009, 2011, 2012 firsts all became NHL regulars.

        B. While Gordie may eventually get his diamond in a rough , his propensity to REACH all over the draft just shows itself in the ineptitude of the AHL club over these years.

      2. I did an analysis a while back and found that only one true Ranger draft pick has led the team in scoring since 2001-2002. That was Brandon Dubinsky in 2010-2011.

        Exceptions to this were Derek Stepan, in a lockout shorted 2012-2013 season and Zucc, who has led the team four out of the last five years. While Zucc has been an excellent acquisition he was a free agent and was not drafted.

  9. CBJ on the record they don’t want to move Panarin for futures. Trading for him now would be dumb (we’d just sign him in July if we want him) BUT is there an opportunity here. Package around Hayes or Zuc for Panarin. And then flip Panarin to a team who has plenty to offer on the futures side?

    The thought here is that we could benefit by dealing with a wider pool of teams (re: contenders) interested in him, as they would be less prone to trade a significant roster player and would be more in a position to offer prospects / picks. Also, we’d have the ability to retain 50% of his salary which is off the books at the end of this season.

    Hopefully we’re exploring the potential arbitrage to be had here.

    Additionally, I think you hit the nail on the head with #5. Can go either way, but gun to my head, I’d explore trades.

  10. Lose for Hughes? Tank for Hank? I admit I was all in. But along the way I discovered it just doesn’t work. I am no longer able to continue this mantra.

    Why? Well, apparently the team did not get the memo.

    What looked like such a promising year, finishing in the bottom five or so with a decent shot at the #1 pick, has gone completely haywire. On most nights this team, despite its glaring flaws, plays competitively and at times plays better than its much higher ranked opponents.

    So today I am going out of the closet – It is plan Z for me. Zuccarello & Zibanejad forever.

    At some point you have to have a cerebral moment about what is best for this team. The team needs talent for sure. And the best way for the Rangers to get that talent is to use the trade chips it has, namely Hayes and Zucc.

    But – aren’t there other considerations? What about team leadership, on ice grit, and talent to win games next year and beyond.

    From there it is easy – Trading Hayes can bring back a decent haul and you don’t lose much in the way of grit, leadership, etc. Trading Zucc though has its downsides. Are you going to get back someone who can bring in the intangibles that Zucc has night after night? Do you have a replacement ready to seamlessly take Zib’s wing and perform as Zucc has?

    And lastly, loyalty. I know – loyalty – a novel concept in the sports world.

    The Rangers are trying to develop a winning culture here. There are good kids coming and next year promises to be very interesting with the addition of Kravtsov and Igor. What kind of a message are you sending when jettison a player like Zucc? Zucc give his all every night, has already taken one team-friendly contract because he loves the Ranger’s so much, and literally took one for team in the way of a fractured skull.

    The bottom line is – is this team going to be better with Zucc and what he brings or with the prospect and 2nd rounder that he could bring back?

    Without even bringing into the discussion the level of talent evaluation expertise(?) in the NYR front office, it is no a brainer for me.

    Sign Zucc for 3 years @ 5.5M and hand him that jersey with the big “C” on it.

    1. I’ve been in this same boat for a few weeks now. Sure, they’ll get good picks and prospects for a guy like Hayes and maybe a massive haul for Kreider. But at what cost? What kind of atmosphere is left if the guys get moved along with Zuccarello?

      These guys are a great bridge to the next gen. And Hayes/Kreider are still pretty young. I think we have to move Zucc unfortunately. But a big part of me says sign Kreider and Hayes long-term and put the C on #20. Let the young guys grow and take away their ice-time over the next 3 seasons. I think you can do a lot worse than Kreider and Hayes (and Zibanejad) rounding out your middle six in a few seasons from now with Chytil/Kravstov leading the way.

    2. Man your comment rings so true… how dysfunctional is this organization that sends out the “letter” and then proceeds to hire a coach that literally refuses to give developmental minutes to the young players that absolutely could use them. Don’t these @ssholes have organizational meetings and management focus groups where they are on the same page… namely REBUILD! Or, like you said, Quinn didn’t get the memo, cause nobody wrote one!

      So now we are probably going to finish slightly below .500 and ahead of 8 or 9 teams & get the #9 draft pick again and trade assets for 2nd and 3rd picks and a high #1 . And continue this phony rebuild.

  11. In my opinion, Gorton’s plan revolves around two thoughts, First create as much cap space as possible then have no real NHL’ers that can be taken in the expansion draft. Next year playing any minor league talent we have, and then start spending for the 20-21 season. Maybe next year we will have a top 5 pick.

  12. I am not so certain that the Rangers will trade Hayes. 26 year-old two way centers don’t grow on trees. I’d sign him for 5 years if possible unless I got a great offer. Of course, if he demands outrageous contract terms then they have little choice.

    Also, moving Chris Kreider does not make a whole lot of sense unless they get an offer that blows them away. The Rangers’ whole organization lacks scoring wingers and Kreider is going to hit at least 30 goals this season. I’d want a terrific return for Kreider if I was going to trade him when the organization needs wingers.

    I think that the Rangers’ defense would be a lot better if their forward lines had better possession capabilities. While a Trouba would be great, I think that scoring forwards who can dominate the puck and hit the net would go a long way to making the club better. Look at the Penguins and the Leafs, their forwards make pretty mediocre defensive groups seem better than they are in reality.

    I’d perhaps try to snag a good young forward who is NHL ready for Zuccarello and perhaps re-sign Zucc in the off season if he will agree to a short term.

  13. I would not trade Kreider unless I was getting a massive and I mean a massive haul for him.. I would want a much greater value return or else no deal…This notion about resigning both Hayes and Zucs is pretty lame……Hayes I would resign, but as much as I like Zucs, he can go elsewhere..This is a business and not a love affair. I find that many many fans, including myself become enamored with players, but at the same time we cannot say..crap we stink, but lets keep all our players and trade the crap to become a better team…not going to happen this way IMO. You can always add players through free agency to mix with the current players….but this does not guarantee a championship….see Sather’s free agency years….just saying that we had a nice run with this particular group of players…some have already moved on via trades……so I am all for trading Zucs….McQuaid…Shatty…Smith…Staal…….because we are not going to win with this current group of players…….I will give Gorton some rope…..but if this thing of ours still craps after a few more seasons..then as Don Corleone stated…I”m going to blame some of those people in the leadership…and that I will not forgive!

      1. Czech!! Hey pal..been a long time..Hope all is well with you and the family…No playoffs for second year in a row….hopefully a golden pot awaits us soon….Let us pray!…lol

      2. Hello Czech…..Miss the conversations with you…..Hope all is well with you and the family.

  14. I just don’t know anymore so I give up …. too many crazy rumors and purely hypothetical trades. Pundits with no real inside knowledge, fans with wishful thinking. Buyers, sellers, teams that stand pat … 98% of the time none of this happens or if it does, not the way anyone expected. JG will do what he does and I’ll just have to wait it out. I’ve mentally masturbated enough.

    So maybe I say keep Kreider (he will be a beast into his 30’s), sign Hayes … trade Zucc, sign him back …. or not. Trade Namestnikov, trade Smith if you can … McQuaid because you have to …

    Flip flop flip flop flip flop … BOOM … my head explodes.

  15. Dave,

    I agree with everything you said but, why o why would you want to get rid of Pionk?

    To me, he’s very talented and is one of the best distrubitors out of the back end since Sergei Zubov on this club and, is going to only get better over time..

  16. This is a very important 10 days for us, and I wonder whether Gorton is up to it. We backed ourselves into a corner last year with the notorious letter, announcing to the world our intentions. Then in the negotiations with Tampa, Gorton, who should have been in a position of strength, blinked. Now he faces a buyer’s market with a need to move several players for the long term good of the team. This is a big opportunity for us, and he’ll need to be better here, under somewhat difficult circumstances. I have some concerns we might not make the splash we’re hoping for — may instead get more of a ripple. Meanwhile, we continue to sweat it out and hope for the best — can’t wait for the deadline to get here already!

    1. I feel we did not get a great return for McD and JT Miller, so Gorton needs to do better. Make the deals, get picks and prospects. If he thinks we have another rebuilding year, then it might make sense to move Krieder too. I think we need to sit with 6 picks in the top 3 rounds + prospects after the draft. Who we trade and how we acquire these is up to Gorton.

      1. I was not happy with giving up Miller and I am still not too happy. But, I was shocked to see that the young fella only has 9 goals and 23 assists thus far this season with the Bolts. I figured he’d bust out with a talented team like Tampa. I don’t know if he is playing hurt or what, but his numbers are pretty mediocre this season.

        1. Miller will always be Miller……The talent is present, but maybe the mental makeup and heart is just not there to go full throttle

        2. I had mixed emotions about Miller, but maybe he just isn’t any better than what he showed in NY — the same may be said about Buch in a few years. The fact that Miller isn’t any more productive in TB with that surrounding cast is pretty appalling to be honest.

    2. It’s always easy to criticize someone’s performance when you don’t really know the facts. That’s the problem with something like this, who REALLY knows what he was offered, whether he could have gotten more, etc. Maybe you’re right and maybe you’re very wrong.

      The same will hold true this year and NO, I don’t expect huge hauls. It’s a bit of a buyers market now that a lot of teams have developed a true sense of realism when it comes to the playoffs and winning the SC. The Wild just indicated that they are sellers … in the past they could have been just the type of team to sit on the sidelines or make a few minor moves, etc. just to try and get into the playoffs —- with no hope of really winning the SC.

      1. Shouldn’t we wait at least 3-4+ years before making that determination? After all, we traded two guys in their prime and got back 2 twenty year olds and two draft picks plus Namestnikov (and we don’t know what he’ll bring back in a trade — at least another decent draft pick). So that’s 5 players under the age of 20 — how can we judge that trade with any confidence in the present?

        1. The player I feel best about is nils lundkvist , so I’m gonna hold off completely judgment for now.

          1. Agreed … of course Howden can easily be as good if not better (all-round) than Miller when all is said and done. Give him 3-4 years in this league before judging him … Hajek is having a down 1st year pro, but there’s no reason to give up on him just yet. Also let’s see who we draft this year and what me might get from a potential Namestnikov trade.

  17. We will probably make some soft deals and have another losing season next year. When will this rebuild end? Is there even a plan in place? There is no one at Hartford banging on the door. The cupboard is bare. This might be a 4 year rebuild.

    1. It was never gonna be a quick fix . the defense alone will take 2 years to clear out bad contracts , it takes 2-3 years for most prospects to arrive even in AHL. The idea that they can’t do it is peddled by media like Brooks who are ready to retire soon. You think they wanna be writing about kappo kakko or Bowen Byram ?

    2. Rebuilding a team with a lousy farm system takes a long time because they have to obtain players first and then develop them. The Rangers did not have a good farm team from which they could bring up players to fill in the slots on the big club.

      When what will forever be known as “The Letter” was issued to the fans last season, I figured that it would take at least 3 years to put together a competitive team. With the expeansion draft ahead, and the reality that most picks, especially defensemen, take at least 2 -3 years to develop into NHL players, it is going to be until 2021 that this team will be rebuilding and in transition.

      We might not see a lot of good hockey from the Rangers for the next couple of seasons, but they will be fielding players who are young and hungry to make it in the NHL and who will be fun to watch. Patience will be reuqired.

      1. Peter, what’s funny is that in the “new” NHL everyone expects their prospects to be big time contributors by the age of 20-21, otherwise they start labeling them busts. I remember (we all should) a time when 90%+ of all prospects didn’t even get a decent whiff in the NHL until they were 22-23. The reality is the rebuild can take 3-5 years, 3 if the majority of assets traded for are 20+ year old prospects and 5+ if they’re just draft choices.

        1. Tanto is that age 20-21 assesment true in the “new NHL” or just on the BSB blog?

          1. Haha, point taken … but it’s a theme that has been growing on all hockey blogs.

            Just to take Philly as an example, Nolan Patrick is 20 and has played 123 games so far and produced 50 points — I hear he’s a BUST … Sean Couturier scored half a point per game until he was 25, now he’s a PPG guy .. I remember reading and hearing he was a bust. Now maybe BUST is extreme, but you’ll find lots of comments about 20-21 year olds under performing if they were taken in the 1st half of the draft.

    3. Tsk tsk tsk….. millenials …..
      Rebuild takes more than a single offseason little fella….

    1. You have to move all the unrestricted free agents resign them in the summer if you would but don’t lose them for nothing

  18. LMAO at the varied opinions. This is really fun playing GM and coach. I reserve judgement until deals are done and most importantly the outcome of whatever deal goes down. I’m just not as astute as those who are certain on what is right

  19. I certainly wouldn’t trade Kevin Hayes, I think he’s about to become one of the all-time great Rangers, up there with Bathgate. And I’d keep Zuc as long as possible (our own Yogi Berra); hell, it wasn’t that long ago that the Rangers were acquiring two 39-year-olds! I’d give up Lias Andersson, if we could get a #1 round pick in return, perhaps a tough Gordie Howe type winger who likes to throw his weight around. It’s the defence that needs some rescue. To sum up, I don’t believe the Rangers are that far away from doing really well. They’re not as BAD as Blueshirt Banter consistently suggest, and the best of the league are not without flaws of their own. Except for perhaps the Wolf Pack, there’s little need for panic.

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