Over the past two weeks, there has been a lot of action on the trade and injury front. The Minnesota Wild sent Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh. The New Jersey Devils traded away Blake Coleman and Andy Greene. The LA Kings traded away Tyler Toffolli. The Colorado Avalanche sustained injuries to Mikko Rantanen and Phillipp Grubauer. With the Rangers poised to be sellers –to some extent– this deadline, these all have an impact on the Blueshirts. Let’s start from the top.
Minnesota trades Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh for Alex Galchenyuk, Calen Addison, and a 2020 1st round pick (protected)
This trade was the first since Taylor Hall to Arizona, and it had a bit of a sticker shock for a lot of people. Galchenyuk was a salary offset, so the real price here is Addison and a 2020 1st. Addison, a former second round pick, is a good prospect, but not a great one. He’s a solid B prospect. The 1st rounder is protected, but it will likely be a 2020 pick in the 20-31 range.
How this impacts the Rangers: If the Rangers trade Ryan Strome, this might be one of the market value trades to look at. Zucker, 28, is signed for three more years at $5.5 million. He’s a consistent 40-point guy with one outlier 30-goal, 60-point season. Strome, a 26 year old RFA (27 in July) is a 30-point guy with one 50-point season and this monster year. If there’s a deadline deal for Strome, this might be the first place to look for cost.
Devils trade Blake Coleman to Tampa Bay for Nolan Foote and a 2020 1st (protected)
The second non-rental trade sent Coleman to Tampa for a steep cost. The pick is Vancouver’s, acquired for JT Miller, and is again protected if Vancouver misses the playoffs. It looks like the Canucks will make the playoffs though, so expect this to be in the 16-25 range. Foote is a solid prospect, He’s not Cal Foote, the defenseman, but Nolan Foote, the forward. He was a top-five prospect for the Bolts and their first round pick in 2019. If Addison is a B prospect in the Zucker trade, than Foote is a B+ prospect. Coleman, 28, has another year left at $1.8 million, a relative bargain.
How this impacts the Rangers: This doesn’t impact them for Chris Kreider, but again this impacts them for Strome. Coleman doesn’t have sexy stats, but he’s more well rounded than Strome. If the Rangers look to move Strome at the deadline, some place in between this deal and the Zucker deal seems to be the balance.
Devils trade Andy Greene to Islanders for David Quenneville and a 2021 2nd round pick
Greene is the first rental defenseman to be dealt at the deadline. Quenneville was an ok prospect, about a B- guy, and the 2021 2nd rounder is the cost of doing business. Greene has an expiring contract and shores up the bottom-four for the Islanders.
How this impacts the Rangers: It doesn’t. The Rangers don’t have any UFA defensemen, and it’s a bit of a stretch to compare Greene to Brendan Smith or Marc Staal since they both have a year left on their deals. That said, this shows that anyone can be traded, and perhaps next year is when we see one or both traded.
Kings trade Tyler Toffolli to Vancouver for Tim Schaller, Tyler Madden, a 2020 2nd round pick, and a 2022 4th round pick (conditional)
The first big rental trade, Toffolli fetched a good amount from Vancouver. Madden is a solid B+ prospect, which made up for Vancouver lacking a 1st round pick. The 2nd rounder is the cost of doing business. Schaller was just a cap offset. Toffolli has a good reputation around the league, but is a middle-six winger who is good for about 30-40 points. The real price is in Toffolli’s playoff experience, which we know GMs love.
How this impacts the Rangers: This sets the market for Chris Kreider, at least the bottom of it. Kreider is the superior player to Toffolli and also comes with the playoff experience. Kreider has better numbers and a better skill sit, so that increases his cost. Assume it’s a Madden-esque prospect and a 2020 1st rounder.
Phillipp Grubauer and Mikko Rantanen injured for Colorado
Colorado has always been linked to Kreider, going as far back as the draft. In June, the Avs didn’t want to give up the 16th overall pick. With Grubauer also out indefinitely and the Western Conference wide open, the Avs may look to shore things up for the stretch run, while simultaneously gearing up for the playoffs and beyond.
How this impacts the Rangers: The Avs were always tied to Kreider, so perhaps the Rantanen injury gives them more reason to pursue him. Add in Alex Georgiev to help them gear up for the playoffs and give them more certainty in net, and there’s potential for a blockbuster here. Georgiev’s value is tough to gauge, since goalie trades are not consistent and Georgiev is still only 23 years old. If the market value for Kreider alone is a 1st and a B-B+ prospect, then adding Georgiev to the mix logically increases that return. But since when have NHL GMs shown logic?