This is a rumor that came up while the blog was down this weekend. It is less a rumor and more speculation, as the Rangers have weak center depth and the Panthers are looking for a defenseman with term. On paper, there’s a match, which is fine, but it’s on paper. This isn’t something mentioned by any “insiders,” but it’s come up enough in my mentions and in comments that it’s made the rounds.
Skjei has four years left on his deal at $5.25 million. Trocheck, 26, has two more years at $4.75 million left on his deal. Trocheck isn’t the 31-44-75 player from two seasons ago, and is more of a 15-goal, 40-point player. Skjei isn’t the 40 point defenseman from two seasons ago, and is more a 25 point defenseman. So from a point perspective, both have career highs that are way above their career averages and expectations (granted Skjei is about to hit a career high in goals this year).
Trocheck does double as a RW if needed, but he’s more of a middle-six center. Skjei is a top-four defenseman who no longer has a role on the powerplay, significantly limiting his offensive output. Both are steady, if a little underwhelming, performers for their teams.
For the Blueshirts, this move only makes sense if they are ready to move on from Ryan Strome, who will undoubtedly be more expensive than Trocheck this offseason. Trocheck has managed his offensive output without Artemi Panarin, which certainly works in his favor. That said, Filip Chytil is the 2C of the future, so that immediately makes Trocheck the 3C.
Can the Rangers get more for Skjei than a future 3C? A top four defenseman for a middle six center on paper sounds fine, but a little deeper dive makes you question it. I see why this rumor makes sense, but I also see why it doesn’t make sense.