Exploiting the flat cap to address the NY Rangers’ center needs via trade

The Rangers are in a favorable position for next season. Although they have some tough decisions with Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo, they really don’t have much of a cap crunch yet. Landing Alexis Lafreniere gives them another offensive weapon at minimal salary, opening up their options even more. This gives the NY Rangers great flexibility when addressing their big center need via trade this summer.

Strome isn’t the answer

Ryan Strome had a fantastic season. There is no denying that. Given the price he is likely to command and the uncertainty into whether he can do it again, that’s where the rub is. If the Rangers miss on their next big contract, which could be Strome’s, it could derail the entire rebuild.

The Rangers need to get a guaranteed middle-six center, one that can drive play beyond Artemi Panarin. Filip Chytil may or may not be that guy, but with him still on an ELC, they aren’t burning cash on a question mark. The answer needs to be a certainty, not a dart throw. The Rangers appear to be ready to move on from him as well.

Flat cap provides opportunities

The Rangers do not have a big cap crunch, especially if they move on from Strome. Would it be nice to have a little more flexibility? Sure. They also have up to ten players on ELCs. Seems contradictory to needing to move on from Strome, but when committing $7 million to a questionable 2C, it makes all the sense.

Targeting teams with cap issues that have RFAs due big raises is a strategy. Targeting teams with committed contracts that have cap issues is another strategy. Tampa Bay and Edmonton come to mind here.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ name has been tossed around. There’s room there to make a deal centered around (some of, not all) Alex Georgiev, Tony DeAngelo, the other 1st round pick, and/or projects. But Nuge only has one year left on his $6 million deal. It gives the Rangers a true 2C, but with limited control. That may lower the cost for the Rangers, so perhaps that plays into their favor.

Elliotte Friedman mentioned that Kyle Turris may be getting bought out in Nashville. If that does happen, then in theory Turris could be had for cheap. He’s certainly a 2C, but is trending down.

Anthony Cirelli’s name has made its rounds too because Tampa will have to choose between him and Mikhail Sergachev. Given how Tampa is constructed, Cirelli may be a luxury they can’t afford. There’s a deal to be made there, but it will involve no money going to Tampa. I like this idea a lot more than targeting RNH. In fact, this is the one that I am choosing to will into existence. If this is the center the NY Rangers target in a trade, then I’m all for it.

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  • I wouldn’t mind us offer sheeting Barzal just to stick it to Lou and the fishsticks…But that can work against you too down the road…

    • Tampa isn’t getting rid of him… Tyler Johnson is the only center to have from them. Besides Cirelli is more of a 3c.

  • Dave you forgot to bring out a certain quote from Brooks. He doesn’t think JG believes in Chytil as a 2c neither.. Someone else who claims to have inside ties on Blueshirt forever site said the same thing.

    KH and JT Miller > Kreider and Buch.. Center, depth, playing heavy along the boards, 5v5 etc go way up if we had the other two. You also make the brotherhood much stronger away from the ice with the other two. Kreider looks zzzZzz away and Buch just wants to hang out with his Russian people.

    Now we need to pick out of the hat, clear more room etc just to get a 3c who can shutdown and be a 30-35 pt player who can maybe score 15 goals. If we want a 2c than JG has to ante up…

    I would love Eichel to be here but neither of him or Zib are much of 2c’s. Now if they choose wrong, they run the risk of having two alpha top line center’s like Austin Matthew vs Travares in Toronto. Kadri’s and ROR’s
    of the league aren’t for sale. JG gave Philly it’s final touch of a 1-2 punch down the middle with Coots and Hayes.. That will continue to slaughter this team when they square off..

  • I will look for a team in a salary crunch that is stuck with a high-priced 2C. This deal probably is not available at the draft unless someone is really wanting our other first round pick – or if they feel Georgi can be their goalie. I am still of the opinion that both Toronto and Buffalo will need to be active this off-season.

  • Filip Chytil may not be a 2C yet, but I think that he may be one eventually. Kid is still young and learning.

    If they are going to trade for an established or clearly up and coming center, I’d not use assets like ADA and Georgiev and a high draft pick unless the player is truly elite or going to be. Those are hard to come by, so if they are not going to sign Strome and are not comfortable with Chytil yet, then don’t spend too many assets on 2nd tier talent. They didn’t sign Hayes at $7 million+ for a reason.

    • Agreed. Patience is needed. Chityl is a talented kid who has not really blossomed, but has been adequate. The Rangers simply do not know where he will end up. Interesting that he was fifth among forwards in PK time in the Carolina series after having played less than two minutes all year.

      Everything about the Rangers screams that they want to keep Strome short term if possible, but don’t see him as a long term Ranger. They don’t want to make any big moves until they find out what they have in Chityl and Barron — and maybe even think about converting someone else to center.

      First learn your assets; then make commitments and moves.

      • Absolutely, that’s why they need to take maximum for Strome now, and let Chytil and Barron fair chance, like in money ball, take toys from the coach…. But again they had to promote Chytill last year at least in december, when Strome went chilling

  • How about a trade with L.A. for their 2nd pick and we get Byfield. We have many young assets to get a deal done that would help both teams.

    • Johnny Red

      That would be great, but won’t solve the problem because he won’ be NHL ready for about 2-3 years. What would the Kings want in return? I’d switch #1’s, and throw in Buch, and if need be ADA, who I love.

      Kyle Turris could be a quick fix for a year, or two, while Chytil continues to develop. Should there be a buy out, he will be cheap, experienced, and serve as a stop gap. If the organization doesn’t believe in Chytil, which I suspect isn’t true, he could still be a wing, as well.

      Morgan Barron is signed, and may displace Chytil as the next 2C, so there are still other options without having to tear everything down. I hate repeating myself, but we are in good hands with the current top brass, and they will do the right thing!!!!!!!!!!

  • I am not sure why Cirelly is considered to be #2C? And they will find the way to keep him the same way Rangers did with ADA last season.

    RNH is going to be expensive….

    Just give chance to Chytil, and mean time try to snach Zegras or Newhook….

    Actually what abput to snach cheap Nolan Patrick, if he can get healthy…. who knows

    • Because we have a lot of monkey C’s monkey do’s on this page. Totally kills for constructive criticism or hot topics such as this one.

      Clearly anyone asking for Cirelli doesn’t watch enough games out the NYRs.. He is fit for a 3c long term imo, just like Gorde on that team. They skate all over like Dom Moore but don’t really get a lot done to be considered a strong top 6 fixture.

      Tyler Johnson might be to injury prone..? But he is a wizard in terms of I.Q play and could help this roster right now. Brandon Point gives him all his credit all the time. Just watch the end of any period from a Tampa games. 8/10 times you see both Cierlli and Point picking Johnson’s brain.

      RNH has a lot invested in western Canada, like farm life and all.. I know the Oiler’s are in terrible cap trouble but I think he might try and take a pay cut to stay there.

      Why would Philly sell low on Nolan? I mean they have Frost who will probably be better than Chytil next season.. Long term they expect to have Coots, Hayes and a strong 3c like Patrick. No way he is up for sale anytime soon. Roster wise Philly doesn’t need anyone other than Panarin from NY. Their cabinets at wing and D are full from the Hextall era. Some bottom 6 player over there just scored a hatty playing 12 mins on the 3rd line(I don’t think they want to part away with any center prospects yet)..

      • About Patrick… jsut mentally they could give up on him. Frost is not yet proven, and Chytill IMHO more skillful guy then Frost…. But it’s all about the same question, if this team has Strome, neither of those 3 playing 2nd line center, coaches love their toys

  • Any way the Rangers can pry Robert Thomas from St. Louis? There’s a player to hitch your 2C wagon to.
    Not sure what St. Louis needs though, is there a match on a trade?

  • Watching the Canes/Bruins game. Svechnikov looks good. If you had to, what do you predict:

  • Does it make sense to let Ryan Strome go who put up 59 points last season and was a +21? That’s better than Gaudreu, (58 pts -10) one point less than Tavares (59 pts and -7) and tied with Nylander (59 pts and -2). What more do you want from Strome to acknowledge that he is a good player? The argument being made is that Strome plays with a star player but lots of other good players do also.

    • Tavares 60 in 63 games, last year he had 88 in 80 games, for Gaudreu it’s a fluk for both. Nylander is 3 years younger and still developing. For Strome is just jumped over his head, he had just crazy 1.5 month in oct and nov, with crazy 1.6 ppg, then he chilled bellow Chytill…. and I am sorry Strome is not top 6 player…..

  • Sign Strome to a 1 yr deal. Ditch him at the trade deadline. Maybe they can pick up a draft pick for him.

    Give the kids Morgan Baron, Alex Lafrenier (who can play center) along with Chytil a chance to play in the middle.

    What the Rangers don’t need is a high salary rerun pivot from another team.

  • Really, it depends on how the Rangers look at next season. Many fans have said “no more dead cap space.” Well, ok, then guess what? Then you would get basically the same team back that you have now, with a few adjustments.

    Chytil should be the 2C next year. No reason in the world that he should not. Panarin’s puck possession on that line, would more than make up for Chytil’s inexperience. Chytil has proven, when given talented linemates, that he can do the job. Meaning that Strome is not needed for 2C. So there could be a potential cap savings.

    I am starting to believe that Hank may retire, to go out on his own terms. So that would be a huge cap savings if that happened.

    Staal, if not bought out, is not going anywhere. Smith, could be traded to a team like Ottawa, a team that needs payroll for minimum cap purposes, and could use a vet presence. Maybe adding a 2nd round pick will be the sweetener to get this done. So that is additional potential cap savings.

    DeAngelo is a MUST SIGNING. MUST SIGNING. MUST SIGNING. Forget the Canes’ series, he was playing hurt. 5 years at $5.5M may get it done.

    The Rangers also MUST fill in the bottom 6. This is a priority. So they will need to spend a little money there.

    So, bottom line is, bringing in a guy like RNH, at $6M per, to play 2C is not realistic, even if cap space is realized. I envision:

    Lafren-Howden (it seems inevitable)-Krav
    Lemiuex-McKegg (or some comparable)-Fast (or some comparable)

    Smith (if not traded)-Trouba
    Staal (seems inevitable)-DeAngelo


    • lmao……T…..Howden (it seems inevitable)……JD must have been dipping too many wings in the wrong sauce………Leadership loves Howden……I hope we are wrong and Howden turns into a decent player……I just don’t know what leadership is watching or if they are trying to raise his trade value….

      • Every possible stat method or metric, screams that Howden is not an NHL player.

        Evidently the Rangers do not have access to this information.

    • Spot on. Next year is a growth year. I know, MSG doesn’t like growth years. But after we shed 3 dead contracts (Hank, Staal and Smith) and then Shatty’s 6 million of dead cap space we are buyers. 2021-2022 is our year. Let’s have the kids grow a year and take a one year flyer on Strome and ADA. If that the s&%$t the bed then we trade them or cut them loose.

  • Cirelli is a really good young player that excels both ways and plays center which is such a premium position. I would absolutely love to have him here. TB ain’t giving him away and there will other teams in on him if he were available. I read somewhere that the Rangers wanted him included in the McDonagh trade and were laughed at.

    So, IMO, if Gorton wants him they deal STARTS with the second first-round pick and be prepared to add more. He’s probably well worth it.

  • No on moving Chytil.
    Yes on moving too expensive Deangelo, Strome and Lias
    Continue to go for best [skater] player or picks regardless of position
    We can use Kravtsov as facilitating pivot betw. kakko + Panarin,
    Zib on Kreider’s line w/LaF,
    Chytil at 3C, Howden 4C, Nieves as emergency depth
    waiting 1-2 yrs on Morgan Barron
    doesn’t include any opportunity adds or prospects promoted.

    Do NOT NOT NOT add older expensive vets like RNH who we would have to protect.
    Just no.

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