sean monahan rangers

As the search for a 2C continues, the Rangers will undoubtedly be linked to any big name that hits the market. With their early exit from the playoffs, rumors are abound in Calgary that changes are needed. The team seems ready to move on from multiple players. Sean Monahan’s name made the rounds yesterday, with multiple people trying to find ways for the Rangers to land him. That might be a rough plan though.

Buy Low Candidate?

The Rangers would be acquiring Monahan to be their 2C behind Mika Zibanejad. On the surface, Monahan appears to be a solid buy-low candidate. After five years of at least 58 points, Monahan bombed this year with just 22-26-48 in 70 games.

The thing is though, buying low doesn’t really exist. Monahan still has the points to his name, is a center, and has three more years of cost certainty. There’s no buying low off one shortened season. Monahan’s price tag is going to be expensive.

Value of a player like Monahan doesn’t change overnight because of a 50-point season. The 50-60 point seasons were the norm. The 80-point season last year was the fluke. Of course playing with Artemi Panarin might change that, but that’s a big question mark. When paying for a trade and committing to a $6+ million player, you don’t want question marks.

He’s Solid Offensively?

Monahan is a solid offensive talent, or at least he was before this year?

Monahan was playing on Calgary’s top line with Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau, so it’s not like he was asked to carry a line. He was playing with great talent, he just didn’t perform. At even strength, Monahan was a net-negative defensive player by a wide margin, while barely driving any offensive play. His 48 points showed that he was a benefactor of playing with Lindholm and Gaudreau, and it’s a definite possibility that he would not drive any play on his own.

In fact, the Rangers already have a player who produced far better offensively on the roster. That player is Ryan Strome.

It’s funny, how the concern with Strome is that he doesn’t do much away from Artemi Panarin, but yet he’d be the better option over Monahan if it came to be. Strome wouldn’t cost trade assets, and could come in under Monahan’s three years, $6.375 million remaining on his deal. Strome’s five year projections are around $5.8 million, which comes with a longer commitment but a smaller cap hit.

At this point, it would make more sense to just keep Strome.

The Roster Cost

There’s always a cost, and this goes beyond the trade itself. For Sean Monahan to land with the Rangers, the Blueshirts would need to part with Strome and Tony DeAngelo as cap casualties. Even before a trade for Monahan, it looks like they would need to choose between one of Strome or DeAngelo. Landing Monahan means they will be dumping both.

Of course the trade plays into things here. Alex Georgiev is likely in this deal, since the Flames need goaltending. They are also losing most of their defense, so perhaps Georgiev and DeAngelo get the deal moving. But is that really what the Rangers need?

Do the Rangers really want to deal from two positions of strength (G, RD) to land a player that is a more expensive Ryan Strome?

The answer here is simple. The Rangers should be avoiding Sean Monahan at all costs.

Charts from Evolving-Hockey.

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