Irresponsible Rumormongering

Potential Rangers trade target: Max Domi

The Max Domi trade rumors are heating up, and there are rumblings that the Rangers have at least shown some interest. Kicking the tires isn’t surprising, but the question is about whether or not he could be a good fit in New York.

Domi, a 25 year old center/wing, is currently the Habs 3LW. While he’s capable of playing center, he’s not a center with the Habs. He’s behind Phillip Danault, Nick Suzuki, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi down the middle. Domi is also behind Tomas Tatar and Jonathan Drouin on the left wing.

Where Does He Fit?

Domi, who has a reputation as a hard-nosed forward, is one year removed from a 28-44-72 season. He came down to Earth this season, at 17-27-44 in 71 games. So the question is two-fold. Which Domi is the real Domi? He had that one 72 point season with three 40+ point seasons. Is he a center or a wing?

If he’s only a wing, then the Rangers really don’t need another winger. So let’s assume the Rangers view him as a center, otherwise this is an exercise in futility. Domi is coming off a two-year bridge deal that paid him $3.15 million. Based on Evolving-Hockey’s contract projections, Domi is looking at a 5 year deal at $6.227 million or an 8 year deal at $8.5 million. Both are pretty expensive.

Is He Worth It?

The question about Domi is whether or not he’s worth that kind of commitment. Given he’s a third liner on Montreal, he better be the 2C on the Rangers or else, right off the bat, it’s a bad investment. What Domi has going for him is that one 70-point season. What he doesn’t have going for him is basically everything else.

Comparing him to Phillip Danault just because he might be a trade target as well. Domi’s xGF/60 is lower than his actual GF/60, which implies he might have a little downturn next season. But the bigger concern is his impact defensively, which is bad.

The common theme is that Domi is an “agitator” and something the Rangers need in the playoffs. For someone to be effective in that role, he will need to draw more penalties that he takes. Domi took 15 minor penalties last season, but also drew 16 penalties. For comparison’s sake, Brendan Lemieux, who excels at this, took 18 minor penalties but drew 32. Lemieux is a much more accomplished and controlled agitator.

The Trade Cost

In addition to that big contract he’s due, there’s the trade capital. The famous last name might make that trade cost higher than expected, but I have nothing to back that up. Perhaps that 70 point season means a higher trade cost though.

For the sake of discussion, let’s use the same trade value in the Danault post. Montreal considers itself a playoff team, so something off the roster might be warranted. I had suggested that Ryan Strome might be a centerpiece in a Danault post, and while I don’t really believe my own words there, let’s just keep that going.

Strome would clearly not be enough. The Rangers would need to send a prospect or two and/or a draft pick. That’s on top of the big contract that is about as dangerous as Strome’s long-term deal would be. It might make you think twice about a trade for Max Domi.

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  • Forget money for the moment. Who would be a better fit at 2C? If you believe it is Strome, then why would you consider this? While the money does come into play, so does the talent.

    If you want to keep Strome as your 2C, but make Domi a 3C and move Chytil to his off wing, now maybe you can generate some offense on the 3rd line.

    • Forget the money? A swag estimate puts Domi at 5yrs/$6.25M??? Tough to forget that when evaluating him as a potential fit.

      Strome – Two years ago he got a bunch of crap for shooting 17% (22% w/NYR) because it was not “sustainable.”

      Turns out it wasn’t and he dropped to ~12%. But…he scored 59 points!!!

      Now, Strome’s 59 points were only because he played with Breadman and he does not drive enough offense by himself??

      Geez – who friggin cares? The teammate chemistry is there and Strome has some game. Give the dude a one-year deal and see what he does with it. Buy some evaluation time and cap time, and if you don’t like the outcome, trade him at the deadline

      I love Lemieux’s game. I sure hope he is not a casualty of all this sorting out.

  • I like Domi,but at what cost that is the million dollar question.
    Who do we trade to he Habs?

    If we make the trade and resign Strome, now it becomes cost prohibitive. 2C,3C.. (flat cap,expansion).

    Domi is he a true center or is he a winger? Is he the player of 2 years ago or last year? That’s what the Rangers need to ask themselves.

    Strome was last year an abberation because he was playing with Breadman, or is he a late bloomer.

    I think salary and terms for both will probably be around the same
    2 yrs $4.5-$5.5 per.
    In resigning Strome they know what their getting, for Domi they do not!

    If it came down to a one for one trade of RFA, I think the Rangers might think about it.
    Otherwise they should PASS..

    • I agree Joe, plus I would like to resign Strome to play 2c, and give Morgan Barron a shot to win 3c, and move Chytil to right wing, Lafreniere can start out at left wing on this line, its big, young and fast.

      • I think that’s their thinking,resign Strome, Chytil not so sure yet what he is, is he better suited for wing? but I know they ultimately want him to play 2C. The big knock on him is he is as soft as tissue paper.

        This is a big camp and year for him.

        However if he shows he can’t handle center they might unload him down the road. We have plenty of wings.

        Only time will tell.

  • What I would do with Montreal, is try to make a deal where we give them something and swap first round picks. We are 22 and they are 16. Give them Lias and our 3rd round pick and swap first rounders

  • hard pass!! we would be his third team. kid is just 24. As for the Draft. I love Jacob Perreult . Not a cemter but excellent tools and decent size.

  • “Domi is looking at a 5 year deal at $6.227 million or an 8 year deal at $8.5 million.”

    Can someone explain the logic of this to me. My intuition says that the player wants an 8 year deal while teams are better off with the 5 year deal. So why exactly must teams pay a higher salary on a longer term deal?

    Obviously EvolvingHockey is basing the numbers on hard data, but it certainly seems counter-intuitive.

      • But don’t really long term contracts hurt teams more often than not. San Jose seems utterly destroyed.

        Just looking at the Rangers, we have three players signed forever – Panarin, Trouba, Kreider. Wouldn’t we rather have Trouba and Kreider on five year deals?

        As for the recent past, yes we wish Mika had been signed longer term, but we lament the long contracts given to Girardi, Staal, Lundqvist.

        • Ray…I don’t know if I am more unhappy with the term and or dollars as I am with the NMC and NTC given to all three. Agreeing to these terms with players that will be 34,35 or 36 as they near the end of these deals really messes up the ability to bring in youth and change the roster. It’s like the NYR management team can’t learn that salary cap is a top 10 draft choice every year. I’m watching the Blues and Peitrangelo and the Bruins with Krug. I agree totally with your last sentence and fear the new Mika deal.

        • It’s less about team impact and more about player market value. If a player is having his UFA years locked up, preventing him from another contract, he will want to be compensated as such for future earnings.

          • The thing is that market value is determined by buyers, not by sellers. It doesn’t matter what the player wants, it only matters what teams will offer him. It’s not like he can make a lot more money by leaving the NHL.

            With long term contracts, teams both lock up UFA years (upside) and promise to give players a lot of money when they might not be very good (downside). It just seems to me – and I am obviously wrong – that teams should want to pay players more for shorter contracts.

    • I’m not sure he’s “unproven”, but what he’s proved is a lack of consistency and his chart doesn’t project as a clean upward progression. The real question is going to be: Is he the 2nd line Center of our future? IMO NO way …

  • This idea that he is tough and physical is a bit over stated. He is basically the same size as Zucharello, but he will have to play in the middle! Get an upgrade like Cirelli or Danault — or just keep Strome.

  • No because of what he’d cost both in players and salary. Resigning Strome, for all his limitations, is a far better option.

  • Domi is a better center then he is winger. He is at his best when the puck is on his stick as he is a gifted playmaker. He be a very good fit between Bread and Kak.

    The Habs would have to take Strome as part of the deal.(conditional picks added)..Otherwise the numbers don’t work for the Rangers. Also, Domi can ask whatever he wants but he’s not getting 6.3 million per based on his past performance.

    If the stars did lineup and Max was a Ranger, I believe New York fans will be please in what he brings.

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