Vince Dunn is back on the trade market, according to Elliotte Friedman. I’ve written on Vince Dunn and the Rangers before, and it’s no secret I am very high on him. At the time of the original post, the Rangers had a very big hole on LD. That hole has been partially filled by K’Andre Miller. However the Rangers are still trotting Jack Johnson out there regularly. Brendan Smith has been good, but he’s not the best answer either.
Enter Dunn, who is being incredibly misused in St. Louis. He’s got great underlying numbers both offensively and defensively, so there’s questions about what St. Louis is doing.
Vince Dunn is on the trade block according to @FriedgeHNIC.
He's a total analytical darling, with excellent playdriving numbers at both ends. But he's been deployed very very hesitantly by the Blues, with low quality of teammates and miniscule quality of competition. #stlblues pic.twitter.com/o4fxydbw6F
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) January 27, 2021
Dunn Fits Perfectly
A few months ago, the Rangers needed Dunn to give them another viable body on the left side. With Miller showing he belongs, Dunn would be an upgrade and really solidify the blue line into a strength.
Dunn is just 24 years old, and would fit in with the Rangers direction. The Blueshirts are still rebuilding, but are now at the point of turning the corner. Dunn wouldn’t need to be the 1RD on the team either, easing his transition and hopefully putting him in a position to succeed.
Not Entirely Cost Prohibitive
The asking price for Dunn is rumored to be a first round pick. When we’ve seen these asking prices in the past, the trade is usually for less. There is certainly a fit if the Blues fancy themselves contenders this year. There’s not much help in their pipeline either.
If we assume –which is a big assumption, so take it with a grain of salt– that the Blues would accept a roster player and a lesser pick, then there’s room to work here. Given they’d be subtracting from the blue line, it stands to reason that the Rangers would send a defenseman back.
For the Rangers, the only player that fits this mold is Tony DeAngelo. This wouldn’t be a one-for-one trade, so both sides would need to adjust. The big thing is that St. Louis can’t take on DeAngelo’s cap hit ($4.8 million) without adding more to Dunn’s $1.875 million. The Rangers have their own cap concerns as well, which complicates matters.
If the Rangers trade for Dunn *and* DeAngelo is *not* included in the deal, then the only real fallout is who to protect in the expansion draft. Jacob Trouba is automatically protected (NMC). The Rangers would protect Vince Dunn if they trade for him. So it would be a decision between DeAngelo and Lindgren. Given how the season has started, I think that answer is pretty easy.
Something else to consider is impact down the road. The Rangers do have Matthew Robertson and Braden Schneider in the pipeline. Robertson is already signed to his ELC. The club expects him to compete for a role next year or the year after. Having too many good defensemen is rarely a problem though.
For the Rangers, trading for Dunn would address some concerns in the short and medium term. It also gives them insurance as it is highly unlikely all of their prospects hit. Whether or not there’s something St. Louis wants remains to be seen.