Irresponsible Rumormongering

What should the Rangers do at the trade deadline?

As this season of ups and downs continues, the trade deadline is fast approaching. The deadline is a month away, which gives the Rangers –assuming no more COVID postponements– 21 games to figure out their 2021 trade deadline plans, if they haven’t already. They really only have three options.

Buyers at the deadline – likely not

We do know that the Rangers have been accruing cap space all season long with shrewd taxi squad maneuvering. This could be for a recall like Tarmo Reunanen or Morgan Barron, or it could be a precursor for something else to come.

That something to come could be Jack Eichel, if the situation becomes untenable in Buffalo. However I think a move like that is more likely to happen in the offseason when teams have more wiggle room.

Or that something to come could be the Rangers buying at the deadline and making a push for the playoffs. This seems highly unlikely, as the Rangers are already six points out and have shown no signs that they are going to go on a run. They can’t be buying if they can’t stay healthy, including whatever is going on with Mika Zibanejad post-COVID.

Sellers at the deadline – what is there to sell?

The Rangers don’t have many trade chips this deadline. The only pending UFAs are Brendan Smith, Jack Johnson, and Phil Di Giuseppe. I guess all three could fetch something, but it’s highly unlikely. Maybe Smith can get a mid-round pick if the Rangers retain 50%. Certainly possible.

The only three players I can see the Rangers moving at the deadline are Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchnevich, and Alex Georgiev. Sure there’s an outside chance that Tony DeAngelo gets moved, but there were no takers twice before. Unless something drastically changes, he’s headed towards a buyout.

Buchnevich has the best value, and is probably underrated by most of the fan base. He’s putting up points and has really blossomed into a solid two-way player. He’d probably fetch a good amount, but he’s also cost controlled and appears to be loved by his teammates.

Meanwhile Strome, who also appears to be a good locker room guy, is the Rangers best center at the moment. There’s a strong case for “selling high,” but that only works if the Rangers have plans to replace him with someone better and/or cheaper. Remember the Rangers did try to move him this summer as well, with no takers.

Stand pat – call ups incoming

I think the Rangers are most likely to go with a hybrid of standing pat and selling where appropriate. Vitali Kravtsov is coming back from Russia at some point. Morgan Barron and Tarmo Reunanen are doing well in Hartford. Kravtsov may be the only game breaker here, but Reunanen and Barron could shore up the depth.

The Rangers 2021 trade deadline plans are likely to be influenced by how they do over the next 20 games. As of now, they don’t appear to be in a spot to buy, and even then the cap may be a limiting factor. With that in mind, we may be watching the final days of Brendan Smith’s tenure in New York. Who knows? Maybe we will get those call ups we’ve been waiting for all season.

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  • Look for Trouba to be shopped along with D. Smith. This opens up a spot on the blueline as well as gives us some CAP relief. Wondering is Zibby needs a change of scenery?

  • They’re not “out” of the playoffs yet, but with each passing “win one lose one” they fall more and more behind. Meanwhile a team that also floundered in those first 10 games ago like the Islanders have found their mojo and are winning games. Right now we look like we’ll be on the outside looking in barring a surge like we witnessed in the 2nd half of last season.

    As far as Eichel is concerned, how do we move $10M DURING the season? Answer, trade DeAngelo and Strome — I’m not sure we can do that without eating some of both their salaries, so even there we would fall well short of clearing the $10M.

    Re: Buch … it would be madness to trade him during the season (unless you’re getting blown away with a top flight young Center prospect). They should at least explore what it would take to resign the guy in terms of cap and term. 4-5 years at ADA/Strome money or slightly more, without an NMC, makes him very attractive to this team.

    • “They’re not “out” of the playoffs yet, but with each passing “win one lose one” they fall more and more behind.”

      Unfortunately, things look fairly bleak. The best team in the division so far has been Boston and they are on a pace to get 49 points in 36 games. If the Rangers exceed this and get 51 points in their last 36 games, they finish with 70, which seems a bare minimum to make the playoffs. To make the playoffs, they have to be the best team in the division the rest of the way – a tall order.

      • Not at all, they just have to be better than every team aside from 3 … and by enough to make a difference, which is probably 6-8 points over the course of 36 games. It seems like a tall order because you have 4 teams playing well — at the moment, but with injuries, Covid, etc. there are very few “locks”.

        • What exactly is the difference between being the best team and being 8 points better than the 4th best team in only 36 games?

          Last year, in roughly double 36 games, the average division winner beat the 4th place team by 13.5 points.

          Sure, the Rangers can qualify even if they don’t match a team that catches fire, but they likely have to be better than any team has been to date.

          • Last year is last year, this is a totally different situation … they need to beat out one of those 4 teams by 8 points or so as well as stay ahead of the teams below us. It just takes one good winning streak (for us) and one bad losing streak (for that one team) to move us into contention.

            I’m not saying I would bet on that happening, but it’s surely within the realm of the possible given injuries, Covid, a short schedule, etc.

    • Not to get too technical… but they don’t need to “clear $10m” to trade for Eichel… by the deadline they will have banked enough space to actually take on his Cap hit for the remainder of the season (about $2.3m) without moving money out. Theoretically they could fit him under the cap at the deadline for just picks.

  • Totally agree. There is no reason to tear down the team, which is what a big selloff amounts to. Actually, except for diGuiseppi (who won’t net much), I don’t really want to trade any of the people at the top of your list.
    Here’s why.

    I think the best development process involves giving young players good teammates. The Rangers are actually quite thin at goaltender and on defense. Hartford is struggling because Huska isn’t a prospect and Wall is certainly not good yet. Short term, the defense is super thin and Brendan Smith really helps. I’d trade him for a first round pick in a heartbeat, but he won’t net that. If what is offered is a fourth or fifth rounder, why not let him help with the development process instead.

    So far, at least, Buchnevich looks like a good and not particularly expensive wing. You can’t populate your top six with all $10M players.
    Obviously, if his salary expectations prove to be unreasonable, the Rangers must move on, but I would hope he could be fit into the long term plans.

  • No reason we can’t move Blackwell, Phil DG and Howden at the deadline. Wont get much, but maybe we can turn a 4th round pick into something usable. All 3 of these guys are only journeymen.

    • 4th round picks rarely become even usable NHL players. Disagree about moving Blackwell. Not that he’s great, but he plays the right way. We don’t have many north south guys.

    • Blackwell is a valuable player. Great versatility and he can play up and down the lineup. PDG is probably a goner, if anyone really wants him.

  • Try to move Smith , Tony D and Strome.
    Get picks in return or more prospects.
    We aren’t good enough to go deep in the playoffs so any move to do that just makes us lose prospects especially when we are ready to clear a bunch of cap from the buyouts.

    We could resign all our rfa/expiring contracts and still have somewhere in the neighborhood of 5m to pick up some players next year.

  • I think not doing much is fine this year. I would be leery of moving Buch at least until they have an idea of what the next contract looks like. He’s entering his prime so a 4 year deal would be nice. Even a 2 year deal has value at the right price. And as an RFA he can be traded later if things can’t be worked out. I would move Strome if there was a clear replacement but I don’t see that today. Smith probably won’t bring back much. I would consider bringing him back next year at a league minimum contract if there aren’t better options out there. JJ has no value. Ditto ADA, Howden or Hajek. We have a first, 2 thirds, 2 fourths a 5, 6, 7 already in the draft. Plus the expansion draft to worry about. We’re in pretty good shape and there should be some opportunities at the next draft. Patience.

  • Stand pat, they have been through a crazy season with COVID-19 issues. Yes some have had been a disappointment, but between injuries and COVID-19, give team a chance to play under better conditions. Get a center that is affordable and an upgrade at FOs. Another Blackwell would be fine.

  • We are going nowhere and MUST be sellers at the deadline. Only Miller, Fox, Kakko, LaFren and Kraftsov should be untouchable. Everyone else should be fair game for the right price.

    PEOPLE – We are more than 2 players away from being a playoff team – make some moves!!!

  • Keep Buch he’s a top six player that’s young productive and getting better and the Rangers have cap room coming up

  • I hope they do well these next 20 games but I hope they are not buyers at the deadline unless it is to strengthen the lineup next season. Next season we take the next step!

  • Sell Mortimer, Sell…this team isn’t good enough to compete with the elite teams in this league…no point of standing pat or adding.

    If someone is willing to part with a decent pick or prospect, these are all the players that s/b moved.

    PDG, Blackwell, Howden, Rooney, Strome, Bitetto, Hajek, Johnson and Smith

  • Rangers need to get talking with LA. They have enough young centers to spare and we have really good D prospects.

    Jones & Robertson have top 4 potential. Throw in a 1st, Hajek and ADA (I think ADA works as an extra piece–just not as a main piece) for two young centers!

  • In other news, the NYR have placed Mason Geertsen, who is on an AHL contract on waivers, which can only mean that they are offering him an NHL contract.

  • What’s the deal with Lundkvist?

    I know he has not signed yet. But I was thinking he’d be similar to Kravstov and come over when their playoffs are over. But it seems more likely it will be in the summer?

    I personally think the NYR will be quiet this deadline. Unless there’s something for Eichel, it would seem foolish to move someone like Buch in a smaller trade. And I still think JG made a BIG mistake by saying Tony D would never play here again. He could’ve said that to the team and not publicly. But he destroyed his value. Gorton may not care, and if that’s the case, it’s all about his ego. But there was no need to do that and then try to get some value for him after trashing him. By making it public, he drew so much attention to it and now it’s impossible. VERY poor asset management, but JG has not managed his assets too well most of the time here.

    • I read that he will sign with the Rangers during the summer. Nils wants to finish out the season with his current team.

  • I’d keep Buchnevich. I think that he gown now to be one of the best players on the team. I’d rather keep him unless he is packaged in a major deal for a very talented center.

    I expect the Rangers to more or less stand pat, dealing only their marginal players. I would not be so sure that they trade Smith. His trade value is low but he is very useful to the team presently.

  • Leadership could care less if Rangers make the playoffs or not. Forget about any major moves until the off- season…….meaning DQ will return next season….JD is a very patient GM stressing over and over and over again… be patient… I guess we will have to wait until the off- season and see if Mr. Sabre becomes a Ranger.

  • Can’t wait to see Kakko back, team is getting better. I am liking the direction team is going. 2nd half if close they should make playoffs. Get what you can for Gregoriov

  • Strome is a terrible hockey player. He needs to go…give Barron some experience and move Chytil up to the top 6, let’s see if he’s got what it takes. It’s time…”do or do not”.

  • Pardon me, but it seems that you’ve been writing “selling high” on Strome for 2+ years now. At some point he is what he is and is not going to regress. This year there is no breadman argument working against him. That’s not to say we don’t trade him. But please, can we stop the “selling high” thing?

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