One of the more surprising developments of this offseason has been the lack of a trade to shed some salary, specifically with Barclay Goodrow. Why the Rangers didn’t trade Goodrow is pretty clear when we look a little deeper into how the offseason unfolded. Though Chris Drury did a good job working within his constraints, it still left a lot of fans feeling like it wasn’t enough. Of all the ways to shed salary, trading Goodrow was the only realistic path, and it never happened.
To be clear, there were never any solid rumors that Goodrow would be traded. It was mostly conjecture that the Rangers would a) need to shed salary, and b) Goodrow was the only player that didn’t blow up the core of the team. With that tidbit understood, we are operating under educated guesswork that the Rangers at least explored Goodrow trade possibilities. But there were a couple of reasons why the Rangers didn’t trade Goodrow at the draft or during free agency (yet).
Other salary dump trades required attaching picks
Trading salary doesn’t always require attaching a draft pick. See Gomez, Scott. However the way the offseason unfolded, most, if not all, of the salary dump trades required attaching a pick or getting absolutely nothing in return. Goodrow was never going to be a pure salary dump for the Rangers, so this path was never truly on the table.
The Rangers clearly like Goodrow. The contract is a bit of a nuisance, but Goodrow is a player that has value to a lot of NHL teams. Like it or not, teams value players like Goodrow because he’s versatile, has a good playoff reputation, and is viewed as one of those key grit guys that chips in offensively. These types of players, to many front office people in the NHL, are critical for playoff teams.
So in trading Goodrow, the Rangers were going to look for a hockey trade. There wasn’t one on the table, and it is a big reason why the Rangers didn’t trade Goodrow. Again, at least not yet.
Goodrow was not going to be a salary dump trade.
Trading Goodrow would have been on Drury’s terms
With the knowledge that Goodrow was not going to be a salary dump trade, we can infer that Drury was waiting for a trade on his terms. This required a playoff team with cap space that felt Goodrow was going to be a missing link. Initially I had pegged Calgary as an option, but their forced rebuild changed things. There weren’t many teams that met the criteria for a Goodrow trade:
- A playoff team
- Cap space
- In need of bottom-six help
- Wasn’t on Goodrow’s no-trade list
The first three are the true reasons why the Rangers didn’t trade Goodrow. Again not yet, at least. There simply weren’t any suitors that met this criteria, thus meeting Drury’s terms for a trade. There was more value to Drury in keeping Goodrow than in trading him from a position of weakness.
Given how free agency unfolded for the Rangers, this is fine. Goodrow again represents a versatile player that will (hopefully) remain as a bottom six winger. Overpaid, but there’s value on the roster and in the locker room.
— hope (@mikazibanejads) July 5, 2023
This doesn’t mean a Goodrow trade won’t happen. But now it is the only only path to shedding salary since a buyout is no longer an option. All signs are pointing to the Rangers keeping Goodrow for another season, even if it is at the expense of a possible Tarasenko return. That’s fine, assuming he is kept in the proper role this season, something Gerard Gallant struggled with.