The Rangers are in survival mode right now until they hit their bye week, so let’s change things up here. Instead of beating a dead horse, let’s change course and review the 2018-2019 Rangers fire sale trade tree. The fire sale has been a sore point for many, but sometimes the forest is missed for the trees.
The Rangers made a total of 9 trades at two trade deadlines, restocking their prospect and draft pick cupboard as they geared up for a retool/rebuild, depending on how you look at it. Of those 9 moves making up the Rangers fire sale trade tree, they acquired 23 pieces, of which 11 are still with the organization in some capacity.
The Rangers fire sale trade tree begins at the 2018 deadline, where the Rangers sent Ryan McDonagh, JT Miller, Nick Holden, Michael Grabner, and Rick Nash packing. At the 2019 deadline, the Rangers sent Cody McLeod, Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, Adam McQuaid, and, to a lesser extent, Jimmy Vesey away. Vesey is included for completeness sake.
There were some AHL trades, like Peter Holland for Darren Raddysh and Marek Mazanec for a 2020 7th (used to trade up for Evan Vierling), but those were AHL trades and none of the pieces are still with the Rangers. So they are not included in the Rangers fire sale trade tree.
The big hauls in 2018 were for Ryan McDonagh/JT Miller and Rick Nash. Those trades netted K’Andre Miller and Ryan Lindgren, comprising half of the Rangers top-four on defense. They also have a couple of good prospects in Noah Laba and Kalle Vaisanen still developing.
There was some initial hope that Karl Henriksson could develop into a bottom six center, but his lack of production in the AHL during his age-22 and age-23 (current) seasons, it doesn’t appear he will be an NHL player. Hope to be proven wrong, but that’s just how the draft works.
The 2019 trade deadline was bittersweet, as it saw a necessary jettisoning of a major fan favorite, but the Rangers got solid pieces in return. Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes provided the big hauls, but the Rangers still have pieces from the Cody McLeod and Jimmy Vesey trades.
The Rangers eventually landed their captain Jacob Trouba as part of the Hayes trade tree and have 4 somewhat decent prospects still developing as well.
Pieces remaining from the Rangers fire sale trade tree
The 2018-2018 Rangers fire sale trade tree doesn’t have many layers yet, as it’s only been 5-6 years and many picks haven’t had enough time to develop yet. The pieces still with the organization are pretty solid, though.
- Ryan Lindgren
- K’Andre Miller
- Jacob Trouba
- Karl Henriksson
- Noah Laba
- Kalle Vaisanen
- Matthew Robertson
- Oliver Tarnstrom
- Brody Lamb
- Rasmus Larsson
- Hugo Ollas
- 2025 4th
- 2023 Trade Deadline Acquisitions
- Vladimir Tarasenko
- Niko Mikkola
- Tyler Motte
Rangers fire sale trade tree feels underwhelming
While the Rangers fire sale trade tree isn’t what many fans had expected, 75% of the current top-four came from these moves. It also seems Robertson will be dangled at this trade deadline if needed. The moves also gave them cap space to sign Artemi Panarin, which has been kind of a big deal for this team.
The big criticism is quantity over quality, especially for the McDonagh and Miller trade. It does seem the Rangers were fixated on Libor Hajek, much to their own detriment. We don’t know what other pieces were on the table from Tampa Bay, and that’s a conversation I would love to have with Steve Yzerman or Jeff Gorton, but I have a better shot at meeting Taylor Swift than I do talking to either of them.
The current roster has 3 top players directly from the Rangers fire sale trade tree, plus their most dynamic player, possibly ever, as part of the cap space they shed as part of the moves. Add in a pair of top-two draft picks, two top of the lineup hold overs from the prior regime, and the best defenseman in the NHL forcing his way to the Rangers, and you have a Stanley Cup contender for sure.