rangers duclair trade deadline

The trade winds are officially blowing and it’s one of the best times of the year to be a hockey fan. With the Rangers firmly entrenched as a playoff team and one of the league’s best, they’re regularly planted in the league’s rumor mill crosshairs. To make those blow even stronger, Wednesday night for the Rangers tilt against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks GM Pat Verbeek was in attendance which sparked more rumors on social media.

The Rangers and Ducks have been linked as trade partners for a few months now, with Adam Henrique on an expiring contract and being a solid fit to fill the spot left behind in the wake of Filip Chytil’s injury. Not only has Henrique’s name been linked to the Blueshirts, but so has former Ranger Frank Vatrano, as Drury searches to find a winger to play alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider.

While Vatrano is one former Rangers winger to be linked to the club there’s also been a few others linked as well. Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich, while highly fun, are pipe dreams. The Rangers, due to a very flawed CBA rule, won’t be able to acquire Tarasenko and make a corresponding move of any significance. Buchnevich will fetch far more for the Blues than Chris Drury got for the Rangers in his first major trade.

There’s another former Ranger that hasn’t been discussed as often, and thats former Ranger draft pick Anthony Duclair.

Duclair could be a fantastic add and fit for the Rangers who wouldn’t cost the hefty price that a Henrique + Vatrano combo would cost. While Duclair is primarily a LW, he has played on his off wing before and has shown an ability to gel and play with elite players. Look no further than his time in Florida.

Another reason Duclair should be extremely attractive to the Blueshirts is his likely cheap acquisition cost. On an expiring contract with a $3 million cap hit, Duclair’s numbers aren’t blowing people away, thanks to being stuck on a horrible roster. His 13-9-22 in 53 games is eerily similar to Vatrano’s numbers before he was traded to the Rangers. Low risk, high reward indeed.

Duclair’s speed, shot, and playmaking ability would give Zibanejad and Kreider a huge spark that fits with Peter Laviolette’s system, getting in on the forecheck and generating high danger chances. Conversely, Vatrano, while having a career year, is a volume shooter who may not be a great fit this year.

Duclair’s speed and ability to score off the rush will back defenses up and allow Zibanejad time and space to get his lethal shot off. Zibanejad has been pressing his play this year and trying to force passes to create for his linemates. Having a viable speed and scoring threat not named Chris Kreider will do a lot to bolster and lengthen the Blueshirts lineup.

Adding Duclair on the cheap would allow the Rangers to use resources to land a Henrique type center, even if it’s not Henrique himself. Tommy Novak comes to mind here. There’s a fine balance between being buyers, keeping top prospects and picks, and keeping the cupboard stocked. The Rangers acquiring Duclair at the trade deadline would certainly help in that regard, while also giving the Rangers a much needed speedy spark on the top line.


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