With just a couple days left until the NHL’s trade deadline there’s been a lot of smoke and mirrors as relating to the rumor mill around the Rangers. The sexiest and newest rumor is that the Rangers can be hot and heavy for Patrick Kane before Monday’s March 21st deadline. While adding Kane would certainly provide a shot in the arm for the Panarin and Strome line, it’s one of those rumors that is likely nothing more than just that, a rumor.
It’s not exactly uncommon for the Rangers to be linked to big names. For instance, just at this deadline alone they’ve been attached to the likes of Claude Giroux, Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl, and JT Miller. With Vancouver now pushing towards the playoffs the likelihood of any Miller trade is seemingly out the window. With the recent extensions for Pavelski and Hertl with their recent teams ends any and all speculation of them being moved. Giroux will more than likely be a Florida Panther once the deadline passes on Monday. It is of note though, that Giroux did reportedly nix the idea to Flyers management of accepting a trade to the Rangers.
While the rumors linking big names to the Rangers will always be a thing because the Rangers are a New York team and the oodles of cap space they have this year, the idea of them making a splash at this years deadline is farfetched.
Drury could certainly add a player for the rest of this year with money and term but it would be a bad idea for the club forward. New York will be walking into a cap crunch next season with multiple young players needing to get new deals and the Fox and Zibanejad extensions kicking in. It’s also worth saying that the Rangers success this year is a year or two ahead of time than the original timetable of the rebuild. I firmly believe the Rangers believe that can be a Cup contender this year there is conventional logic, analytical data, and the old fashioned eye test that says they just are not there yet.
Drury will certainly be active over the weekend whethere that means moving Alexander Georgiev firmly on the basis that he’ll leave this summer for nothing, or bringing in depth to solidify the clubs bottom six, there will be work done to this roster. Fans can expect to see Drury make deals like he did earlier this week in landing Frank Vatrano. Vatrano is a quality player who can slide anywhere in the top nine and more importantly for the Rangers is on an expiring contract. Andrew Copp, Rickard Rakell, and even Alex Radulov (not wild about this one), are all guys the club has been linked to that can be had for a good price that can add to the depth and are all on expiring deals at years end.
The Rangers can truly turn their lineup into one of the better lineups in the east if Drury is focused on addressing the depth of the roster and not giving up a lot of the assets accrued over the rebuild. Also maintaining cap flexibility for the summer and a potential splash is vital to Drury’s deadline plan and ensuring that the Rangers won’t be cap strapped to improve over the next few seasons.
Don’t worry though, Rangers fans, regardless of the rumors you’re hearing right now the Rangers won’t be moving Alexis Lafreinere.