According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, that seems to be the case.
In his blog, Dreger fields some fan questions and one of them is in regards to the Rangers’ power play issues and players they could target once the Feb 27 trade deadline rolls around. The typical names are mentioned: Bobby Ryan, Shea Weber and, surprisingly, Jeff Carter too.
Follow after the jump for Dreger’s answer and thoughts on it.
Here’s the full answer by Dreger to the fan’s question:
A: The Rangers are still very much in the building phase so while the team is doing well, the team understands they still have a couple of holes to fill. I don’t believe the Rangers have any interest in Jeff Carter. Like most teams, they like Bobby Ryan…a lot. However, unless there is a change of heart in Anaheim, it sounds unlikely Ryan will be traded before the NHL Entry Draft – if at all. The Rangers are keenly interested in what’s going on in Nashville and undoubtedly Glen Sather will be among the GMs constantly in David Poile’s ear, eager to pounce if the Preds decide to move either Ryan Suter or Shea Weber. Keep in mind, there’s no sense of panic in Manhattan and the Rangers will happily wait until the offseason to make a splash. With both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter high on New York’s radar as potential unrestricted free agents, your concerns may quickly be resolved in July.
I’m not sure I agree with Dreger’s claim that Suter and Parise are on their wish lists. Of course, any team would relish the chance to add the talent of a Ryan Suter or Zach Parise on the forward lines and/or defensive end. In a perfect, non-salary cap world, adding either piece could be the push the team needs to become Cup contenders.
However, with several key free agents needing pay raises this summer (Del Zotto, Biron) and next summer (Stepan, Hagelin, McDonagh, Sauer), it does’t make sense for the Blueshirts to throw another large contract offer to a free agent. Keep in mind the impending CBA talks this September and possibility of another work stoppage.
Also, while I believe both Parise and Suter will hit free agency, I don’t believe either one will make their way to the Rangers if they’re truly serious bidders. Nashville has worked very hard to develop their own talent and after locking up goalie Pekka Rinne long-term, their organization will be working feverishly from now till July 1 to keep Suter in Nashville for quite some time.
Minneapolis native Zach Parise seems to be a front-runner to sign with the Wild in the offseason. Minnesota will have 16 free agents this summer and, if the current state of the team doesn’t change, will look to make significant changes for rookie head coach Mike Yeo next season. Adding Zach Parise’s offensive talent and leadership would be one way to go about it.
If Glen Sather can find a way to move out dead salary and bring in either free agent in a reasonable deal that make sense for the overall development and growth by all means execute the deal. Just don’t bet the house on it happening.