With both the Expansion Draft and the NHL Entry Draft coming up at the end of the week, it is time to pen some thoughts on the current state of the New York Rangers.
- Tomorrow is the night that we have all been stressing about for months. The New York Rangers will lose a player to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft. The worst part about it is the player that they lose is gonna be an important one.
- This morning, we did a roundtable where we ranked each expansion scenario from best case to worst case. You can view that here.
- Here’s a sneak peak of what my section says.
"There is only one player that I would give up significant assets–a second-round pick and a prospect or something of that nature–and that’s Michael Grabner. Speed kills, and much like Carl Hagelin used to do, he makes the offensive depth go. Also, he gets at least a breakaway a game so maybe the offense isn’t completely unsustainable. Losing him is the absolute worst case scenario."
- I really don’t understand why a lot of fans would rather lose Grabner than the others, but to each his own I suppose….
- Apparently, Vegas has at least seven side deals finalized with other NHL teams. I don’t think the Rangers are part of any of those deals. I think that with their limited asset pool, they don’t want to waste any on making sure one of their fourth liners come back.
- I’m really hoping that Antti Raanta is the one who is taken. Realistically, if Vegas is looking to add players with hopes of moving them in trades to obtain younger assets–something they should be doing–Raanta would be the best bet for them.
- Raanta was great here, don’t get me wrong, but there are cheap options of unrestricted free agency that can play close to or just as well. Benoit Allaire is a goalie genius, use him to your advantage.
Entry Draft and trades
- People are still clamoring for the team to move a first round pick to Vegas in order for them to take Marc Staal off the Rangers’ hands. I still think it’s a move the Rangers absolutely cannot make.
- The Rangers are in desperate need of assets in the form of young, promising players. Their prospect cupboard is dry of any A level prospects and a few B level prospects. The best option with Staal, something that I originally disagreed with but now I’m buying into, is buying him out if the team can’t find any trade value out there.
- If they were to move the first rounder though, I wouldn’t mind them turning it into a couple of second round picks. Just a thought…
- Speaking of trades, if I have said once then I’ll say it twenty damn more times; trading Derek Stepan would be a mistake.
- Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote yesterday that the Rangers are not trading him unless they can acquire a top pair right handed defenseman. I don’t think I’d even do that. There is just no need for it.
- If they go out and sign Kevin Shattenkirk, they would fill that top pair righty slot without giving up any assets. Then if they re-sign Brendan Smith and fill the bottom pair with a couple of kids, the Rangers are set and will be serious cup contenders in 17-18.
- And besides, if the Rangers are going to trade a forward, it might as well be a winger since they are so deep there. I read somewhere–can’t remember where though–that Carolina had interest in Rick Nash. I’d be fine with moving him there for younger assets or picks for no other reason than to guarantee a top six slot for Pavel Buchnevich next season. I doubt Nash would accept a deal there, but I feel like in hockey more so than other sports, if a player with a no-movement clause is traded somewhere, they usually go.