There has been a lot of speculation about who the New York Rangers could deal at the trade deadline for future assets. As teams begin to realistically assess their odds of making the playoffs, who will the Rangers be competing with for those draft picks and prospects?
We all know the names. Hayes, Zuccarello, McQuaid and Chaesson. Throw Kreider, Namestnikov and Shattenkirk into the mix. If they are going to miss the playoffs and are committed to the rebuild, there are few untouchables on the Rangers roster
Last season, the Rangers were the top players at the trade deadline. They came to the table offering Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Grabner, J.T. Miller and Nick Holden. There are reports that Mats Zuccarello would have been gone if they had not been so preoccupied with the trade with Tampa.
Of the 33 trades made at the deadline, the McDonagh trade stole the headlines. The Nash deal was as big as trades involving Evander Kane, Paul Stastny and Tomas Tatar.
At this point in the season a number of teams are facing the realization that they are probably on the outside of the playoff picture. No team has raised the white flag and committed to a sell-off, but they are getting close.
Using five points out of the wild card as a margin too great to make up, here are the teams that could be deadline deal players. In the East it is New Jersey and Philadelphia with Florida and Ottawa on the cusp. In the West the teams are Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago and Vancouver with Arizona on the cut line.
Just looking at players who will unrestricted free agents next season, what are the assets that these teams could dangle at the deadline?