Following a string of four consecutive losses, the New York Rangers have to be considered open for business in regards to next month’s trade deadline.
The 2018-2019 New York Rangers made a valiant effort for the accumulation of talent it was. Although it’s only January, it’s fairly safe to say that the team’s season is effectively over. There was no realistic hope of making the postseason and this recent string of defeats cemented New York’s status as one of the five worst teams in the league.
In fact, if it were not for the Rangers’ seven overtime loss points, they’d be dead last in the entire league with 34 and this conversation would have started even earlier. There is no shame in attempting a serious rebuild as the front office has initiated. However, there needs to be a clear path with a timeline as to when the Rangers can be taken seriously again.
Teams that end up in a perpetual rebuild do so because their front office and coaching staff lack direction. It took the Buffalo Sabres more general managers and head coaches than you can count on your fingers to rise from the abyss the organization was in.
For an organization to successfully execute a rebuild, it requires the front office to exchange current assets for those that can positively impact the future. Since talent evaluation and development are not exactly a science, this is where the inherent risk comes in. Trade a 30 goal scorer away for an A-level prospect and there’s no guarantee they ever sniff the NHL.
Throw in the fact that no general manager is ever going to want to actually trade away fair value if they can help it and it creates a true balancing act for those who have a mandate to rebuild without getting fleeced. If every other G.M. knows you have to make a trade, they hold all of the leverage.
This brings us to the Rangers and the upcoming deadline on February 25th. G.M. Jeff Gorton has to make moves and doesn’t have much of a choice. Maybe, he’ll use this guide ranking all of the team’s assets and find something informative to help swing a trade.
Maybe you’ll remember that the Rangers are still paying Matt Beleskey or that Brendan Smith was one of the team’s worst free agent signings this decade.
The value of an asset increases the further down the page it is, with the most valuable being the last one.
All salary information comes from capfriendly.com and all stats are courtesy of hockeyreference.com.