It’s time for the New York Rangers and Avalanche to make a blockbuster trade

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 13: The New York Rangers celebrate a first period goal by Jesper Fast #17 against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden on January 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With just six days to go until the NHL Trade Deadline, it’s known that the New York Rangers will be heavy sellers and the Colorado Avalanche will be buyers. With that said, Joe Sakic and the Colorado front office should look to none other than Jeff Gorton and company.

With the recent injuries to first string star goaltender Philipp Grubauer, forward Matt Calvert, and the potentially season ending loss of elite first-line winger Mikko Rantanen, the Avalanche are desperate to fill in those missing pieces. It just happens to be that the New York Rangers possess a plethora of players on the trade block that fulfill Colorado’s needs.

With Chris Kreider, Ryan Strome, Jesper Fast, and Alexandar Georgiev. all valuable options, we must look at just how valuable shipping one off would be to the Rangers.

Note: I will not be addressing rumors or assuming every player that may or may not be dealt by the Rangers, but rather looking at the possible pieces that can be sent to Colorado and only Colorado in exchange for a respectful return.

 

Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs

Chris Kreider

Chris Kreider is the biggest fish on the trading block right now. Every contender in the NHL wants to acquire someone like Kreider. The grit, speed, size, and all around skill is an incredible asset in the playoffs.

Elliotte Friedman of TSN recently reported “All the contenders from Colorado to Boston to St. Louis to Pittsburgh are all believed to be interested in [Kreider]. … Teams don’t believe, right now, the Rangers have made him available, but they are waiting to see if they decide they can’t keep him, and they want to trade him, there is a ton of interest.”

Despite reports that the Blueshirts and Kreider have begun contract discussions, such talks probably quieted down or fully ended when Tyler Toffoli, the  Kings right winger, was shipped to Vancouver. The return for Los Angeles of Tim Schaller, a high end prospect, and a 2nd round pick plus a conditional fourth was an absolutely tremendous haul.

No disrespect towards Toffoli who is a solid player and a Stanley Cup champion in his own right, but in my opinion, Kreider’s speed, size, skill, and veteran presence are so crucial to a contending team such as the Avalanche.

Sorry to any hopeful fans, but it makes absolutely zero sense to keep Chris Kreider anymore. When the Ranger’s chances of making a playoff push are slim to none, and with a likely tremendous haul by letting him go, it just seems like we need to say good bye once and for all to Kreids.

celebrates a second period goal

Ryan Strome

The answer to why “Stromer” needs to be looked at as a possible trade asset is simple for three reasons.

  1. He is having a career year in which he is on pace for upwards of 70 points and that is large in thanks to playing alongside Artemi Panarin. Ryan Strome is a very good player, but not a 70 point player, and now is the time to sell high on the 26-year-old.
  2. Is Ryan Strome a solid player? Yes, but he is also a replaceable one. Up and down the lineup, without even including a possible asset from Colorado, there are guys that can fill that center spot with Panarin on the wing. Whether it’s Zibanejad, Chytil, or even Gregg Mckegg, there are viable options on the table.
  3. Ryan Strome is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, and to be frank, resigning an average player who is going to ask upwards of $5 million a year, it just isn’t worth it.

 

Jesper Fast #17 of the New York Rangers takes the puck

Jesper Fast

Most of us love Jesper Fast for what his role on this team is. He’s a fiery, hard-working, do it all for the team kind of the guy. And this season, he has been rewarded by being put on the second line and also setting career high numbers.

Unfortunately, his time might, and I mean might, be over on Broadway. A free agent after the season, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see him as a part of the organizations future. He’s a checking line player–someone who sets the game’s tone and will go to every puck no matter who he’s matched up against.

Now tell me, what does every playoff team looking for a run need? You guessed it, a checking line player–someone who sets the game’s tone and will go to every puck no matter who he’s matched up against.

Alexandar Georgiev #40 of the New York Rangers tends net against the New York Islanders

Alexandar Georgiev

Let me make myself very, very clear. Henrik Lundqvist is a Ranger and will  be a New York Ranger until his contract expires at the end of next season. There is no trade or buyout happening anytime and the man will stay on Broadway until he retires.

With that said, let’s talk about the goaltender who will most definitely not be wearing a Rangers sweater post deadline in Alexandar Georgiev.

Any true hockey fan knows that to win in the playoffs a team must have a hot, reliable goaltender. And while the Avalanche have one of the most skilled lineups in the NHL, with Philip Grubauer out, backup Pavel Francouz is not the man Colorado needs between the pipes come April.

To those who would like to counter saying that Francouz’ 2.51 GAA and 13-5-3 this season are really good numbers, you are absolutely right… while forgetting one whole important detail.

He has appeared in a total of 25 NHL games and transitioning from a full-time backup to a playoff starter isn’t improbable, it’s essentially impossible.

If Joe Sakic doesn’t go out and try heavily to trade for Alexander Georgiev, who has posted a career save percentage of .914 and a record of 32-29-6 while basically splitting starts with a Hall of Famer and playing behind an analytically historically bad defense in his first year, I think the Avalanche are slightly crazy.

Alexandar Georgiev is a borderline starter in this league, and with Igor Shesterkin already crowned as the organization’s #1 net-minder, getting a deal to send Georgie over to the Av’s is a dream come true.

Not only do the Rangers rid of a goaltending conundrum, but Jeff Gorton holds so much leverage here as Colorado is in such desperate need of a starting netminder.

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