New York Rangers: Trade deadline day possibilities

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – JANUARY 31: Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers kneels on the ice during a play stoppage during the third period against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. The Rangers defeated the Devils 4-3.(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NHL Trade Deadline Day is finally here and Chris Kreider is still a Ranger (for now).  The only  player to leave the organization has been defense prospect Joey Keane. Here’s the current situation as it concerns the New  York Rangers and the rest of the league.

Chris Kreider remains the prime target as the best available deadline rental.  The latest reports are that the talks between Kreider’s agent and the New York Rangers are “at an impasse” as reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post and others.  That means Jeff Gorton will be wheeling and dealing and as is his practice, will take it to the last minute to get the best possible return.

In the few hours we have before the deadline there is little else to do, but wonder about what a trade could look like.  Here’s one more foray into trade speculation.

Contenders for Kreider

There were reports that eight teams were seriously interested in Kreider.   In looking at injuries and needs that list should include Boston, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, St. Louis, Tampa,  Vegas and the Islanders.

Washington was on the list, but they picked up Ilya Kovalchuk from Montreal for a third round draft pick so take them off.  The Kovalchuk deal was the only trade made on Sunday. After midnight, the Oilers and Detroit made a trade.  Mike Green went to the Oilers for 35 year old forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick (4th in 2020 or 3rd in 2021).

Boston Bruins – Most thought the Bruins were out of the mix when they acquired Ondrej Kase from Anaheim.  Kreider is still a perfect fit for Boston so what the Kase acquisition might have done is cleared the way for another trade.  The cleared some cap space by dealing David Backes and no longer have a first round draft pick, but they do have some  young players who may be expendable with the acquisition of Kase.  The player the Rangers would want is center Jack Studnicka,  but Boston may offer Dan Heinen and a 2021  first rounder.  Is that enough?

Colorado Avalanche – The Avalanche have the cap space and the need with injuries to Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri and Matt Calvert.  What could the Rangers get in exchange?  Colorado still has their first and third round picks.  The prospect the Rangers would prize is center Alex Newhook of Boston College, but knowing Joe Sakic, he won’t part with his best forward prospect.  Another consideration could be right winger Martin Kaut who has two seasons in the AHL and was recently promoted.

Columbus Blue Jackets – Decimated by injuries, they could use a player like Kreider, but after last season they may be leery of dealing.  They also have no second round pick for the next two years and no third round pick this year.  If there is one player the Rangers really want, there could be a deal.  Forward Emil Bemstrom could be on the table or prospect Trey Fix-Wolansky.   It may not be enough.

Dallas Stars – The Stars have some of the most gifted scorers in the NHL, but they aren’t scoring this season. Kreider would be  a great addition, but after least year’s Zuccarello deal, the Stars may not be willing to go down that route again. There are some decent NHL ready prospects in the AHL including Adam Mascherin, a physical winger.

St. Louis Blues – Many believe that the Blues are the perfect fit.  They need offense to replace the injured Vladimir Tarasenko and Kreider slots right into the Blues player profile.  The favorite target is Jordan Kyrou, but Kim Klostin wouldn’t be a bad second choice. The Blues have their first round pick, but no second rounder.

Tampa Bay Lightning –  The window is closing, fast, on the Lightning and adding Kreider could be the final piece of the puzzle, but they’ve already dealt top prospect Nolan Foote in the Blake Coleman deal.  Alex Barre-Boulet is another top prospect playing in the AHL.  Gorton should not settle for less. Then again, the Bolts signed defenseman Zach Bogosian Sunday and may be out of money.

Vegas Golden Knights – They fired their coach and are going all out.  If they really want Chris Kreider, it should take a top prospect, perhaps part of a package.  Top prospect Peyton Krebs would be a great return, but it’s doubtful.  Is center Nicholas Roy an option?  It depends on how badly the Knights want to win.

New York Islanders – The Islanders would benefit the most from Chris Kreider, but they play the Rangers on Tuesday and are a rival for playoff spot the Rangers want so badly.  Could a trade actually happen?   Kiefer Bellows and a second round pick could do it.

Other needs

The Rangers have a surplus of defensemen, including two they would love to unload for salary cap purposes.   Of course, we’re talking about Brendan Smith and Marc Staal. Both defensemen are veterans who could help a team in need of experience blueline help. Both are prohibitively expensive and Staal has a no movement clause, but a recent spate of injuries could put them in play.

The Carolina Hurricanes already lost Dougie Hamilton for the season and now Brett Pesce is injured.   They need defensive help. Both of their goalies are injured and that has to raise the name of Alexandar Georgiev.   Could they be persuaded to part with Adam Fox‘s former Harvard teammate and Chris Drury‘s nephew,  center Jack Drury?

There has been some chatter about the Florida Panther’s need for defense and Vincent Trochek’s name has been bandied about.   A Brady Skjei swap would be an even trade cap-hit wise.

The Calgary Flames have been muddling along without Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic.  They are still in the wild card, but could use some help on defense.  Cap space is an issue, but a deal for Brendan Smith with some salary retained could help the Blueshirts long-term strategy.

The deadline is 3pm EST, but remember that is the filing deadline and some trades have been announced long after the deadline.