Five weeks to the trade deadline and New York Rangers GM Chris Dury is playing it very close to the vest. Interest in one current Ranger surfaced in one report. Here’s the latest from the world of trade news and rumors.
Vegas interested in Georgiev?
According to Frank Seravelli of the Daily Faceoff, the Vegas Golden Knights are looking at Alexandar Georgiev as a possible answer to their goaltending issues. Their number one goalie, Robin Lehner, is out with what could be a torn labrum in his shoulder that could require surgery. While Seravelli says that their prime target would be a return of Marc-Andre Fleury, they have kicked the tires on Georgiev.
Whether Fleury would want to return to Vegas is questionable considering the way he was blindsided by the trade to Chicago. Vegas GM Brad McCrimmon has stated that Fleury’s return will not happen.
This would play into the narrative that the Rangers are interesting in pending free agent Reilly Smith who played for Gerard Gallant in Vegas and is third on the Knights in scoring. You can be sure that Vegas doesn’t want to part with him, especially with the injury to Mark Stone, but it makes it a more interesting situation.
Keep your eyes on Jack Eichel. If he is 100% and if Stone will be back for the playoffs, Smith may indeed be available and considering their need for a goalie now, a deal could be in offing.
Ben Chiarot is available
Montreal General Manager Kent Hughes very openly told the hockey world that defenseman Ben Chiarot is available right now and the Habs would make a deal if the terms are right. While the Rangers have been rumored to be in the hunt for a veteran blueliner, it’s hard to believe that they would surrender a first round pick for a rental like Chairot, especially considering that he is injured and is expected to be out at least a week.
There’s no doubt that Drury wants to see how the Zac Jones/Braden Schneider duo looks before he makes a move and Hughes was clearly sending a message to rival GM’s that Chiarot could be off the table soon if the right deal comes along.
Of course, Arizona blueliner Jakob Chychrun has been mentioned repeatedly. The big advantage of a deal with the Coyotes is their ability to take on some salary (can anyone say Patrik Nemeth?), something the Blueshirts would definitely be interested in.
Watching K’Andre Miller over the next five weeks will tell us a lot about Drury’s need to acquire a top talent like Chychrun.
Other defensemen in play include Robert Hagg of Buffalo, Calvin de Haan of Chicago and Mark Giordano of the Kraken.
There’s no doubt that the Rangers could use some veteran depth on defense that would be an upgrade over Nemeth and Jarred Tinordi. The question is price.
Vancouver in no rush
Vancouver GM Jim Rutherford told The Daily Faceoff that the Canucks are in no hurry to make any trades, as long as they are in contention for a playoff spot. For all you Ranger fans who see J.T. Miller as the solution to the Rangers’ scoring woes, it looks like any Vancouver trades won’t happen until the March 21 trade deadline.
The list of available forwards is not big and Miller will be one of the top players in play. He will be very expensive and you have to ask yourself if J.T. Miller is worth Vitali Kravtsov, Nils Lundkvist and a first round pick? That’s probably what the Canucks asking price will be.
He’s under contract for another year at a reasonable $5.25 million and he could be insurance up the middle if the Rangers do not retain Ryan Strome. It’s would be difficult to keep Strome, who will be looking for an increase on his $4.5 million AAV and also take on Miller’s cap hit.
No movement on Giroux
Let’s get this out of the way. There is no way that the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers are making a deal, especially involving Claude Giroux There’s a question of whether the longtime Flyer could even stomach playing in New York, but the ramifications of such a deal between Metropolitan Division rivals could be severe and long term.
The two teams mentioned most often when it comes to Giroux are the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues, teams that make sense as they are in the Western Conference and both are Stanley Cup contenders.
Pierre LeBrun of TSN is reporting that the Flyers have given Giroux’s agent permission to talk to interested teams and that could make a deal happen. Giroux has a full no movement clause in his contract so he can determine where he goes.
When the Winnipeg Jets returned Andrew Copp to his natural center position this season, he has responded with 12 goals and 28 points in 46 games. He’s due to be a UFA after this season and the 27-year old is solid on faceoffs and is a versatile player.
Copp is making $3.6 million this season after taking the Jets to arbitration and the question is whether he is anything more than a third line center/winger. It’s worth keeping an eye on the Jets who are seven points out of a wild card spot.
Artturi Lehkonen’s name has been mentioned frequently and his status as an arbitration eligibile restricted free agent makes him more attractive. He can play either wing and is currently making $2.3 million. After scoring 18 goals in his rookie season for Montreal, he hasn’t topped 13 goals in five seasons since. This year he has seven goals and 19 points in 45 games and the question is whether he would be an improvement on the likes of Dryden Hunt or Julien Gauthier. What will Jeff Gorton want from his former team in any trade?
When it comes to Montreal and the Rangers, Pierre LeBrun tweeted that a trade could be possible.
Regarding the Red Wings, we mentioned Marc Staal as a potential target. Another former Ranger, Vlad Namestnikov, is having a pretty good year in Detroit, scoring 13 goals and 23 points.
Right now it’s all rumors as teams jockey into position to make deals. The good news for the Rangers is they have the assets to deal for players who would improve this squad while not hurting this team in the future. That would be the case if Drury is looking for depth additions. If he is ready to make a big splash, it could radically disrupt the chemistry that has been building on this team so far this season.