The long NHL season will test how well any team has been built. The New York Rangers remain no exception. Time will test the backbone of the core that Chris Drury has in place in the greatest city in the world. As the trade deadline approaches, it is a great chance to reinforce the old guard that the team has in place. Teams do this every year in an attempt to bolster their chances of winning the Stanley Cup.
As the trade deadline comes closer, teams are forced to decide whether or not they believe that they are in a position to compete for the Stanley Cup. Teams drifting away from the playoffs sell off pieces they do not need anymore, and one of the teams forced into that dark decision could be the Washington Capitals. With rumors surrounding right-winger Anthony Mantha, perhaps the Rangers would be comfortable raiding their division rivals for help on the wings.
Mantha has been enjoying a little bit of a career renaissance in DC as he is starting to find production that he hasn't had since his time in Detroit. With 16 goals and 8 assists for 24 points in 46 games, Mantha is turning the clock back and is starting to show his promising goal scoring. He's a talented power forward that likes to drive to the net, so he's always going to be someone that puts up points. Playing with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider could fill the hole that'sbeen on that line since the departure of Pavel Buchnevich.
The Capitals will likely be content accepting a mid to late round pick for the player, so something like the 2024 3rd round pick for Mantha, who makes $5.7 million against the cap this season. With retention, the Rangers could comfortably get that under the cap, especially with the prorated cap hit. This at the price of a mid-round pick to wash the taste of the Mantha-Vrana trade so long ago out of the fans mouths in Washington.