The New York Rangers are desperate for center help, and I think it's fair to say that the rest of the league knows it. With Filip Chytil done for the season, the Rangers need to make sure they are comfortable with the options the organization has down the middle. They're reportedly still considering options like Adam Henrique, so that doesn't seem to be the case. So, should the Rangers explore Casey Mittelstadt from the Buffalo Sabres?
Mittelstadt is someone the Sabres are listening to offers on because they are not so convinced that he's worth the long-term large paycheck his 12 goals and 30 assists for 42 points in 51 games will get him. He's arbitration-eligible, which means that there is always a risk of him walking away as an unrestricted free agent if things go south in arbitration. It would mean his RFA status and cost control would be for naught.
With that said, Mittelstadt makes $2.5 million against the cap, so the Rangers won't have many problems accounting for his money against the salary cap. His production would fit very nicely into the Rangers top line, either down the middle in his preferred position or on the wing as the Sabres have been deploying him in an effort to better move their offensive talent around their roster.
According to all the reports, the Sabres will likely retain his services, making any deal for him unlikely. But that's no fun. It'll take a ransom to get him. Imagine something along the lines of the 2024 first-round pick, Gabriel Perreault, and another prospect to get the Eden Prairie, Minnesota native. It would be a strong addition to the roster moving towards the trade deadline, and could be the missing piece to keep the New York Rangers ahead of the chasing pack for the division title.