It’s 2018, let’s start up the Trade Rumor Mill! Looking at the Rangers as buyers
Just how many times can we witness the Rangers play a game chasing their tails all night? At some point, Alain Vigneault and GM, Jeff Gorton have got to decide the following:
Are we good enough to win the Cup now? Or Do we make decisions for next year and beyond?
Good Enough To Win Now
If the Rangers feel this is the case, they need to decide how best to accomplish this. With Chris Kreider on the shelf with a blood clot, the Rangers are without a legit power forward. This also has long term implications (i.e. Steven Stamkos blood clot issues). So the question is how can he be replaced, if at all.
His name continuously pops up when insiders like McKenzie and Dreger talk trades. Kane will be a UFA this summer and will command at least $6.5M (I believe higher) and a multi year deal. Buffalo is looking for a haul of at least a 1st round pick, and several high prospects. The 26 year old Kane has 15 goals and 34 points in 39 games. Those numbers plus his size (6’2″, 212 lbs) are what the Rangers need now and for years to come.
The 29 year old is struggling mightily this season with only 21 points in 40 games. This is a buy low candidate with high rewards. He has 1 year left on his contract that comes with a 4.5M cap hit. He could be a smart acquisition that wouldn’t break the Rangers future too bad. However, you could see a player like Vesey or Fast having to go back the other way.
Also understand that if the Rangers go this route, they will be keeping Rick Nash. If you are going to go for it, you need all the offense you can get in the playoffs.
The Rangers need help on the blue line, but the truth is this, defense doesn’t come cheap and isn’t always available. If the Rangers are going to upgrade this defense it will cost them mightily. It would be best to try and promote from the system and hope one of the younger blueliners like DeAngelo or Pionk can make the transition. Realistically, who’s spot would they take? Holden? Possibly but the Rangers more likely have a systems problem on defense instead of a personnel issue.
Come back tomorrow for what the Rangers should do if they feel they need to start planning for next year.