Are the Rangers shopping Lias Andersson?
The word shopping may be a bit much at the moment, but one thing is for sure they are willing to listen when it comes to Lias Andersson. Beyond that, more and more indication from credentialed reporters in both Edmonton and NY point to what I heard that Andersson was discussed in a potential trade for Jesse Puljujarvi.
Andersson is still an asset
Whether Lias Andersson is one day playing for the Rangers or used in a trade, he is still a valuable commodity. But like all commodities they can gain and lose value, and right now his stock is pointing down. After 5 games in Hartford, Lias only has 2 goals and appears to be struggling, taking penalties and sporting a -4 rating. Of course that could change in the course of a weekend with the Pack, but the organization has some rightful concerns.
The decision for Rangers GM Jeff Gorton is whether to add him in as a sweetener in any deal this season. Let’s say as a means to shed salary like Brendan Smith, or to increase the return in dealing UFA Chris Kreider at the deadline. Regardless of his current struggles, his prior international success and first round draft selection still carries weight.
He’s become expendable
The Rangers drafted Karl Henriksson last season, and the Swedish center is opening eyes in the organization. They certainly feel he has a real chance to play in NY in a few years. Also the acquisition of Ryan Strome, who is only 26 has been a game changer. His versatility to play both wing and center are an added bonus, and he stepped up big time when Zibanejad went down. I’m hearing the Rangers are strongly considering signing the pending RFA to a 2-3 year deal this summer.
So as you start putting the pieces of the puzzle together and realize Brett Howden is a lock to center one of the bottom two lines for years to come, Andersson doesn’t appear to fit. I mean Zibanejad, Chytil have the top 2 spots locked and it would behoove Quinn to move Strome to the middle too. Let me be clear, Lias could convert from center to wing and be a part of the Rangers future so this isn’t saying the organization has committed to moving him. The possibility that they will this season has grown exponentially since last year, that’s for sure.