Could Scott Hartnell be the shot in the arm the Rangers need?

Hartnell would be a boost to the NYR PP

Hartnell would be a boost to the NYR PP

We’ve all heard the rumors that the Rangers are looking for a way to bolster their top 6 forwards. Unfortunately, this is because Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes have simply failed to assert themselves on one of the top two lines. 

When Marty St. Louis retired, he took his 20 plus goals with him and it was hoped that Kreider would improve upon last year’s total of 25 and Hayes might excel back at his normal wing position. Neither has happened, and Hayes on the wing was ended quickly by Alain Vigneault earlier this year. J.T. Miller has emerged as strong candidate, but is still likely better suited for third line duties for now.

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 9.41.38 AMThere has been some speculation that the Rangers will be forced to move Keith Yandle due to cap issues and his impending UFA status. We also know that Dan Girardi has a limited no trade clause (not a no move clause), and that even though the details are unknown, they can trade him without his consent (NMC requires consent). Usually NTC mean here’s a list of teams I can or can’t be traded to.


So what if the Rangers could keep Yandle and answer the issue at LW?

Here’s another factoid, the Rangers have been scouting the Blue Jackets a lot. Many speculated that it was for Cam Atkinson but Larry Brooks killed that recently. So who could the Rangers be looking at? How about rugged goal scorer, Scott Hartnell who has 15 on the year.

Hartnell is a LH shot that comes in at 6’2″ and 214 lbs. Certainly some attributes you want in a power forward who could open up room for Rick Nash or Mats Zuccarello on the opposite side. The downside is he is 33, comes with a cap hit of 4.75M until he’s 36. His contract expires in 2019.

Hartsy, as he’s known by his teammates also has a NMC, but he already waived it once when Philadelphia in essence forced him out. You mean to tell me he wouldn’t do it again to come to NY and be in the playoffs? Plus it was reported that the Jackets were exploring a deal earlier in the year with the Oilers which he probably nixed.

The Jackets also have almost 3M in cap space, so what if Jeff Gorton could find a way to get CBJ to eat 1 to 1.5M of the that deal? Sending them Girardi (if of course his list allows it) and having CBJ retain even a little bit of Hartnell’s salary could mean enough cash to lock up Keith Yandle to a longterm contract at about 6M per.

Still, if Girardi can’t be moved and the Rangers had to trade Yandle, maybe Hartnell with some salary retention and a prospect/picks wouldn’t be such a horrible return. Although trading within the division is unlikely, these two have set up an exchange pipeline for years now.

Regardless, this is certainly an intriguing possibility. Don’t you agree? Comment below.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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