Ducks GM in attendance, is a trade with Rangers in the works?

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Rangers defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, there was an interesting person in attendance.

Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek took in the game per multiple reports, fueling speculation that he’s scouting the Rangers in person ahead of the March 8 NHL trade deadline. The Rangers only have two more games ahead of the deadline.

Lately, teams have been sending out their scouts to check in or potential trade targets. However, with Verbeek in attendance, a knowledgeable source told Forever Blueshirts that takes it to another level.

Verbeek is obviously looking at a potential roster player, and it is very likely Adam Edstrom whom he would like to get a closer look at. Another possibility is exciting enforcer Matt Rempe. Both are young prospects that can be included in a trade.

While some may assume Kaapo Kakko, after Blake Wheeler’s injury, that’s highly unlikely.

Related: Neil Smith warns Rangers must be ‘really careful’ ahead of trade deadline

Are the Rangers and Ducks working on a deal?

NHL: NHL All-Star Thursday
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Vatrano is a name that keeps coming up when talking about trade targets for the Rangers.

“I keep hearing his name, but they are going to have to do something to entice Pat Verbeek (Ducks GM) to move him,” a source told Forever Blueshirts. “He’s not in the position where he’s walking out the door for nothing, so he won’t be looking to sell at any cost.”

To date, the 29-year-old has 26 goals and 45 points in 58 games. Vatrano is also an All-Star with one more year left on his deal at an affordable $3.65 million. According to another source, Verbeek knows Vatrano is his biggest trade chip. So any team looking to get him will certainly need to give up something decent for his services.

Related: Updated Rangers trade board ahead of March 8 deadline

Earlier this week, Forever Blueshirts was told it may not require the Rangers to give up their first-round pick. A package that starts with their 2024 second-round pick along with either prospect Brett Berard or Matthew Robertson may be enough. Could Adam Edstrom be that piece or need to be included as well?

Vatrano could be a good fit with the Rangers, having had success after 2022 trade deadline playing on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider.

The Rangers have also been linked to Ducks center Adam Henrique, which is another name to keep in mind.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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