It’s still too early to classify the New York Rangers as sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline

new york rangers
Feb 24, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his goal with center Mika Zibanejad (93) and center Colin Blackwell (43) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Trade Deadline is fast approaching, but with that said classifying the Rangers as sellers is a bit too early. That’s because between now and April 12, the Blueshirts will have 15 games to determine where they are in the playoff race.

Don’t count the New York Rangers out just yet

I’m not living on Fantasy Island with delusions of contending for a Cup, but the Rangers under David Quinn have shown a resiliency to play a strong second half of hockey.

Starting at game 42 of last season, the Rangers went 18-9-1 before the NHL Pause. That put them in a position to be one of the 24 teams in the Return to Play format.

They currently sit seven points behind 4th place Boston and ten points behind 3rd place Pittsburgh. New York would also need to leap over Philadelphia who are four points ahead, but guess who’s on the schedule for two at MSG next week? Yes, the Flyers.

New York Rangers
Artemi Panarin Rangers (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Here’s who the Rangers play in the next 15 games:

  • Flyers 4x (split)
  • Capitals 4x (1 MSG)
  • Sabres 3x (1 MSG)
  • Islanders 2x (road)
  • Penguins 2x (MSG)

The Flyers are struggling at the moment, so let’s just give the Rangers three wins against them and a sweep of the Sabres. If they can be .500 versus the Caps, Isles, and Pens they could muster a 10-5 record from here to the deadline.

That would give the Rangers 45 points in the standings. The Penguins and Bruins will also play each other 4 times in that same span and each will face the Islanders twice. The Bruins must also take on the Capitals twice by April 12th as well. Should Artemi Panarin stay healthy, Igor Shesterkin come back, and Mika Zibanejad continue to improve I give this team a fighting chance.

So it is conceivable that the Rangers could opt to hold onto players than sell them for picks at the deadline. Let’s examine Jeff Gorton’s options just a little closer.

Rangers trade tiers

Available regardless of standings:

  • Jack Johnson
  • Tony DeAngelo

Update: Rangers placed Jack Johnson on waivers today (3/14/21)

Selling if out of the playoffs by deadline:

Available for right deal to upgrade if close or in playoffs by deadline:

  • Brett Howden
  • Julien Gauthier
  • Brendan Lemieux
  • Libor Hajek
  • Alexandar Georgiev

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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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