It’s still too early to classify the New York Rangers as sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline
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.
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:
- Brendan Smith
- Colin Blackwell
- Kevin Rooney
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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