McDonagh to Tampa? Nash, Grabner rumors and more
The downward spiral continues as the Rangers barrel towards the NHL Trade Deadline cementing their position as sellers. With each passing loss, the whispers slowly grow to shouts and almost no veteran is safe.
The Trans Tampa Railway
Callahan, Stralman, Boyle, and Girardi are some big names that in one way or another have wound up in Tampa. Lightning GM, Steve Yzerman certainly sees something in players that have competed in NY and deal for Ryan McDonagh could be coming up next.
Per Elliotte Friedman, Chris Drury was recently scouting Tampa’s minor league affiliate, Syracuse. On a segment on Sportsnet, he believes TB may be willing to part with Tyler Johnson in order to land McDonagh. If that is the case, the deal would need to include a lot more than just the small, 27 year old center.
Many Rangers fans will remember the 5’8″ whirling dervish in the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs. He was a major factor in eliminating the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final. That year he tallied 72 points in 77 games while amassing another 23 points in 26 playoff games. Here’s the problem, he hasn’t been able to come close to those numbers since.
In 2014-15, Johnson was scoring at a .93 points per game clip. Since that season he’s averaging just .65 pts per/gm and shown a propensity for getting hurt. So in order for the Rangers to even consider a deal with Tampa, they would need to get more back from Yzerman.
So who could Drury be scouting at Syracuse? Centers, Anthony Cirelli or Mitchell Stephens? Either way, not many of the Tampa prospects in Syracuse would motivate many GMs to unload a top pair defenseman at the deadline. Unless their is much more than Johnson coming back, I don’t see this deal happening. It would also be more advantageous to move McDonagh in the summer for a higher pick in the first round of a good draft.
If the Rangers are going to trade McDonagh at the deadline, keep your eyes and ears towards Toronto which has embarrassing young riches up front to spare. The NYPOST, actually referenced the likes of Mitch Marner, William Nylander, or Zach Hyman as possible returns. While Marner is a stretch, Nylander would be a dream return for the captain.
Nash and Grabner
Rick Nash is almost certainly on the way out. It just seems to be a matter of when and to whom. While the Rangers have not yet asked for his list, I’ve also heard some chatter that the request will come possibly as soon as next week.
Here’s the Sportsnet segment with Nick Kypreos saying the Jets might have interest in Rick Nash and Elliotte Friedman saying both Nash and Michael Grabner might re-sign with the Rangers in the summer even if they are traded #NYR pic.twitter.com/b0w4B6YlO6
— Fitz (@FitzyGSN) February 4, 2018
If you recall, Larry Brooks reported back in 2016 that Nash’s list had no Canadian teams on it. Has that changed? So would he go to Winnipeg? I doubt it, but an interesting and rumored landing spot could be back in Columbus. Now that would be intriguing indeed. The return would need to be tempered since Nash is considered a rental.
Michael Grabner is another name that will certainly be gone, and I am hearing that his stock is high for a rental. There are a number of teams competing for his services and a late 1st round pick is no longer a stretch. I would like to also add to what Friedman said in the video about Nash and Grabner coming back to the Rangers, Gorton is likely considering bringing back Grabner on July 1st.
Gone For Sure
Nick Holden and David Desharnais are locks to be moved in the weeks heading up to the deadline. Expect mid to late picks for either of their services with Holden being the better return.