New York Rangers NHL Trade Deadline Primer: No rentals on Jeff Gorton’s radar and more

The NHL Trade Deadline is tomorrow and the New York Rangers haven’t been mentioned much since Tony DeAngelo was waived. Historically the Blueshirts were always a team that was a player whenever this time rolled around, so this is a new paradigm for many fans.

The New York Rangers are not going to take any shortcuts. This has been repeated over and over by President John Davidson and GM Jeff Gorton. While the Rangers have played some great hockey going 9-4-2 in their last 15 games; they will not sacrifice youth or draft picks for rentals. That was made absolutely crystal clear to me after doing some further digging on the Blueshirts approach to the deadline.

Rangers will approach NHL Trade Deadline looking for hockey deals

When it comes to how the Rangers are looking at this deadline, I was informed that if they make any deals at all it will be for a player that helps the team beyond just this season. That means looking to add a pending UFA is not in the cards. The Rangers won’t be trading any young roster players, prospects, or draft picks unless the deal is going to have ramifications into the future.

“I think we’re in a little bit of a different position this year is my guess. You just never know. Obviously, [general manager Jeff Gorton] and I talk quite a bit. But there are things that can happen unexpectedly. You just never know what can happen this time of year. I’m sure the players start talking about it a lot more over the next five, six days. Obviously, the Islanders make that big trade, so people start talking more about the trade deadline once one domino falls.”

David Quinn via NY POST

The sense I’m also getting is that trading away their only full time roster pending UFA in Brendan Smith is likely not in the cards. Currently, Smith has done a solid job of being a steady presence for young Libor Hajek on the the third defense pairing. With the Rangers fighting for a playoff spot they are not going to trade Smith for some late draft pick. While it would be nice to have as many picks as possible in what should be a very active offseason for trades; moving Smith for nothing sends a message to the team that the playoffs don’t mean much. That’s not the case here.

If you’ve been paying close enough attention and listening to the words MSG Analyst Steve Valiquette relays every broadcast, these games matter. The fight for the playoffs; whether they make it or not will have long lasting implications well beyond this season. For David Quinn and Rangers management this year is about developing the kids and establishing a winning culture. Right now, it’s working.

TSN still classifies the Rangers as “Neutral”

When you look at the NHL landscape, and that includes the reality of a flat cap to go along with the players rumored available, there just isn’t anything there for the Rangers. Unless of course Jack Eichel is made available and that doesn’t seem likely by tomorrow.

Frank Seravalli provided his latest update on the NHL Trade Deadline and to his famous TSN Trade Bait list. He lists the New York Rangers as a “neutral” deadline team along with the Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks.

When it comes to his latest trade list; Tony DeAngelo continues to be the last name listed every time it expands from 20, 25, 30, 35 and now 40. DeAngelo was debuted on March 1st at #3 overall.

Teams interested in Alexandar Georgiev

Alexandar Georgiev
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers 25 year-old net minder is having his struggles this season but that isn’t stopping some teams from checking in on his availability.

As some teams explore the goaltender market ahead of Monday’s 3pm ET trade deadline, some clubs are believed to have inquired about New York Rangers netminder Alexandar Georgiev. While a trade is not considered imminent at this stage, multiple sources have told TFP some teams have discussed Georgiev, at least internally, and others have poked around on his availability, something that occurred last off-season.

The Fourth Period

This is an interesting development as it was believed he would’ve been traded at the last deadline as a pending RFA. Instead the Blueshirts opted to buyout Henrik Lundqvist instead. NY has gotten good backup goaltending out of Keith Kinkaid this season when Igor Shesterkin went down with injury. He was the intended goalie to be exposed to Seattle at the expansion draft as Shesterkin is exempt.

After his most recent performance I believe the Rangers will retain Georgiev and expose Kinkaid as planned for this summer.

Moving Brendan Smith?

new york rangers trade rumors
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

NBC has published a new article detailing one move every NHL team should make at the deadline. Here’s what they said for the Blueshirts:

NY Rangers: Trade Brendan SmithThe Rangers aren’t out of it for sure and don’t need to have a fire sale, but the best result is probably to add for the future. Brendan Smith might be their easiest player to move, especially to a team that loses out on Mattias Ekholm.


Brendan Smith has been a real strong contributor for the team and although there isn’t a lot of noise surrounding him at the deadline the Rangers need to move him. Good asset management suggest that getting a 4th or 5th round pick for a veteran pending UFA is the right move.

While Anthony Bitteto or Tarmo Reunanen could easily take his place the rest of the way, I believe the organization feels that would send the wrong message to the veterans on the team as they hunt for the playoffs.

Trade Colin Blackwell now or lose him to expansion?

The Blueshirts also have other intriguing dilemma in Colin Blackwell. The low-key offseason signing has surprised many with his 12 goals in 31 games this season. Larry Brooks’ latest column speculated what the Rangers would do if they got a call for him tomorrow.

You know what, if a contender comes after Blackwell and has a No. 3 in mind to exchange, as much as the Rangers probably wouldn’t want to do it, they’d have to, right? But our best information is that no such interest has been expressed. That does not mean it won’t be before Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline bell rings.


Jeff Gorton knows no matter what he does he is going to lose good player to the Seattle Kraken. It’s better to keep Blackwell and continue to go for a playoff spot than traded him away for a mere mid to late round pick.

Tony DeAngelo continues to fall on the trade list

NHL trade rumors Rangers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

TSN’s latest trade bait board continues to drop DeAngelo to the bottom. Simply put there’s been next to no buzz out there on him. Some recent chatter about the Panthers, but that was more Larry Brooks and Dan Rosen wondering if he was a fit there.

Over at the Daily Goal Horn, I noted that the Hurricanes are in the market for a right-handed defenseman with David Savard as a top target. However; you have to wonder if they can’t land Savard would they take a risk and go for Rangers exiled defenseman Tony DeAngelo. If Carolina feels there’s a possibility they won’t be able to retain Dougie Hamilton before he becomes a UFA this summer it could be worth some consideration.

It really looks like DeAngelo is heading for exposure to Seattle and then a buyout.

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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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