New York Rangers rumors: Hertl, Chiarot, and other possible trade candidates
The New York Rangers are currently one of the top teams in the NHL and are in great position to make the playoffs. As more experts contemplate if the team is ready to compete for the Stanley Cup this season, it makes them obvious buyers on the trade marker.
Although the NHL Trade Deadline is still a significant time away (March 21), there are still far too many teams that believe they are in contention.
One of those teams are the San Jose Sharks, who currently sit one point out of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. Their odds of making the post-season stands at just 8.6% per MoneyPuck. Which raises the question about what they will do with pending UFA, Tomas Hertl.
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Tomas Hertl a perfect forward rental
Hertl is 28 years-old and in the final year of a deal that has a $5.625M cap hit. Last season, he recorded 43 points in 50 games. This season, he’s keeping a similar scoring pace with 28 points in 35 contests.
Per multiple reports, the Sharks told inquiring teams in the offseason that they were still hopeful to work things out. What remains to be seen is if the Sharks will be a contender come the Deadline. If so, the belief is both sides will want to continue the relationship.
The reality is that the Sharks are starting to slip while many other teams rise. That is elevating Hertl to the top of several trade bait lists, including Frank Seravalli of the The Daily Faceoff where he’s ranked #1.
“Hertl has emerged as the likely most in-demand player as we hurdle toward the deadline.. and would provide a significant return for the Sharks’ future,” Seravalli writes. “One team to keep an eye on in the Hertl sweepstakes: the New York Rangers.”
Hertl would be a great fit for a playoff run as he can play either center or wing. New York would have to part with a first round pick and more to acquire his services.
Other potential rental candidates include Phil Kessel in Arizona, Reilly Smith in Vegas, and Claude Giroux in Philadelphia.
Ben Chiarot a great rental on defense
The Rangers have been rumored this season to be in the market for a veteran left handed defenseman. That may not be as urgent with the play of young prospect blue-liner Zac Jones. However, there are plenty of potential candidates out there.
According to Arthur Staple of The Athletic, one potential rental could be Ben Chiarot of the Montreal Canadiens. Although he isn’t sure that Jeff Gorton would be so willing to help his former organization after his abrupt dismissal last season.
“There is no shortage of interest in Chiarot, one of the prime pieces who will almost definitely be plucked from the floundering Habs’ roster,” Seravalli noted. “St. Louis and Florida have already been linked to Chiarot. There will be others. That’s because there is hardly a Cup contending team Chiarot would not improve: Vegas, Colorado, Washington or the Rangers.”
Chiarot, 30, is a left-handed defenseman with 7 points in 31 games. He was a key defenseman for the Canadiens in their improbable playoff run last season.
Other potential rental candidates include Calvin De Haan in Chicago, and my pick Mark Giordano in Seattle.
Exploring other possibilities
Two other names to consider that do not qualify as rentals would be Tyler Toffoli in Montreal and Jakob Chychrun in Arizona.
Toffoli, 29, has a good contract with an AAV of only $4.25M, plus he doesn’t have any trade protection. This would allow the acquiring team flexibility to move him after this season. That is beneficial to the Rangers who will feel a cap crunch next season when Adam Fox’s and Mika Zibanejad’s big extensions kick in.
“One could make this case that they could try to get another top-six winger,” Kevin Weekes pondered to the NY Post. “Could they want somebody like a Tyler Toffoli maybe, from Montreal?”
Chychrun, 23, has just 7 points in 26 games but the Yotes’ this season and is dealing with an injury. Last year was a breakout with 41 points in 56 games.
Back in December, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported that the asking price was similar to that of Jack Eichel’s which was four pieces. Chychrun has three years left on a cap friendly deal of $4.6 million but many GM’s currently feel the ask is too high.
The left-handed defenseman would make an incredible partner for Jacob Trouba and solidify the defense. The cost of course would be big, but something to consider.
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