Is a New York Rangers trade with Canucks or Habs in the works?

New York Rangers trade
Feb 27, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (53) collides with New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers sent Garth Joy, who is their Associate Director of Player Personnel and Pro Scouting to check out the Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

If you’re wondering, the Rangers don’t play Montreal until January 5. As for Vancouver, that’s even further down road on February 8.

Rangers send scout to Canucks vs Habs

The Blueshirts have a number of scouts, but to send Joy is very interesting. Since scheduled contests against these teams isn’t for months, it’s extremely likely that a trade could be possible.

What do the Rangers need? More secondary scoring to their bottom six, or a legit top six right wing to keep Alexis Lafrenière at his natural LW position on the third line. That’s where the Montreal Canadiens come in as they’ve been reportedly out there trying to move their plethora of veteran forwards.

Pierre LeBrun recently noted on TSN’s Insider Trading that Montreal has been calling teams looking to move players like Evgenii Dadonov, Jonathan Drouin, and Mike Hoffman. It should be noted that the all but Hoffman would be considered a rental, as he has another year left on his deal.

new york rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As for the Canucks, there could be some major changes coming after another awful start. This time, it could very well go beyond firing the head coach. While young players like Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are untouchables, they could be open to shaking things up immediately with some of their veterans.

Vancouver’s center and captain, Bo Horvat is a pending UFA with a great contract for this season ($5.5M) and would really deepen the Rangers three lines.

“Our priority is to keep Bo (Horvat),” President Jim Rutherford said on Sportsnet’s Canucks Central.. “We recognize what he can do for us. I hope we can sign him but if he keeps playing like this we’re going to get a better return for him.”

Horvat, 27, haș a ridiculous 12 goals and 16 points in 14 games this season.

Of course, the Rangers could also be looking for help on defense and 29 year-old lefty Joel Edmundson from the Habs may be a possibility. He has another year remaining at $3.5M AAV.

Whatever deal is made, the Rangers are cap strapped at the moment, which means they have to send a roster player or two with salary the other way. Even then, it’s likely GM Chris Drury will need for the other team to retain 50% of the cap hit to make a trade work.

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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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