New York Rangers Trade Rumors: Anonymous NHL exec thinks Blueshirts in on a Patrik Laine trade

You’ve heard his name in the rumor mill since before last season’s trade deadline. Patrik Laine was the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 draft, and has scored 138 goals in 305 NHL games. At age 19, he popped in 44 markers and enters his 5th NHL season at the tender age of 22.

Honestly, what team wouldn’t want him? Laine is entering the final year of a deal that has an AAV of $6.75 million. He will be an RFA at season’s end and the Jets may be looking to trade him at the next deadline or summer.

NHL executive believes New York Rangers would take a run at him

Pierre Lebrun did a feature for The Athletic talking to anonymous executives about the current situation in Columbus and Winnipeg. In particular, how they would handle the trade demands of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Patrik Laine.

“I honestly think because of the ilk of the player, and the price, I got to believe it’ll be a three-way deal between the Jets, the agent and the team that gets him,” one anonymous exec told Lebrun. “They have to do a sign-and-trade, I think.”

I don’t see how Chevy will get the value that he wants and will feel that he should get, and we all know the media and the fans will scream no matter what he gets that he didn’t get enough, the team that gets him will want to make sure they got him locked in long term,” the exec continued.

“And the kid and the agent will want to make sure they have the money and the location. I don’t know about Jersey, but I got to believe the Islanders and Rangers would be taking a run at him.”

The Rangers could very well be in on players like Laine and Dubois

New York Rangers trade rumors
Patrik Laine with the NYR? (Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images)

Before you jump down my throat and scream, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE SALARY CAP IS?!!!” I do, and the Rangers are burning $12 million in buyout dead cap space this season. Next year, the Rangers will only be dealing with $4 million, and then $2.5 million in 2022-23 before it hits zero.

Here’s what else I know, next season an additional $5.5 million comes off the books once Brendan Smith and Jack Johnson’s deals are done. So magically, the Rangers will have $18 million in cap space. That’s plenty to add a superstar and do some housekeeping.

Now that we have the big math out of the way, the Rangers will have to sign some RFAs in Brett Howden, Julien Gauthier, and Filip Chytil who do not have arbitration rights. That means they can keep them all on the cheap.

One RFA who does have arbitration rights is Pavel Buchnevich. But if you are trading for Patrik Laine who is a RW, you will likely be sending Buchnevich back the other way.

Now you are going to tell me, aren’t you forgetting about Vitali Kravtsov? The answer is no. As much as I would love to see Vitali star on Broadway, I’d prefer he be able to do so as a center. That could be tried, but let’s not bank on it. Even so, nothing wrong with him as a third line RW to start.

The Rangers will be making big moves with their prospects soon

Here’s what I was told just a week ago by a well placed source, the Rangers have too many highly rated prospects and all are not going to play here. The expectation is if they don’t make a move at this deadline, the Rangers will be aggressive in the offseason.

That means taking a lot of their young prospects and acquiring bonafide NHL stars like Patrik Laine. I mean, can you imagine a first line next season that looks like this:

Alexis Lafreniere – Mika Zibanejad – Patrik Laine
Artemi Panarin – Ryan Strome – Kaapo Kakko

It’s time to start playing 3D chess Rangers fans. The writing is on the wall. Way too many prospects, not enough spots for them all.

Something is going to give, and the Rangers will be fully loaded to go after superstars for a Cup run.


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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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