Pondering on Duchene and some other options before the season starts
As we count down the days until opening day, there are some interesting things to think about.
If we were to go back in time to the 2009 NHL draft and the Islanders had taken Matt Duchene and the Avalanche took John Tavares; how different would the two situations be? Hypothetically, if Tavares was exactly in the same predicament that Duchene is in, would Joe Sakic have pulled off a trade yet? My theory is he would already be a Ranger.
The main piece Sakic is looking for in a deal for Duchene is a highly regarded defenseman on an entry-level contract. So, it’s safe to assume that he would want that plus for Tavares IF he had him and needed to move him. So the Rangers offer Brady Skjei, JT Miller, Lias Andersson or Filip Chytil, and maybe a first-round pick for Tavares. I think that gets it done. The Rangers would be set at center with Mika Zibanajad, Kevin Hayes and one of their first-round picks from 2017.
They would still have depth on defense, switching Brendan Smith to the left side, and perhaps keeping both Neal Pionk and Anthony DeAngelo to go with Marc Staal, and Nick Holden. Besides Sean Day, who is still about a year away, the team is absolutely giddy about 20-year-old 2017 draft pick Brandon Crawley. The lefty brings some toughness along with a great shot and leadership qualities to the table.
But getting back to 2009, there was a lot of talks, and serious debates, about which player should go first overall, Tavares, Duchene or Victor Hedman. There were questions about John Tavares’ speed at the time. Really, he had only the slightest edge over the other two among the “experts”. But the reality is that Duchene is a level below, and not worth the asking price that Joe Sakic is demanding.
As I have written in the past, the Rangers continue to be way too left handed. Adding Kevin Shattenkirk, DeAngelo and Pionk have balanced things out on the defensive end. But up front, not only do the Rangers only have two right handers in Mika Zibanejad and Jesper Fast, with their team right now, they have very few in the system. With the way successful power plays are runs nowadays, a right handed shot in the left circle is a necessity not a luxury. I would still be shocked if Vinny Lettieri isn’t summoned for Thursday night.
P.A. Parenteau was waived by Detroit, he could be another right handed possibility, who also is a shootout specialist. There is a very good chance Ryan White will be waived from his tryout in Vancouver. He, too, is right-handed. But his skill set is more grind and tough then power play option. Though he does stick up for his team, he has had some productive years with the Flyers. He scored 6 goals in 34 games in 2014-2015, then tallied 11 in 73 games the following season. Last year he scored 9 in 65 combined games with Wild and the Coyotes.
Robin Kovacs was placed on unconditional waivers today. His contract is no longer among the Rangers 50.
Meaning they will have openings to claim a one or two players if they choose. Andrew Desjardines is still on a tryout. And Paul Carey is still here. The point is, a simple “trade” with the waiver wire is possible.
Lastly, Jimmy Vesey is one of the few forwards that looked noticeably better in all 3 preseason games. The early lines that have been reported since the games ended had Vesey on the fourth line. He also was not on either PP unit. Let’s just say i hope that changes.