One fan driven rumor or storyline if you will, surrounding the New York Rangers this offseason is acquiring Anthony Cirelli from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Whether it would be offer-sheeting the 23 year-old 2nd year center or trading for him, it is something persisting with the NYR fan base.
Rangers rumors – Anthony Cirelli
In a recent article by Lyle Richardson for Bleacher Report, he writes the following.
Because Cirelli is completing an entry-level contract, the Lightning could attempt to sign him to an affordable short-term bridge deal. However, defenseman Mikhail Sergachev is in the same boat, meaning even bridge deals could be difficult for those two.
The Lightning could be forced to shop Cirelli if he seeks far more than they can afford. They have a trade history with the Rangers. Maybe Gorton would be interested if the asking price involves prospects or draft picks other than their first-rounder for this season. If Henrik Lundqvist retires, that would free up an additional $8.5 million to invest in a lucrative deal for Cirelli.
Interesting points made by Lyle for the argument of trading for Cirelli who just scored 44 points in 68 games. Pretty good numbers, but not something I believe Gorton would risk his reputation on to use an underhanded offer-sheet for. Plus, Gorton has four of his own RFA’s to sign and retaliation would come swiftly.
Is Anthony Cirelli worth it?
The short answer is yes, but at what price? The Rangers need centers, of that there is no doubt. However, I am not sold that Cirelli is going to blossom into a point a game type number two center everyone else believes he will be in Rangerstown. And no, I am not going to look at your special charts and graphs to make that determination, for that matter, neither will Jeff Gorton.
If Cirelli would cost the Rangers Filip Chytil and a 2nd or 3rd pick, I am all for it. The Rangers need pivots and Chytil seems better suited on the wing. Cirelli would automatically slot into a 3C role on a loaded Rangers team and be a force. It would give the Rangers four solid centers if they re-sign Strome or trade for a legit 2nd line center like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
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