Rangers could make a run at Steven Stamkos

Stamkos on Broadway?

Stamkos on Broadway?

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman can stir the pot and in his latest 30 Thoughts, he insinuates how the Rangers might make a run for UFA, Steven Stamkos:

Even when they led the Metropolitan Division, coach Alain Vigneault warned it was a mirage. He’s proven correct. I still think New York makes the playoffs, but if they don’t, the first-round pick they traded to the Arizona (Keith Yandle) slides to 2017.

This is purely me (Friedman) thinking, but what other picks could they get for a Dominic Moore or a Yandle? And, if they really decided to go big, they could test the market on a Rick Nash(who has no-trade protection). Be curious to see if a contender thought he might be a critical piece.

Whoa! Trade Rick Nash? Yes, as we stated this offseason he could be traded but only to a list of 10-12 teams that he must supply GM, Jeff Gorton with. Could it happen? Lyle Richardson wrote the following.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are struggling defensively. In the past, they could rely on the superb goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist, but since early-December he’s been mired in a miserable slump. Granted, there’s sufficient time to rebound and I wouldn’t write them off just yet, but if they tumble well out of playoff contention by late-February, GM Jeff Gorton could shake things up. Moving Yandle is certainly an option, but I don’t see him shipping out Nash. Even if he wanted to, Nash’s no-trade clause and expensive contract is difficult to move during the season. If Gorton overhauls his roster and frees up considerable cap space before July 1, he’ll pursue Stamkos. 

I initially read Richardson’s comments as a keep Nash and acquire Stamkos scenario. Don’t get me wrong, a 1st line with Stamkos and Nash would be lethal, but would probably cost 17-19M in cap space. We all know that Stamkos will want at least 10M and some have reported he may be seeking 12M. Throw in Henrik Lundqvist‘s contract and you will have almost 30M of the cap dedicated to 3 players!

Do I think that Gorton will go after Stamkos? Yes, I do…but not with Nash on the roster. That would be the considerable cap space the Rangers would need to move to accommodate Stamkos. That and maybe getting Girardi or Staal to waive their no move/trade clauses too.

Lastly, for what it’s worth, TB Owner, Jeff Vinik believes he can get a deal with Stamkos done.

P.S. Can some of you go after Friedman for mentioning the possibility of trading Dom Moore like you all went after me?

Oh! Sound off in the comments below.

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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