Rangers eyeing center Adam Henrique ahead of NHL trade deadline

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are looking at a franchise villain to help solve their offensive woes and center issue on the third line via a trade. Anaheim Ducks pending unrestricted free agent Adam Henrique is reportedly on Chris Drury’s target list.

Henrique was a big reason why the New Jersey Devils ousted the Blueshirts in the 2012 Eastern Conference Final. Oddly enough, that was just one of two times Henrique ever saw postseason action. The other was just four games with Ducks in 2018. For his 28 career playoff appearances, the 14-year NHL veteran has five goals, eight assists, and would love to add more given the opportunity.

Rumblings around the Rangers have general manager Chris Drury eyeing Henrique as a pivot he could immediately add in advance of the March 8th trade deadline.

Related: Rangers looking at adding two centers

Rangers eyeing Adam Henrique

NHL: New York Rangers at Anaheim Ducks
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Rangers know Filip Chytil will not be able to return from an upper-body injury this season, his entire salary cap hit of $4.4 million on LTIR can be used for a replacement.

Henrique, who will turn 34 on Feb. 6, has registered 15 goals and 32 points in 48 games to date for the bottom-feeding Ducks. His cap hit of $5.825 million is something that Drury would likely want Anaheim to retain up to 50% of in order to add other pieces as well.

That being said, Pat Verbeek is garnering a reputation as being a very shrewd general manager to deal with, so don’t expect the Rangers to pull one over on the Ducks boss. Depending on how much Anaheim eats in salary, the more Verbeek will extract from Drury. If it is the full 50%, I believe a second-round pick would be the top price.

Of course, that’s not the only center rumored to be attached to the Blueshirts. Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman rattled off a few more names Monday.

“To me a guy like Adam Henrique makes a lot of sense,” Friedman speculated on NHL Network. “Elias Lindholm is also a fit. Sean Monahan, we’ve all been joking the Rangers and Canadiens are unlikely trade partners because of the history (between front offices). Someone told me to watch Tyler Johnson.”

While Lindholm is going to be coveted by almost every contender, the Flames will not be rushing to deal him in order to maximize his value. That doesn’t help the Rangers who have had a gaping hole at 3C since November.

Regarding Monahan, former Rangers general manager and now Montreal Canadiens executive Jeff Gorton isn’t likely to do his former club any favors. After he was unceremoniously fired before the 2020-21 season ended, there is no love lost between the front offices.

Johnson, 33, who has recorded 13 points in 35 games with Chicago Blackhawks is a new name. Frankly, I don’t believe he really moves the needle for what the Blueshirts need and isn’t an upgrade over what they have today. Johnson is nearing a return from a foot injury that has sidelined him since Dec. 31.

At the end of the day, the noise around Henrique is growing and could soon become an official trade announcement.

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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