As Rangers fall, players’ trade stock rises

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The Rangers are riddled with injuries, wallowing in dysfunction, and falling out of playoff contention quickly. Another loss is accompanied by more bewilderment at the team’s play and Alain Vigneault’s coaching decisions. The silver lining? Rick Nash is finally scoring and raising his trade value.

Nash Hot!

Rick Nash, who will be a UFA this summer is on fire as of late. Last night he notched his third 2 goal game in his last 5 contests. His 6 goals and 7 points during that span is his hottest streak since late October. And it couldn’t come a better time with the NHL trade deadline (2/26) a few weeks away.

Nash and Others Highly Sought

On the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading, Darren Dreger noted that the Rangers are leaning towards being sellers. Two names that are considered “highly sought” are of course, Rick Nash, and the Blueshirts’ leading scorer, Michael Grabner.

Dreger also noted that Nash, who has a no trade clause, has yet to be asked for his 12 team list. Once that news break, as we expect it will over the next 2 weeks, it will signal not only the end of Nash’s tenure in NY, but the Rangers as sellers.

Michael Grabner, will also be moved this deadline due to his UFA status. His ability to kill penalties, and be an ever present threat because of his speed makes him a real commodity. However, fans should temper expectations on the returns of either of these players.

A late 1st round pick for Nash is possible, but Grabner likely will not amount to more than a 2nd rounder. Regardless, that brings us to the most intriguing name on the Rangers roster that continuously is popping up.

Moving McDonagh

Once again, Ryan McDonagh’s name has surfaced in the rumor mill. Dreger mentioned him during last night’s segment and qualified it with a deal at the draft. Could it happen? If the Rangers miss the playoffs and wind up with a nice lottery pick that isn’t 1st overall, the answer is yes.

The Rangers currently sit 12th in the draft lottery. Thanks to a change in 2013, all non playoff teams have a shot at first overall. Previously, only the top 5 did which certainly lessened the excitement. According to Tankathon, today the Rangers have only an 8.8% chance of picking in the top 3, and a measly 2.7% for 1st overall.

Tankathon also has a cool simulator (go try it) which I ran several times. The highest I got the Rangers to pick was third overall. I noticed the sweet spot to move up was around 10th, which is key. Here’s why.

Currently the bottom five teams in the NHL are Arizona, Buffalo, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Edmonton. I expect, Ottawa to move out and Florida to move in. If the Rangers can get a top 10 pick or better, they could offer McDonagh and their 1st round pick for #1, Rasmus Dahlin. All these teams already have young talent and could use a veteran like McD.

Dreaming of Dahlin

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Dahlin is the next great offensive defenseman. The Swedish blue liner, has been likened to Brian Leetch by none other than HOFer, Nicklas Lidstrom. The 17 year old, is the consensus #1 pick next year and a franchise player. Many believe that he will be even more superior to the league’s best defenseman today, Erik Karlsson.

The bottom line is this, if the Rangers can make the move to land him at this year’s draft, they should. If it comes at the expense of Ryan McDonagh, it is a move Jeff Gorton must make.

 

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