Rangers must act quickly if they want in on the Stamkos sweepstakes



Just before 11 a.m. today, I was laying in bed, still half asleep, when John Shannon of Sportsnet dropped the biggest soundbite of the draft weekend on the Rangers“I heard on the floor this morning that there is a big offer, potentially, because they can’t talk money,” Shannon said. “Watch the New York Rangers in the Steven Stamkos derby.”

Just like that, he confirmed that the Rangers would be players in the Steven Stamkos sweepstakes. It’s rumored that Stamkos is looking for a seven-year, max term contract with a cap hit worth over $10 million annually. Two teams already lining up to meet those terms are the Detroit Red Wings who were able to move Pavel Datsyuk‘s contract and the Buffalo Sabres. Sabres GM, Tim Murray said, “we’re going after the big fish.”

The draft was quieter on the trade front, than most expected coming in. Now, if the Rangers are serious about making a run at Stamkos, they must create cap space before July 1.

The problem is that time is ticking. Realistically if the team doesn’t move at least Rick Nash and one other piece making over $5 million annually, they probably can’t be a legit player for the 26-year-old sniper in free agency– which begins 6 days from today.

We can now infer that if Nash, and say Marc Staal are traded, it will probably be for young/cheap roster players, prospects, or picks. Or any combination of those three things.This rules out one thing: taking back a high money contract from a cap strapped team-something that’s helped get a lot of trades pushed through this past week.

The difficulty for Jeff Gorton will be finding a Nash trade partner. Ask yourself: what kind of teams need a Rick Nash? Who would be looking for an expensive, 32-year-old 30-40 goal scorer and is that team on his 12 team list? Certainly a tough bind to be in.

Gorton said today that they talked to a lot of teams and things haven’t materialized yet. Maybe in the next few days things will. In any case, the Rangers need to shed dollars before July 1 to make a run at Stammer and they need to start A.S.A.P..

One final note, Steven Stamkos says he loves Tampa, the fans, and feels the team has unfinished business. So assuming he wouldn’t re-up with the Lightning is wrong. GM, Steve Yzerman appears to be firm on a contract of 8.5M, which would be about a 10.5M elsewhere thanks to Florida’s no state income tax. A no move/trade clause will certainly be part of any deal he signs.

The problem is simple, if Stamkos wants to be traded, he will be making 8.5 to a team likely with state income tax. Now that’s one heck of a paycut when you look at it from that perspective.

We know teams have spoken with him and the clock is officially ticking.

From the Editor:

NYR have spoken to Matt Martin

My thoughts on this…NO

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