Rangers Roundup: Oliver Ekman-Larsson rumors, two for one trades, and more
It’s never boring when you cover the New York Rangers – that’s for sure. Almost every time a big name comes on the market, they somehow get linked to the Blueshirts.
The most recent example is Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson not a Rangers target
According to Elliotte Friedman, the Coyotes will attempt to trade OEL again this summer. “Last time he gave the Coyotes two teams to deal with – Boston and Vancouver,” he explained. “This time around they are going to approach it differently. What Larsson told the Coyotes and what they’ve agreed to do is go out there, check the market, and they will bring a deal to him and he can decide if he’s comfortable going to that team”
Craig Morgan who covers the Arizona Coyotes confirmed Friedman’s report and added, “Ekman-Larsson’s camp has not given the Coyotes a specific list of acceptable teams, but there are certain teams to which he will not approve a trade and some of those should be fairly obvious.”
Inevitably, someone has linked Ekman-Larsson to the Rangers. Per The Fourth Period’s Summer Trade Watch List, the NYR, Devils, Kraken, Bruins, and Canucks are linked to him. It’s possible that Seattle, NJ, and the Bruins are but the Canucks have no cap space for him.
As for the Rangers, I can tell you with certainty there’s no connection to be made. Set aside OEL’s monster contract of $8.25 million per season until 2026-27 that takes him to the age of 35, he has a full no move clause. Ekman-Larsson loves the smaller city life of Arizona, and probably would look for something similar in his next destination.
Chris Drury is said to be looking for a veteran defenseman, I don’t think that means a top pairing guy. This is one rumors that can be put to bed.
Rangers and the “two for one” trade scenarios
Larry Brooks recently wrote that the Rangers will need to “lose” players to make offseason moves. I think some fans may be making too much of a fuss on this one.
If you’ve been reading Forever Blueshirts for the last few months, we’ve been writing that the Rangers are aware they have too many young players and prospects. By default, not all of them are going to play here so using assets to upgrade at certain positions is a given.
I mean, that’s the entire essence of the Jack Eichel talk dating back to last year. The Rangers wanting to upgrade at the center position will use players like RW Vitali Kravtsov since they are overloaded at the wing position. They will also add in Zac Jones or another defense prospect because their pipeline on defense is about to burst.
The Rangers are going to make trades this summer, and many of them will be the “two for one” kind.
Rangers need to follow Tampa’s example
Yesterday’s feature on Mika Zibanejad was a hit. It explored the positive domino effect a “hometown” discount on his next deal could mean for the Rangers. A look at how the Lightning handled their stars is a prime example on how to build for more than just one crack at Lord Stanley. Read the story here.