The New York Rangers are rolling with four straight wins heading into tonight’s contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Patience is a virtue, and one thing that seems apparent about Chris Drury is he has ice in his veins when it comes to trades. While nothing is imminent, that doesn’t mean he isn’t working the phones. That goes double when it comes to Vitali Kravtsov.
NYR Rumors: Kravtsov prospect swap
New York Rangers 1st round pick Vitali Kravtsov is in self exile in the KHL. The 21 year-old is playing for Traktor and awaiting a trade. In 20 NHL games, he has posted four points. Not exactly lighting it up, so his value is purely based on promise.
Chris Drury’s last reported ask for Kravtsov was a top prospect. Obviously, no team is giving up a prospect that is performing well. So this will ultimately be two GM’s willing to exchange one headache for another.
The Los Angeles Kings 1st round selection, Gabriel Vilardi has struggled to make the team. The 22 year-old is in the AHL and had the NY Post’s Larry Brooks speculating a potential trade.
“The Kings have assigned 22-year-old center Gabriel Vilardi to the AHL. The 11th-overall selection of 2017 would merit interest, perhaps even in a swap for Vitali Kravtsov’s rights,” he writes.
Vilardi is a big center, and it is a position of weakness in the Rangers’ prospect pipeline. If the Kings would be willing to make the swap, it could be beneficial for both players and franchises.
There is no indication that the Kings are interested in such a trade at this time.
One potential landing spot for Kravtsov I hear more than any other team lately are the Arizona Coyotes. However, with them being in full rebuild mode, the most I could see is a second round pick.
At some point, the Rangers are going to have to get something in return for Alexandar Georgiev.
It’s been relayed to me with almost certainty that the Rangers are not going to re-sign the 25 year-old goalie this summer. His contract demands and desire for more playing time do not fit into the Rangers plans.
With Carey Price still not ready to return, GM Marc Bergevin could be scouring the market for another goaltender. Allen’s injury may have the Habs looking to make a bigger move than just a temporary replacement.
Joonas Korpisalo was recently linked to Montreal prior to Price’s return. Acquiring Georgiev from the Rangers could also be a possibility.
At this time, the Rangers want Georgiev to start playing better and build value. Rumors had it this summer that Drury was looking for a first round pick. He’d be lucky to get a third, thrilled to get a second at this rate.
You know a deal is close if the Rangers call up Keith Kinkaid and he clears waivers. The Rangers will not be carrying three goalies this year.
Georgiev is 2-1-1 with a 3.77 GAA and a .870 SV% on the season.
Don’t rule out a Tarasenko trade
The New York Rangers shaved some future cap issues by trading Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues. In exchange they received Sammy Blais as part of the compensation.
Unfortunately for Blais and the Rangers, he will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
That leaves Kaapo Kakko as the only legit right wing for the top six. Barclay Goodrow is now being pressed into the role, but was originally slated to third line duties. Vitali Kravtsov is in self exile in the KHL and not coming back, and Julien Gauthier is just trying to stick with the team.
A move for Vladimir Tarasenko is unlikely. However, if the Rangers are in the playoffs looking like a legit contender it would be foolish for Drury not to bring in a proven sniper with a Cup on his résumé.
Tarasenko, 29, still has another year on a deal that hits the cap at $7.5 million. That extra year is the rub, but maybe St. Louis will be more willing to eat some salary at the deadline or Drury could get a third party involved.
Simply put, I would not completely rule out Tarasenko on the Rangers this season.
The more workable trade option involves the Golden Knights and Reilly Smith. When Jack Eichel and Max Pacioretty return from LTIR, Vegas will need to shave cap space. That means he could also be available prior to the trade deadline and a more immediate fix if the Rangers start to falter offensively.
Habs looking for a defenseman, Forsberg talks new deal, and more. Read here.