Rangers working on Alex Wennberg trade; targeting Frank Vatrano: report

NHL: New York Islanders at Seattle Kraken
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The New York Rangers are reportedly working on a deal to acquire center Alexander Wennberg, who is being held out of the Seattle Kraken lineup for “trade-related issues.”

Additionally, Larry Brooks of the NY Post reaffirms Forever Blueshirts report that Anaheim Ducks Frank Vatrano is a top target.

“I keep hearing his name, but they are going to have to do something to entice Pat Verbeek (Ducks GM) to move him,” a source told us in late February. “He’s not in the position where he’s walking out the door for nothing, so he won’t be looking to sell at any cost.”

Rangers working on trades

frank vatrano
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Wennberg, 29, has registered 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 60 games this season. The Rangers are among several teams that have expressed interest in Wennberg, including the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche.

Per Arthur Staple, there’s a possibility the Rangers could be using a third team to lower Wennberg’s AAV. A second-round pick and a prospect to Seattle for Wennberg, and a fourth or fifth round selection to another team may drive his cap hit to as low as $1.125 million.

Meanwhile, Vatrano is a player that could spark Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider’s to start scoring more 5v5.

The former Blueshirts forward has an NHL career-high 29 goals in an All-Star season, and has another year left on his contract with a $3.65 million which means he isn’t a rental.

“The price for Frank Vatrano is high,” Elliotte Friedman wrote in his 32 Thoughts blog Monday. “He’d be perfect in many places, but someone reminded me that, a year ago, there was interest in [center Adam] Henrique, but [Ducks] GM Pat Verbeek made it clear if he didn’t get what he wanted, he could wait.”

Initially, Forever Blueshirts was told that the Rangers 2024 second-round pick along with either prospect Brett Berard or Matthew Robertson may be enough to get it done. Based on the latest reports, that pick now has to be a first rounder.

One final note, we have also learned that an upgrade over Erik Gustafsson is also on general manager’s Chris Drury’s radar. A name brought to my attention is Joel Edmundson in Washington.

Edmundson, 30, has played 44 games this season and amassed six points (1 goal, 5 assists). The pending UFA comes with a $1.75 million cap hit, that could come down with salary retention. A defensemen prospect like Matthew Robertson or Zac Jones could get the deal done.

So why Edmundson? He won the Stanley Cup in 2019 with the St. Louis Blues and played in the Stanley Cup Final in 2021 for the Montreal Canadiens, who fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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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