Report: Rangers looking to trade for one or two centers

NHL: New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are in the market for a center according to NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman. General Manager Chris Drury set that ball in motion when he placed veteran pivot Nick Bonino on waivers last week.

“The Rangers were already looking for a center,” Friedman said on Hockey Night in Canada. “And now they may have to look for two. Filip Chytil was re-injured [on Friday], and we wish him all the best, but it doesn’t sound great.”

Chytil, 24, has been out since Nov. 2 and has six assists in 10 games this season. He was at an optional morning skate when it was reported that he needed help off the ice. No one saw what caused him to go down, and now there are serious questions about his long-term health.

“Fil suffered a setback,” coach Laviolette said. “He was evaluated this morning and will continue to be evaluated. He’s at his house here in New York.”

Related: Chytil suffers setback

Rangers looking for help at center

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

One center that’s available is Sean Monahan of the Montreal Canadiens. Friedman spoke at length about the pending UFA, and logically linked the Rangers as a potential suitor with a twist.

“A number of teams are wondering if Monahan is on the Rangers radar,” he continued. “The big challenge is that there isn’t a lot of love lost between those two front offices. So will it be a complicated deal to do between them?”

Forever Blueshirts reported back in September of 2022, with trade rumors regarding disgruntled prospect Vitali Kravtsov, that the presence of former Rangers GM Jeff Gorton in Montreal didn’t make a deal with the Canadiens likely.

What was made clear to me is that Gorton would consider the deal if it was at a discounted price. Remember, Gorton knows more details about what transpired between Kravrtsov, Chris Drury, and the Rangers organization than anyone else.

Forever Blueshirts (9/17/22)

Both Gorton and team president John Davidson were dismissed on May 5, 2021 and the organization gave their roles to Drury.

“No, I didn’t know it was going to turn into that, it surprised me,” Gorton told the Cam and Strick Podcast after being fired after the Tom Wilson incident. “Obviously, I lost my job – it probably has to be more than that. I don’t know, but it has to be more than that – it can’t be just one thing.”

As for Monahan, the 29-year-old would be perfect on the Blueshirts’ third line. To date, he’s registered 13 goals and 35 points in 49 games. Furthermore, he can score when it counts. Over his career in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Monahan has 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 30 games, all with the Calgary Flames.

Besides him being a solid two-way center, he also has reasonable cap hit of $1.985 million, which would allow the Rangers to go after other needed pieces like a scoring right wing and shutdown defenseman.

Friedman also speculated on a recent podcast that a first-round pick could be the asking price. Of course, there’s been no indication that’s what the market will pay for Monahan’s services this far out from the Mar. 8th trade deadline.

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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