Rumors: Looking at the Rangers as sellers
Continuing on yesterday’s post where we look at the Rangers as buyers, it is time to flip the script and look at them as sellers.
Selling off assets
When you look at the way the team is currently constructed these names are the most likely pieces (with value) the Blueshirts can move:
In order of value
The pending UFA is now 33 year old, but experiencing a bit of a renaissance with his play this season. On many nights he is a force on the ice, however he only has 17 points in 40 games. Still, he is a veteran and a player contenders would love to add to their team at the deadline for a Cup run.
The 28 year old blue-liner has zero goals this season and only 18 assists in 36 games. It was believed that buying out Girardi and signing Shattenkirk was going to take McDonagh to the next level. Sadly, the Captain struggled to get any traction with Shatty and his CF% (which many used to bash Girardi) is at a career low 46% (Girardi is at 49.8% in TB). Add to this his impending UFA status in the summer of 2019 and the Rangers will need to make a huge decision. Trade him now where his value will be sky high, or run the risk of his play continuing to decline and lessens the return. I doubt they move him, but if the Rangers are sellers, this may be their best asset.
Wait! What? First off, I am not advocating for trading the heart and soul of the Rangers. With 31 points in 40 games Zucc is arguably their best offensive player. Couple that with his age and expiring contract in 2019 (he will be 32 on his next contract), makes him a candidate for a trade. Teams at the deadline will be looking for vets to take them over the top and facts here are simple, Zucc is that player and could bring in a decent haul.
Trading the Rangers leading goal scorer with 18 tallies isn’t at the top of my list. Especially one who is 30 and a bargain at 1.65M, but he will be a UFA this summer. That alone makes him a candidate but the return has to be right. Otherwise, re-sign him.
The Rangers gave Smith a nice 4 year contract at 4.35M this past summer. In return, he came to camp out of shape, struggled and was scratched often. In fairness, his play has improved and he’s easily the most physical defenseman they have. So why trade the 28 year old defender? He has a good contract and is a veteran, which makes for a valuable commodity at the deadline. Also, he will be 32 when his contract expires and the Rangers will eventually need to make room for prospects like Anthony DeAngelo, Neal Pionk, and Sean Day.
If the Rangers are going to be sellers, there simply is no reason to get keep Holden. Basically for all the reason mentioned above at the fact that he will be a UFA, the Rangers should move him for a draft pick at the deadline.