September 13, 2020

They’ve tried it twice before, but should the Rangers trade for Steven Stamkos now

Steven Stamkos finally a NYR? (SI)

You may have heard this before. The Rangers should try and trade for Tampa Bay Lightning center, Steven Stamkos. No, this isn’t just your regular trade rumor chatter, you actually heard this before…twice actually.

Glen Sather “acquired” Steven Stamkos in 2009

“How close did we come?” Sather repeated back Larry Brooks’ question. “We shook hands on it, that’s how close.” So then, why isn’t Steven Stamkos a New York Ranger right now!

As the story was told to the NY Post by Glen Sather in 2010, the deal was struck with co-owner Len Barrie. Unfortunately, he did not have full authority to make the deal and angry GM, Brian Lawton went to co-owner, Oren Koules and then it was nixed.

The Rangers talked Stamkos trade at the draft in 2016

Back in 2016, I wrote how the Rangers should go after the “free agent of a lifetime” here. According to John Shannon, who was with Sportsnet at the time, the Rangers made an “offer” for Stamkos at the draft.

“I heard on the floor this morning that there is a big offer, potentially,because they can’t talk money,” Shannon said. “Watch the New York Rangers in the Steven Stamkos derby.”

A Sportsnet article discussed how a possible sign and trade could be worked out between all three parties. In essence, TB would be able to sign him for the max term of 8 years and send him to his desired destination as well. It was something GM, Steve Yzerman actually discussed on draft day.

“Never given it a thought so maybe I should think about it,” Yzerman said when asked about the sign-and-trade scenario at the entry draft last weekend. “It’s an interesting idea … well losing him for nothing or losing him for an asset? I’d love to get an asset for him.”

Sportsnet

Eventually, Stamkos and Lightning agreed to an 8 year deal, a no movement clause, with a cap hit of $8.5 million.

new york rangers rumors steven stamkos
Stamkos (CBC)

Third time is the charm, should the Rangers bring in Stamkos?

We know that Jeff Gorton tried to acquire him in 2016, can he finally complete the deal in 2020? I mean, the Tampa Bay Lightning are cap strapped. They want to retain both of their big RFA’s in Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. Do they eat some of Stamkos salary over the remaining four years to make it happen?

I mean, this is a game changer depending on how much Tampa can retain? Or would they consider buying out the 29 year old star center, making him a UFA? Can the Rangers make him fit at $6 million per season and is he worth the risk with his recent rash of injuries? These are all tough questions.

Of course, the Rangers need to send over something to get him. The Rangers do have that first round pick 22nd overall they could use. They have plenty of prospects too. Remember, this is a cap shaving move for Tampa. Jeff Gorton doesn’t have to give up a whole lot, unless the Lightning retain 50% of his salary.

Now do you do it? That would likely spell the end of Ryan Strome in New York. Of course, if Stamkos is healthy next season and centering Artemi Panarin, it could be worth the risk.

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