What about a trade for Alexander Wennberg with additional cap space after Staal trade?

Yesterday, I wrote about making a run at Columbus Blue Jackets center, Alexander Wennberg should he be bought out. The 26 year-old Swede trained with Mika Zibanejad and would look good on the 3rd line for the Rangers. He would also be some insurance if they can’t work something out with Ryan Strome.

Why would CBJ buyout Alexander Wennberg?

Before we get into it, let’s rehash why the Jackets would consider a buyout. It boils down to pure finances, and also the rumors that they want to make a run at Patrik Laine. They also need to protect against an offer sheet to Pierre-Luc Dubois.

The Blue Jackets, according to league sources, appear to be considering a contract buyout of their former first-round draft pick, a player who appeared to be on the cusp of becoming a No. 1 center just three seasons ago. It’s a decision that could save the Blue Jackets $10.7 million over the next three seasons — but only if they act now.

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The reason the Jackets would need to buy him out now would be because the payout would only be 1/3 versus 2/3 due to his age. It should also be noted that Wennberg and his agent have not been given any indication of a buyout.

Why a trade could be better for the NYR

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Alexander Wennberg (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The 6’2″ lefty shot center has regressed since his 59 point season in 2016-17. Last year, he only notched 22 points in 57 games. Wennberg did however step up a bit in these playoffs with three goals and 2 assists in 10 games.

At 26, Wennberg does fit the mold of what the Rangers are trying to build. His current cap hit is $4.9 million so if he’s bought out the expectation of the cost would be less. However, if the Rangers want him, why not avoid the potential bidding war.

If the Rangers could get Columbus to retain some of his salary, not much, in the deal they should do it. Currently Wennberg only has three more season on his deal. Gorton should entice them with a pick/prospect to eat at least $1.5 million of that hit. Maybe give them something a little better if they go to $2 million.

Bottom line, Wennberg at nearly $5 million in a cap hit isn’t worth it. But he could be a steal if the hit was closer to $3 or $3.5 million. Interesting and certainly worth exploring.

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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