What the Duchene trade means for the Rangers

USA Today

With the Senators trading center Matt Duchene earlier today, the first big trade of deadline season has finally occurred. What does it all mean for the Blueshirts? Let’s take a look.

For starters, the deal will set the precedent for Jeff Gorton to negotiate a potential trade involving Kevin Hayes. Duchene is a top-six center on every team in the NHL, and him going to Columbus give the Blue Jackets a bona fide top line with Artemi Panarin on the wing. The belief is that Columbus is gearing up for a playoff run.

This means that Kevin Hayes is now, presumably, the top center on the market. Ottawa giving up two of their better prospects and possibly more gives Jeff Gorton a barometer when it comes to discussing a trade for the Dorchester, MA native. And with Nashville, Boston, Winnipeg, and others rumored to be in the market for Hayes’s services, the Rangers should be able to bring in a nice haul for Hayes if they decide to trade him.

Secondly, as Adam Rotter points out, Columbus trying to make a deep playoff run means Artemi Panarin is off the market, and Mats Zuccarello becomes an even more valuable trade asset for the Rangers. With Ottawa making Mark Stone available for a trade, Zuccarello may not be the best winger available on the market, but the Rangers may be able to increase their asking price for the veteran Norwegian winger.

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