With the second day of the 2016 NHL Draft upon us, New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton must look to move these three players.The first round of the 2016 NHL Draft was a quiet time for the New York Rangers and their fans, but that was to be expected because, well, they traded away all of their first round draft picks.
There was some speculation that the Rangers may be looking to trade up for a first round selection, but to no avail.
Today is really when it all begins for the Blueshirts.
With last year’s disaster officially in the rear view mirror, it would greatly benefit General Manager Jeff Gorton to move under performing and over priced players to inject some youth into the aging club.
We’ve discussed previously that there are more than a few possible pitfalls that the rookie GM could fall into this summer.
Having said that, there are three ways in which Gorton could turn the tables on this bleak future outlook.
He needs to find a way to move Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, and Rick Nash.
Rick Nash is slated to make 7.8M through next season, Girardi will earn (earn is a loose term here) 5.5M through the 2019-2020 season, and Staal will make 5.7M through the 2020-2021 season.
That’s just about 19 million that the Rangers have tied up in three players. Wait, let me rephrase.
That’s about 19 million that the Rangers have tied up in three aging, injury prone players. Wait, one more time.
That’s 19 million that the Rangers have tied up in three aging, injury prone players whose collective production has experienced a nose dive.
Time to move them folks.
If the Blueshirts could move Nash and his 7.5 million dollar cap hit, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to hope for a player like Andrew Ladd (4.4M) and an additional pick.
I wouldn’t expect the Rangers to see much in return in terms of players, but right now it should all be about rebuilding the pipeline for the future.
Players like Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan are where the Rangers could really benefit as far as the present is concerned.
Nash has been in a steady decline over the past couple of years. You could easily look at his 40 goal season as a fluke.
While Girardi and Staal had awful seasons (Staal had 2 goals/13 assists with a 33,8% Corsi For, Girardi tallied 2 goals/15 assists and a 41.3% Corsi For), they could still play the role of a strong second pair defenseman.
If Gorton can perfect his Glen Sather Jedi mind tricks, the Rangers could possibly be competitive next season.
Possibly is the key word.
The Rangers cannot afford to keep nearly 20 million tied up in players who are not only dropping off production-wise, but also becoming liabilities in their own zone.
But hey, the Rangers have made a living out of paying old, overpriced players for years, so why stop now?