Michael Grabner New York Rangers
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers have scratched Michael Grabner and Rick Nash for the Montreal Canadiens game on Thursday night. This only furthers trade speculation in Rangerstown.  

Rick Nash and Michael Grabner will not play when the New York Rangers take on the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night.

The scratching of Nash and Grabner is just precautionary as the team nears potential trades revolving the two. Teams like to do this so an injury doesn’t derail a potential trade.

It is believed that the Rangers have gained some serious traction on a deal surrounding Grabner.

There are a number of teams that are interested in the speedy forward. The Rangers have been reportedly asking for at least a second-round pick in any deal that is surrounding Grabner. This is not an outrageous asking price for the Blueshirts considering that Grabner has scored 52 goals over the last two seasons. Grabner has a cheap cap hit for the rest of the season which makes even more of an attractive commodity.

At least “five or six teams” are interested in Rick Nash according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN.

Of those teams, the Rangers have been asking for a first-round draft pick, top prospect, and a lower prospect. It is yet to be known whether or not someone has offered that price tag quite yet, but there is traction on a deal.

Nash has been with the Rangers since the 2012-13 season. He has helped lead the Rangers to a Stanley Cup Final, President’s Trophy, and two Eastern Conference Finals. Nash has scored 145 goals in his time with the Blueshirts. He has had one 40 goal season and has scored 20 or more goals every year in his career except in 2002-03 and 2015-16.

Taking the place of Grabner and Nash will be Vinni Lettieri and Paul Carey. Both Carey and Lettieri have had cups of coffee with the Blueshirts and have contributed.

This is the beginning of what should be a busy weekend for the Blueshirts.

Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.