2018-19 was not supposed to be a year of contention for the New York Rangers and now the inevitable is almost upon us.
Two weeks to NHL trade deadline. Here's my 4,500-word, 31-team Buyers and Sellers (and some teams in between) breakdown. Enjoy !https://t.co/fbk5G9iJEK
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 11, 2019
LeBrun goes on to list how Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello are the players “for sale” for the Rangers this season. He also lists Adam McQuaid as an asset the Rangers are likely to move by the Feb. 25 trade deadline. Zuccarello, Hayes, and McQuaid are all pending unrestricted free agents (UFAs).
While the Rangers are right to listen to offers on their UFAs, LeBrun also mentions how New York is willing to listen to offers on players already under contract, such as Vladislav Namestnikov. LeBrun notes “he’s yours at the right price.”
What makes things a little bit more interesting though, is how LeBrun mentions the possibility of the Rangers clearing cap space to make a run at Erik Karlsson and Artemi Panarin who are both UFAs this summer.
New York going after a Karlsson and a Panarin seem like a quick fix, but they definitely would make the Rangers a better team than the one currently on the ice. Along with the assets picked up at last year’s deadline and the assets from this year’s deadline, adding two mega free agents might just be the fix the Blue Shirts need.
While LeBrun is clearly speculating a run at the top two free agents, it would not come as a complete shock, considering the window for Henrik Lundqvist to win a Stanley Cup is closing quicker every season that goes by.
One thing is for certain, the next few weeks are going to be full of rumors. Let the fun and games begin.