P.K. Subban
ESNY Graphic

The New York Rangers need to improve their blue line and should consider P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators.

Frank Curto

Fast, hard-hitting and stylish are just a few ways to describe Nashville Predators star P.K. Subban. “First-pair defenseman” for the New York Rangers would be another great description for the flamboyant star should he become available after the postseason.

Subban, who turns 30 years old in May, just completed his 10th season in the NHL and rumors of his worn-out welcome in Nashville continue to surface.

The defenseman was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round, 43rd overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He made his debut in the 2009-10 season and went on to play for Montreal for seven seasons before being traded to the Nashville Predators in June 2016 for Shea Weber.

The aggravating defenseman, who has a hard shot and strong skating skills, won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top blueliner in 2012-13.

New York Rangers
Via CapFriendly.com

In 645 games played, Subban has recorded 98 goals with 408 points. The right-hander is strong on the power-play, recording 133 power play assists over his 10 years. This was an area the team had hopped Kevin Shattenkirk would improve, but the results have not been there.

This Rangers team saw plenty of progress with their forwards but unfortunately, struggled throughout the year on the blue line. A change needs to be made, and with the team trying to fine tune their rebuilding plan now, Subban would be a much-needed fit.

The Trade

The Rangers have a lot of potential on the blueline to move and would have to factor in the salary cap if they wanted to make a deal with the Predators.

The team has some players that they will not trade. Brady Skjei, Libor Hajek and Ryan Lindgren, I believe, would all be off limits. Marc Staal has a full no-move clause and should be added to the list of players not available.

The Rangers can request a list of off-limit teams from Kevin Shattenkirk (a condition of his current contract).

If that worked out, the Ranger could offer Shattenkirk and Neal Pionk for P.K. Subban and a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Now, this may not be good enough for Nashville. (It’s not good enough.) So another potential offer might be available should the team make the decision to trade a particular player instead of signing him.

Shattenkirk and Chris Kreider for Subban and Nashville’s second-round Pick in 2020.

The Blueshirts would have to trade Kevin Shattenkirk in almost any scenario. His average salary cap hit is $6,650,000 for each of the next two season reaming on his contract.

New York Rangers
Via Capfriendly.com

Subban has an average salary cap hit of $9,000,000 for the remaining three seasons on his deal.

New York Rangers
Via CapFriendly.com

The Rangers could offer some of the kids they have available in Hartford, but I believe they would absolutely need to trade current roster players to get t his deal completed.

Obviously, their first round picks (two currently, but could be three if the Dallas Stars advance to the Western Conference Finals) are off limits. The team could include one of the three second-round picks they have in this year draft to entice a trade with Nashville.

Before any trade discussion takes place, the Rangers have to figure out what they want to do with Chris Kreider. The last thing the team can afford is to have a season like the past two where their top players were dangled all season and then traded at the deadline.

The team’s blueline needs to be drastically improved. Shattenkirk just has not worked out as the team had anticipated so he would be the most logical to move.

Neal Pionk is a solid player, but with little offensive skill. The team would benefit moving him and making room for Hajek, Lindgren or any potential free agent signing that may occur when the signing period begins in July.

The New York Rangers are a few players away from making a playoff run and P.K. Subban would be a valued asset to get this done.

Follow Frank Curto on TWITTER

A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com