Is a big trade brewing between the Rangers and the Ducks?
Bobby BevilacquaOver the last three days, there’s been a lot of speculation and events that point to the Rangers and the Ducks potentially having something big in the works. Anaheim had scouts at the Rangers game against the Sharks, and the Rangers sent scouts to the last two Ducks’ games, including four at Tuesday’s game in New Jersey.
These weren’t just any scouts either. Gordie Clark (Director of Player Personnel) and Chris Drury (Assistant GM) were at both of the Ducks’ last games, and they rarely scout games. Tonight they were joined by Kevin Maxwell (Director of Professional Scouting). When they keep showing up for Ducks games, it means that there is something going on.
While it’s only three games into the season, it’s well known that the Rangers have been looking to improve their defense since the summer. There were no big trades, just minor acquisitions in Nick Holden and Adam Clendening, and the defensive group remained largely the same.
The Ducks are currently in a contract dispute with Hampus Lindholm, who is one of the two RFAs not playing right now. He hasn’t requested a trade, but he’s asked for a well-deserved raise. They need to move quite a bit of cap space in order to re-sign him, and keeping him is important for their success down the line.
On top of that, the Ducks are 0-3-1 and have scored just seven goals in four games. They’re a bit thin down the left side of their lineup so they could use some forward depth, something the Rangers have a plethora of. Realistically, the Rangers need to improve their defense and add a top-four guy in order to compete for the Cup, so this makes the two teams good trade partners.
The Ducks defensemen that fit the bill for this trade are Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen and Kevin Bieksa. Out of those three, the one that Gorton should target is 25 year old Vatanen. If the Rangers want to help out Ducks GM Bob Murray, they should make sure that they get something of value in return. That means Vatanen.
Vatanen is just 25 years old and under contract until 2020 with a cap hit of $4.875 million. He has posted at least 37 points in the last two seasons, as well as scoring 12 goals in the 2014-15 season. He’s posted above average possession numbers and has 16 points in 28 playoff games.
In order to get Vatanen, the Rangers would have to be comfortable moving a piece like JT Miller or Kevin Hayes in order land Vatanen. The signings of Buchnevich, Vesey and Pirri would all soften the blow and make it easier to move one of those two plus some non-roster assets.
After three games, I’m starting to believe that the Rangers can actually be competitive. The offense is just so explosive and the depth is tremendous, that this team might be capable of just winning a run-and-gun style of game. Similar to the Stars, who score a lot of goals and give up a lot of goals, but still do very well.
But if they were able to trade for one of Anaheim’s talented defensemen, then the Rangers would be real contenders.
Posted on October 19, 2016, in Rangers Updates and tagged Anaheim Ducks, Hampus Lindholm, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Lindholm contract, New York Rangers, New York Rangers blog, NHL, NHL Trade Rumors, NHL Trades, NYR, NYR blog, Rangers, Rangers blog, Rangers Ducks trade, Rangers trade rumors, Sami Vatanen. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.