The news has come out and for those that do not keep up with Rangers hockey, here is the blog post from yesterday, describing the situation a little more. Rangers “ready” to sell at deadline: Zuccarello, McDonagh on the list. Yes, the Rangers are selling and the players included are in fact Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash.
Ryan McDonagh trade talk…
McDonagh has spent eight seasons here, and has enjoyed a successful Rangers career, and a solid career might I add for any NHL defenseman. McDonagh was named “captain” four years back and definitely plays the role very well. McDonagh has played 512 NHL games tallying 51 goals, 185 assists, 236 points and +145 plus/minus. A player many thought the Rangers were going to hold onto for a good portion of his NHL time. Well, McDonagh is only 28, a proven top two/top four defenseman in the NHL and brings the best ROI(return of investment) here. McDonagh can honestly fit in any NHL system, and be a key piece for any NHL team. What the Rangers are looking for though is a team that is in a playoff contending spot, willing to give up an NHL-prospect(s), a few pick(s).
The team we can be looking to bite at McDonagh are honestly the Islanders, now this may come as a complete shock to you, but the Islanders have struggled with defense all season and have a slew of prospect defenseman playing right now, with a fortified offense, another solid defenseman added to the mix can certainly help this team make a playoff push. Could this happen, probably not as they are cross-state rivals, both in the same playoff spot and have never swapped players in a trade ever. Other teams are Toronto, with Morgan Reilly out, McDonagh fills that void perfectly, they play a similar game, plus Toronto has an endless amount of prospects and picks so this could certainly be an option. Tampa Bay could be another option, former Rangers defenseman Dan Giradi went over there this offseason and pairing the two back together, two players that played with each other for plenty of minutes, know each other well could help Tampa Bay complete this Stanley Cup package team.
Quite honestly any team that is within a playoff spot, have prospects, picks and are willing to give more then get in this situation sounds good to me and probably Jeff Gorton too. Simply put, the deal is right the Rangers should not hesitate.
Mats Zuccarello trade talk…I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Mats Zuccarello, lets move over to the Rangers fan favorite now. Zuccarello has been a fan favorite for his entire Rangers career, there is probably not one Rangers fan out there that can say one bad thing about Zucc. The infamous “Zucccccc” chant that echoes throughout Madison Square Garden each night, Zucc has enjoyed his time here as a Rangers and unfortunately this is a business and what needs to be done, will be done. Zuccarello is a little more interesting because he is an undrafted top six forward and has played eight seasons with the Rangers, and the past five have been everything you can ask for in a 5″8 left winger. Zuccarello again is a proven top six forward and can be of value to any team that has a slacking goal scorer, or slacking top six that needs to add a little pizzazz, and play-making ability. Zuccarello has played in 432 games collecting 94 goals, 205 assists, 299 points and +57 plus/minus.
What teams could bite at Zuccarello, probably the Bruins, they have a ton of prospect forwards playing right now, and as the push for the Stanley Cup looks very likely for this team, the Bruins could use a top-six proven veteran playmaker. Dallas possibly as well, they have struggled with some depth on the front end and could use a player maker to play alongside Alexander Radulov, they would be tight on the salary cap, but Zucc is a free agent in a year. Maybe Pittsburgh, Columbus two teams that have struggled with top six depth and one team(Pittsburgh) that has struggled with offensive scoring, a Columbus team that has battled injuries, it seems unlikely due to these teams salary cap and pick pool, but we’ve seen crazy occur.
The Rick Nash trade talk…
Rick Nash, last but not least. Keep this one short because, Nash all in all has not lived up to Rangers fans expectations. Don’t get me wrong Nash is a solid winger, that has transitioned his game into more of a two-way forward, but the goal-scoring punch Ranger fans were looking for, has not been there during his six years with the Rangers. Nash only tallied 40 plus goals in one season and other than that has been mediocre in terms of goal scoring. His contract ends at the duration of this season and the Rangers have kicked tires on moving this guy for quite sometime now. Nash played 365 games with the Rangers and has collected, 142 goals, 107 assists and 249 points. Nash has been a .6 point per game player, like I said I am not complaining about Nash but being a 33-year-old forward, contract ending, moving him sounds like the right move.
What teams can bite on Nash, honestly, any team. Nash is a proven top-six forward who can play both sides of the puck, he has the speed when he wants to use it, possess a hard, goal scoring shot, and if paired with the right guys can feed off their playmaking or goal scoring ability quite well. Teams that can bite on Nash? Boston, like I stated earlier, a push for the cup is coming and adding a player like Nash won’t hurt. Calgary, a team that has struggled with offensive depth and look to be a contender right now as they sit in the 3rd spot in the Pacific and have been successful over the past few months. Plus they have a ton of prospects and picks. Minnesota, Edmonton, Toronto, all these teams need offensive depth and all have prospects and are most likely looking to add to their rosters for the future. Another possibility could be a reunion in Columbus, Nash enjoyed his time there and spent much of his career there, plus was the most successful in Columbus. A team that needs some forward depth due to injuries and some prospects not performing, Columbus-Nash reunion is possible.
Like I stated earlier the Rangers should not hesitate on any offer including Rick Nash, for Ryan McDonagh a once first round draft pick and proven top defenseman in the league, they should sit on him for a little until they get an offer that is absolutely a no brainer. Mats Zuccarello, you sit on a for little too, wait until a team becomes a little antsy, decline some offers on Zucc and when the right offer pops up do not hesitate. The Rangers need to do this, the core has been together for quite sometime now and have very little to show for it. A re-build is in the process people, so if you are unhappy with the Rangers play this season, if these trades do occur I don’t know how happy you will be after.