New York Rangers

Players New York Rangers Should Target to Make Roster Alain Vigneault-Friendly

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IOctober 15, 2013

Players New York Rangers Should Target to Make Roster Alain Vigneault-Friendly

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    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    The New York Rangers have one win through five games thus far, and they have been outscored by a margin of 25 to 9.

    The spread is pretty lopsided, and the Rangers should start targeting some players so that their roster is Alain Vigneault-friendly.

    To date, the Blueshirts have illustrated that more talent is needed to compete, especially if Rick Nash remains sidelined.

    It is still early in the season, but the following players are realistic targets that would make it a lot easier for Vigneault to do his job.

Curtis Glencross, Calgary Flames

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    Glencross would be a great fit for Vigneault's system because of his two-way abilities.
    Glencross would be a great fit for Vigneault's system because of his two-way abilities.Gerry Thomas/Getty Images

    Curtis Glencross' name entered trade rumors last week after Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reported that the Philadelphia Flyers were interested in the talented two-way winger.

    Seravalli suggested that the Flyers would be a good trade partner for the Calgary Flames because of the team's need for a defenseman.

    One name the Flyers have been kicking around is winger Curtis Glencross, who has been playing on Calgary's first line. Glencross, 30, netted 26 points in 40 games last season. He has 24- and 26-goal seasons on his resume, he's consistent, and he's one of the few players on Calgary's roster to play a gritty game.

    The Flames are desperate for a defenseman to play with Mark Giordano and the Flyers have a glut of high-priced blue-liners. Even without trading a defenseman, the Flyers could fit a player like Glencross' $2.55 million salary-cap hit on the books -- if he were willing to move his no-trade clause.

    The Blueshirts have a number of defenders in their system, so it is fair to say that they have the pieces necessary to strike a deal.

    Glencross is a prototypical Vigneault player because he has offensive talent, is a tough two-way player and utilizes his speed in all three zones.

    The Rangers could stand to add some skill on their wing, and Glencross certainly would fit the bill of requirements.

Nail Yakupov, Edmonton Oilers

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    Yakupov would bring some much needed offensive talent to the lineup.
    Yakupov would bring some much needed offensive talent to the lineup.Andy Devlin/Getty Images

    The Rangers would have to make a couple of moves to get Nail Yakupov under the salary cap, but he is the type of player Glen Sather should target. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN had a lengthy column on the state of the Edmonton Oilers, and he wrote that the team needs to upgrade its blue line.

    LeBrun said, "The real area that needs addressing is on defense. I suspect you’ll see MacTavish add a body or two between now and the March trade deadline. Or attempt to. He has ample assets up front to trade, as the team is loaded with forward talent."

    The Rangers have a glut of defenders, a number of whom could be No. 1 or 2 defenders on the roster. For example, Dan Girardi is a free agent at the end of this season, and he would a great addition to the Oilers' blue line.

    Michael Del Zotto is another defender who would be attractive to the Oilers and would add some offensive talent to their back end. 

    Obviously the Oilers wouldn't want to deal Yakupov, but they would be upgrading their blue line, and Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner would remain on the roster.

    In order to get talent, you need to give up talent, and that philosophy would come into play here. The 2012 No. 1 overall pick has been a healthy scratch as of late, and if he can't play Dallas Eakins hockey, the Oilers may be willing to trade him,

    There would need to be more pieces involved in order to balance the finances of the trade, but both organizations have the resources needed to facilitate a transaction. 

Radim Vrbata, Phoenix Coyotes

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    Vrbata is a skilled scorer that could really help the Blueshirts.
    Vrbata is a skilled scorer that could really help the Blueshirts.Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images

    The Rangers need some offensive players who can excel under Alain Vigneault, and Radim Vrbata would be a great addition to the roster.

    According to THN's Forecaster, Vrbata "has tremendous hands, vision and finesse. An excellent skater with different gears, he knows where to be in order to create offense. Is at his best when playing within a defined system."

    Vigneault has a defined system in New York, but the problem is too many of his players are suited to play John Tortorella hockey. Vrbata is a veteran scorer who is great on the power play, and he can also play a creative skill game.

    The Rangers are currently struggling because the roster is not used to having a ton of offensive freedom, but Vrbata would be able to step in and make things happen.

    The Phoenix Coyotes and NY Rangers have a history when it comes to making trades, and it would be out of the ordinary if the two sides decided to cut another deal.

Ryan O'Reilly, Colorado Avalanche

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    Ryan O'Reilly would be a great asset to the Rangers.
    Ryan O'Reilly would be a great asset to the Rangers.Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Ryan O'Reilly is due for a new contract at the end of this season, and he may become too expensive for the Colorado Avalanche.

    In order to keep O'Reilly's rights, the team would have to submit a qualifying offer; that would cost the Avs $6.5 million. Colorado could sign "ROR" for less by negotiating an extension, but there is no guarantee that he would be willing to take less money.

    O'Reilly is a perfect player for the Blueshirts because of his two-way play and scoring prowess. The Rangers have salary coming off the books next season, so they would be able to retain him.

    General manager Glen Sather would have to get creative to fit O'Reilly under the cap for this season, but it wouldn't be impossible.

    There is nothing to suggest that the Avalanche would consider moving O'Reilly, but the franchise could  upgrade their roster by dealing him.

    The Avalanche could stand to upgrade their blue line, and the Rangers have a surplus of blueliners in the organization. O'Reilly would cost the Rangers a pretty penny, but it would be worth it because of the number of skills he would bring to the table.

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