2014 NHL Trade Deadline: Last-Minute Deals New York Rangers Should Pursue
Do they trade Ryan Callahan? Do they make a move at all?
If they do decide to make a move, we've come up with a few last-minute deals that the Rangers would be wise to pursue.
Which deals are they?
Read on to find out.
The Rangers need an upgrade over John Moore.
Now, they shouldn't get rid of him, but they need a better option for their sixth defenseman.
One name to consider would be an old friend—Derek Morris of the Phoenix Coyotes. Morris played 18 games for the Rangers in 2009, in which he had eight points and played nearly 20 minutes per game.
He's playing 20 minutes a game now, and as the Coyotes start to fall out of the playoff race, they might want some value for the impending UFA.
Morris is a veteran with playoff experience, most notably playing nearly 23 minutes a game during the Coyotes' run to the Western Conference Final a few years ago.
He would bring stability and a little offensive flair to the third pair. For a midround draft pick and a low-level prospect, Morris would be a huge upgrade over Moore and a needed player for a long playoff run.
The Rangers have only scored four power-play goals in their last 26 opportunities. That's not good enough.
The Rangers power play had been such a welcome surprise for most of the season, and it still ranks 11th in the league.
But the team might want to consider an upgrade on the point position. The Rangers have never really had a true power-play quarterback since Brian Leetch. They need to find someone who can, at the very least, be better than Brad Richards.
I think that person could be Ray Whitney. Yes, he's having a down year for the Dallas Stars, with just seven goals and 15 assists.
But in his career, Whitney has always excelled on the man advantage. In his last full season—2011-12—Whitney had 20 points on the power play.
He would have to be a situational player, a kind of ace in the hole who would only play when they need him. He would be a healthy scratch often. But if their offense needs a burst, it might not be a bad idea to throw him in there and see what he could do.
Whitney would not cost much, maybe a late-round pick. He's a free agent at the end of the year, so there's no really no risk.
But he's the type of wily veteran who could be reinvigorated by a change of scenery and a chance to play for a more offensively minded coach.
The Rangers benched Dominic Moore Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, and their forecheck didn't really suffer.
It would not be a surprise, then, to see the Rangers try to acquire an upgrade over Moore.
One name to keep an eye on is Marcel Goc. The Florida Panther is an impending free agent but a really useful player. He averages 17 minutes a game and has 11 goals and 12 assists.
Besides being an offensive upgrade, he might even be a defensive upgrade over Moore. Goc plays the most penalty-killing minutes for a forward on the Panthers.
Goc might fetch a third- or fourth-round pick, but I do think it's worth it. He's simply a better player than Moore and would provide a bit more offense on the fourth line.
You can never have too much scoring.
And since the Rangers rank 19th in the league in scoring, they might be wise to find some depth scoring either to insert in the lineup regularly or to put in when they need a jolt.
Brad Boyes could be an option. He's had a bit of renaissance this year, scoring 17 goals and adding 11 assists.
He can play anywhere in the top nine and would likely only cost a fifth- or sixth-round pick. These are the type of deals that can put teams over the top. It's also a pretty low risk since Boyes is a free agent at the end of the year.
Justin Falk is a nice player, but the Rangers need better and more reliable depth on defense.
When Roman Hamrlik had to enter the lineup in the postseason, it was a disaster. The Rangers need someone to come in at a moment's notice and perform well.
That guy could be Cory Sarich. A veteran, Sarich has played in 45 games for the Colorado Avalanche this year. Playing nearly 18 minutes a game, he is plus-four.
He's at the end of his career, but he won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay. He knows how to play in the postseason.
If the Rangers trade a midlevel prospect like Ryan Bourque and a pick, they could have reliable depth on the back end. You can never have enough of that.