NHL Trade Rumors: New York Rangers That Might Be on the Move
It's no secret that the Rangers have been in major need of some offensive. The New York Rangers started this offseason needing to resign several key components, obtain a true number one center, and find a puck moving defenseman.
So far, the Rangers' offseason has been a success. They have their first line center in Brad Richards. They managed to avoid arbitration by resigning Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, and Brian Boyle, all vital pieces to their young core. They picked up some toughness in Mike Rupp to replace the tragic loss of Derek Boogard. The one goal they have failed to accomplish is that ever-elusive puck moving defensive player.
Last season, the Rangers acquired defenseman Brian McCabe in an attempt to improve their defense, offensively. McCabe didn't work out as the Rangers would have liked, as the Washington Capitals eliminated the Rangers in five games.
The Rangers still have plenty of depth, which they could move for the right guy. Here are a few players that might move before the trade deadline.
Biron most likely will stay put. But with him becoming a free agent at the end of the year, the New York Rangers might look for Henrik Lundqvist to carry the load down the stretch—something he has done since he entered the league.
Biron played just 17 games for the Rangers last season before he was sidelined with an injury. Biron posted an 8-6 record with a 2.13 goals against and .923 save percentage. Back from injury, his numbers should increase. However, the Rangers do have a goaltender in the minors who has seen some time in the NHL in Chad Johnson.
Biron could be a solid back up goaltender for a team with playoff potential. Biron has shown he could also handle a starting goaltender's work load as well.
Trade Value: B-
Michael Del Zotto
Del Zotto had an excellent start to his rookie campaign, but simmered down quickly. The Rangers have depth defensively, so Del Zotto could be expendable.
He has played in 127 NHL games, scoring 11 goals and assisting on 37 others. Del Zotto has shown that he has the potential to be a good offensive defenseman, but his career minus 25 shows he still needs a little grooming defensively.
Michael Del Zotto can skate, and with his offensive mind, teams might have interest in this Ontario native. The Rangers could decide they would like to develop him a little further, but Del Zotto is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year. The Rangers' depth could possibly allow them to address other needs by trading Del Zotto.
Trade Value: C+
Sean Avery is being Sean Avery. The agitator is making headlines again. All the negative attention might have bought this power forward a ticket elsewhere.
Sean Avery has been a contributor to the Rangers since his arrival in the '06-'07 season. Since then he's totaled 42 goals and 120 points.
Avery brings a different component to the Rangers. He is a grinder that brings a physical presence. Unfortunately, his reputation has caused him to clash with referees around the league. Avery has been known to take bad penalties, putting him in head coach John Tortorella's dog house often.
With his recent arrest, the Rangers might have had enough of his antics. There are still teams out there that might gamble on a player like Avery. He can forecheck, fight occasionally, and contribute offensively.
Trade Value: C+
Erik Christensen's importance value to the Rangers has dropped significantly with the arrival and stellar rookie season of Derek Stephan. Christensen still is a decent center, who can take face offs. Christensen saw 63 games totaling 11 goals and 16 assists for a total of 27 points.
Like several other Rangers on this list, Christensen will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2011-2012 season. Although the demand for Christensen might not be high, several teams could have interest in picking up a third or fourth line center to add some depth, while only taking a small cap hit.
Trade Value: C-
Wojtek Wolski was looking to be a powerful forward with the Colorado Avalanche. Needless to say, this left winger has yet to hit his full potential. Wolski is a big body that could contribute offensively, but has not done it consistently.
Wolski finished the last year with the Rangers, scoring only six goals and assisting on thirteen. His 19 points in 37 games was less than impressive for the Rangers and the $3.8 million cap hit they were taking. Although his numbers should improve, due to time with Richards and Gaborik, the Rangers show little interest in resigning him.
Expect the Rangers to shop Wolski around. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, which boosts his trade value and gives his new team negotiating rights. He does have good scoring ability and great size, and is still young. If he puts up decent numbers, his value should be slightly inflated.
Trade Value: B+