Teams are beginning to set into motion their off-season plans and with that, we see rumors beginning to fly around. An interesting piece of gossip from the past few days is the possibility of a Rangers fire sale. First, I want to look at the legitimacy of a possible move or two then I want to examine the players that are currently being tabbed as expendable. Who could possibly fit in on the Red Wings?
“Communication remains open between the Blueshirts and Keith Yandle, still far more likely to depart than to remain. But even as The Post has learned No. 93 is not committed to getting to July 1 at the exclusion of negotiating with general manager Jeff Gorton, the price tag — expected to be a minimum $45 million over seven years — is likely to be too expensive for the Rangers.
Of course Rick Nash is available — as is everyone in the organization other than Henrik Lundqvist, Brady Skjei and Pavel Buchnevich. The Rangers, we’re told, are prepared to listen to offers for everyone.
That includes Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, each player’s availability, of course, will be dependent upon the exchange rate in return. But nothing is off the table. And the Wild are believed to have serious interest in native Minnesotan Stepan.”
There are some big time names included on that list. The Rangers themselves are without any big time prospects in their pipeline. If any trades were to take place for their high end players, no matter the team, it would more than likely involve a player on the cusp of stardom and a first round pick. Would it even be worth it?
For instance, if the Wings wanted to trade for Derick Brassard, at a five million dollar cap hit it would be very tough to maneuver. They would want someone like Anthony Mantha and a high pick. Not to mention you would have to give some salary back the other way.
The Wings have enough prospects to part ways with and have an average amount of draft picks. The real problem becomes trying to move out players with cap hits that are worth a damn. It is an uphill battle when playing armchair GM, what do teams really think of Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall now? Do they have any value in today’s NHL?
The higher end players won’t come easily, thus Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes should be the targets. Both have cost controlled years left and don’t carry the cap hit that the others do. Those players will be in high demand, the Wings do have the pieces to pull it off though.
If Ken Holland wants to keep the Wings on the right path, he will need to take advantage of situations like this, where teams are potentially unaware of the players they have in their organization. Targeting teams that are in the middle of “rebuilds on the fly” can be where GM’s make a real mark. Examples of those organizations are the Rangers, Canucks and Avalanche, they should be poached at every opportunity. Happy hunting Ken.