The New York Rangers are a team that could use another scoring left-winger. The team may be off to a hot start but how long will the Rangers benefit from four productive lines?
The Rangers have two good centers in Brad Richards and Derek Stepan and two productive right wings in Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik but the left-wing position is an area of weakness for the Rangers.
At the trading deadline, the Rangers should be active players but who should they acquire? This slideshow will look at some deadline deals the Rangers could make. They are not neccesarily superstar additions.
These are just some moves to consider so try and focus on the effectiveness more than the probability of the moves occuring.
As much as I would love to see Zach Parise in red, white and blue it won't happen at the deadline. Here are six wingers the Rangers should target at the deadline.
1.) Vinny Prospal
Vinny Prospal is a player the Rangers probably regret not re-signing. The Blueshirts opted to let the versatile forward test the waters of free agency.
Prospal eventually signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets and has had a great personal start despite the Jackets' woes.
In 26 games this season, Prospal has scored six goals and has 14 assists for 20 points. He is a player the Rangers would love to have back.
Prospal could add to the Blueshirts powerplay and would be a significant offensive upgrade for a low price.
Prospal carries a $2.5 million cap hit and the Rangers would give some minor maneuvering to bring back the fan favorite.
Likelihood of Occuring—4/5
- 2)Ray Whitney
Yes, I realize Ray Whitney is 39 years old and is pushing 40 but he already has 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists) this season.
This is the type of player to acquire at the deadline. He is a low risk due to the amount of time he would potentially be on the Rangers.
If he was on the Rangers, he would be second overall in scoring. Depending on Phoenix's playoff status come February, Whitney is a player that the Rangers could look to add.
Whitney would add scoring, power play experience and veteran leadership to a relatively young hockey club. Whitney was a vital part of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 when they won the Stanley Cup and he could have a similar impact for the Rangers.
Adding a proven 50-60 point player can only help if the price is right. His cap hit is a bit higher at $3.5 million so the Rangers would have to move some salary.
Likelihood of Occurring—3/5
- 3)Shane Doan
I already know what someone is going to say, "Shane Doan has said he wants to stay in Phoenix and will not waive his NTC to go anywhere." I am fully aware with Doan and his stance about leaving Phoenix. He is a family man and has strong ties to the state of Arizona.
However, if the Coyotes are going to relocate after this season many feel that Doan would change his stance. Doan fits the Rangers mold almost perfectly. He is a physical winger who leads by example and can still provide some offense.
This scenario is not likely to come into fruition, so Glen Sather should at least do some due dilligence.
Likelihood of Occuring—1/5
- 4)Bobby Ryan
Bobby Ryan was pulled off the trading market, at least for now. Ryan is a situation the Rangers should revisit at the trade deadline. If the price is right, the Rangers could pull the trigger.
Ryan is only 24 years old and he is a proven 30-goal scorer with 80-point potential. Players like Ryan don't grow on trees so if he is available for a reasonable rate, Sather will have no hesitation to pull the trigger.
Likelihood of Occurring—0.5/5
Brendan Morrow is another player the Rangers should look into. Morrow by all accounts may not be available because he is the captain of the Dallas Stars in addition to being one of their key players.
However, the emergence of Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson make the idea of dealing Morrow a bit easier to contemplate.
Morrow would fit in with the Rangers system and would really complement some players already on the Rangers roster. Morrow could be paired up with former teammate Brad Richards or he could be paired with a young center like Derek Stepan.
Either way this move would help the Rangers if they could make it.
Likelihood of Occurring—2.5/5
- 6)Rene Bourque
Rene Bourque is a player who could become a Blueshirt at the deadline. He is a young winger with some skill who could thrive with a change of scenery.
Bourque is a solid goal scorer who could add some punch to the Rangers’ first or second line.
The likelihood of Bourque being traded is higher than others on this list because Calgary is looking to rebuild.
The Flames would be smart to trade Bourque as they could probably pick up a prospect and a draft pick for Bourque.
Expect the Flames to be sellers at the deadline when they start their fire sale of players.
Likelihood of Occurring—3.5/5
Rangers could definitely add some more scoring to make them a legitimate threat once the playoffs roll around. However, the price to add a scorer may be more costly than the value of the scorer himself.
There is a lot of hockey left to play so it will be interesting to see if the Rangers decide to make a move.
Tom Urtz, Jr. is a New York Rangers columnist.
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