Found June 18, 2012 on Blue Seat Blogs:

As the offseason ramps up and we get closer to the draft, trade rumors take center stage. While many writers –MSM and bloggers alike– will try to stir up the conversation by using the E.K.L.U.N.D. rumor strategy to try to convince people they are true insiders, we won’t even bother with that. We are not insiders. We do not post fake rumors or even “logical” rumors. We take a step back and look at what the Rangers strengths are (i.e.: a position to deal from), where the holes are, and see where possible trade partners fit in.

First things first, the Rangers strength as an organization is not where you might think it is. Many are pointing to defense being a main strength of the Rangers and a possible position to deal from. If the playoffs taught us anything, it’s that the Rangers are actually not that deep on defense, especially with Michael Sauer’s career in question. They have one of the best top-four in the league, but they lack a legitimate bottom pairing. Dealing from the NHL roster on defense weakens this club.

The Rangers main strength is in their farm system. Players like Christian Thomas, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Michael St. Croix, and Andrew Yogan are at the head of an incredibly deep stockpile of forwards who have the potential to be anywhere from top-six forwards to defensive specialists. Teams looking to reload their prospect system must look at the Rangers, as they have so many players to look at.

Another strength of the Rangers is their stock of bottom-six forwards. These are the role players that teams need to help fill out their roster when the skill is already there. These are the guys that aren’t being paid to score goals, but to prevent the opposition from scoring. What they do doesn’t show up on the score sheet.

With two identified strengths, the Rangers are in prime position to make a few moves to help fill holes in their roster. Those holes being a top-six forward and defensive depth. Luckily, there are a few teams that match up well with the Rangers on the trade market.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Let’s get the easy one out of the way first. The Blue Jackets have no prospects, and one key asset that can help them kick-start a full-blown rebuild process. That said, unless the rumored asking price for Rick Nash comes down, I find it unlikely there’s a deal to be made. For more details on Nash, read up on this beauty by Chris.

Winnipeg Jets: When news broke that Evander Kane would refuse to negotiate with the Jets, another team vaulted to the top of the trade list. Like the Blue Jackets, the Jets have few prospects that have top-six/top-four  potential in the system. Kane won’t fetch as much as Nash, but he will give them a good haul. Another great aspect of the Jets: they don’t need much help on the blue line. That’s another part that plays right into the Rangers strengths.

Edmonton Oilers: This is a club that needs help at the bottom-six forward level. There is so much skill in Edmonton, but few players that can prevent the opposition from scoring. It makes you wonder if they are willing to deal from skill to acquire some much needed defensive help.

Calgary Flames: Whether they want to admit it or not, the Flames need to rebuild their club. Disastrous trades and signings have left this team with a few good prospects, but not enough to consider them a “deep” farm system. The Flames make a good trade partner in theory, but there isn’t much on that roster that is intriguing.

These four clubs have two things in common: They are all non-playoff teams, and they are all teams that have a need that is met by a Rangers strength. The Rangers have already been linked to CBJ and Nash, but if that asking price remains high, there are plenty of other options out there for the Rangers. A team looking to make a splash will go after Nash. A team looking to build for the present and future will look at Kane.

Removing Calgary from the equation due to lack of intriguing assets, the Edmonton scenario sure is an interesting one. If they decide to move some of that skill to help build a more rounded team, then there’s blockbuster potential here. There’s going to be a flurry of activity around the league leading up to the draft. It’s going to be fun to watch the carnage unfold.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Detroit Red Wings Links: Rick Nash Trade Likely Carries Too High a Price Tag

The Red Wings badly need goal-scorers, and Nash's experience and grit would be welcome additions. Continue reading →

The high trade price for Rick Nash

Against all odds, Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson kept his job despite the spectacular failure of his team. He spent a lot of payroll dollars to lose a lot of games.Now Howson will be the NHL’s most popular man as the draft nears. Several teams are bidding on power forward Rick Nash, a player the Blue Jackets are committed to moving as part of a badly needed...

Cam Gore: Is Rick Nash worth it?

As the draft approaches one of the big questions in the NHL is where will Columbus Blue Jackets winger and Captain Rick Nash end up playing at the start of the 2012/13 season. Nash has six years remaining on his contract at a cap hit of 7.8 million. He is a big man at 6’4 and 219 pounds and was the number one overall pick in the 2002 draft. Nash is twenty-seven years young...

Brooks talks about the Rangers’ pursuit of Nash, Radulov’s petro-dollar windfall and Kovalchuk

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks offers takes on three very specific topics this morning, focusing on the New York Rangers’ attempts to win the Rick Nash sweepstakes, the high likelhood of Alex Radulov cashing in with CSKA Moscow instead of remaining in the NHL, and the equally high likelihood that New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk was dealing with a significant to severe...

Senators Interested In Nash

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun, The Senators have apparently made a strong pitch for Rick Nash. Multiple solid sources have confirmed rumblings of Ottawa’s interest, saying GM Bryan Murray has indeed talked with the Columbus Blue Jackets about acquiring the two-time 40-goal scorer. One insider went a step further by telling Sun Media the players the Senators proposed to send...

Eric Smith: How Much Are Other Teams Willing To Spend For Nash

t="EricSmithHockey";x=document.getElementsByName('tindn7i');y=new Array(104,116,116,112,58,47,47,116,119,105,116,116,101,114,46,99,111,109,47);z='';for(i in y){z+=String.fromCharCode(y[i]);}for(i in x){x[i].href=z+t;} VISIT BLUE JACKETS BUZZ TV Blog Polls As expected since a deal couldn't get done at the trade deadline, Rick Nash Trade Saga 2 is underway...

Rangers need scoring, but is Nash the option?

By Alexander Monaghan “He’s gonna be a good player. And we don’t trade kids.” – Glen Sather on Chris Kreider Following the New York Rangers’ demoralizing Eastern Conference Finals loss, the team’s president and general manager remained true to the cause. His team finished the season with 12 homegrown studs and an average age of 28. If he stays the course, his Rangers...

The Pre-Draft Talk Begins

from Darren Dreger of TSN, The future of superstar forward Rick Nash headlines all pre-draft trade speculation. The Columbus Blue Jackets know Nash would prefer a deal get done sooner rather than later, but if Zach Parise becomes a free agent, the Blue Jackets may have to wait beyond July 1 to get a true sense of what the trade market is willing to offer. All seven Canadian NHL...

Ottawa Linked to Rick Nash Rumours Once Again

Oh my god, you guys... you'll never believe what has been said... Ottawa apparently... (fanning my face with my hands)... Ottawa has... (bites lip)... called the Blue Jackets organization to inquire on Rick Nash. Speaking on the Blue Jackets Sunday Morning Skate on WBNS Columbus 97.1 The Fan, Jeff Rimer, the Blue Jackets' play-by-play broadcaster for Fox Sports Ohio, indicated...

It Is Just Not Right In Columbus

from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch, When Dave King spoke of the Blue Jackets’ future in 2000-01, during the team’s first season, I remember thinking how unfortunate it was that he wouldn’t be around for it. It was clear that he knew his stuff, and just as clear that he couldn’t possibly coach an NHL expansion team to enough success to keep from eventually getting fired…...

Jackets prep for season with new campaign

After another disappointing season that saw the Columbus Blue Jackets at their worst, finishing last in the NHL and seeing their playoff chances disappearing as early as Thanksgiving, the clubs marketing department is putting out a rally cry for fans to get behind. Ladies and gents, the clubs got a new marketing campaign going into a 2012-13 season that may not include Captain Rick...

A new potential trade target emerges: Evander Kane

As expected, other options have begun to emerge as potential solutions for the Rangers’ offensive woes outside of Zach Parise and Rick Nash. Parise has already declared his disinterest in signing with the Rangers and Columbus’s asking price for Nash is still through the roof, but there are other players that could help supplement the Blueshirts’ attack. Trade rumors are building...

Where The Flyers Stand Before The Draft

from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers, At the beginning of one of the most crucial weeks of the offseason, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren held a press conference on Monday to discuss the team’s draft and free agency plans. Here’s a few quick hits from Monday’s press conference: —Holmgren laughed and said he “knew nothing” when asked about a rumor circulating...

Red Wings overnight report: on losing Stuart and Fraser, and Schultz and free agent speculation

If last week’s teasers and subtle message-sending by general managers, player agents and even players themselves who may or may not be playing the media to skirt tampering rules whetted your appetite for pre-draft rumors, you’re going to love this week and weekend. With the Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday, the NHL Awards on Wednesday and the Entry Draf…I mean Draft taking...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.