The New York Rangers are going to have to shift their plans for this year’s trade deadline with Filip Chytil being ruled out for the remainder of the season. It was originally expected that Chris Drury’s main focus would be to acquire a new winger to play on the first line, but trading for a center must now be the Blueshirts’ top priority.
At this point, there are not too many centers around the NHL expected to be moved at the trade deadline. While there doesn’t appear to be a perfect option at the moment, there are still a few names that the Rangers could make offers for as the deadline quickly approaches.
The Flames’ All-Star representative is expected to be moved at the deadline this season
It would not be surprising if Elias Lindholm, the Calgary Flames’ All-Star representative, is traded away at this season’s deadline. The 29-year-old center has had a solid year so far, tallying 32 points in 49 games played. He’s playing in the final year of his contract as well, which comes with a cap hit of $4.85 million.
The problem with Lindholm is that there will be many teams making offers to Calgary for the star center. The Rangers are mainly looking for a player to fill a bottom-six role, and the high demand for Lindholm will likely cause the Flames to raise their asking price. They should keep Lindholm in mind if things get desperate but should aim for a cheaper center first.
The Rangers are a team to watch for Ducks’ center Adam Henrique
Fans of the Rangers know the name Adam Henrique quite well. While he might have terrorized the Blueshirts in the past, it may be time to let bygones be bygones and consider what he could bring to the team as a member of the organization. The Anaheim Ducks are currently struggling, and it would not be surprising if they try to move the 33-year-old center at the deadline.
Henrique has tallied 32 points in 48 games played this season on the third-worst overall Ducks team. His cap hit comes at $5.825 million, which is slightly higher than Lindholm’s contract, but it would be much easier for Drury to convince Anaheim to retain at least a portion of that salary. This again is not a perfect option, but it’s one that the Rangers should definitely consider.
Sean Monahan might be the perfect option for the Rangers, but Montreal may not want to conduct business with New York
The Montreal Canadiens are expected to shop Sean Monahan at the deadline, and he appears to be everything that the Rangers need. He’s had a solid season with 35 points so far, and come with a cap hit of less than $2 million. The Blueshirts would acquire Monahan immediately in an ideal world, but doing so may be difficult for Drury to pull off.
Jeff Gorton, the former GM of the Rangers, is now the top executive in Montreal. Gorton has also hired scouting director Nick Bobrov and medical trainer Jim Ramsay, two former Ranger employees that Drury had fired.
If Drury were to reach out to Canadiens GM Kent Hughes, there’s a chance that Montreal would not even attempt to speak with him. In order for a deal to be made, the Rangers would need to hope that the rocky past between Drury and Gorton is able to be forgotten.
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