The New York Rangers recently signed Alexis Lafreniere to a two-year contract extension, seemingly wrapping up every goal they set for the 2023 offseason. Although the roster seems somewhat finalized moving closer to training camp and pre-season, there is still a possibility that the Blueshirts could make a few more moves.
The Blueshirts are currently experiencing a salary cap nightmare, leaving little wiggle room to make any moves happen. However, there are a few options the Rangers have to boost their roster even further as trade speculations circulate. There are rumors of the Rangers and Winnipeg Jets being in talks of a potential swap.
How the Rangers can create more cap space
While currently sitting around $50k over the NHL’s salary cap, some adjustments must be made in order to bring the team down to an acceptable level. Even if the Rangers end up under the cap, however, there would still be very little money to spend.
The simplest way to clear cap space would be to ship off an overpriced player. Barclay Goodrow, who is currently making an average annual value of $3.6 million, is the likeliest contender to be traded away. A smaller-scale trade such as this could open the door for a potential game-changer for New York later on.
- Has the Rangers’ third defensive pairing been solidified?
- Rangers: Former star Derek Stepan announces retirement from the NHL
- Rangers recent recall creates questions for veteran player’s future
Will the Rangers and Jets make a blockbuster trade?
The Rangers are currently rumored to be eyeing Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele. An older player in his prime, Scheifele tallied 68 points in 81 games last season and could be a valuable addition to a Rangers team that is eyeing the Stanley Cup.
Trading for such a large name would require a hefty return. Currently, the full trade would speculatively involve Winnipeg trading Scheifele and defenseman Ville Heinola in exchange for Rangers center Filip Chytil and defenseman Braden Schneider.
After New York declined a previous Schneider trade involving superstar Jack Eichel, it’s hard to believe that the team would be willing to trade away their young defenseman for Scheifele.
“Some Ranger fans may hesitate to part with Schneider, but if they want something good, they have to give up something good. The Winnipeg Jets are looking for NHL-ready players instead of focusing on draft picks.”via NHL Trade Rumor
Because these are all rumors, it’s possible that the pieces of this potential trade could easily be swapped for other players.
How likely are the Rangers to trade for Scheifele?
Overall, making this trade happen would bolster the Rangers’ Cup odds immensely. However, because of the current cap situation, the Blueshirts would first have to clear some money.
While it’s possible that these rumors could become reality at one point throughout the 2023 season, it wouldn’t be until much later on. If the Jets are truly shopping Scheifele, there’s a good chance he’ll be gone long before the Rangers are ready to commit.