Rangers miss out on blockbuster trade target

Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele (55) passes the puck in front of New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) during the third period at Madison Square Garden
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this summer, the New York Rangers concluded their offseason moves with the re-signing of Alexis Lafreniere. Following that, rumors began to circulate that the Blueshirts were potentially interested in making a blockbuster trade.

It likely wouldn’t have happened anytime soon due to the Rangers’ less-than-ideal cap situation, but it was interesting to see the speculation regarding a major trade. Despite these rumors, recent news just announced has put an end to any potential blockbuster trade.

Winnipeg has put any trade rumors to dust

Yesterday, it was announced that the Winnipeg Jets had re-signed both Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck to identical seven-year extensions with average annual values of $8.5 million. The Rangers were rumored to be interested in Scheifele, but this Jets signing has confirmed that a trade is no longer in the picture.

Did the Rangers need Scheifele?

Scheifele is an elite veteran center who would’ve been a valuable depth piece on the Rangers roster. Last season, he tallied 68 points in 81 games at 30 years old. His point production would have been a welcomed addition to New York, but the Blueshirts already have elite centers to fill their lineup.

With Mika Zibanejad, Vincent Trocheck, and Filip Chytil filling the top three center roles, there was confusion about why the team would target another center. It could have been possible that Chytil would transition to the wing to help elevate him into the Rangers’ top six.

Should the Blueshirts continue to seek a blockbuster trade?

Rangers GM Chris Drury has confirmed multiple times that he believes the Blueshirts have a real shot at winning the Stanley Cup this upcoming season. The addition of a star like Scheifele would certainly increase those chances, but the team’s roster is already skilled.

With less than $1 million in projected cap entering the season, the Rangers do not have any current maneuverability. Any trade would require the Blueshirts to ship off some of their top players.

As these were simply rumors, there is a high chance that Drury never even took an interest in Scheifele. For now, New York should continue to leave trades for the future and continue to work with what they already possess.

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