The New York Rangers have certainly made quite the headlines in the offseason. From winning and drafting the number one pick in the draft to wading their way through the mire of a tight salary cap, the Blueshirts have done quite a bit of work. However, there is still one area that the Rangers could address. Most experts feel that the Rangers could benefit from a top-six center and recent events in the Windy City could open the door for the Rangers to inquire about the availability of a three-time Stanley Cup-winning center.
Last week the Chicago Blackhawks sent a letter to their fan base explaining their recent moves and how they planned to move forward.
Sound familiar Ranger fans?
A message to Blackhawks fans. pic.twitter.com/7wBXrJPDQ1
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 20, 2020
This letter did not sit well with their captain, Jonathon Toews, who said he’s surprised the Blackhawks are making big changes to their roster with a focus on young players replacing key veterans.
His comments came on the day forward Brandon Saad was traded to the Colorado Avalanche and one day after goalie Corey Crawford signed a two-year, $7.8 million contract with the New Jersey Devils as a free agent.
“It’s sad. It’s really disappointing,” Toews said. “[Crawford] has given so much to this team. I feel he was ready to bring more in the next few years and still be a big part of this group. He had that mindset that he could help this team go deep in the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs again, and there’s no doubt that he could.”
It might be wise for the Ranger’s brass to make a call to Chicago to see what it would take to get Toews to trade in deep dish pizza for New York-style pie, in spite of the fact that publically, Toews has stated that he has no desire to be traded.
“I haven’t been a part of that conversation,” he said. “This has all happened pretty suddenly, but the answer is no. Chicago’s my home, and I want to win here again.”
Assuming that he changes his mind, or that he is just being diplomatic, there are a couple of other roadblocks in this scenario.
First of all. Toews has a full no-trade clause in his contract. Realistically though, how enticing would it be for the 32-year-old veteran to come to the Big Apple and play on a line with either Mika Zibanejad or Artemi Panarin? Playing on a team with his old teammate Panarin would be enticing as well. The wise Toews will obviously know that donning the Blueshirt would be a wise move like it was for Panarin. A quick little phone call from Panarin couldn’t hurt either.
The other issue is that pesky salary cap. Toews has a cap hit of just over $10 million. However, since the Blackhawks would probably want multiple young players in return, this could ease the pain of such a high cap hit.
Obviously, there are quite a few players who are untradeable for the Rangers, but they do have enough young talent to pull this off, especially if the Blackhawks might be willing to absorb some of Toews’s salary.
Many Ranger fans have been wanting someone to wear the “C” for quite a while. Here you go, an instant captain in Toews. Earning the nickname “captain serious” for his business-like approach to the game, he would make an excellent addition to this team.
Between getting Toews to commit, working around the salary cap, and letting the Blackhawks prepare for the Frankenstein like the torch-wielding mob to storm their offices, it will take a lot to make this happen.
But It is not too early to start making your wish list for the holidays.