The 2021 NHL trade deadline for the New York Rangers and the rest of the league arrives on April 12 at 3 p.m. ET. While the expectations are that the Rangers will not do much, they could make a move or two by the deadline.
The Rangers are still a very young team, the youngest in the league, having used over 10 players age 23 and under. Any trade that they make might require giving up some of that talent. However, there is still a small move or two that the Rangers could make that would not require them to give up a lot, and still help their team.
The Blueshirts could trade for a shooter.
That’s right, trade for a player who can score some goals because they are not afraid to shoot the puck. Having the ability to win faceoffs would be an added bonus.
One of the issues that the Rangers have had over the past couple of years is the unwillingness to consistently shoot the puck. Something that has not been lost on head coach David Quinn.
After Thursday night’s loss to Pittsburgh, Quinn discussed this issue in his post-game Zoom conference. “Not shooting the puck has been a problem for us all year. It’s been a problem since I’ve been here. Sometimes when you win a game 8-4, or you score the number of goals you have, you change your mindset a little bit. You do that at this level, you’re going to get what you deserve. We’ve got to find that balance of being effective offensively and playing the right way. That’s just the balancing act we’re always battling. And it bit us in the ass tonight.”
Last season, the Rangers scored more than their share with 3.33 goals per game, despite an unwillingness to shoot. They averaged 31.1 shots on goal per game, 20th in the league. They have a little better this season, but still not quite at the level needed. It can even be heard almost nightly on the MSG telecast from Joe Micheletti and in the studio from analyst and former Ranger goaltender Steve Valiquette.
Is Jack Eichel still on the New York Ranger’s radar?
Eichel would fit the bill of a shooter. But is the price too high for the Buffalo Sabres superstar?
Recently, The Athletic’s Craig Custance asking anonymous league executives about trade proposals involving the Rangers and Eichel.
It is likely that the Sabres would want more and the Rangers may be unwillingly to give up as much as was just mentioned.
But they do not really need to give up a lot to get the player that they need.
They could go out and get a nice top 6 or even top 9 forward who will come in and show many of the young players that is just fine to take that good shot instead of making that extra pass or two that the Rangers sometimes engage in.
Having the ability to win faceoffs would be an extra welcome bonus. Going into Saturday night’s games, the Rangers face-off win percentage was 44.9%. Which is dead last in the NHL.
There are times when the Rangers have brought the only reliable faceoff man they have in Kevin Rooney, only to shuffle him off after the face-off. Something that happens more in lacrosse than in hockey.
The New York Rangers and their fans will be curious to see what happens in the next couple of days. On Sunday at 7 p.m., the Rangers will once again tangle with their rivals, the New York Islanders. Then on Monday, everyone waits to see what the Blueshirts Brass will or will not prior to the NHL trade deadline.