The Rangers dodge 2 bullets as their top deadline targets are traded elsewhere for massive returns

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (New York Rangers trade target)
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have been at the forefront of multiple trade speculation rumors recently, but have yet to make a single move just over a month away from the deadline. Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan were two players the Blueshirts were expected to target, but as of Friday morning, both have already been moved elsewhere by their respective teams. The Rangers may have dodged some bullets, however, as the price tag for both Lindholm and Monahan proved to be much more expensive than Chris Drury would be willing to give up. 

Lindholm and Monahan both go for a first-round pick and more

The Calgary Flames traded Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2024 first-round pick, a 2024 fourth-round pick, Joni Jurmo, Hunter Brzustewics, and Andrei Kuzmenko. The main takeaway from this deal is that the Canucks severely overpaid for Lindholm, something that the Rangers were smart enough to avoid doing. Lindholm, a 2024 All-Star, will significantly bolster Vancouver’s offensive corps, but they’ve sacrificed a large portion of their future for what could possibly be a one-year rental. 

The Winnipeg Jets acquired Sean Monahan Friday morning, and they too overpaid for what is a depth forward. The Canadiens received a 2024 first-round pick, as well as a conditional 2027 third-round pick- with the condition being that Montreal only receives the pick if the Jets win the Stanley Cup this season. Even without the third-round pick factored in, Sean Monahan is not worth a first-rounder. And considering Drury’s bad blood with Montreal, the Rangers probably would have had to pay even more if they wanted to acquire Monahan. 

The Rangers are in trouble as the bar is set extremely high for deadline deals

With the Lindholm and Monahan trades setting the standard for deals made at this year’s deadline, the Rangers may have a hard time getting anything done. Their wish list consists of a first-line right winger, a third-line center, and possibly a depth defenseman. With teams already overpaying to start the chaos of the deadline, other organizations will be asking for similar return deals based on the ones made this week. 

Because of this, if the Rangers intend on making any moves this year, Drury will have to be prepared to possibly move on from some of his key assets. Perhaps it would be smarter to trim the to-do list for the deadline, and possibly look for some solutions within the Blueshirts’ own system.