The New York Rangers are back on the ice this week with three home games against Western Conference teams and a Saturday clash with Carolina.
Coming off their bye week and All-Star contest, the Blueshirts have a ways to go before the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While still sitting comfortably in third place in the Metro division, New York needs some more offensive firepower to help compete in a loaded playoff race.
Luckily for the Rangers, there are plenty of big-name and smaller-value players that could be made available by the March 3rd deadline.
Let’s take a look at five here.
Vladimir Tarasenko – RW, Blues
Outside of the two big names, Tarasenko is probably the third on the list of potential targets for the Rangers. He carries a cap hit of over $7.5 million which will need to be negotiated with the Blues but Tarasenko is exactly the type of player the Rangers need. He’s only recorded 29 points this season, but with St. Louis on the outside looking in for the playoffs, it’s easy to see them try to break up their Stanley Cup-winning core.
Brock Boeser – RW, Canucks
Vancouver just shipped off Bo Horvat to the Island. Would it make sense to continue to try and find a rebuild here by shipping off Boeser as well? New York has multiple first-round picks and Boeser has a $6.5 million cap hit until 2024-25. The extended years could be a nice reason for the Rangers to swing here. He’s also just entering his prime and would be a nice addition to try and find a top-six right winger.
Ryan O’Reilly – C, Blues
St. Louis could very well keep their current talent and try to make one last playoff push. Speaking to a source that covers the Blues, they believe a complete firesale is coming. Holding a $7.5 cap hit won’t be easy to move, and O’Reilly may not want to leave but a change of scenery could be good for the center and let him excel in the Rangers’ offense. If two teams can agree on how the contract will be broken up, this move makes a lot of sense.
Timo Meier/Patrick Kane – RW, San Jose, Blackhawks
The obvious two big names need to be here as well. Both Kane and Meier are the two focal points of many contending teams over the next few months. Because of that, the Rangers will need to up their price if they want to swing for the big fish in the deadline pond. Meier will have the large cap number coming and resources that will be attached while Kane is older, and having a down season. Both players make a lot of sense for the contending Rangers though.
Tyler Motte – C, Sentors
This would be a very poor move from Chris Drury and the Rangers but that doesn’t mean it’s off the table. Motte was excellent in his short stint with New York last season but signed a short contract with Ottawa after the Rangers chose Ryan Carpenter over him. Carpenter didn’t work out and having to give up assets for Motte for a second straight year would be a major issue. Still, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
What about the defense?
A question that many New York Ranger fans are asking is whether or not the Blueshirts will make a deal for a third-pair defenseman. In reality though, with the play of Ben Harpur, it seems unlikely that the Rangers would move away from their current pair. Harpur isn’t an offensive juggernaut, but he plays smart hockey with Braden Schneider. It seems more likely the Rangers will swing big for a top offensive weapon at the deadline as opposed to more defensive depth.
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