How are the Rangers affected by Timo Meier-Devils deadline deal?

Rangers are affected by Meier trade
San Jose Sharks right wing Timo Meier (28) attempts to skate around Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/John Locher

The Eastern Conference is a warzone in the NHL this season. Not that it hasn’t been in recent years, but the New York Rangers certainly have their work cut out for them as the calendar turns to March. 

As one of the top teams that made a massive trade to improve the roster, New York was already seen as a team that “won” the deadline period. The addition of Vladimir Tarasenko was seen as a move that bolstered the offense for the Rangers while allowing their matchup advantages to play out. 

That massive advantage was gone by Sunday afternoon though. 

The addition of Timo Meier to the New Jersey Devils sent shockwaves throughout the NHL, the Eastern Conference, and the Metro division. New Jersey has made tremendous strides this season and is on the cusp of a playoff berth. 

Timo Meier’s trade affects the Rangers in several key ways, and it doesn’t even have to do with being in the same division. 

Patrick Kane is a necessity, not a luxury

Because of the trade for Timo Meier, Vladimir Tarasenko is not enough. Plain and simple. The Rangers have plenty of stars across their roster, but they need the balance that would come with a Patrick Kane deal. 

While a trade for Kane is expected to take place on Wednesday after a series of roster moves, the team knows that they will have to contend with Meier and Jack Hughes on the same team. That’s not a good matchup for anyone. 

Still, the Rangers, at full strength, can defend and play against anyone. The issue will be if their offense has enough firepower. With Kane, they will. 

Playoff seeding

A lot of people expect the Devils and Rangers to face off in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and for good reason. Both teams are currently locked a second and third in the Metro division. Any way you look at it though and the Rangers have their work cut out for them. 

Jersey is only three points back of Carolina for the top spot in the Metro division. That means while New York could be expecting a playoff round with their rivals across the river, there’s a good chance they may not see them until the second round. 

It’s important because choosing between Carolina or New Jersey is a difficult decision. Either way, New York will have to play a grueling seven-game series before facing off against another top team in their own division.


The Rangers know they need more firepower if they are to keep up with the Devils after the Timo Meier trade. The way they are going about it though might just sacrifice far more later on in the season than they realize. 

In trying to fit under cap and roster constraints, New York has had to play the minimum amount of players possible so they can fit Patrick Kane on the roster. The issue with that is several players could be getting hurt, or worn down by the amount of play-time that is being brought to them. 

New York can say this is what all players want when they are younger, but these players aren’t that young anymore. This is a contending hockey team that is pushing for a championship. Any week you can’t give your players equal amounts of rest is a dangerous gamble. 

The Rangers need Kane to keep pace with the Devils, but Jersey’s acquisition of the top player from San Jose may be stretching just how much New York is able to go to advance in the Stanley Cup playoff. 

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