The Carolina Hurricanes, like the Edmonton Oilers, stink. The ‘Canes have already started the “new era” in Carolina, naming Eric Staal captain, and asking the veterans to waive their no-trade clauses. Carolina GM Jim Rutherford is looking to start from scratch, and a fire sale seems to be all but a sure thing. The ‘Canes are a very veteran team, and unlike the Oilers, should be getting a decent return for a good number of them:
- Ray Whitney
- Matt Cullen
- Scott Walker
- Stephane Yelle
- Manny Legace
- Joe Corvo
- Aaron Ward
- Niclas Wallin
All of the above players will be UFA’s at the end of the season. Of these players, there are actually a few that I believe could fit in well with the Rangers. The first being the most obvious: Manny Legace. Legace is signed to a very cheap deal at the league minimum, and would be a very serviceable backup to Henrik Lundqvist, especially come playoff time. It might also give Chad Johnson’s and Matt Zaba’s cars a bit of a break.
The other that really interests me is Ray Whitney. Yes, he is oft-injured, but he is a point-per-game player when he’s healthy. I would welcome him on this team as a replacement of Christopher Higgins, assuming Higgins continues on the current pace of scoring roughly 10 goals this year, combined with 25 posts.
Juggling cap space for any of these deals is always going to be a problem. Part of that problem can be solved by dumping Ales Kotalik in Hartford, and allowing him to defect to the KHL. I’m sure the Rangers can find a way to clear enough space to make deals for both players work. Of course, sending Higgins over to Carolina to make the salaries work is another option.
To land both of these players, the Rangers would definitely have to surrender their 2nd round pick in 2010, a roster player (for cap purposes), and a few prospects. If I had to structure a deal involving all these players involved, it would look like this (Note: I am not predicting this trade, I am just saying that this is how a deal might look):
To NYR: Ray Whitney, Manny Legace
To CAR: Christopher Higgins, 2010 2nd round pick, Michael Sauer, Tomas Kundratek, 2011 4th round pick
That’s just me though, I’m not in the “in crowd”, so I don’t know what the GMs are thinking. I would assume that players like McDonagh, Sanguinetti, Grachev, Stepan, or pretty much any of the young NHL roster guys, are strictly off-limits for a rental. I just structured a deal for what it might take to get each of these players individually, then combined the deals.
Whitney and Legace would definitely fill two holes on the Rangers, and am hoping that Sather is at least kicking the tires on the availability and price of these two veterans.