Per Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News, Ryan Callahan’s agent Steve Bartlett has received permission to discuss a contract with at least one other NHL team. Naturally, this news has brought about panic, as the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres are reportedly interested in the Rangers captain. Before the panic hits red alert mode, I think we should take a step back and address this news with clear minds. It’s why I didn’t post on it yesterday when the news broke.
It’s clear what Cally’s market value –in terms of dollars– is. He’s in the $5.5 million to $6 million range. That’s market value for so many other comparables out there. The problem is that the organization and the player cannot agree on term. The Rangers want to shorten the length and offer more money annually (rumor is they offered 5 years at $6 million a year). Callahan wants 7 years. A seven-year deal would keep Cally a Ranger until he is 36 years old.
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Per Darren Dreger, the Rangers are supposedly gathering intel on Blues right-wing Chris Stewart. It has been reported that Stewart is available, as his $4.15 million cap hit (this year and next) in relation to his production (hasn’t eclipsed 20 goals since 2009-2010, although his lockout year was a 30-goal pace) hasn’t been good value for the cap-floor budgeted Blues. It is worth noting that Stewart should hit 20 goals this year, as he has a line of 15-10-25 in 52 games so far.
Stewart’s peripherals: 49% CF, -5% CF rel %, 62.7% OZ starts (!!!), 27.7% ToTm QoC%, aren’t really impressive by any stretch. He’s also sporting a 103.7 PDO, which means he is due for a slump/regression to the mean soon. That said, Stewart is one of the best even-strength producers in the game, per George Ays.
Dreger is insinuating that the Rangers might look at dealing Ryan Callahan for Stewart. If it’s straight up, it is not a good deal for the Rangers. Slats is no fool with trades, but I’m hoping all he is doing is kicking the tires.
Throughout the year, there have been rumblings about trading Dan Girardi or Ryan Callahan. We’ve mostly been dismissive about them. Over the past two days, we’ve seen a big blowup in the rumors, and received a bunch of emails. So let’s answer all of them:
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images
Q: What exactly is going on?
Both Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the year, and both are due for relatively big pay increases. There have been rumblings –from multiple media members, including Bob McKenzie– that the Rangers are entertaining trade offers for both. The rumors are that they will trade them both instead of risking losing them for nothing. It seems that Girardi is the one who will most likely re-sign soon, but Cally’s contract negotiations are not going well.
Q: What do they want in their next deals?
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Perhaps McGinn is a target? (Image: NHL.com)
After trading Michael Del Zotto to the Predators for Kevin Klein, many assumed the scouting of some teams would end. This included the Colorado Avalanche, who the Rangers have been scouting for quite some time. Adrian Dater noted that as recently as yesterday, the Rangers were still scouting the Avs. But with Klein on board, the Rangers don’t necessarily need another right-handed defenseman, so the Ty Barrie rumors should be put to rest.
Suit discussed some potential targets from the Avs this month, noting that Ryan O’Reilly (can’t be traded until March) and Paul Stastny are two centers that the Rangers may be targeting. Since Suit discussed the pros/cons of each one, I’m not going to re-hash that here. But it is interesting to note that the Rangers are still scouting the Avs following the acquisition of Klein, who filled two holes on this club.
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Girardi. (Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Yesterday I was locked in a very interesting discussion on Twitter with Adam Herman (NYR Blog), Kevin Power (Blueshirt Banter), and George Ays (RangerSmurf) about the feasibility of a Rangers fire sale at this year’s trade deadline. Without getting into specifics of whether they should sell or they shouldn’t (it’s worth noting that the contract extension for Henrik Lundqvist all but locks the Rangers into win-now mode, whether you like it or not), the one thing we all agreed on is that the Rangers have a few pieces that could net them a really solid return.
There are two paths the Rangers could technically take when it comes to a fire sale:
- A complete blow up and rebuild, which would mean selling off as many assets as possible for picks and prospects. This would involve tanking, hoping to draft Connor McDavid in 2015, loading up on lottery picks, and using them to follow the path laid out by the Penguins and the Blackhawks. This would easily set the Rangers back at least five years in their Stanley Cup hopes. That said, tanking doesn’t always work. Just look at Edmonton and Columbus (and potentially Florida and the Islanders).
- Selling off assets with no future on the team in an effort to retool. This would likely mean selling off any player that the Rangers do not have in their long-term plan, or any player that could fetch them a king’s ransom at the deadline. This is the route that the Bruins took, and it worked out pretty well for them. This isn’t fool-proof either, but it also doesn’t have the five-year waiting period. A retooling would set the Rangers back 1-3 years, depending on the return and player development.
For the sake of this post, let’s assume that the Rangers would choose option #2, and retool the team.
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A match made in Denver?
For the past month or so, there have been many reports that the Rangers have been scouting the Colorado Avalanche. We don’t play them for another month, so I think it’s safe to assume the Rangers aren’t pre-scouting and may be exploring trade opportunities.
If the latter is true and the Rangers are taking a hard look at Colorado’s roster, then it certainly begs the question — is there a fit? Looking over Colorado’s roster and contract situations, they’re flush at center, short on wings, and somewhere in the middle on defense.
We’re pretty set at wing. Neither Step, Richie, nor Brass are true #1 centers. A right-handed defender remains our biggest need overall. So there are a few trade possibilities worth exploring.
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A few media outlets (Ottawa Sun – Bruce Garrioch, Per Fourth Period, CBS Sports – Chris Peters, CBC – Elliotte Friedman) are noting that the Rangers are listening to offers on defenseman Dan Girardi. We generally dismiss rumors from Garrioch and TFP because they tend to report speculation instead of true rumors (not the case 100%, but we don’t find them to be as reliable as others). But Peters and Friedman are not in the rumormongering business.
Girardi was initially linked to Boston, but this is the first time we’ve seen him linked to Anaheim. TFP specifically mentioned players the Rangers are looking at as well (Sami Vatanen, Kyle Palmieri, Patrick Maroon, Rickard Rickell). The rumored asking price for Girardi is close to the Marian Hossa asking price: two NHL ready prospects, a good prospect, and a pick. He could very well fetch that.
Friedman also mentions Michael Del Zotto, and that the Sharks could be a “stealth” team to land him.
It’s no secret Glen Sather has been shopping Michael Del Zotto for weeks. Unfortunately, the names attached to the trade rumors (e.g, Gardiner, Franson, Wiercioch, etc.) aren’t really anything to get excited about.
It seems MDZ’s trade value has plummeted this season and all we could apparently get in return are bottom-pairing d-men who are also in and out of their respective lineups. I mean you know things are bad when GM’s are hanging up on you over names like Marc Methot and Raphael Diaz.
With the Olympic roster freeze just over a month away and the trade deadline about a month thereafter, Sather still has time. However, the likelihood of MDZ turning his game around to the point where his value could fetch an elite player or prospect remains a pipe dream. If Sather really wants to upgrade this team significantly, players are likely going to have to be packaged together, which brings us to the point of today’s post.
Who on this team is good enough to have value on the trade market, but isn’t considered an untouchable or a critical piece to our championship aspirations?
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Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America
A lot of noise has been made over the past 12 hours about Glenn Healy’s comments on Hockey Night in Canada last night. For those who missed it, Healy said the following:
If the Rangers trade (Del Zotto) it will be a D for a D because of the Stralman situation but look for the Boston Bruins to call the Rangers about Dan Girardi. That is going to happen because that is a good player and there is no deal done. He isn’t for a whole host of a ransom but it still isn’t done. If they can get a lot back they will make that move.
This is just Healy spitballing, in my opinion, and isn’t really something that would happen. With Anton Stralman out, Girardi is the Rangers last right handed shot on the blue line. Throw in the Marc Staal injury, the uncertain future of Michael Del Zotto, and the inconsistent play of John Moore and Justin Falk, the Rangers can’t afford to deal one of two guys they can count on for defense. Despite his struggles, Girardi is still a top-four defenseman, and dealing him in the current situation –to a conference rival no less– isn’t something that I see the team doing unless the return is unreal.
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On today’s Dreger Report, Darren Dreger noted that the Rangers are still shopping Michael Del Zotto, and that the Leafs are still a potential fit. Since the Rangers are looking for a right-handed shot on the blue line, Cody Franson is the name that Dreger has thrown out as a potential target. Dreger also mentions that Jake Gardiner is being shopped by the Leafs.
If I had a choice between Gardiner or Franson, I’d take Gardiner. That said, Franson for MDZ is something I’d probably pull the trigger on. He’s a right-handed puck mover, is an RFA after this season, and has a comparable salary to Del Zotto. Both of their zone starts, quality of competition, and puck possession metrics are similar, although MDZ starts a lot more shifts in the offensive zone.
The roster freeze is tomorrow at midnight (11:59pm), so a move might (MIGHT) happen soon. If not, then teams can make moves on December 28.