The Trade Deadline is Quickly Approaching and the New York Rangers Are Looking to Upgrade Their Defense by the Blue Line Before the Deadline Passes.
The New York Rangers need defense. It has been a long time discussion that the Rangers’ weak spot is their inconsistent and need for firmer defense. While some might believe the Rangers need to address other needs, the biggest thing they need right now is an upgraded blue line.
New York has been exploring trade options, though, in typical Rangers’ fashion, the team has been keeping it on the down low. Regardless, rumors are still floating and the need for a solid right side defenseman is still there.
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Scouts in Attendance
The Rangers have been sending scouts off to a handful of matchups this month. Most notably, there have been Rangers scouts at the, LA Kings‘ AHL-affiliate, Ontario Reign matchups and at Colorado Avalanche games.
Still, it has been reported that New York scouts have made appearances at Sabres, Canadiens, and Ducks games as well.
All of these teams seem ready to make deals, though some might be more willing than others. The Kings and Avalanche will probably be the most willing; LA has a big variety of young d-men to give up and Colorado is pretty much shopping any player for the right deal.
The Rangers’ scouts have been checking out these games all month and no moves have happened yet. It is more than likely, though, that the Rangers will wait until the very end of the trade period before making a move, like most teams will this season.
The Rangers won’t make a move if the price doesn’t make sense. New York needs defensive help but they won’t be making a hasty decision. The team has fallen victim to failed rentals and bad trades before, therefore now isn’t the right time for the Rangers to experiment.
In addition to his, the Rangers need to make the right move that the inevitable expansion draft will allow. New York needs to have at least one d-man to expose this coming expansion draft and to lose a player or so eligible for exposure won’t be a good move if done lightly.
Rumors linking the team to Blues d-man Kevin Shattenkirk might be tempting but the price might be high. Shattenkirk will require he be re-signed upon joining his new team and the price won’t be easily done. Shattenkirk’s true potential won’t be shown for the Rangers unless he gets his way into the top two pairings and he will need space to do that.
Shattenkirk, undoubtedly, would be a great and necessary defensive boost for the Rangers as they chase the Stanley Cup again this season. That being said, New York won’t strike the deal unless it is the right one, especially considering Shattenkirk’s expressed desire to be a Blue shirt and his upcoming free agency.
To the Deadline
There is no telling what exactly will happen. The Rangers don’t always necessarily have such a transparent path; we’ve seen this team find the most random of trades and we’ve seen this team make the biggest trades.
New York goes about their trading business in a sneaky matter but it wouldn’t go against them to consider making some moves to boost defense. Kevin Klein hasn’t been on top of his game this season and could be a good veteran d-man for another team and there are some forwards that are still battling it out for a regular line spot.
There are players that could make these moves possible but it all depends what the Rangers see themselves doing. If they plan to tackle the Stanley Cup run again this season, for real, they’ll need to boost their defense to get over the hump they haven’t been able to cross the last few seasons.
So, while it is equally possible that the Rangers could pick up Shattenkirk as it is they get a younger d-man from the West, it is also equally possible they might bite their tongues and wait for the off-season (but that wouldn’t be the right move.)