- Rangers are going to begin in a back-to-back starting in Tampa and ending in Carolina. Yes, that is as tough of a two-game stretch as you can get.
- Does the outcome of both games effect General Manager Chris Drury’s thought process about adding before the deadline either way? If the Rangers win both games does Drury invest more into the team to try and make a playoff run? If the Blueshirts lose both games does Drury make a trade to try and narrow the gap for the playoffs?
- Igor Shesterkin and Alex Georgiev will likely split the games.
- Can the Blueshirts sweep the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions? The Rangers won the first two meetings 4-3 in a shootout and a 4-0 shutout.
- Will Frank Vatrano record his first goal with the Rangers?
- How will Hagel fit in with the Lightning?
Lets talk more about the trade deadline and how it has impacted the Rangers and other teams
7. On Friday afternoon, NHL insiders were reporting that Chicago had traded Brandon Hagel. There was about a ten-minute gap before it was announced he would be going to Tampa Bay. I am curious as to why Chicago thought Hagel wasn’t a part of their future at 23-years-old with 21 goals and 16 assists on the season?
8. Ultimately, you can’t get mad at the return as Chicago received two prospects and two first-round picks.
9. During that ten-minute gap, I was hoping beyond hope it was the Rangers he was going to. 23-years-old who provides offense and has two more years at 1.5 million after this season. The Blueshirts need players like this in the future. I am still on the fence whether the Rangers could have acquired Hagel and if he was the right addition. The price was steep and I am happy that the Blueshirts didn’t pay that price but at the same time, I wish they had Hagel. Oh well.
10. Another player the Rangers were in on was Hampus Lindholm. Lindholm ultimately went to Boston for a first-round pick, two second-round picks, Urho Vaakanainen and John Moore. Anaheim ultimately retained 50% of Lindholm’s salary. The extra second-round pick accounts for taking on Moore and retaining salary. For the Rangers to have acquired Lindholm, it would have cost roughly a first-round pick, a second-round pick, and Matthew Robertson. Since the Rangers couldn’t have afforded to resign Lindholm, this is a good pass from Drury.
11. The acquisition of Vatrano for a fourth-round pick is looking better after each trade. The value bottom-six forwards have gotten at the trade deadline is high. Nicolas Deslauriers was traded for a third-round pick.
12. Are the Blueshirts still feeling the ramifications of not acquiring Jack Eichel in the offseason? The Rangers cleared cap for Eichel in the offseason and never acquired him. This included trading Pavel Buchnevich to St. Louis for Sammy Blais and a second-round pick. In hindsight, does Drury wish he resigned Buchnevich even to a lucrative one-year contract where he could have flipped Buchnevich at the deadline or use Buchnevich as his own rental for the rest of the year? Buchnevich’s price would be more than a second-round pick and Blais right now. Much more.
13. Would the Rangers consider trading Ryan Strome by Monday’s deadline? I seriously doubt it. But his trade value could probably help bring something nice back to New York. The Rangers have a massive decision to make about the second-line center position in the upcoming offseason. The way I see it, the Rangers will have somewhere between five and six million in cap space in the offseason to figure out a second-line center and a backup goalie.