By Brian Monzo
» More Columns

The trade deadline is right around the corner (Monday, February 28th). There have been a good amount of trades in the last week that saw names like Tomas Kaberle, Chris Stewart and Erik Johnson change teams. As the season winds down, the Rangers are indeed going to be in the market for a few things. This, along with the news that forward Marian Gaborik is out for undisclosed amount of time with a concussion, certainly presses the need for a forward, as well as the obvious need for a offensive defenseman.

When it is all said and done, there are three names that have been linked to the Rangers as the deadline approaches:

Brad Richards – Dallas Stars/Center (24 goals, 39 assists in 56 games) – The biggest unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. After a terrific start, the Stars have started to fade, re-igniting speculation they may deal the playmaking center.

They did move James Neal and Matt Niskanen to the Penguins for Alex Goligoski, in turn saving them some money, so they could perhaps attempt to re-sign Richards. There is no doubt Richards will hit free agency in my mind, and with the Rangers dire need for a center, they could gamble and try to bring him to New York. The asking price for Richards would be deep, perhaps two active players, a prospect and a draft pick, but if it gives the Rangers a better chance to sign come July 1st, it would be worth it.

Ales Hemsky – Edmonton Oilers/Right Wing (13 goals, 27 assists in 42 games) – Hemsky has a lot of talent (393 career points in 485 games), but has shown signs of not always showing that talent. He has been noted as being lazy and has had some injury issues.

Still, he is an amazing skater and has a great set of hands. With a team lacking offense like the Rangers, he would be a good addition. He is an UFA at the end of the next season and it’s been reported that the asking price for Hemsky, 27, could be two prospects and a draft pick.

Bryan McCabe – Florida Panthers/Defenseman (5 goals, 17 assists in 45 games) – Bryan McCabe would likely be the easiest to acquire out of these three. At 35-years-old, McCabe can still be a quarterback on the power-play and be a top defenseman.

His days of 60 point seasons are over, but he can still be very effective and log minutes. He is making over $5 million, but is an UFA at season’s end, and unless he takes a huge paycut, I would see him as more of a rental for a playoff push. He shouldn’t cost more than a 2nd/3rd tier prospect and a mid-round draft pick.

The Rangers have certainly fallen into a funk since the All-Star break, and have gone 2-7-1 in their last ten games. They are losing the games they were winning earlier in the season. I don’t think Glen Sather is going to be quiet on the deadline.

Keep it here on as Neil Keefe and I blog about the deadline all week.

Follow me on Twitter for updates: BMonzoNHL660

Who do you want the Rangers to snag? Sound off in the comments below…

Comments (5)
  1. Marcelo says:

    I dont think any of the above playes would be worth going for at this stage in the game.

    The Rangers have shown that they can play hard and win games deep in the game….yes that have hit a funk as of late but are you going to completely di-regard what they have done all year just to make it an extra round in the playoffs.

    The asking price for Richards is way too much….Hemsky is a little better and IMHO McCabe is done….he was never a quick skater and even slower now that he is older….his shot is not what it used to be, and think that he would end up being the next Ranger Fans whipping boy.

    I say finish out the season as is and see what is available during free agency, we are not winning the cup this year so why retool as if we are.

  2. Kendrick says:

    I’d really like to keep our youngsters & high picks but if we’re gonna make a push for the ‘offs this year, Hemsky is the way to go. This guy has 10G & 10A down the stretch written all over him as he goes for the prime contract of his career. If Gilroy & a #2 gets him I’d do it. But they’ll likely want a #1 at least

  3. Steve says:

    The asking price for Richards, a 20 goal scorer, is way too much. They’re better off trying to get McCabe and Hemsky. The only problem there is who would you sit in their place?

  4. Rich Nimphius says:

    Brad Richards Is The Missing Piece To Torts’s Puzzle Go Get Him !!!!!

  5. Brian says:

    What about Daniel Alfredsson?

Leave a Reply