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“The heart of the team beats through the Blueshirts’ Blue Line Big Three — Ryan McDonagh, Dan , NY • United States • 19 Years Old • Male
The most hyped NHL draft since 2005, and the deepest draft since arguably 2003 is two days away, the New York Rangers aren't scheduled to make a first round selection. They are however in the market for a first round pick. GM Glen Sather and his staff has been holding out hoping goaltender Cam Talbot can net them a late first round pick. But there is a rumor floating around that caught my eye. Keith Yandle for Milan Lucic. I have watched Lucic terrorize the Rangers for years and give them fits and just the thought of him being in a Ranger uniform doesn't seem possible. But is it? It seems Boston, like many big city markets, need to shed cap space and Lucic is a prime candidate to get axed from the roster. His cap hit is at $6 million for the upcoming year and Boston at least seems to be making him available. The Rangers acquired Yandle at the deadline in a blockbuster deal that sent prized prospect Anthony Duclair, defenseman John Moore, and a 2016 1st round pick and 2015 second round pick to Arizona for the high octane defenseman. Yandle wasn't as much of a disappointment as many had him out to be, netting 11 points in 21 games when acquired by New York. The playoffs he was arguably their best defenseman, so why would they deal him? The Rangers have one of, if not the best set six in the league on the blueline and making one expendable wouldn't hurt. It also doesn't help that veteran Marty St.Louis looks to be finished in New York and the Rangers could use another forward to hop into the top 9 at least. Lucic would bring that toughness and punch to the Rangers top 9 that they lack. He is a guy who you could use on the power play as a screen and have say a Rick Nash be able to walk the half wall and fire shots through. Lucic is a guy who dominates on the wall and isn't afraid to throw his body around and that opens up space for line mates. The closest thing the Rangers have that resembles a Lucic is Chris Kreider. The young forward has the speed and power to develop into a game breaking forward who is good for 30 goals a year, if not more. The Bruins who are at a cap crunch, could definitely use the Lucic trade to create cap space to bring back young defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Arizona is currently paying half of Yandle's cap hit. The Rangers are paying the other half. Both Yandle and Lucic are in their last year's of their contracts. Both will almost certainly be looking for raises. The Bruins have been reported to being interested in adding a top four defenseman and Yandle is in his prime and would fit nicely with the skilled forwards in Boston and on the power play, taking some of the pressure off Zdeno Chara. The Rangers are one of the fastest clubs in the league and adding a big body like Lucic could prove risky, depending on whether or not he fits with Alain Vigneault's style of play. Although, this is a coach who in his first two years in New York has delivered his team to a Stanley Cup and an Eastern Conference final so there is little doubt in my mind that he can maximize a Lucic in this Rangers style of attack. Imagine a line with Lucic-Hayes-Kreider. All three strong on the puck and big bodied, recipe to be able to dominate beyond the goal line. The Rangers have Brady Skjei and Dylan McIlrath waiting in the wings anyway just waiting to take over on that third pair. There is no question that the cap could cause this deal to be problematic but there are ways to work around that. The deal would be a very intriguing one to say the least.
Filed Under:   New York Rangers  
June 26, 2015 10:41 PM ET | Delete
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