Multiple sources are saying that soon-to-be RFA Ryan Clowe of the Sharks is on the trade block. Clowe finished last season with 22 goals and 52 points in 71 games. Eleven of those goals came on the power play. With the Rangers ineffectiveness on the power play a well known fact, would it make sense for the Rangers to at least inquire on Ryan Clowe?
The purported asking price would be a first round pick. Would the Sharks accept the 19th overall selection for Clowe and would the Rangers be willing to make that move? If I'm Sather and Sharks GM Doug Wilson were willing to take the 19th pick straight up for Clowe then I might make that move. Even with Clowe a pending RFA, the Rangers have enough money coming off of the books with Markus Naslund's retirement and the UFA staus of players like Derek Morris and Nik Antropov to sign Clowe to an extension if they were so inclined.
With the relatively high failure rate of first round picks (2 of every 3 players drafted in the 1st round between 1994 and 1999 failed to play in at least 500 NHL games) to secure a player that is already a proven contributor would be a plus. His solid goal scoring skills on the man advantage would be welcome as well.
Another player that fits this same mold is veteran winger Mike Knuble. At 37, he probably doesn't have a lot left in the tank but he has been both consistent and durable over the last 6 years. During this span, Knuble has averaged 27.5 goals (10.3 PPG) per season while suiting up for all 82 games in four of the last five seasons. Some of you may remember that Knuble spent the season of 1998-1999 with the Blueshirts recording 15 goals and 35 points.
There will likely be numerous suitors for Knuble all probably offering a 1 or 2 year deal. There seems to be mutual interest between Knuble and the Flyers about a return engagement but with the Flyers cap situation GM Paul Holmgren may take a wait-and-see approach with Knuble. If Knuble wants to sign quickly and doesn't give the Flyers a big home town discount then it may just come down to who is closest to competing for the Stanley Cup.
What do you think? Who are some of the players that will be available for a smaller financial obligation that you would like to see in Manhattan next year? Give me some feed back. I'll likely be on during the draft to talk a little about the Rangers pick; if they even make one.