To nobody’s surprise, the New York Rangers sold again at this year’s deadline. The
personnel traded this season might have left more of an impact than the couple years previous however. Zuccarello’s departure left Henrik Lundqvist in tears, and Mika Zibanejad also had some heartfelt comments towards his ex linemate. Besides the emotional side of guys like Zucc and Hayes getting traded though, the Rangers received more assets for the future as their re-tool continues.
Zuccarello- The Rangers traded who potentially would’ve been their next captain to the Dallas Stars for a conditional 2nd round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional 3rd in next year’s draft. Both picks could potentially (but unlikely) become firsts if the conditions for the picks are met. One condition naturally being the re-signing of Zuccarello by the Stars, and the other is the Stars winning in both the first and second rounds of the playoffs to make the Western Conference Finals (which personally I find odd, because I’d genuinely be shocked if this condition is met). If neither condition is met, this trade honestly doesn’t look great for the Rangers, but if Zucc re-signs and/or the Stars miraculously make the Western Conference Finals the Rangers get away with a great deal. The trade gives the Rangers more picks (they now have 3 picks that have conditions to become firsts, the other being if Tampa wins the cup) and it helps
them on their way of trying to piece together that Championship team, basically from scratch. Of course it hurts that Zucc isn’t on the team anymore, but at his age and with his contract expiring, you can see why Gorton decided to trade him.
Hayes- I really like this deal for the Rangers personally. Hayes goes to the Winnipeg Jets for a 1 st (no conditions) and Brendan Lemieux, son of Claude Lemieux. When I first looked at this trade, I had no idea who Brendan Lemieux was, but being a Rangers fan, I looked into the trade a bit more. Lemieux seems like a decent winger that plays with grit, but he also hasoffensive upside. He is actually tied for first with NHL rookies for goals per 60 minutes, at an impressive 1.66- tied with Elias Pettersson. I like this deal for the Rangers because while Hayes is a good player, he wants a lot of money, which he showed last year as an RFA. I’d be shocked if the Jets decide to part with the cap to re-sign him. I also like that the Rangers get a guaranteed first, as now they have 2 firsts and 3 seconds in this years draft. Tampa is a definite favorite to win the cup, so you could call that 3 firsts, but I can’t see the Stars making the Western
Conference final this season to make that 2 nd a 1 st (the resign clause is instated in the 2020 3rd).
McQuaid- Considering he was traded for this summer for just Steven Kampfer and a 4th, the Rangers just upgraded Kampfer for a 23 year old Bergman, get a 4 th back, and add a 7th. The Blue Jackets get McQuaid, who’s a solid blueliner, but the Rangers get younger, which is exactly what they want to do. Even if the picks don’t turn out, if Bergman ends up playing a couple seasons in New York or even just gets traded for a decent enough return, the Rangers really can’t lose this deal. All in all I think it was a successful deadline for the New York Rangers. They traded 3 pending UFAs for young players and draft picks, which is really all you could ask for. The Rangers have every reason to believe that these picks can work out for them in the future, considering even just the last two drafts they’ve picked players that look good in Lias Andersson (who hasn’t quite found his scoring touch in the NHL but does look very good defensively so far), Filip Chytil, Vitali Kraftsov, K’Andre Miller, and Nils Lundkvist. That’s only including the 1 st round picks. Gorton since becoming GM has done fairly well, at least on the draft board from what I can tell so far at least. The Ranger’s re-tool is definitely on the right track.