NYR Finding that 3rd Line Center

Discussion in 'NHL Discussion' started by Frankie, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Toronto

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  2. Boston

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  3. St. Louis

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  4. New York Rangers

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  1. Frankie

    Frankie Coach

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    The Rangers have made a plethora of moves this offseason, highlighted by the trade of veteran center, Derek Stepan, and budding starter, Antti Raanta. This offseason, the Rangers lost two notable pivots down the middle with the aforementioned Stepan, and Oscar Lindberg who was taken by Vegas through the expansion draft. As it stands right now, this is how the 2017-18 New York Rangers are slated to look on opening night:

    Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich
    Nash-Hayes-Zuccarello
    Miller-Desharnais-Vesey
    Puempel-Nieves-Grabner
    *Jesper Fast expected to miss first 30 days of regular season

    McDonagh-Shattenkirk
    Skjei-Smith
    Staal-Deangelo

    Lundqvist
    Pavelec

    Several things to take note of in that lineup.
    1. The vast forward depth of the 2016-17 Rangers is gone. Pirri was released, Jensen signed overseas, Hrivik signed in Calgary, etc..
    2. The Rangers now have a large surplus of defensemen including Holden, Bereglazov, Pionk, Day, and Graves all not listed in the above six. That gives them 11 in total.
    3. Center ice is a huge position of weakness for the Rangers.
    There are many creative ways to fix this solution. I am sure that this solution will come on the heels of signing Zibanejad to his new contract (Fair to assume he will be on a contract that is 5x5). Here are some of my solutions to solving this problem.

    Toronto Maple Leafs:tml:
    The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a bit of a cap bind. They have been looking to shed one of James van Reimsdyk, Leo Komarov, or Tyler Bozak. Tyler Bozak would be the perfect third line center. A lineup featuring Zibanejad, Bozak, Hayes, and Desharnais certainly is not the best, not even close, but is deep enough to do some damage. After all, in the Rangers cup run in 2014, the Rangers had three really good centers (Richards, Stepan, Brassard). None were great, but they were all good. This is how I could see Zibanejad, Bozak, and Hayes. Trading Bozak would give the Leafs much needed cap space. Although Toronto already has 7 defenders, Nick Holden would have to be the main piece going back. He is a cheap #5 defenseman with offensive potential (34 points in 2016-17). Add in a prospect or a 3rd/4th round pick and maybe that's a fair trade?

    Boston Bruins:bos:
    I've heard a rumor that Boston is looking for a left handed defenseman...Marc Staal anyone? No. More realistically Nick Holden could be sent to the Bruins. Patrick Roy's best defender is so darn cheap that he makes a viable return in almost any package. I've also heard Ryan Spooner is on the block. He is an RFA with arbitration rights and if Anders Bjork makes the team out of camp, plus signing David Pastrnak, the Bruins will have 12 forwards. Spooner's production dipped last season as he scored 10 less points than he did the previous season. Now, Boston does have 7 defensemen already, but 5 of them play the right side. Adding Holden gives them a surefire 3LD and 3RD. I think Holden could be very beneficial to Boston's defense if they are willing to part with Spooner...

    St. Louis Blues:stl:
    This one might be a bit of a stretch, but bear with me. Paul Stastny has 1 year left on his deal at an AAV of $7M. They currently have 6 defenders (once Parayko signs). The problem is Bortuzzo and Edmundson could be improved upon. Would the blues be interested in taking on a left shot defender (on the cheap) in exchange for cap space? Yes, St. Louis has some young defensemen they might want to give a shot at playing, but freeing up this cap space gives them more options come the trading deadline. In addition, the acquisition of Brayden Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers pushes out a center. I assume they want to give Robby Fabbri a top-6 role and placing Patrik Berglund on the fourth line would make little to no sense given the massive contract extension they just gave him. My question is, why not move out the expensive veteran for help on the back end? Obviously St. Louis would need to retain a little bit of money to make the trade work out, but nothing astronomical.

    New York Rangers:nyr:
    An in-house option, although probably my least favorite. The Rangers 7th overall pick in the 2017 NHL entry draft, Lias Andersson, has been touted by many as almost NHL-ready. Do the Rangers give a chance to the 18-year-old Swede who has been playing with men for two years? Personally, I would rather not rush the kid and allow him to play top-six minutes over in Sweden, a very good professional league. Burying this kid in the bottom six could be very detrimental to his growth as at this time he needs to be playing as many minutes as he possibly can. This option obviously costs the least in terms of assets and dollars, but in my opinion is not the smartest move.

    Let me know what you think down below, but keep in mind I am a person sitting behind a computer not Bob McKenzie here, so don't judge my trades too harshly.
     
  2. steveranger1

    steveranger1 Rookie 2

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    I think opening night out centers will be
    Zibinejad
    Hayes
    Andersson
    Desharnais
     

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