The New York Rangers are in a particularly interesting position this season. They are in a viable position to make the playoffs, although the road to get there certainly won't be easy with the parity of the Metropolitan division.
But it's very doable.
Yet, reports are out from multiple sources that they are planning on selling instead of buying at this trade deadline. Names like Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, Mats Zuccarello, and Ryan McDonagh are all being mentioned as legitimate trade candidates, among other players.
One player that will gather particularly high interest is Grabner. Given his status as a support player, he will be a relatively cheap acquisition for any team seeking his services, despite the fact that he has an impressive 21 goals on the season. His 21 goals lead the team, with the next player being Nash, with 15.
It's rare that a team trades its top goal scorer, especially when they are in the mix to make the playoffs, and it's even more rare that he could be traded at a relatively cheap price. But that's the situation the Rangers appear to be in.
And according to TSN's Frank Seravalli, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the most viable option as trade partner for the speedy veteran.
While the Penguins' biggest need is at the centre position, Jim Rutherford won't object to acquiring a 20+ goal scorer who can play the speedy game that head coach Mike Sullivan institutes. He'd be like another Carl Hagelin, but he actually produces offensively. This could be in addition to acquiring a third line centreman, or a consolation prize for not being able to do so.
Just check out this speed, and his lightning quick hands.
Being divisional rivals, the price could potentially be a bit elevated for Pittsburgh to acquire Grabner's services, but it doesn't make it impossible that the two teams shake hands on a deal. As long as the deal is right, general managers won't care too much about the team they are dealing with.
Especially in a case like this, where the Rangers seemingly have accepted that this isn't their year, and that they need to focus on the future. Giving the Penguins Grabner doesn't affect their rivalry long-term, as the winger is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and has the choice to sign wherever he wants on July 1st.
The 30-year-old has an affordable $1.65 million contract this season.
What would be your trade offer?