The New York Rangers seem to be interested in listening different trade offers on the market, and some rumblings have begun to report that they are even entertaining calls on star defenseman and captain Ryan McDonagh.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie did reveal on Wednesday that while the Rangers are in a playoff spot, they will listen to offers on veteran players like McDonagh and forward Mats Zuccarello. But...
Of course there is a but.
“The Rangers are not committed to trading Ryan McDonagh,” McKenzie said on NBCSN. “He’s going to be 29 years old next season. He’s under contract for one more year at $4.7 million."
That's one important point. But the signifiant detail that came out of McKenzie's interview is what the Rangers are planning without wanting to raise any suspicion around the National Hockey League.
“If you look at what the New York Rangers did last year - the trading of Derek Stepan, the buying out of Dan Girardi - they are reloading. They don’t want to call it a rebuild because New York never wants to call it a rebuild. But I would say that they are doing their due diligence just in the event that they may be a position if the team falls right out of it, if they get an unbelievable offer on a guy like McDonagh."
A rebuild? Of course it makes sense. Nothing is set in stone for the Rangers, who currently sit in playoff contention with 51 points. The race is tight in the Eastern Conference and New York might have to plan for a rebuild mode if they fall out of the postseason, and look to build a stronger future.
“That doesn’t mean they’re committed to trading those players, but it means that they want to gauge now what the market is for those guys and what they might get back.”
Which teams will notice? Who will take advantage of this?