NHL Network: EJ Hradek, Mike Johnson and Stu Grimson discuss the New York Rangers need for a high-end winger, someone like Patrick Kane or Vladimir Tarasenko.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
Hradek: “There’s been a lot of discussion about the Rangers. And Patrick Kane’s name has come up. He hasn’t really indicated exactly how he wants to play, as his career, or his contract kind of expires in Chicago this year.
For the Rangers, what do you make of his group?
Johnson: “Good team. Had a nice run. Great goalie but they need a winger. Like Kravtsov hasn’t quite had it done this year. Lafreniere has had some moments. Vesey’s been okay.
You’d love the infusion of a high end winger. And there’s two that come to mind, one the obvious one, Patrick Kane. The connection with Panarin. They’re relationship previously on the ice. They were so good together. Patrick Kane has to make that decision. I don’t know how much it’s going to cost to get Patrick Kane, but he might help mitigate that cost because if he doesn’t give Chicago a whole bunch of teams to get traded too, they can’t, if they want something back, they won’t be able to get quite as much for Patrick Kane.
So, I know that one that one’s sexy and it’s obvious, and he’s not having as good this year as he normally has
Hradek: “A little dinged up right now.”
Johnson: “Yep. So, the idea of just him and Panarin back together on Broadway. gets everyone excited.
But I also think another guy who might be a good fit for what the Rangers want to do, is Vladimir Tarasenko, who’s a pending UFA. If St. Louis falls out of it and they decide they want to make some moves, and they’re not going to re-sign Tarasenko which is where I think they’re at.
Then you get a guy who’s just a one, quick strike shooter, and that’s something the Rangers could use in their top-six. They have a lot of good players but a guy who can score goals. He’s been good in the playoffs before. He’s a big, strong guy. Having a bit of better year than Kane, but on a team that’s struggling a bit.
I think either one of these two guys, depending on the cost to acquire them, would be, would fill a void for the Rangers.
Grimson: “And I think Tarasenko comes in a better value than does Kane in my estimation. To me that’s a better fit.
Johnson: “Is that acquiring value or contract value?
Grimson: “Contract value. Fitting him in. Kane’s..
Johnson: “$10.5 (million).”
Grimson: “$10 million hit.”
Johnson: “Tarasenko’s $8.5 (million).”
Grimson: “So little less of a hit.”
Johnson: “But I imagine, to make any of these trades, Chicago’s eating half and St. Louis is eating half. Like you’re getting a $5 million Kane or a $4 million Tarasenko.”
Grimson: “I would say that’s probably fair.”
Hradek: “Or there’s a third team involved to facilitate the deal. ”
Grimson: “I would say where the fit with Tarasenko is concerned, this is a guy to me that looks braced to a new change of environment. New change of circumstances. Revert back to some of that explosive, dynamic form you’re referencing that we saw from him more consistently earlier on in his career.”
Johnson: “Last year he had a career year. He was awesome last year.”
Grimson: “And too I’ll make this point Johnny, any time you can put a Russian player in a complement of other Russian players and essentially create a small community of Russians, and I saw this in Detroit with Scotty Bowman with the fabulous five we had there. That to me would really be a spark to this group for a variety, some of them kind of, around the fringes type circumstance.”
Hradek: “I would also add, you talk about Chicago. They’re obviously, I’ve been joking it a demolition and not really a rebuild right now. They’ve really wiped everything out.
If Kane decides, they hey, I will be okay with being traded, and you can facilitate a trade to the Rangers, is (Alexis) Lafreniere in the mix going the other way?
Johnson: “(Vitali) Kravstov.”
Hradek: “You might say Kravtsov, I might say Lafreniere. That’s were the Rangers have the ability to make this work because they have some young players…”
Grimson: “It’s an area of strength for them.”
Hradek: “… that they can afford to move one of those guys, even if one of those guys goes on to be a really good player. They’ve built their team in a weird way cause you’ve got a great goalie. You have some young players on defense, but they got older players in that group too, and I think the window is now, than five years from now”
Johnson: “Now. It’s a fascinating conversation.
I don’t think they give up K’Andre Miller, as a young guy.”
Johnson: “But they have Kravtsov, (Kaapo) Kakko, Lafreniere, maybe (Filip) Chytil. Though I don’t know the Rangers want to give Chytil up cause he’s a centerman. Any of those wingers I think would be in that conversation.”
Hradek: “You saw one of their prospects in Junior. Othmann.”
Johnson: “Brennan Othmann. Yep. He looks really good and he may be the kind of guy Chicago, and that would be the kind of guy you would trade to make these kind of big moves. To get good players you have to give up good players.
But it is interesting and I do think the Rangers will be aggressive.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
The Rangers could use a high-end winger to kick their offense up a notch.
Could Patrick Kane or Vladimir Tarasenko be a good fit?@mike_p_johnson | @asgrimson | @EJHradek_NHL | #NYR | #NHLNow pic.twitter.com/OCwGlFwKAN
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) January 10, 2023