Don’t look now but the New York Rangers are a playoff team… well kinda. The Rangers, of course, have qualified for the NHL’s 24 team playoff format and will take on the Carolina Hurricanes during the “play-in” round later this summer.
So… is the rebuild over in NYC? No, not even close.
While some Rangers fans are bullish on the team’s roster, long-time Rangers insider Larry Brooks argues against making any hasty movies. In his most recent column for the New York Post, Brooks addresses rumours that the Rangers might try to land Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin this upcoming offseason.
Check it out:
Q: The Rangers’ biggest need is for a partner to play with Jacob Trouba. Would you trade a defenseman like K’Andre Miller and maybe a draft pick for Jonas Brodin, who was supposedly available at the deadline? — Gerald S.
A: And here I thought Rangerstown was all-in on the rebuild. It would be folly to trade for Brodin, who would fill the top spot on the left side brilliantly but who will be entering the final year of his contract at a $4,166,667 cap hit en route to unrestricted free agency. The Rangers are not in the “one player away” mode that would justify trading a prospect with Miller’s upside for a one-season rental. (Do you expect the Blueshirts would be in position to sign the soon-to-be 27-year-old Swede to a long-term extension for an expected going price of $7.5 million?)
Brendan Smith impressed everyone with the way he played as Trouba’s partner in the nine games that followed Brady Skjei’s trade to Carolina, but that’s not likely a long-term pairing. Libor Hajek, still just 22, will get a shot to compete for the job (maybe even as soon as next month). So, in time, will Miller.
I gotta say… I don’t agree with Brooks on many things, but he’s dead on here. Why would the Rangers give up on a top prospect like K’Andre Miller for someone like Brodin who could walk away in free agency in just a year. Chances are that a year from now Miller will be ready to play a regular role in the NHL, anyways.
In the meantime, the Rangers can afford to experiment a bit. Libor Hajek will get a good look and the free agent class should provide GM Jeff Gorton with some interesting options, as well.
For the full article from Brooks, click below: