Rumours surface of a Mika Zibanejad trade in New York!

Rumours surface of a Mika Zibanejad trade in New York!

After the Rangers were eliminated last week by the Panthers, missing out on the Stanley Cup Final.

Chris Gosselin

The New York Rangers failed once again this spring, losing in the Eastern conference Final in six games to the Florida Panthers, just like two years ago when they were ousted just before the Stanley Cup Final by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Insiders, pundits and fans are adamant that the core has gone as far as it can in New York and that changes must come to the Rangers this summer, heading into the 2024-25 campaign.

Rumours focus in on star forward Mika Zibanejad, who was quite hard on himself after Game 4’s overtime loss, taking the blame for the defeat. This season, Zibanejad recorded 26 goals and 72 points in 81 points, adding just three goals and 16 points in 16 playoff contests. While other members of the core could be targeted in a possible trade, the Zibanejad chatter is getting louder with some fans asking for the Swede to be moved in order to get a second line center, with Vincent Trocheck, Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere on the Rangers’ first line.

With six years remaining at an annual $8.5M cap charge, Zibanejad has a no-move clause on his contract and would need to have a tough conversation with Rangers management about the idea of a move out of New York.

What if he is unwilling to be traded? What will the atmosphere be like once training camp opens for the Blue Shirts in September?

There is a lot already happening with other members on the roster as the Rangers have three key restricted free agents, defensemen Ryan Lindgren, and Braden Schneider, along with forward Kaapo Kakko, the No. 2 overall pick in 2019, to deal it.

On top of it all, there is also a strategy that needs to be put in place for star goalie Igor Shesterkin, whose contract expires after next season. He is reportedly seeking around $12 million a year on his next deal, and the Rangers might need to trade out some key pieces in order to make room for Shesterkin, while assembling a roster that can finally make it to the Stanley Cup Final.

Source: X