The NHL trade deadline is just less than a month away as the 3 p.m. deadline looms on March 2nd. For the Rangers, it’s no surprise they are scouting and looking to make the right move. As all teams do, they have to decide what is worth giving up for what is needed to make another Cup run. There is a chance the Rangers stay put, but for now, lets throw some names out there that fit the Rangers needs and wants.
First of all, obviously there will not be the “major” shakeups we have seen in years past, but you could see some names like JT Miller and John Moore being used in trade talks. They are the most likely to go among the current rostered players along with draft picks. The Rangers are currently looking to add a 3rd line center that can win faceoffs. Kevin Hayes is a good center thus far, but has a measly 35% win percentage on draws. With Moore on the block, the Rangers could look to add a steady 6th/7th defenseman as well.
Hanzal is a former 1st round pick that has been a solid mid-line center his entire career after being drafted by Phoenix (now Arizona) in 2005. He has only hit 40 points once in his career, however, he has been a solid two-way forward as well during that span. This season, he has won 56% of his draws adding 24 points, which would be a major boost to the lower 6 for the Rangers. He is also on the cheaper end being signed for an additional 2 seasons at $3.1 million a year. The Rangers could swing this deal with a package going the other way if they feel Hanzal can be the proper fit for more than just this season. Hanzal has been injured for about a week now, but he is still considered day-to-day.
Santorelli had a much higher trade value a few weeks ago when he looked like he was heating up in Toronto. However, we don’t need to say much about the Leafs to know how bad they are….and that includes much of the team. Nonetheless, Santorelli is 3 points away from 29 this season, which would beat last years total in Vancouver and be his highest output since his rookie year in Florida. He has won 46% of his faceoffs this year as well and again, could sell a little lower than some of the other options out there. Toronto will probably be sellers at the deadline and hopefully not asking for the barn for a player like Santorelli. A nice package of a player and a pick could do the deed to bring the speedy forward over.
Another player who’s asking price may drop with a season that hasn’t went as planned. Carolina is unlikely to make the playoffs in the East, which has seemed to make a jump as a whole from last year on the Western Conference. Sekera had 44 points last year on Carolina’s blueline but only 15 this season thus far in 47 games. He is making just under 3 million this year in the last year of his deal so he would probably only be a rental for the Rangers with an increase coming this summer. If the price is right, he could make a nice addition for the Rangers in the playoffs as a 6th/7th defenseman.