Could Antoine Vermette be a good fit with the Rangers? Will the Red Wings pursue Keith Yandle? Will Chris Stewart’s trade value increase? Read on for the latest.
Could the Rangers pursue Antoine Vermette?
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross wonders if the New York Rangers are comfortable with rookie Kevin Hayes as one of their four centers or if they’ll add a veteran pivot by the trade deadline. Noting the Rangers could lack the cap space to re-sign pending UFA winger Mats Zuccarello and struggling RFA defenseman John Moore, Gross suggests they could be used as trade chips to add “a physical and reliable defensive presence.”
NEWSDAY: Steve Zipay believes Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette would be a good fit with the Rangers, noting his two-way skills and faceoff ability. Zipay notes, however, the Coyotes asking price for Vermette could prove costly. He believes swapping a chip like J.T. Miller and more for a rental player would be unwise. He instead suggests Martin Hanzal, who’s signed through 2016-17 at a cap hit of $3.1 million, suggesting “an offer of Miller, defenseman John Moore and a mid-round draft pick might be tempting enough for the Coyotes to bite.”
If Moore is traded, however, the Rangers will need an affordable sixth/seventh defenseman. He suggests Colorado’s Jan Hejda as a possible option. Other players who could draw the Rangers attention include Toronto’s Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson, Carolina’s Andrej Sekera, Buffalo’s Chris Stewart and New Jersey’s Marek Zidlicky.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see the Rangers going after Vermette but it will cost them. Coyotes GM Don Maloney has made it clear he’s seeking young assets. I don’t see the Coyotes parting with Hanzal as they’ll want to keep him as part of their “reset”. Besides, the Rangers will be pressed for cap space this summer and I don’t believe they can afford to add Hanzal when they’ve got to re-sign Stepan and Hagelin. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Rangers shop Zuccarello, Moore or perhaps Miller to address one of their needs. Zuccarello’s UFA status and declining numbers this season (he’s on pace for 42 points, down from 59 last season) probably won’t tempt the Coyotes unless they’re willing to throw in someone more lucrative like Miller.
With the Avalanche missing Erik Johnson to a knee injury and still in playoff contention I don’t see them moving Hejda at this time. If the Leafs and Hurricanes shop Franson and Sekera they’ll want a return of at least a good young player. Stewart won’t resolve the Rangers needs at center, and I doubt the Devils and Rangers will do business. Santorelli could be an affordable option if the Leafs decide to trade him.
No Yandle for Red Wings?
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan notes the Arizona Coyotes could soon be staging a roster fire sale. While defenseman Keith Yandle could be among those available, Khan doubts the Wings will part with the assets needed (top prospect and/or good, young roster player) to land the Coyotes blueliner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yandle is also a left-handed shot, and it’s well known the Wings have sought a top-four blueliner with a right-handed shot since last summer.
Stewart’s value increasing?
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports a recent hot streak by Sabres winger Chris Stewart could improve his trade value.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vogl believes Stewart could fetch a third-round draft pick, though if he continues to improve he might land a second-round pick. That’s certainly more realistic than the rumored asking price earlier this season of a first-round pick and a top prospect.