With their playoffs now over, what’s next for the New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks? 

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 Latest Rangers Rumors. 

Could the Rangers shake things up by trading Rick Nash?

Could the Rangers shake things up by trading Rick Nash?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks speculates over possible offseason moves by the New York Rangers, wondering if management will consider moving first-line winger Rick Nash, who has consistently failed to be a consistent postseason impact player. If they do, Brooks suggests the St. Louis Blues as a trade partner, noting they’re in desperate need of changing their own failed playoff narrative. He feels “the conversation on a return package would have to feature T.J. Oshie, Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen.” Brooks also doubts the Rangers will re-sign fading star Martin St. Louis and doesn’t believe the Edmonton Oilers or Buffalo Sabres will part with one of their two first-round picks for goalie Cam Talbot.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard provides a ten-step plan for the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup next season. Among his suggestions is letting restricted free agent Carl Hagelin go rather than re-signing him to a significant raise as it could be more affordable to put Jesper Fast (like Hagelin, a restricted free agent) into a third-line role. He also believes the fading St. Louis shouldn’t be re-signed and Dan Boyle (one year left on his contract at $4.5 million) should be moved via trade or buyout. Leonard speculates the Dallas Stars could have interest in Cam Talbot and wonders if wingers like Antoine Roussel or Ryan Garbutt, along with draft picks, could be on the table.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m assuming Brooks means Oshie, Schwartz or Steen will have to be part of the return for Nash. If he believes the Blues will give up all three,  he’s dreaming in technicolor. They won’t part with Schwartz and I doubt they’re keen to move Steen. Oshie, who lacks a no-trade clause, is the more likely candidate, but he also has a middling playoff record.

 It’s possible the Rangers might be able to tempt the Oilers or Sabres into parting with the lower of their two respective first-round picks for Talbot. The precedent was set two years ago when the Devils parted with their first-rounder for Cory Schneider. Yes, Schneider had a better pedigree but Talbot showed considerable promise this season. As for Hagelin, the Blueshirts could surprise by trading him this summer but I’m guessing they’ll re-sign him. They can buy out Boyle, but as Leonard notes, the full cap hit remains because he was over-35 when he signed his current deal. (I stand corrected, as per WHS’ note in the comments section below.)

Latest Ducks Rumors.

LA DAILY NEWS: Mark Whicker notes the Anaheim Ducks haven’t been able to win without a world-class defenseman since Scott Niedermayer retired. Given the club’s internal salary cap, however, Whicker doubts they’ll trade for one, believing Cam Fowler or Hampus Lindholm must grow into that role.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Lance Pugmire reports the Ducks must find a reason for their failure to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, especially for their losing three consecutive Game 7s in as many years. He speculates GM Bob Murray could pursue more experienced defensemen, suggests it will be expensive to re-sign pending UFA winger Matt Beleskey while loyalty could keep veteran blueliner Francois Beauchemin in Anaheim. Pugmire claims Murray has a history of bold moves to replace those players who disappointed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There aren’t any world-class defensemen the Ducks can bring in via free agency and none via trade without gutting a chunk of their roster in the process. Even then, the picks are very slim. The Boston Bruins might consider trading Zdeno Chara, but he’s 38, possesses a full no-movement clause and has definitely slowed in recent years. I expect Murray will tweak his lineup instead of making major changes. The Ducks have made consistent improvement since 2012. It might be a good idea to give the current group another season.