The Rangers have conquered distractions all season — including the late September/early October tour through Europe, the omnipresent cameras that recorded HBO's "24/7" series and the Winter Classic in Philadelphia on Jan. 2 — to roll to a nine-point lead in the Eastern Conference, a 10-point lead in the Atlantic Division and first overall in the NHL with a .718 percentage.

Now, however, the Blueshirts face potentially the most damaging distraction of them all — players dealing with being named in trade speculation in advance of the Feb. 27 deadline, and those specifically who might be involved in a possible mega-deal for Blue Jackets star wing Rick Nash.