The New York Rangers are going to be one of the most active teams at the NHL deadline. They are aiming to win this season, they have multiple holes in the lineup, and General Manager Chris Drury has a healthy amount of cap space with which to work.

The biggest need is a top-six right-wing. Kaapo Kakko is developing into one of the best two-way wingers in the league, but the scoring hasn't caught up. The rest of the group — Barclay Goodrow, Vitali Kravtsov, Jimmy Vesey, and Julien Gauthier, are just not up to snuff for a top-line role.

Though the Rangers don't need that kind of impact on defense, their third pairing is going to be a major problem against the top teams in the playoffs. There is an addition to be made that fixes the hole without breaking the bank.

Finally, the team needs a depth center who can at least provide defensive minutes for 8-10 minutes per night. Currently, they don't have a decent option.

Here are five proposals for available players who are logical trading deadline targets for the New York Rangers.


Timo Meier, Right Wing, San Jose Sharks

A 26-year-old restricted free agent like Timo Meier is the dream acquisition for the Rangers, who are contenders now and hope to remain one long-term.

The biggest issue is the organization's long-term salary cap situation. K'Andre Miller, Filip Chytil, and Alexis Lafrenière all need new contracts over the summer, and the former two have earned massive raises. Meier will be due a $10M qualifying offer in the summer. Perhaps Meier would agree to take less money for the sake of earning a long-term contract on a competitive team. If the Blueshirts' accounting experts and Drury think there is a path to re-signing Meier long-term, then he has to be the top priority.

Two recent trades stand out as comparable. The Florida Panthers traded winger Sam Reinhart, a soon-to-be 26-year-old who was coming off of a 25-goal, 54-game season. Reinhart was an RFA with one year until unrestricted free agency. He earned Buffalo a 2022 first-round pick and goaltending prospect Devon Levi.

Last summer, The Minnesota Wild, strapped for cash, traded RFA wing Kevin Fiala to Los Angeles in return to for a first-round pick and defense prospect Brock Faber.

The baseline is, therefore, a first-round pick and B-level prospect. However, Meier will net San Jose more value. For one, Meier is a better player than both. Meier has 124 points in 128 games over the past couple of seasons. He drives possession for his team and defends well. Conservatively, Meier is a top-15 wing in the league. The Rangers would also be acquiring him for an extra season.

As that pertains to the Rangers, that best prospect match is left defenseman Zac Jones. The 22-year-old has impressed in the American Hockey League. The power-play quarterback sports six goals and 12 assists in 27 AHL games so far. His success has not quite translated at the NHL level yet. Jones has produced just eight points in 38 games over three seasons and he's looked overwhelmed on the defensive side of the puck. He could still make a career in New York, but the Rangers would probably agree to part with him while he still has value. Jones would get offensive opportunities in San Jose.

The Rangers drafted Vitali Kravtsov ninth overall in 2018 and he broke out in the KHL the next season. The rest of his career has been turbulent, to say the least. He's bounced between the NHL, AHL, and KHL with a lot of tough love coming from the Rangers' side and consternation from Kravtsov's. The Russian wing has bounced in and out of the lineup this year and comes out of the All-Star break with six points in 27 games. A change of scenery seems inevitable.

Finally, the Rangers don't have their second-round pick in 2023, so Drury adds a 2024 second-round pick with a condition attached that it becomes a 2024 first-round pick if the Rangers make the Stanley Cup Final in either 2023 or 2024.

Trade Proposal: San Jose trades Timo Meier (50% cap hit retained) in return for defenseman Zac Jones, right wing Vitali Kravtsov, NYR's 2023 first-round pick, and a conditional 2024 second-round pick.


Patrick Kane, Right Wing, Chicago Blackhawks

Patrick Kane's Blackhawks career is approaching its end. The team is in an unapologetic rebuild. The American winger turns 35 in November and will be an unrestricted free agent in July. Unless Kane wishes to endure a lot of losing, he'll probably play in another city next season.

The Rangers are an obvious contender for acquiring Kane. The three-time Cup winner presumably wants to play for a competitive team and he has a relationship with former linemate Artemi Panarin.

Kane's value could not have fallen much more than it has. An eventual hot commodity at the deadline, he has struggled immensely this season. The two-time 100-point producer has scored just nine goals along with 25 assists through 45 games. Furthermore, Kane's ability to tilt the ice in his team's direction has greatly diminished. And with no defensive game to speak of, the Buffalo native looks more like an offensive zone opportunist at this point in his career.

Chicago's lineup offering him zero help has to be considered when contextualizing his (lack of) production. So too does a lower-body injury that has limited him, though that provokes concern regarding his ability to contribute during an arduous playoff run.

Despite all of that, General Manager Kyle Davidson's biggest problem will be Kane's full no-trade clause. He'll be able to pick his destination. Kane could limit Davidson's trade options to only a few teams. Or, possibly, only the Rangers.

The definitive comparable trade here is Buffalo's exchanging of Taylor Hall to the Boston Bruins at the trading deadline in 2021. Hall had signed for one season in Buffalo and his scoring similarly dropped on a terrible team. At the deadline, Hall stood by his no-trade clause in order to effectively force a trade to Boston specifically. The Sabres got a pittance for the former Hart Trophy winner. The Bruins sent away a second-round pick and young depth forward Anders Bjork.

But unlike Kane, Hall was 29 years old and healthy at the time of the move.

Kane's value should be about the same. The Rangers can move their 2024 second-round pick and add depth forward Sammy Blais.

Trade Proposal: The Chicago Blackhawks trade Patrick Kane (cap hit 50% retained) in return for left wing Sammy Blais and a 2024 second-round pick.