Regarding the Rangers, working on a victorious muscle memory in advance of Monday’s match at the Garden against San Jose. 1. Since the inception of the salary cap in 2005-06, there has been one major pre-January trade in the NHL. That was the Islanders’ swap of Matt Moulson (and a first and second) to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek on Oct. 27, 2013. If you think the Nov. 15, 2005 deal in which Sergei Fedorov went to Columbus from Anaheim in exchange for Francois Beauchemin and Tyler Wright qualifies, well, that makes one of us. 2. On top of that, the Blueshirts have not made a significant pre-January deal since sending Marek Zidlicky, Thomas Kloucek and Rem Murray to Nashville for Mike Dunham on Dec. 12, 2002 in the wake of what would become Mike Richter’s career-ending concussion. (And by the way, am I the only one who believes that Kloucek never really recovered from having his nose broken in a Jan. 30, 2002 fight with Alexei Yashin while the defenseless defenseman’s arms were pinned by Mariusz Czerkawski?) Which adds up to: 3. The likelihood is remote that the Rangers would be able to pull off an immediate franchise-turning deal as if it were 41 years ago and Boston’s Harry Sinden was available as a trading partner, even if general manager Jeff Gorton were looking to do so. If and when management reaches the conclusion the Stanley Cup might be out of reach in 2018 for this assembled group, the mandate won’t be to paper over deficiencies for the short run to eighth place and “anything can happen if you get in,” but rather to look beyond this spring. It makes no sense to move, say, Rick Nash, unless a future building block can be obtained in return. That is the kind of deal that is made around the deadline, not in October or November. It makes no sense to overturn the roster to add a support player. The Rangers have their share of supporting actors. They don’t have enough leading men. If the Rangers believed that Alex Galchenyuk would be a slam-dunk second-line center, they would have to consider a deal with even more troubled Montreal in which Chris Kreider or Mats Zuccarello would be the exchange rate. But there is no evidence the Blueshirts covet the 23-year-old who’s playing on the wing and carries a cap hit of $4.9 million through 2019-20.
A near-term Rangers solution will have to come from within
New York Post | Oct 23