The marquee names on the market will go elsewhere if they go anywhere during today’s NHL Entry Draft in New Jersey. The Rangers could shuffle some chairs on the deck if they’re interested in dealing Michael Del Zotto for a defenseman of the stiffer variety whose cap hit is commensurate to No. 4’s $2.55 million, but the Blueshirts don’t have the necessary space available to pull off a blockbuster. Neither do they own a surfeit of assets to sacrifice in order to make it worthwhile for a trade partner to assume up to half the cap charge of a player whom the Rangers might be interested in acquiring — say, someone like the Maple Leafs’ Dion Phaneuf, who has one year at $6.5 million remaining on his deal. Though there could be some work around the margins, today’s business likely is to be conducted at the draft table, where the Blueshirts aren’t scheduled to select until 65th overall after having traded their first-rounder to the Blue Jackets in the Rick Nash deal and their second-rounder to the Sharks for Ryane Clowe. Unless the Rangers can move up by bundling at least two of the three third-rounders (65, 75, 80 overall), this will mark the first Blueshirts’ initial pick in the 60s since 2000, when the club selected defenseman Filip Novak 64th overall. Of course, that was the year the Rangers selected Henrik Lundqvist 205th overall, proving the adage that all’s well that ends well in the business of drafting. “I’ve never had anything like this,” Gordie Clark, in his sixth year as the club’s director of player personnel, told The Post. “I’ve never had a year without a first or a second.
Draft-day transaction unlikely for Rangers
New York Post | Jun 30