It’s time for another round of NHL rumours. Teams have less than a month to get their lineups ready for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The race to March 8 is on and general managers are going to be working the phones. Contenders know what they need to do in order to fill any holes in the lineup. Sellers are going to try and get the most they can from the buyers. Today’s NHL rumours is an Original Six edition with the focus on the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins.
New York Rangers
Rumour: Eric Stephens and Arthur Staple of The Athletic said the Anaheim Ducks could be a source of supplementing the Rangers’ lineup at the deadline.
— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) February 5, 2024
Analysis: The loss of Filip Chytil for the rest of the season has hurt the Blueshirts down the middle. New York general manager Chris Drury was already in the market for a pivot. However, Chytil’s injury has maybe put the Rangers on watch for two players to help down the middle.
Adam Henrique has had his name linked to plenty of teams in the last couple of months. He is an unrestricted free agent and makes $5.8 million. However, the Ducks could retain up to half of his salary to make a trade easier for general manager Pat Verbeek. There’s been talk of the Ducks being able to fetch a first-round pick. However, the Rangers may not want to part with it because owner James Dolan wants to have a first-round pick at this year’s NHL Draft.
Stephens and Staple mention that Frank Vatrano could also be in play. Vatrano got off to a red-hot start and was a previous deadline acquisition for the Blueshirts. The 29-year-old does make $3.65 million for this season and next season. However, Anaheim would be moving Vatrano at the height of his value.
The Ducks and Rangers could work out a package that may involve picks, salary retention and maybe even players like Kaapo Kakko. Prospects like Will Cuylle and Brennan Othmann may also be in play The Athletic writers stated.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa listed some of the needs for the Bruins at the deadline. Shinzawa lists that an impact winger should be a top priority for the team.
Analysis: Elias Lindholm would have fit the bill for the Bruins. However, the Vancouver Canucks beat most of the league to the punch with that deal. Boston has less than $900,000 in cap space, so general manager Don Sweeney is going to have to move some money out.
Boston will need to beef up its flanks to compliment David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. Jake DeBrusk has been better this season, but has been known to be a streaky scorer. James van Riemsdyk has struggled to score in even-strength situations with only three goals in that phase of the game. Trent Frederic is best-served to be on the third line and not eating up top six minutes.
Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel seems to be out of the team’s price range. However, there could be some secondary targets that could be had. Shinzawa lists Vladimir Tarasenko, Anthony Duclair and David Perron as choices that won’t be as painful on the books. Just giving the team another depth option would be a good play.
However, would be going back the other way in a trade? The Bruins would have to move some money out. Matt Poitras has shown promise and Fabian Lysell and Mason Lohrei are seemingly off-limits in trades. Younger players like Johnny Beecher and Jakub Lauko could go the other way. Both would be attractive candidates due their youth, upside and relatively low cost.
Boston does need some help on its wings. However, there may be some changes to the lineup that need to be made in order for that to happen.
Main photo by: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY