With the New York Rangers‘ inability at the moment to sign free agents this offseason largely due to the organization’s decision not to buy out aged veteran Brad Richards, Rangers’ GM Glen Sather will have to look to trade someone if they want to give themselves some leeway with the salary cap so that they can acquire some unrestricted free agents this summer.
As of right now, the Rangers barely have enough money to spend on five out of their six current restricted free agents for this upcoming 2013-2014 season, like center Derek Stepan, defenseman Ryan McDonagh, winger Carl Hagelin, winger Mats Zuccarello and newly-acquired defenseman Justin Falk.
The only Rangers restricted free agent the franchise does not intend to extend is defenseman Michael Sauer, who has not played in a single game since the beginning of the 2011-2012 season when he received a concussion on a massive hit at the hands of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf.
It is sadly expected that Sauer will retire from the game very soon — just another case of an early and unfortunate end to a young player’s career and bright future in the NHL.
With all that being said, I fully expect Sather to make a deal soon. This is because the Rangers only have less than $15 million as of right now to spend on worthy free agents this offseason such as Nathan Horton and David Clarkson.
Who will be dealt is still unknown, but according to some rumors, it might be either defensemen Michael Del Zotto or Marc Staal, or it could even be forwards like Brian Boyle, Taylor Pyatt, Darroll Powe or Aaron Asham.
I believe if the Rangers decide to make a deal that it will be only one of those defenseman and possibly two of the forwards I mentioned. I’m hoping that one of them isn’t Asham since I believe he is the most effective out of those four forwards and has the lowest cap hit out of all of them.
Nothing is set in stone, however. All of those names rumored to be traded soon could be back with The Blueshirts this upcoming season, but if they do, just don’t expect any big-name free agents coming to Manhattan any time soon, which could be a blessing in disguise, knowing Sather.