As today marks the first day of NHL free agency, phone lines in every office are very busy. One line that is most certainly occupied is the New York Rangers. Recent reports are surfacing that players like Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle and Benoit Pouliot are expected to enter free agency. In response to these players entering the free agent crop, FTHN Magazine is reporting that Glen Sather has contacted the San Jose Sharks in an attempt to trade for 34-year-old center Joe Thornton.
“Jumbo Joe” has made it known he doesn’t mind a trade to the Big Apple. Thornton’s been saying to friends close to him that he has desires to waive his no trade clause only for the Rangers (sounds similar to Martin St. Louis earlier in the year). Another reason why he wants to come to New York is to play with one of his close friends, Rick Nash. Thornton still has first-line center potential for another year or so, as he tallied 76 points during the 2013-14 season.
One of the biggest question marks regarding this possible trade is the salary cap for both teams. The Rangers will probably have to move a few pieces and draft picks just to acquire Thornton. A name that’s been thrown around as trade bait is Derick Brassard.
The Thornton to the Rangers rumor is starting to pick up steam and could happen if New York fails to sign a good amount of their current free agents. While it sounds like a decent amount of free agents for the Rangers to lose, keep in mind that they’re mostly role players on later lines. Thornton, for the right price, could help the team win now.