The New York Rangers are currently just a single point out of a playoff spot, and two points out of second place in the Metropolitan Division, but according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post that won’t make them buyers at the deadline. In fact, Brooks writes that the Rangers are preparing to “blow it up” and are willing to deal Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello along with their rental options.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard McDonagh’s name mentioned, as he currently sits tenth on the TSN Trade Bait board, but is still might come as a surprise. The Rangers captain has logged 24 minutes a night again this season, and currently has 24 points through 45 games. While he may not match his career-high of 14 goals, he’s certainly a bargain at his $4.7MM cap hit this year and next.
- Welcome to “the Rasmus Dahlin draft” writes TSN insider Bob McKenzie, who released his early rankings for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft today. Dahlin tops the board like everywhere else, but McKenzie’s rankings do differ from some of the other leading sources. Perhaps most notably is Ryan Merkley at #11, as the dynamic Guelph defenseman has slipped to the back half of the first round in most other rankings. McKenzie explains why, noting Merkley’s perceived attitude problem and temperament as potential reasons for his fall.
- Darren Dreger was on TSN 1050 radio today, and said that he’d be “shocked” if the Toronto Maple Leafs’ GM Lou Lamoriello hadn’t called on Jack Johnson from the Columbus Blue Jackets. As noted in our most recent live chat, Johnson does seem like a pretty good fit for the Maple Leafs down the stretch as he tries to secure a long-term contract this summer. Johnson is looking for an opportunity to play a big role somewhere, and the Maple Leafs have had a revolving door in the back half of their defense corps. Still, with Morgan Rielly and Nikita Zaitsev returning from injury soon and Travis Dermott showing he’s ready for the NHL, the Maple Leafs aren’t guaranteed to be on the market any longer.