There has been a lot of talk recently about trading Mats Zuccarello. I'd like to elaborate on why we should trade him, and what we should try to trade him for.
Looking at the Rangers roster, it seems that next year the most likely scenario is that Wojtek Wolski, Erik Christensen, and Sean Avery will not be re-signed. Assuming that Mike Rupp will either be sent to the minors or kept as a healthy scratch, the Rangers have a bit of a logjam at forward.
WIth the following definitely sticking around: Gaborik Richards Anisimov Dubinsky Callahan Stepan Boyle Prust, we have 4 starting forward spots left. Assuming that Fedotenko is resigned for a year, we have 3, which can all be taken up by young kids.Our defense is solid at this point. Staal will return, certainly by next season, and when he does our top 4 will consist of Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, and Sauer. After that we will have plenty of guys that could finish off the bottom pair, with MDZ pretty much locked in and Erixon hopefully being ready, followed by a ton of prospects or vets that could handle 10-15 minutes a night.
My idea would be to look at Bobby Ryan. The Ducks are having an awful season, and something needs to happen. Not saying they would trade Bobby Ryan, but it would be in the Rangers best interest to make a trade for a player of that caliber. Someone with a manageable salary (5.5 mil) that can be a PPG player, or close.
My proposal would be a trade of the likes of Zuccarello, Kreider, and Valentenko. Picks or low level prospects could be added to even out the trade, but it could work well for the Rangers.
Our forwards could consist of: (the lines don't really matter)
Ryan Stepan Gaborik
Dubinsky Richards Callahan
Hagelin Anisimov Thomas
Fedotenko Boyle Prust
And the defense:
IMO, that team can win a cup. Deep all around, four solid lines, 3 solid D pairs, great goaltending.