2012 NHL Trade Rumors: Who Should Be The New York Rangers' Primary Target?

DETROIT - APRIL 08: Cameron Burt #18 of the RIT Tigers tries to get around Justin Schultz #6 of the Wisconsin Badgers on April 8, 2010 during the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Wisconsin defeated RIT 8-1. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The options aren't exactly endless for NHL teams as the free agency window draws closer to opening. But there are options on the table, be it through trades or the free agent market. There are very few names that will likely draw interest on the free agency list for the New York Rangers, however they are already heavily invested in acquiring the servies of free agent Justin Schultz, and New York is apparently high on his list as well.

Zach Parise is another name the Rangers will look at, especially after he slowly began back peddling from him "no way" comment after the season ended. The only other big name on the block is Ryan Suter, who isn't likely to land on Broadway.

Aside from those three, the free agency list is slim. The trade block, however, has big fruit on the trees as well. Join me after the jump for more.

You already know the names on this list. Bobby Ryan and Rick Nash, two all-star caliber goal-scorers who can immediately upgrade the Rangers' two biggest problems (goal scoring and power play consistency). Of course, one of these players has a general manager in Scott Howson who (even to this point in the situation) has irrational beliefs of what his franchise player with a franchise price tag is worth in this pre-CBA era.

Ryan will be similarly expensive. The difference there is that Ryan is three years younger and much cheaper. That plays a huge role in both his cost and his worth. And with Howson continuing to ask the moon for Nash, it appears likely that the Rangers will need to turn their sights onto Ryan.

Another potential target would be Shane Doan, who is apparently going to hit the free agent market. Doan is much older but he has a veteran experience to bring to the table for the younger players. I would have to think Doan might be a Plan B for the Rangers. But if nothing else is out there -- and the Rangers can't pull the trigger on a trade -- then Doan might be an option.

Which brings me to this question: How much does Schultz fit into the equation? How much does Schultz factor into who the Rangers do and don't put on their untouchable list?

I would say it has quite a bit to do with whether or not Michael Del Zotto moves. I would bet that Tim Erixon isn't going anywhere. Same for Dylan McIlrath.

So what happens if the Rangers don't land Schultz? What happens if Del Zotto isn't on the block? Can the Rangera still land their target player?

Thoughts?

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