In an article posted on Sunday, Larry Brooks mentioned the possibility of the New York Rangers looking into trading for Nashville Predators star Shea Weber if the Rangers miss out on Justin Schultz.
Here is what we know for sure about the Rangers' upcoming offseason. The Rangers -- barring a trade -- will almost certainly take a long hard look at both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise on July 1st.
And while the Rangers would love to land both, they simply can't afford two premiere players.Which means if the Rangers do pursue Weber, they would be closing the book on bringing in some high-priced scoring talent -- unless they find a way to displace the massive contract Weber would fetch. Again, this is nothing more than speculation, but it's worth looking into.
Join me after the jump for more.
Weber is coming off an astoundingly productive season, scoring 19 goals and adding 30 assists for 49 points while playing over 26 minutes a game. Weber -- who is widely considered to be a remarkable locker room presence and leader on and off the ice -- would be a much-needed fourth wheel on the Rangers' defensive corps (which would allow Tim Erixon and Michael Del Zotto to slide down and be used in more advantageous circumstances).
He would also bring a massive shot to the point, and paired with Del Zotto should make a stagnant Rangers' power play significantly more potent. Then again, if the Rangers did manage to land Weber you would have to assume Del Zotto would be part of the deal.
Which brings me to my next question: Would Weber be worth the assets he would cost? Should the Rangers truly look into a player who would become an unrestricted free agent next season if he can't reach a long-term deal this offseason?
For as much as he would cost and the type of contract he would demand, Weber is a dynamic talent who can be a force for years to come (he turns 27 in August). He also fills a need, but it happens to be a position the Rangers are deep at in their farm system. Would a Weber trade be the end of Dylan McIlrath? Would he create a log-jam at the top-four to the point where youngsters like Erixon can't make an impact for three or more years? Should that even be a concern?
On a personal note, I think the Rangers biggest concern should be offense and the power play. And while he's not a forward, wouldn't Weber help solve both of those problems?
Final point before I let you guys jump in: Weber is still a RFA this season, so if the Rangers do trade for him it would cost a lot. I'm talking a slew of names you probably don't want to see traded away. Is that worth it?
Go ahead guys, the floor is yours.