It seems odd that a team who is a clear contender for the Stanley Cup would make a move -- or perhaps in this year's case not make a move -- for future gains. But that might be something Glen Sather evaluates with the NHL trade deadline less than a week away.
What I'm talking about is Zach Parise.
There have been rumbles that Parise might not want to sign with the New Jersey Devils this offseason, where he will become an unrestricted free agent. Currently Parise is making $6 million, a figure which will likely raise significantly if he hits the open market.
Of course, there is the risk in such a strategy. Will Lou Lamoriello let Parise hit the market? Or, maybe more importantly, will Parise commit to the Devils and lose a chance to test the open waters during the most valuable period of his career? Or maybe there's a better idea for the future, a better option than Parise.
Join me after the jump for more.
There are risks no matter what move Sather makes during the deadline. So let's evaluate them:
The Rick Nash Strategy: If Sather does, in fact, decide to trade for Rick Nash then he would be making a "safe" decision in regards to getting a potent goal scorer. There is no guarantee that Parise will hit the open market, and a player like Nash only becomes available in rare circumstances. The Rangers would get a star player right now who can help their power play and an offense that seems to stall from time to time -- two problems which would become deadly in the playoffs. Nash would alleviate those issues now. His contract could become an issue in the future, but any big name player the Rangers grab on the open market (including Parise) will have a similar contract.
The Save MoneyStrategy: The New York Rangers don't need Nash. They can use him, sure, but they don't need him; especially not at the price that Scott Howson will demand. Sather can make a few savvy trades at the deadline, bring in a veteran presence or two and make sure that the players he does bring in are on the final year of their contracts, or have cheap contracts. The Rangers are contenders right now, and don't need a big name to secure that, they can survive this year without one and can wait this offseason to pluck one of their rival's best players on their own terms. Of course, Parise may never hit the open market, but players like Shane Doan will be available this year and if Sather is patient then names like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Jarome Iginla and even Sidney Crosby are scheduled to become free agents in 2013. Who know what will happen then?
The Big Spalsh For The Future Strategy: If Sather is absolutly set that he needs a goal scorer, then why not pay the premium for a player like Bobby Ryan? If Chris Kreider, Brandon Dubinsky and a first round pick would be enough to get Nash, it has to at least get the Ahaheim Ducks thinking about Ryan, right? The Ducks are currently dead-last in the Pacific Division, although they are only six points out of the eight and final seed in the Western Conference. Still, the Ducks were thinking about shaking things up earlier this year, has the team really changed much from then? Either way, if the Rangers are going to part with Kreider I would much rather it be for Ryan than Nash -- although, as I have said countless times, I wouldn't trade Kreider at all.
The Right Now Strategy: The Rangers might be contenders right now, but they need some help to secure that title. So waiting for the future isn't the best of ideas. This is not a Nash strategy. This is a strategy to make a move that helps the Rangers right now, with no regard for saving cap space for the future. This move also might entail making no significant moves, and keeping the entire core of this team together. Honestly, this plan has more to do with what's available on deadline day more than anything else.
Note: This is all speculation to create discussion.