There hasn't bee much trade chatter around the New York Rangers so far this year. All of the Rangers trades this year have pretty much come from left field, highlighted by the Mike Rupp move that brought both Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri to Broadway.
One name, however, that seems to continue popping up is Ryan O'Reilly. A Colorado Avalanche RFA, O'Reilly is currently holding out for a better contract from the Avalanche. O'Reilly is reportedly looking for a long-term deal worth upwards of $6-million a year while the Avalanche are in the two-year $7-million neighborhood.
And that right there is one of the main issues with anyone who thinks the Rangers should make a serious play for O'Reilly: The money.
Is O'Reilly -- a player who hit the 50-point mark for the first time in his career last year -- worth the same price tag as Brad Richards, or be in the same ballpark as Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist? Is it worth it for the Rangers -- who do have their own UFA and RFA issues coming up in the near future -- to bring in another high-priced player before they take on contracting issues for guys like Ryan McDonagh, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Gaborik and even Lundqvist?
The other thing to remember is this: O'Reilly is holding out. Not only would the team that acquired him have to worry about signing him to a new contract, but they also have to be wary about the fact that he isn't playing hockey right now. We've talked about this before, and I'll say it here again: I don't care how hard you work on your own, you can't replicate in-game competitiveness without actually playing competitive games.
And finally, what would it cost to get O'Reilly? The Avalanche are probably looking for a top-two center and a pick. The common name being thrown around is Stepan for O'Reilly straight up. But would the Avalanche take that? Would you take that?
I asked someone I know who is in the business and is one of the best talent evaluators out there and he said the following:
I would. Stepan is better defensively and a better assist man in the future. But I think O'Reilly is a better scorer and a faster skater.
I know some of you would, but if you look at the big picture I'm not sure I pull the trigger with all those other factors. O'Reilly is far more expensive than Stepan is (both right now and in future contract negotiations -- I can't see Stepan demanding $6-million a year), O'Reilly isn't playing hockey and he's going to probably cost more than just Stepan.
Personally? Stepan is a better feeder, he has things to work on (of course) but I love the potential he brings to the table. And when you take into account the contract differences -- although I suppose Stepan can O'Reilly his negotiations -- and the fact that he's actually playing hockey, I just don't think it's worth it.
For what it's worth, many believe if he was traded he would come to the East. However the Ottawa Senators seem to be mentioned more than anyone else.