According to multiple sources to the NY Post (Larry Brooks) the New York Rangers "are in big time" on Jonathan Drouin. Drouin, the former 3rd overall pick in 2013, requested a trade earlier in the year before publicly requesting a trade this week.
In fact, according to the article, Jeff Gorton and Steve Yzerman talked before Drouin's trade request went public, when the Rangers played the Lightning:
The Post has learned Blueshirts' GM Jeff Gorton and Yzerman first talked about Drouin when the Rangers were in Tampa for last Wednesday's 5-2 victory over the Lightning. That conversation preceded the public demand from the Drouin camp.
Brooks goes on to speculate the following:
The Blueshirts could have a match for the Lightning in rental property Keith Yandle, the offense-inclined defenseman whose presumed availability is not based on his performance or value to this year's team, but on the likelihood that he will hit the unrestricted free agent market on July 1.
There would seem virtually no scenario under which the Rangers will be able to sign Yandle -- who should be able to command at least six years for between $5.5 million and $6 million per season prior -- to this year's Feb. 29 deadline.
I can give you a thousand words on how I disagree Yandle won't be able to be kept this year, and how the Rangers should do everything in their power to make it happen (perhaps even exploring a buyout on a certain defender). But, if Gorton has tried to move the duo and can't -- or worse, doesn't think he has to -- then this is at the very least a nice consolation prize to inevitably losing Yandle.
Brooks goes on to talk about how the Rangers might need to add a 1st, which is where I balk.
The Lightning have no room against the cap and Yandle is a win now piece that's at a fantastic contract (remember: Arizona eats his 50% for the rest of the year); if the Lightning want him they have to pay for him. If the Rangers play hard ball here I doubt the Lightning are going to get a better win now piece they can afford without shifting a big contract. So if Yzerman is serious about moving Drouin for a good return then Gorton holds all the cards and he needs to treat the negotiation as such. Maybe force Yzerman to throw in another high pick or prospect. Some fans and media members might think Yandle is useless, but he's the type of trade piece you get greedy with if you're going to move him.
This move wouldn't really solve any problems -- outside of adding more young offensive talent the team sorely needs. The defense would still be a mess and Drouin would still have to beat out Tanner Glass and Jayson Megna for a roster spot, but I will admit the allure of adding such a talented player is -- and should be -- tempting.