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Elliotte Friedman Says Scary Things In His 30 Thoughts Column

Don't look below unless you're not afraid of trading precious youth and draft picks for an aging veteran who is a UFA at the end of the year.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

In the always fantastic 30 Thoughts column by Elliotte Friedman -- for my money, the best hockey column not on Blueshirt Banter out there (I might be bias) -- the Rangers get two pretty decent mentions.

The first talks about how the Rangers are most likely not thinking about moving Keith Yandle this deadline, as Friedman continues to speculate the Rangers will go for it. Read the whole thing here (if you don't already).

The second is buried under a paragraph about how Chris Kreider for Loui Eriksson isn't going to happen. In it, however, Friedman does admit that Kreider's name is out there and the Rangers might be shopping him. This fits in with the overwhelming pile of evidence the Rangers have no interest on moving their bad contracts this summer and thus, might not be able to afford him.

As scary as that is, it's what comes after that's truly terrifying:

At the end of the day, it's up to Eric Staal and the Hurricanes, but does anyone else see this as the most obvious landing spot for Carolina's captain?

This is 100% speculation from Friedman. He never once suggests that something like this has even been on the table, nor does he even say Carolina would be willing to move Staal to a division rival (or at all). But there's just enough logic mixed with speculation here to worry you. So keep in mind that this was a passing comment he's making more to himself than anything else, and in no way is he saying this is going to happen.

Staal is an UFA at the end of the year, and probably an expensive one at that. He's 31 (turning 32 right when next year starts) and will still command a big salary this summer despite having a down year (just 31 points in 60 games). The assumption is a team like Carolina would need to make sure the return is spectacular to part ways with Staal, which is exactly what the Rangers can't be doing.

And since Staal is a big name who might be viewed as a player who can help the Rangers right now, it's just scary enough that it might be true. If the Rangers are as all in as everyone says they are, this is probably exactly the move they're looking for out there.

Hopefully the Rangers are avoiding situations like this (and the salary cap would cause issues here, unless the Rangers also parted with a roster player to seal the deal) but for the next week little things like this might make you jump in the middle of the night.

Plus I don't think the Rangers should be trading Kreider.