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A look at the rental defenseman market

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NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday Joe wrote a piece examining how the Rangers should handle the Kevin Shattenkirk situation.

Shattenkirk is the golden ring that many Stanley Cup contenders will be reaching for as deadline day approaches. But the asking price for Shattenkirk will not be cheap. Teams will also be making calls and sending carrier pigeons about defenders with smaller price tags before March 1st.

There are plenty of other rental defensemen that will likely be available. In fact, one of them has already been dealt.

In some ways the Michael Stone trade was the unofficial beginning of the annual trade deadline madness. Or did it already start with the Sergey Kalinin trade? Who knows, but it’s happening.

The Stone trade is just another piece of evidence that teams are willing to give up assets to add depth and address weaknesses. It’s also more evidence of teams overvaluing size, past performance and intangibles like the benefits of a change of scenery.

I thought it would be interesting to put together a table listing some of the potential rental defensemen this year. It is by no means perfect or comprehensive, but it does put some more names in the catalog to debate and discuss.

UFA Defensemen with a minimum of 20 GP

PLAYER TEAM AGE GP G A P Rel. CF% CF% TOI SALARY CAP HIT
PLAYER TEAM AGE GP G A P Rel. CF% CF% TOI SALARY CAP HIT
Korbinian Holzer ANA 29 23 1 5 6 -13.73 39.41 13:56 $700,000 $700,000
John-Michael Liles BOS 36 30 0 5 5 -0.9 53.48 16:16 $2,000,000 $2,000,000
Cody Franson BUF 29 53 3 13 16 5.46 50.67 18:49 $2,650,000 $3,325,000
Dmitry Kulikov BUF 26 34 1 1 2 -3.74 50.06 22:22 $4,500,000 $4,333,333
Taylor Fedun BUF 28 25 0 7 7 9.22 53.85 13:38 $600,000 $600,000
Deryk Engelland CGY 34 59 2 9 11 -5.83 47.06 17:54 $2,750,000 $2,916,667
Dennis Wideman CGY 33 52 3 13 16 -0.59 50.7 20:37 $6,000,000 $5,250,000
Michael Stone CGY 26 45 1 8 9 -4.98 42.37 20:13 $4,000,000 $4,000,000
Ron Hainsey CAR 35 55 4 10 14 -2.18 50.13 22:17 $2,500,000 $2,833,333
Matt Tennyson CAR 26 31 0 4 4 -3.06 48.82 14:09 $675,000 $675,000
Brian Campbell CHI 37 57 4 10 14 -2.36 49.01 18:17 $1,500,000 $1,500,000
Fedor Tyutin COL 33 48 1 9 10 -1.97 45.84 18:54 $2,000,000 $2,000,000
Cody Goloubef COL 27 26 0 3 3 2.99 49.07 17:36 $800,000 $750,000
Johnny Oduya DAL 35 36 1 6 7 -1.19 48.29 18:09 $3,750,000 $3,750,000
Brendan Smith DET 28 32 2 3 5 2.91 49.38 18:39 $3,250,000 $2,750,000
Kris Russell EDM 29 47 0 5 5 -5.82 45.91 21:28 $3,100,000 $3,100,000
Eric Gryba EDM 28 29 1 3 4 0.58 52.18 16:20 $950,000 $950,000
Jakub Kindl FLA 30 28 0 4 4 -5.22 46.6 14:57 $3,000,000 $2,400,000
Nate Prosser MIN 30 27 0 4 4 -0.93 45.19 13:16 $650,000 $625,000
Andrei Markov MTL 38 40 4 21 25 1.81 53.3 21:30 $4,250,000 $5,750,000
Yannick Weber NSH 28 57 1 7 8 -5.34 47.69 12:02 $575,000 $575,000
Kyle Quincey NJD 31 51 4 8 12 -0.1 46.55 18:34 $1,250,000 $1,250,000
Dennis Seidenberg NYI 35 51 4 14 18 -0.99 47.39 19:33 $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Mark Streit PHI 39 46 5 15 20 1.2 52.4 19:32 $4,000,000 $5,250,000
Michael Del Zotto PHI 26 32 4 6 10 -0.58 50.54 19:23 $4,000,000 $3,875,000
Trevor Daley PIT 33 53 5 14 19 -5.04 47.39 20:31 $2,700,000 $3,300,000
Kevin Shattenkirk STL 28 60 11 31 42 2.98 52.93 19:54 $5,200,000 $4,250,000
Roman Polak TOR 30 53 3 3 6 -4.2 47.65 17:33 $2,250,000 $2,250,000
Matt Hunwick TOR 31 48 1 12 13 -4.71 47.2 17:48 $1,200,000 $1,200,000
Philip Larsen VAN 27 20 1 5 6 -2.06 47.74 16:58 $1,025,000 $1,025,000
Karl Alzner WSH 28 58 3 8 11 -6.59 46.84 19:59 $2,800,000 $2,800,000
Paul Postma WPG 27 56 1 11 12 -2.51 48.12 10:42 $925,000 $887,500

(note: player stats in the table above are accurate through 2/20)

Just because there are defensemen available doesn’t mean that the Rangers should be buyers. There is a case to be made that the Rangers need to exercise some caution at this year’s deadline given how bare their prospect cupboard is.

From Joe’s piece yesterday morning:

The Rangers can’t keep going all in (although at least in this case they’d be getting something of long-term value) especially with a barren field that is their farm system. Outside of top-prospect Igor Shestyorkin the Rangers top prospect is probably Ryan Graves. From there? Robin Kovacs (who is struggling in Hartford -- although he’s been forced into a bottom-six role). From there? Well, it’s not great.

Whether or not the Rangers make a play for Shattenkirk remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that they’ll do something at the deadline. After all, they are the Rangers.