NHL Trade Deadline 2011: Scouting the Blue Jackets
Last week I 'scouted' the Florida Panthers as a possible trading partner for this years deadline. The best options I found were Chris Higgins and Bryan McCabe under various different circumstances. A case for Higgins can be made for a third line role if the Rangers have another injury on the wings. Despite breaking his jaw this past week, McCabe has a chance of still being in play with a diagnosis of two weeks or more. The Rangers could afford to ship out their spare second round pick for McCabe, but it may serve them better to leave him be unless the price is lower than that.
Keep in mind that these posts are purely speculative and are not by any means based on any 'inside' information. It's only meant to analyze possible trade targets. Even though I think the Rangers will make at least one more move before the deadline, I don't necessarily believe that they should. Like anything else, it all depends on the cost and even though the Rangers have a shot at making a respectable run in the playoffs, they are not at the point where they can afford to mortgage their future.
Without further ado, the Columbus Blue Jackets:
Fedor Tyutin: Larry Brooks speculated about a month ago that the Rangers may be interested in a Toots sequel. He has one year remaining on his contract with a very reasonable $2,843,750 cap hit. He's also left handed which would be a nice addition to a predominantly right handed core. The key to Toots is that he only has one year left on his deal and likely wouldn't be in a position where he would stunt the progress of the Rangers young defenseman. As solid as Steve Eminger has been this season, I see Tyutin as a more reliable long term option. The Jackets are likely sellers at this years deadline and but it is unclear what the cost may be to acquire Tyutin. At the very least, Toots is an interesting option to debate.
Jan Hejda: A left handed defenseman with an expiring contract. He's 32 but doesn't fit the bill as the hardened, been there done that, defenseman that may interest the Rangers. Their most glaring need is a veteran defenseman who has significant playoff experience. Hejda isn't it.
Kristian Huselius: A resounding pass.
Ethan Moreau: A veteran leader who marched to the Stanley Cup finals with the Edmonton Oilers quite some time ago. I'd like to see the Rangers acquire a depth player who has Cup experience but there is no obvious spot on the wings for a player of that make-up.
More after the jump..
Chris Clark: Similar to Moreau in that he has an expiring contract and is a savy veteran. But again, despite his Cup experience with the Calgary Flames, there isn't a spot for him and he isn't an upgrade.
Jared Boll: A mean SOB who would be replacement for Derek Boogaard. However, punches and body slams isn't what the Rangers need to make a run in the playoffs. Pass.
Mike Commodore: It's been made known that he's available and if he didn't have two years remaining on his contract a case could be made for him. He's won a Cup with the Hurricanes and he's a left handed defenseman but the two years commitment is too much at any price. His +/- numbers are also flirting with the putrid side of the spectrum.
Best Option(s): Fedor Tyutin