New York Rangers 2022 Trade Deadline Previewby Liz Pendergraft March 2, 2022 0 comments
The New York Rangers general manager Chris Drury will have quite a few decisions to make as the trade deadline of March 21 comes calling. New York currently has more salary cap space than almost any other team. As a result, Drury can afford to get one or two players for depth for both the forward and defensive sides. However, he will still have to consider their current players who will be up for contract renewal in the next season or two. It will be a delicate balance, but fans hope Drury has learned from the past mistakes made by New York. Not every shiny bauble is needed for the Rangers’ collection.
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Current Record: 33-15-5
Division Standings: Third in the Metropolitan
Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
There have been quite a few rumors about the Rangers being interested in Lehkonen. He has playoff experience with the Montreal Canadiens, and he is a defensive-minded forward. When you look at his numbers, at first, they appear not to be too enticing. However, it is easy to question if Lehkonen would have better stats if he played for a better team.
His ability to play left or right would allow the Rangers to rearrange lines, and he would be a good fit for either the top or bottom six. Lehkonen is arbitration-eligible, a year away from unrestricted free agency, and his cap hit of $2.3 million makes him too good of a choice to pass up. The only thing that might keep the Rangers from acquiring Lehkonen is what Montreal would want in return for him.
The Rangers are in need of a center for their bottom six; Strome is a player that would also be able to play in the top six if needed. The only downside to Strome is his inconsistency. However, when you look at the teams he’s played for, the Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks, he’s another player that might find his game with a better team.
Strome’s face-off wins through 41 games are at an impressive 54.1%, and this is an area with which the Rangers have struggled this season and in the past few seasons. He comes with a cap hit of $3 million, which is a number the Rangers can work with. Drury might want to make it happen if the Blackhawks are willing to part with him.
Despite having a rough season with the Coyotes, Chychrun is a talented puck-moving defenseman. He led all NHL defensemen in goals last season with 18 in 56 games. Chychrun has a contract of $4.6 million, which is affordable through 2024-25, and the no-trade clause does not take effect until the 2023-24 season.
On the one hand, it appears to be a good idea for the Rangers to pursue Chychrun to add to the second or third pairing. However, the Rangers already have quite a few defensemen in their back pocket as prospects. Therefore, Drury will have to decide if he wants to add to the team for the sake of the playoffs or wait on the prospects the Rangers have.
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