Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rumor: Rangers Looking for Veteran Power Play Defenseman

Update: Souray Not Coming To Rangers...Yet; There's If They Want Him

Watching the New York Rangers it is painfully obvious that they have nothing resembling an NHL ready power play quarterback on their roster at the moment.  With that being the case it is not at all surprising to see their name connected to any and all potential power play defenders that might be on the market before the trade deadline.  In his column on, Pierre LeBrun writes that New York are likely to be interested in Tomas Kaberle, Sheldon Souray and Bryan McCabe to help the power play and provide a veteran presence for the defense core.

The desire to want to make a move for a power play quarterback is understandable given how miserable the power play has been, and would likely be the Rangers number on target in a trade, but it is not going to transform the results of the man advantage units.  Of the three McCabe is the best fit for the Rangers and their current needs.  Souray. as I discussed on Friday, when the news broke of the Rangers scouting him, is not the answer this season and the burden of his 2.7 million dollars for next year makes the downside significantly larger than any upside that could come from the move.

In today’s NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers are more interested in bringing in a rental than anyone with longer term commitments, ala Souray.  The combination of Redden’s 6.5 million dollar cap charge and another 2.7 from Souray would be prohibitive to the Rangers in their attempts to re-sign their key restricted free agents and possibly chase Brad Richards. 

Tomas Kaberle is a tremendous passing defenseman who can run a power play unit, as his 20 power play assists this season show, but he does offer little in terms of a shot from the point.  The key with a move for Kaberle would be the cost in terms of assets it would take to acquire him and if he would waive his no-trade clause to come to New York.  It is tough to gauge what the market is on Kaberle, in terms of cost, in order to better ascertain if the move is worth it.

Bryan McCabe is someone that I have discussed here about a month ago as a potential target for New York.  McCabe has the veteran experience, has been a leader, is a tough hard-nosed player and has a big shot from the point.  For me if a move for a veteran D to help fix the power play is the move the Rangers are seeking to make, McCabe is the best option.  McCabe is currently out with a broken jaw and there is no concrete timetable on when he could be ready to play again.  The cost for McCabe will be the determining factor in this case as well.

Part of the problem for me in thinking about any of these trades is that I do not see the Rangers as legitimate Cup contenders this year, so the move to bring in any of these players and the different costs they would have to in terms of assets and playing time for the future makes me skeptical.  The other problem is that the Rangers bigger need overall is someone who can win a faceoff and can help the utter lack of finish this team has right now.  In the end, I just wonder if a move should be made at all.  The four game winless streak underlines for me where the team might be and instead of making a deal to try and save something of the year, the team might be off in the long term if they just let the season play out as they are.