Brian Boyle, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports Canada
With only days left before the trade deadline, things have really heated up around the the league and a few more trades today have reinforced the high prices that have become the norm this year. First, alleged Rangers’ target Alexandre Burrows was traded from the Canucks to Ottawa for former 2nd-round choice, center Jonathan Dahlen. It was a steep price to pay, with the young Dahlen averaging nearly a point per game in Sweden. Burrows also finagled a 2-year contract extension. He must have one hell of a agent. Honestly, to get a 35-year old who can’t score anymore and is a punk on the ice is really impressive.
Of course the trade that broke my heart today was Brian Boyle to the Maple Leafs for center Byron Froese and a 2017 2nd-round pick. This was pretty much in line with my prediction from my last post; the Martin Hanzal trade set the precedent of teams having to overpay for depth up the middle. Oscar Lindberg, my proposed trade chip for Boyle, is a more proven NHL entity than Froese, but the Rangers probably would have had to package a 2nd-round selection with him. As much as I wanted Boyle’s size and grit on the 4th line, the price would’ve outweighed the potential payoff.
Finally, the early word tonight is that Kevin Shattenkirk is headed to the Capitals. The initial report is coming from St Louis Blues’ beat writer, Jeremy Rutherford, which can be found here. Terms of the deal have not come out yet, but what a statement move by the Capitals! They’ll probably have to pay dearly, with a least a 1st-rounder and a solid NHL skater, in addition to other assets. And it’s probably a pure rental, if we are to believe that Shatty’s heart really is in New York. But, winning a Stanley Cup can change that too. Personally, I can’t see Washington winning because they’re always regular season titans and then fold in the playoffs but this team is definitely the one that can break that streak. Anything but a Stanley Cup win will have them licking their wounds after this trade, but I admire their determination to go all in on this team.
So where does this leave the Rangers? Honestly, I was against trading for Shattenkirk anyway so these reports don’t really phase me too much. I still think that Brendan Smith or, preferably, Cody Franson is the way to go. Its the kind of depth move that could really pay dividends the rest of the way. And with Brian Boyle off the market, I really don’t want them to go get another forward. Larry Brooks of the NY Post suggested that the team go out and get a Patrick Sharp or a Radim Vrbata to address the recent scoring drought, but that would be money and assets wasted. Further, acquiring a forward that would be expansion draft-eligible is kind of pointless, as the Rangers have Grabner already and will resign Lindberg and Fast in the offseason. It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, Gorton does now that the marquee names are coming off the board and the prices have proved to be steeper than ever.
UPDATE 9:58pm: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun has reported that Kevin Shattenkirk has been traded for a 2017 1st-rounder, 2018-second rounder and former 2013 2nd-rounder Zach Sanford. There’s other details that still need to come out on this trade, but we get the gist of it. In all, that’s a pretty steep price for the jewel of the 2017 trade deadline. And funny enough, the timing of this trade will mean that Shattenkirk’s first game will be against us tomorrow night. I’m really glad the Rangers stayed away from this deal. He wasn’t going to be the final piece of a Stanley Cup winner in New York this year and I’m sure the Rangers will have their shot at Shatty in the summertime if they want him that badly.