While most trade rumors involving Dan Girardi link him to the Boston Bruins, a dark horse contender is coming on strong.
Elliotte Friedman at CBC Sports reports that the Anaheim Ducks are interested in the 29-year old defenseman's services. Friedman does also mention the Bruins interest.
Piggybacking on that report, The Fourth Period notes that the Rangers would be looking for a young forward as well as a young defenseman from the Ducks in return for Girardi. The names the Rangers are believed to be interested are defenseman Sami Vatanen as well as one of forwards Kyle Palmieri, Patrick Maroon and Rickard Rakell.
…i'm not going to lie to you guys and act like I know much about any of the Duck players mentioned, but from what little research I've done, Vatanen and Palmieri (both 22-years old) seem like the players with the most upside. Unfortunately, both players are very under-sized, so while they might be able to succeed in the Western Conference, you never know how they'll acclimate themselves in the much more physical Eastern Conference. I'd much rather see Sather try to pry the 6' 1", 206lb Emerson Etem from Anaheim as part of any deal for Girardi.
…if the Rangers are going to trade Girardi, I'm going to need at least a Grade A prospect as well as a first round draft pick. He's still in his prime and, despite his struggles this season, has a proven track record in the NHL.
Larry Brooks at the New York Post says the Rangers need to decide whether Girardi is more important to their success as a first pair defenseman or a trade chip.
Brooks adds that despite speculation, the Bruins have not called the Rangers about Girardi.
…as I've mentioned on the blog, it makes sense for Sather to explore every option when it comes to Girardi. If he can somehow pry a King's ransom in return for the shot blocking assassin, then he has no choice but to trade him. But if the price isn't right, keeping Girardi and re-signing him for five-years at $4.5M per isn't a bad consolation prize.
…i still maintain that Girardi's future could be tied to Del Zotto. If Sather can find a taker for the embattled defenseman, I don't see how he can also move Girardi with all the question marks (ie Staal's health, Stralman's free agency, Allen & McIlrath's development) on defense for the Rangers going forward.
Speaking of Del Zotto, Friedman also notes that the San Jose Sharks could be a stealth team for his services. Friedman notes that the Sharks scouted him pretty closely during the Ryane Clowe trade talks last season.
…you didn't think I'd get through an entire trade rumor post without mentioning Del Zotto, did you?