Yesterday, Adam put together an outstanding post on what the Rangers could look like as sellers at the trade deadline this March.
The two names that caused the biggest reaction were Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi. They represent the heart and soul of the current Rangers team, and at the ages of 28 and 29 respectively are still in their prime.
However, Callahan has proved to have durability issues, while Girardi hasn't been a great fit for Alain Vigneault's up tempo game plan.
So, Rangers management is going to have a real dilemma on their hands come trade deadline time. Deal two of the franchise's most popular players in an effort to re-stock the organization with an eye towards the future or re-sign both to remain cornerstones of the organization while filling in the missing pieces around them.
Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that there has been no evidence to suggest that Glen Sather is making either of them available at this time, while Katie Strang at ESPN says the Rangers have had discussions with Callahan but they have been "very off and on" with long periods in between without much communication.
…i really think there's two layers to Callahan and Girardi's futures with the Rangers. First is their contract demands. If either think they're going to get a seven-year Lundqvist-type extension, they're crazy and should start packing their bags now. However, if they're realistic and can be open to a three to four year contract then I think they'll find the management will be very receptive to extending both players at a fair cost. If Callahan and Giradi take hard stands on the terms, then I think they'll force Sather to move each of them before the trade deadline. I'm sorry, you don't pay players for past performances. You pay them for how they can help you moving forward. And with the abuse their bodies have taken over the years, they both have Chris Drury drop off written all over them. I know they're fan favorites, but it's about the name on the front of the jersey, not the back.
…the other factor will be the Rangers spot in the standings. Like it or not, if the Rangers are in the playoff mix, no matter how mediocre they or the Eastern Conference is, Sather isn't selling. But if somehow the wheels fall off, Sather could find himself with no other option than to begin a rebuild around a new core comprised of Hank, Nash, Stepan and McDonagh. Not exactly the worst option in the world, especially considering the amount of cap space they'll have this offseason by not re-signing those two along with the Richards buyout.
Meanwhile, Dave Pagnotta at The Fourth Period reports that the Rangers were among numerous teams with a scout at the Maple Leafs/Sabres game last night.
…MOULSON & OTT!!!!!!!
Actually, in later tweets, Pagnotta added that it doesn't sound like the Sabres are close to moving Moulson, however, lots of teams are calling. In regards to Ott, former Ranger Matt Barnaby tweeted that he loves Buffalo, but he wants to win.
For my thoughts on the Rangers possibly acquiring Moulson and Ott, click here.