According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the safest bet heading into the NHL Draft (June 26-27) is the Rangers dealing Cam Talbot.
Here’s more from his piece:
Several well-placed sources report there is a “significant” amount of interest in the soon-to-be 28-year-old goaltender, with inquiries not confined to clubs seeking a No. 1, but from some as well looking for a backup.
The Rangers are seeking to maximize the return in draft picks for the netminder, who was the team’s most valuable player the second half of the season during Henrik Lundqvist’s extended absence.
In his second NHL season Talbot proved he’s capable of handling a staring role as he took over when Henrik Lundqvist was sidelined with a vascular injury.
Talbot finished the 2014-15 season with a 21-9-4 record to go along with a 2.21 G.A.A. and a .926 save percentage in 36 appearances.
He is owed $1.45 million for next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Related: Welcome Anthony Mantha to the trade rumor mill
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has heard from “people around the league” that Evgeni Malkin is unhappy in Pittsburgh and may welcome a change of scenery.
TSN/NBC insider Bob McKenzie believes the Rangers will at least discuss trading Rick Nash.
So, that’s pretty interesting, no?
Obviously, there are significant differences in each team’s situation, but the common denominator is financial pressure:
The Penguins have two of the highest cap hits in the league in Malkin and Sidney Crosby, plus they’ve got Kris Letang on a healthy contract as well. Another thing the Penguins have is a need to get better, and it’s tougher to do that without room under the cap.
The Rangers have a couple of big contracts of their own in Nash and Henrik Lundqvist. They also need to re-sign restricted free agent Derek Stepan this summer, then RFA Chris Kreider next summer.
Throw in the possibility that the salary cap remains at essentially the same level and the financial pressure only increases.
Anyway, enjoy those trade rumors!
Related: Friedman says Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin
New York Rangers goaltending prospect Mackenzie Skapski is expected to need four-to-five months to recover from hip surgery, which means the rehab could possibly eat into the 2015-16 season.
The 21-year-old tweeted that the surgery was successful and that he hopes for a speedy recovery. More specifically, the Rangers describe the specific procedure as “hip arthroscopy to repair a labral tear in his right hip.”
Skapski saw two games of NHL action this past season, winning both contests and even grabbing a shutout. Most of his reps came with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack as he went 15-8-3 with a solid .914 save percentage.
Among Rangers fans and observers, the reaction seems a bit split regarding whether Skapski’s surgery would have any impact on Cam Talbot’s near future.
The New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis observes that Skapski’s injury means that the Rangers would have to get a backup goalie from “outside the organization” if they want to trade Talbot.
Others believe that Skapski’s not really in the phase of his career where he’s really relevant to Talbot, who has enjoyed two strong years as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup.
As a sixth-rounder (170th pick) from the 2013 NHL Draft, some may dismiss Skapski’s potential, yet the Rangers found Lundqvist in the seventh round back in 2000, so you never know.