Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports a “well-placed source” claims Edmonton winger Ryan Smyth is entertaining the idea of waiving his no-trade clause to join the Rangers.
Smyth, who’ll turn 36 on Feb. 21, has enjoyed a solid campaign for Edmonton after requesting a trade out of Los Angeles, scoring 16 goals while averaging a shade under 20 minutes a game. He’s one of four Oilers to play all 51 games this year, leading the team in even-strength goals while ranking third in power-play markers.
Smyth also has some ties to the Rangers organization. New York general manager Glen Sather drafted him sixth overall at the 1994 draft while serving as Oilers GM (according to Brooks, the two have maintained a “good relationship,”) — Smyth also played alongside Rangers center Brad Richards on the Canadian team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.
So, are the Rangers interested in Smyth? You’d have to think Sather would at least kick his tires — New York is reportedly in the market for a winger (also, a defenseman) and Smyth’s gritty net-front presence would probably help out the anemic power play (the Rangers have the league’s fifth-worst PP.)
The issue, of course, would be if New York could fit Smyth in under the cap — he’s in the final year of a deal that pays him $6.25 million annually. The Rangers did make an interesting move today by shipping out Erik Christensen (and his $925,000 deal) to Minnesota, which could be a precursor to a larger move.