If there was any question as to whether the Rangers were in full-blown “win now” mode, there isn’t any longer. On Sunday, the Rangers were a part of a monster deal in which they sent defenseman John Moore, standout prospect Anthony Duclair, and a 2016 first round draft pick to Arizona in exchange for 28-year-old defensemen Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, and a fourth round draft pick. Additionally, Arizona will retain half of Yandle’s $5.25 million cap-hit for both this year and next, making the Rangers responsible for only $2.625 million per-year.
For the Rangers, this move signifies nothing but Glen Sather’s desire bring the Stanley Cup back to New York, and bring it back this June. What they gave up to bring Yandle, who’s 40 points (4-36-40) now makes him the Rangers leading point producer on defense, puts that on display for all to see.
What They Sent
We’re all aware now what 19-year-old Anthony Duclair is capable of. He’s proven he can skate with the best of ‘em in the NHL, and it was evident at this year’s World Junior’s that he is an elite player within his age range. Now he’ll be reunited alongside WJC linemate Max Domi in Arizona. For New York, it’s undoubtedly a tough piece to send away.
John Moore should be a much easier pill to swallow. While Moore, 24, is a strong, smooth skating defenseman, he doesn’t match what a guy like Yandle can bring to the table. When you look at it blue-liner to blue liner, Yandle is a marked upgrade.
And then there’s the 2016 first rounder. With that, the Rangers will now go four years without a first round pick at the draft. It’s a steep price, but again, this is “win now.”
Rangers did not have a first round pick in 2013 (Nash) or in 2014 (St. Louis). Don’t have one this year (MSL) or in 2016 (Yandle).
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) March 1, 2015
What They’ll Receive
Adding Yandle now makes the Rangers defense core arguably the strongest in the league, and he’s sure to add the extra pop at the point on the power play which Dan Boyle has been unable to provide on a consistent basis this season.
And while the Rangers will benefit from even greater depth on the back-end, they will do so without having given up any forwards, so the chemistry that’s developed for one of the league’s highest powered offenses will presumably remain unaffected.
The Rangers gave up a good chunk of their future to bring in a top-tier defenseman. Their defense is now among the league’s strongest and deepest, coupled with an offense that has had no trouble scoring. If they win the Cup this year, history will smile upon Glen Sather. If not…I won’t even go there.
It’s Cup or Bust on Broadway. Sunday confirmed that.
*It is also being reported that the Rangers and Mats Zuccarello are closing in on a contract extension. Big news all around coming out of the big apple. Details coming on that soon.
Zuccarello extension with NYR is not done but getting close. Still working on NTC provisions. Likely to be four years, AAV of $4.5M.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 1, 2015
Jake Gittler is now in his second season as a contributing member of The Hockey Writers. After spending the 2014-15 season working in Communications for Adirondack Flames of the AHL and covering the New York Rangers here for The Hockey Writers, Jake’s coverage has been switched over to the Colorado Avalanche for the 2015-16 season. Jake can be reached via email at Jakegittler@gmail.com, or on Twitter @Jgittler_hockey.