The New York Rangers are in a precarious position. They’re a playoff team and need to play for now, but they have Keith Yandle on an expiring contract with no hope of re-signing him in the summer. Talk of turning him into picks or prospects has been widespread. However, the concussion to captain Ryan McDonagh may change plans.
During the Penguins vs. Rangers NBCSN broadcast on Wednesday, TSN’s Darren Dreger revealed that the Rangers may have placed a moratorium on Yandle trade talks. “As long as Ryan McDonagh is out, Keith Yandle is not going to be on the market. There’s no way the Rangers can move a piece like that.”
That makes sense since losing two top defensemen in a short time as the team gears up for their stretch run would be pushing the team in the wrong direction.
Be that as it may, you have to wonder if that situation could change quickly with a move like claiming Christian Ehrhoff off waivers. In Ehrhoff the Rangers would get a cheaper puck-moving defenseman who, like Yandle, is a left shot on an expiring contract. It would allow them to replace Yandle while still moving Yandle for assets.
The 29-year-old Yandle has scored four goals and 29 points in 54 games for the Blueshirts this year.
McDonagh is out without a timeline for return after taking a gloved punch to the head from Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.