With the 2013 NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET April 3, Eye on Hockey will examine whether each team is a buyer or seller at the deadline, and who each team should look to sell or receive by the deadline
Buyers or Sellers
The Rangers are another one of those Eastern Conference teams that are in deadline limbo, but it appears they'll be in buy mode as April 3 nears. On paper, the Rangers look like a team that should be better than its record and after the big summer acquisition of Rick Nash, there may be some sense of urgency in New York.
The Rangers are reportedly waiting on paperwork to get Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello back from the KHL, while forward Jesper Fast could be returned to the Rangers after a stint with HV71 in the Swedish Elite League pending clearance from the Swedish hockey federation. Those are two deadline acquisitions that don't cost anything and could help bolster forward depth. That should allow the Rangers and allows the front office to focus on defense, which is a more pressing need.
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Rangers could be in the market for a right-shot defenseman.
Just weeks ago, it was rumored that Marian Gaborik could be dangled to see what type of return he might bring. It probably would take something pretty substantial for New York to move him, but he's the type of player that would bring a lot of interest in this market.
One thing that may complicate the trade deadline and certainly trumps anything hockey related is that general manager Glen Sather reportedly had surgery Thursday to treat prostate cancer. Assistant general manager Jeff Gorton will assume the day-to-day responsibilities according to Brooks.
If the Rangers are looking for defense, the name that keeps getting brought up on a regular basis is San Jose Sharks veteran Dan Boyle. Though Boyle has said that he does not want to be traded, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson seems to be in full on sell mode after moving Douglas Murray Monday.
The asking price for Boyle would undoubtedly be high, particularly in this market, but he's a solid veteran with his name on the Stanley Cup and he still brings quite a bit to the table even at 36 years old. Boyle also brings a high cap hit, which may not be prohibitive in the right deal.
If the Rangers are looking to bolster depth on the blue line, however, Detroit's Ian White may be a fit, as suggested by ESPN.com's Craig Custance.
He's a right-shot defenseman that can defend responsibly, put up a few points here and there and already has 497 NHL games under his belt at age 28. White heads to unrestricted free agency in the summer, so the cost should be relatively low to get some added stability for the blue line. White had a career-best 32 points last season.