The Rangers realize they still need some pretty drastic roster changes. The good news is most of the future deletions involve veterans. Its pretty obvious Roszival, Redden, Brashear, Higgins and Kotalik need to go for starters. But is that enough? The return on those players is not going to dramatically improve the Rangers. More likely just another sideways shuffle, remaining in entry draft no mans land.
If the Rangers are going to make a leap in the standings, they need to make a dramatic move, and that means moving their best commodity Henrik Lundqvist. At their present improvement pace, Lundqvist will not be part of a future Ranger contender. Would it not be better to trade him?
When you look around the league, and focus on a contender that would solidify their cup run with Lundqvist in the pipes, Washington and Chicago are obvious trading partners. Neither is what you would call set between the pipes, and both have assets galore. But the Rangers are unlikely to deal Lundqvist to the rival Caps. So how about Chicago, way over there in the other conference, far enough away that Lundqvist won’t haunt the Rangers, like he might in Washington.
So maybe the Rangers package Lundqvist, Higgins and Voros in what has to be a home run attempt. Chicago knows with Lundqvist the future is now and for the next five years at least. They can afford to trade some future. The Rangers have to get Antti Niemi back, thats a given, and how about Cam Barker, Kyle Beach, Jack Skille, Dylan Olson and Kris Versteeg. Is it worth it?
The Rangers can afford to offer teams take it or leave it scenarios, since keeping Lundqvist ain’t a bad option either.