NHL Rumors Metro Division: Will Rangers go big? Are the Canes a Patrick Kane destination?

Today’s NHL Rumors looks at each team in the Metro Division and their outlook a month away from the NHL Trade Deadline set for March 3.

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NHL Rumors: All eyes on Canes and Rangers

Carolina Hurricanes: There’s no doubt that the Canes are going to be buyers at the deadline. Prior to Max Pacioretty going down with another Achilles injury, they weren’t thought to be big-game hunters. Now that they’ll have the cap space, I’d expect them to be shopping for a top offensive player. Why not Patrick Kane? They haven’t been really mentioned before, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they’ll make a move for him.

Columbus Blue Jackets: As the Jackets look to accumulate lottery balls for the Connor Bedard sweepstakes, keep an eye on them trading some pending UFAs. Defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov is likely heading to the Oilers and injured forward Gustav Nyquist is expected to be back for the post season.

New York Islanders: The Isles were desperate to get back into the playoff picture and have already made a huge splash by acquiring Bo Horvat. Knowing GM Lou Lamoriello, he’ll probably not trade away his young cost controlled assets for a rental. That being said, depth moves are still in the cards.

nhl rumors patrick kane
Dec 4, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goalie Alexander Georgiev (40) looks for the puck after a shot on goal attempt by Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) in the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers: The Rangers will definitely be making a move or three. It really depends on what GM Chris Drury is willing to do, but the need for a top-six right wing is obvious. While some believe he may be content with just adding a few depth pieces, I think the Rangers are going big. Whether that’s Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, or James van Riemsdyk still remains to be seen. One big name that keeps being attached to the Rangers is Timo Meier, but he simply doesn’t fit into the team’s cap situation next season. It’s pure rentals for the Rangers this trade deadline.

Of course, if Kane is being hampered by a painful injury there’s no way the Rangers should give up any significant assets to acquire him. That’s why GM Chris Drury needs to monitor the situation closely but be ready to move on another confirmed target, St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko. Per a trusted source, the Rangers explored a deal for him last season and is considered a better fit than Kane.

Forever Blueshirts

New Jersey Devils: If you want to talk about a landing spot for Timo Meier, the New Jersey Devils are it. Honestly, the only other team I can see in play to land Meier are the Buffalo Sabres. That being said, the Devils aren’t going to be players for the likes of Kane or Tarasenko as they’re still building out the roster for the longterm.

“But let me be the person that reads between the lines and says that Timo Meier would fit exactly what the Devils are looking for,” Pierre LeBrun said on TSN. “I think Meier fits that description and the Devils will certainly investigate that possibility.”

Philadelphia Flyers: Sell, sell, sell. The Flyers are not John Tortorella’s team just yet. I’m sure he’s identified some key pieces, but Torts is going to want to mold his players young and Philadelphia has plenty of veteran assets they can move. So, will anyone trade for Kevin Hayes?

Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins will certainly shop for depth pieces, but I struggle to see how they can make any big moves. GM Ron Hextall committed to his aging superstars with big contract extensions this past summer leaving very little room for improvement.

“We would like to get better,” Hextall said recently. “We’re going to have to be creative (with salary cap), but we’d certainly like to find something that upgrades our group, and maybe it’s a better fit.”

Washington Capitals: The Caps are another aging team that will likely look to tweak their lineup with some depth pieces for a playoff run. This seems like a good landing spot for a player like Max Domi.