UPDATE: As reported on our Twitter, the Rangers have recalled defenseman Ilkka Heikkinen from Hartford as Wade Redden will be unable to skate Saturday night in Buffalo. Heikkinen was a standout at training camp, though needed some North American seasoning in the AHL before making the NHL-jump. This season, he is second to Bobby Sanguinetti in defensive scoring with 16 points in 24 games and a +6.
Heikkinen's contract is less expensive than Sanguinetti, which may have been a major factor in recalling him rather than another more experienced defenseman.
Today, the Chicago Blackhawks will announce the signings of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith to extensions.
While these signings will not affect the current salary cap, they could most certainly put the Blackhawks over the limit for next season, something that is prohibited by the CBA.
So, with pure conjecture, is it possible that yesterday's moves by the Rangers could signal an upcoming move between the Rangers and Chicago?
It is not likely, particularly with two cap-strapped teams, and if we have learned anything from the salary cap era, it's that teams can find space if they want to, which is what Chicago most likely has done.
But for the sake of debate, could a trade work between these two clubs and , if so, who could the Rangers be looking at?
Young and talented right winger Patrick Sharp, 8 - 14 - 22 this season, has popped up in trade rumors since the summer. At 27 years old, Sharp can play center as well as the wing and is a reasonable cap hit at 3.9 million through 2012.
He would likely cost the Rangers a top prospect, possibly defenseman Ryan McDonagh who was acquired as part of the Scott Gomez trade to Montreal, a high draft pick such as 2nd or 3rd round, and a player like Ales Kotalik who has a comparable cap his at $3 million and the same length of contract.
It could be a little thin from the Rangers end, but is not far-fetched.
Defensemen Brent Sopel and Cam Barker are also possibilities, as the Rangers are in need of some considerable experience on the blueline.
Barker has a cap hit of just over $3 million through 2012 while Sopel is at about $2.3 for another season.
Barker, at 23 years old wouldn't necessarily give the Rangers much experience, but he can play a physical two-way game.
Sopel is a veteran at 32 years old and would provide the Rangers some leadership.
However, for either of these deals to work, you would think Michal Rozsival would have to be involved so Chicago would have to include at least one other player to make the cap implications work.
Could Sopel and Sharp be packaged for Rozsival, a second round draft choice, a player like Enver Lisin, and a top prospect? Possibly, but whatever trade may transpire, Chicago has to take back less salary than they are giving up and the Rangers don't have a whole lot to work with.
It could get interesting, or it could remain the status quo, but with Erik Christensen on the roster, the Rangers have quite a few centers and when Brandon Dubinsky returns, someone has to go.
More this afternoon.