NHL trade notes: Tyler Motte to Rangers – what’s next

NHL trade notes: Tyler Motte to Rangers – what’s next

The exchange

The Rangers get: Tyler Motte

Senators get: Julien Gauthier, 2023 seventh-round pick (conditional)

Shayna Goldman: Rangers continue on the same theme: fixing a slow offseason, which included the departure of Tyler Motte as a free agent. After the Tarasenko-Mikkola trade, the next thing New York needed to tackle was their fourth line. Last night’s game against Calgary only underscored that, when two-thirds of that line saw their night come to an end early in the second period. In Motte, management have found one of the best and cheapest options out there – and a player they can be pretty confident will fit in well with their team given his experience from the last playoffs. This time it costs Julien Gauthier and a seventh, having moved a fourth for him last term.

In today’s NHL, a fourth line shouldn’t be comprised solely of defensive forwards. It’s a reactive way to play the game when the idea should always be to pick up the pace of play. The best defense is rightfully a good offense, and Motte helps add that element to New York’s depth. He’s a fast and disruptive winger who can help both evenly-strength and shorthanded.

Motte’s arrival would likely have eliminated Julien Gauthier from the line-up in New York, so his participation in the comeback makes sense from that perspective. He’s a player the team should have tried to max out a bit more because the skill set East there, and he was never fit for their fourth line. It seems management has recognized who the coaches are and aren’t willing to lean on, and (regardless of whether the dynamic should be that way) work within those boundaries to improve the team. The question now is whether Rangers are done. They crossed another need off their checklist, but fourth-row players continue to be moved to the top six on the right wing. On the bright side, management has time to figure out how to proceed after seeing what the formation looks like with Motte back in the fold.

Since the Senators aren’t destined for the playoffs, it makes sense to pull pending free agents to secure a return. Instead of just stocking up on picks, given Ottawa’s current situation, it makes sense to want younger, NHL-caliber talent. Gauthier’s ceiling probably isn’t as high as thought when he was drafted, but he’s a quick winger who can get into quality areas of the ice. He might need some help to reach his potential and should be given the opportunity with his new team. Not a bad comeback for a waiting UFA that slots into the fourth line of a playoff team.

Ranking Rangers: B+
Ranking of senators: B

Sean Kind: My biggest question here is whether Tyler Motte was with the Rangers long enough last year to rent an apartment. Maybe he can get the same for his second round. Form-wise, he makes perfect sense, just like he did in 2022.

He’s a bottom-six disruptor with a set skill set — skating, penalty kill, toss — that every playoff team could use, and the Rangers specifically need more on their fourth line. It’s not as big a move for Chris Drury as trade was for Vladimir Tarasenko, and it’s not as big, but there’s also a shared DNA. This was a team that had clear and obvious needs – a right winger in the top six, who scored goals, who would push other players to their best fit, a lower pair option and a player who would make the fourth line. a little more relevant.

In Tarasenko, Niko Mikkola and Motte, they ticked all the boxes. By sending Gauthier, a player Motte could have sent into the press box anyway, they also preserved some salary cap space. The Rangers aren’t quite in tune with the tippy-top Eastern Conference, but their roster makes as much sense as anyone. They’re a dangerous team and a more playoff-ready group of skaters than the one that worked past Igor Shesterkin last season. Seek. Based on adjustment and opportunity cost, this ranks well for New York.

As far as Ottawa is concerned, the feedback is good. Gauthier doesn’t have a track record to be happy about, but he’s 6-foot-4 and a good skater. It’s worth a roll of the dice, especially for a waiting UFA. The fit is good, but…it’s still Tyler Motte. If the goal was to add a player, rather than, say, a fourth round, mission accomplished. I’m not entirely sure that should have been the goal, but hey, who knows. (We’d mention Gauthier being a first-round pick as a reason to like that move a bit more for the Senators, but that was nearly seven years and two teams ago. At some point, that ceases to matter. matter. on the subject of stuff that doesn’t matter, he played on a junior team with Thomas Chabot.)

Ranking Rangers: B
Ranking of senators: B-

(Photo by Tyler Motte in the second round of the 2023 playoffs: Jared Silber/ NHLI via Getty Images)

Leave a Comment