Rarely have the three local NHL teams all been huge players in the trade market the day of the deadline.
Unfortunately, they are all selling.
Thomas Vanek, Martin Brodeur and Ryan Callahan all have the distinction of being All Stars and former Olympians in common, but also that they may be shipped out of the tri-state Wednesday.
The local dealing already got underway Tuesday with the Islanders shipping defenseman Andrew MacDonald to Philadelphia for two draft picks and prospect Matt Mangene.
Unlike the NFL and NBA, big names are often moved at the deadline. Jay Bouwmeester, Jaromir Jagr and Jarome Iginla were among the names to be swapped at last year’s deadline. New York’s hockey scene could look a whole lot different by Wednesday night.
New York Rangers
The Rangers and Ryan Callahan are engaged in a game of chicken, but it might be the fans who lose out.
The 28-year-old captain of the Rangers is a free agent after this season and asking for a large extension — making general manager Glen Sather put serious thought into trading Callahan. It’s also no secret Callahan isn’t the best fit for first-year head coach Alain Vigneault’s up-tempo offense. The grinder fit perfectly in John Tortorella’s system. He has just 25 points this season after posting 54 in the last non-strike shortened season. And now the franchise has to determine whether a six- or seven-year deal in the neighborhood of $50 million is worth it for a player on pace to score fewer than 20 goals.
Sather is in a tough position, but the team does appear to be negotiating with the U.S. Olympian in order to avoid moving him at the deadline. TSN reported Tuesday the demands by Callahan are inching closer to where the team may be able to re-sign him.
A deal involving Callahan being sent to Tampa Bay for right winger Martin St. Louis was reported last week, but has fizzled as of late.
Outside of Callahan, the Rangers locked up defenseman Dan Girardi to a six-year, $33 million deal on Saturday meaning he won’t be dealt at the deadline.
New York Islanders
The Islanders are in a position they definitely did not expect just four months ago after trading for Thomas Vanek — moving him themselves at the deadline.
Instead of making a run to the playoffs with a tandem of Vanek and John Tavares leading the way, New York is likely out of the playoff hunt, Tavares is out for the season with a knee injury and Vanek is being aggressively shopped.
While Vanek has just nine points since joining the Islanders on Oct. 26 in a deal with Buffalo, he still could be the best offensive weapon on the market at the deadline. Vanek is a free agent, though, and won’t bring in the same kind of haul the Islanders surrendered.
The Kings and Penguins are both rumored destinations. At this point, the Islanders have little choice but to make some deal.
New Jersey Devils
The greatest goaltender in Devils — and maybe NHL — history may have already played his last game in New Jersey.
It was reported Tuesday that four-time Vezina Trophy-winner Martin Brodeur was set to be dealt to Minnesota. Brodeur, who holds final word on any deal with a no-trade clause in his contract, was reportedly just looking to play one more game in front of the home crowd at the Prudential Center last night.
But a wrench was thrown in that report when the Wild instead made a deal with Edmonton for veteran goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
So with Minnesota’s security in net seemingly secured, Brodeur is in limbo.
The Devils made a deal with the Canucks during the previous offseason for netminder Cory Schneider. The deal included a Top-10 pick, so it was obvious Schneider was the heir apparent — sooner rather than later. Schneider is 12-12-9 this season with a 1.92 goals against average. Brodeur is 14-11-4, but has a goals against average of 2.47 — his worst since 2005-06 and the second-worst of his career for a full season.
But even with the Wild apparently out of the question, Brodeur could still have suitors. The Canadiens, in Brodeur’s hometown, just put Carey Price on injured reserve.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.