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Report: Rangers hope to trade McIlrath

Buffalo Sabres v New York Rangers

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25: Dylan McIlrath #6 of the New York Rangers takes the puck as Matt Moulson #26 of the Buffalo Sabres defends at Madison Square Garden on January 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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Defense is an obvious question mark for the New York Rangers, and that’s before they possibly move first-rounder Dylan McIlrath.

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks and New York Newsday’s Steve Zipay are among those reporting that the Rangers are looking to trade McIlrath.

Brooks explains that free agent acquisition Adam Clendening “better suits the quick-decision, quick-puck-moving style” Alain Vigneault emphasizes.

The Rangers are in a pickle with McIlrath; they don’t want to waive the 24-year-old, yet he doesn’t seem to fit the bill in the eyes of management.

(Such a viewpoint is, erm, poorly received by certain Rangers fans.)

Beyond the obvious defensemen, the other players who might push McIlrath out of the mix include Nick Holden and Brady Skjei.

It’s weird to picture the Rangers giving up a young defenseman with some pedigree at a time like this, but McIlrath is in a funny place. Maybe a change of location would benefit him while netting the Rangers an asset or two at the same time?

That would be the ideal scenario, yet it’s also possible that things will be as messy as they’ll end up many nights in New York’s defensive zone.