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Rangers Add More Depth with Tyler Motte Reunion

The New York Rangers continue to stay busy ahead of the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline by reuniting with forward Tyler Motte.

The NHL has had a busy weekend after the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues in a blockbuster deal. Less than 48 hours later, another name is on the move. The Ottawa Senators have traded forward Tyler Motte to the New York Rangers for Julien Gauthier and a conditional seventh-round draft pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

The conditions of the seventh-round pick state that if the Rangers make it past the first round of the 2023 NHL playoffs, it becomes a sixth-round pick. This deal seemingly came together quickly as NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman mentioned this morning (Feb. 19) that talks surrounding Motte were picking up. Less than three hours later, the trade became official.

Motte is no stranger to the Rangers. Pun intended! New York acquired the 27-year-old at last year’s trade deadline, and he recorded zero points in nine games during the regular season due to dealing with an upper-body injury that kept him out of the Rangers’ lineup. However, he had two goals in 15 games when the playoffs came around. In September, he ultimately signed a one-year, $1.35 million deal with the Ottawa Senators as a free agent. He has nine points in 38 games this season (3 goals, 6 assists), which is a 19-point pace. His career-high in points is 16, which he reached as a member of the Vancouver Canucks during the 2018-19 season.

Motte is a quintessential depth forward. He provides minimal offense, as his career-best is nine goals, but he is known for his strengths with special teams and the penalty kill, which is always necessary for playoff teams. One of the three goals he has this season is a short-handed goal. The Rangers’ penalty kill is ranked 18th in the league, and he can improve it. Knowing the Rangers just made a big splash for former St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko to solidify their top six, this was a move made to strengthen their bottom six at a low price with someone already familiar with their system.

Tyler Motte New York Rangers NHL trade
Tyler Motte New York Rangers NHL trade

Related: Blues Trading Vladimir Tarasenko to the New York Rangers [Report]

The forward the Senators got in return, 25-year-old Julien Gauthier has nine points in 40 games this season and plays a similar game to Motte. This looks like a fair trade for both sides.

Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion said of his desire to acquire Gauthier as the centerpiece asset he gets in return:

Julien Gauthier is a hard-working, good skating winger with a big body who routinely goes to the opponent’s net. His north/south game should be a nice addition to our lineup.

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