Rangers don't seem 'desperate' Phaneuf

LARRY BROOKS

Despite Calgary general manager Darryl Sutter’s adamant denial that Dion Phaneuf is on the trade market, another NHL GM yesterday told The Post that the Flames are “desperate” to move the defenseman and the annual $6.5 million cap hit he will carry through 2013-14.

Which leads us to the Rangers, a team in desperate need of size and toughness that just happened to be scouted by Daryl Sutter and pro scout Ron Sutter during the Blueshirts’ 2-0 surrender in Philadelphia on Thursday.

The Blueshirts, who play Montreal tonight (7:00, WPIX, ESPN 1050 AM) in what should be a terrific Round 2 of the nasty battle they and the Canadiens waged at the Garden last Sunday, wouldn’t have the cap space to accommodate the head-hunting, 24-year-old Phaneuf without sending either Michal Rozsival or Wade Redden the other way as part of the package.

Redden carries the same cap obligation for the same number of years as Phaneuf, so there’s no reason to believe the Flames would be interested in him.

Beyond that, Redden likely has included Calgary on his eight-team no-trade list.

The Flames, who also scouted the Rangers at the Garden on Tuesday, might be willing to accept Rozsival, who has two years following this one remaining on his contract with an annual $5 million cap charge, but who will be owed just $7 million in salary after this season.

But Calgary is seeking help up front to bring back in a hypothetical Phaneuf trade.

The only reasonable target would be Brandon Dubinsky — reasonable, that is, for the Flames, but entirely unreasonable for the Rangers, who are essentially bereft down the middle behind No. 17.

If Phaneuf, 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, were playing up to the reputation he established his first couple of years in the league as a Barry Beck-type multi-dimensional specimen, perhaps GM Glen Sather could justify moving one young piece for another to fill one hole even while creating another. Perhaps.

But Phaneuf isn’t . . . and hasn’t for a long time. Plus, adding that contract would tie up $34.425 million for the next two years in five players — Phaneuf, Redden, Marian Gaborik, Chris Drury and Henrik Lundqvist.

That would be too much for too little.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/rangers/ranger_don_seem_desperate_phaneuf_FSrHB8V590CKHKl13tV9NJ