Accelerated Rebuild: Potential 2019 UFA’s signings to turn the Rangers into contenders

The Rangers have committed to rebuilding – for this season. However looking at the 2019 pool of potential UFA’s, 4 forwards stand out as team changers. Even if the Rangers were to sign all of their current RFA’s besides Ryan Spooner, they should have at least $10 million next summer to sign a star. If they decide to trade pending UFA, Mats Zuccarello at the deadline, the number could be as high as $15 million.

Let’s dive in…

Tyler Seguin

Seguin(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

The 26 year old will be the most coveted UFA next summer, IF he gets there. While it is believed that both sides are working towards an extension, Seguin could still wait to explore the UFA market and cash in John Tavares style.

A player like Seguin signing for the bright lights of Broadway would put the rebuild into overdrive. The cost would exceed 10 million a season for 7 years, but Seguin is more than worth it. The center is coming off a 40 goal and 78 points season and his scoring should only continue climb.

If Seguin makes it to the market, the Rangers must pull a Toronto. That means all the stops and a promo video where a CGI Seguin is hoisting a Cup at center ice at MSG and rolling in a car going down the canyon of heroes.

Artemi Panarin

Getty Images

The Rangers were immediately linked to Panarin when news came out that he was made available. There is no doubt that a player like Panarin would catapult the Blueshirts into contention. In three NHL seasons, the LW has totaled 233 points in just 243 games.

Panarin’s current cap hit is $6 million and he will command a significant increase. If the Rangers miss out on Seguin, they would do very well with Panarin. Seguin’s advantage over Panarin is his position, as centers are valuable assets in today’s NHL.

Matt Duchene

The Canadian Press

Ottawa paid a steep price to acquire Duchene last season. Since then, they have been in turmoil and may be going in a complete rebuild direction. This is especially true if Erik Karlsson is indeed dealt.

The 27 year old center is currently making $6 million on the cap and won’t command a salary anywhere near Seguin. That’s simply because he hasn’t scored more than 30 goals or 70 points in any single season. Last year was even more disappointing as he scored only 59 points and the Senators may consider trading him at the deadline.

If that’s the case, the Rangers should avoid trading assets for him and sign him in July.

Jeff Skinner

Skinner scores on Lundqvist (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

The 26 year old center has a world of talent that has yet to reach full potential. Rumors have the Hurricanes possibly trading him, if not now then at the deadline. If that’s the case, the Rangers should approach him just like Duchene. Avoid trading assets and sign him in July.

Skinner’s current deal comes with a $5.725 million cap hit and if he were to hit free agency, it would take upwards of $7 million to land him. If the Rangers miss out on the top 3, then they should give him a look.

Honorable Mention
Gustav Nyquist

Nyquist on Lundqvist (Getty)

Nyquist is just one of those players that has a knack for scoring. The 28 year old will be a UFA next summer and is a perennial 20 goal scorer. He currently makes $4.75M and should still come at a reasonable price in the summer.

If the Rangers do move on from Mats Zuccarello this season, Nyquist would make a nice addition with any of the names mentioned above.