Do the New York Rangers have a trade partner for Lundqvist, and their top 5 “To-Do” list this offseason

We are less than two weeks from the NHL draft on October 6th. This Friday will begin the first buyout window and also marks two weeks to Free Agent Frenzy on October 9th. It is going to be a busy time for the league and the Rangers as well.

Here’s the Blueshirts top 5 To-Do list this offseason.

1. Resolve the Henrik Lundqvist situation

Let me start off by saying, I am as exhausted writing about it as you are reading it. Still, it’s the biggest issue Jeff Gorton has to get scratched off his “To-Do” list.

That’s because Henrik’s $8.5 million cap hit has a seismic effect on everything the Rangers can or can’t do this offseason. I doubt the Rangers buy him out this Friday, the earliest I see it will be Saturday when there is no Stanley Cup Final game.

I also heard in the rumor mill that there is a least one team willing to trade for him. Now whether that’s a deal where they retain 50% of his cap hit, or the creative trade to Ottawa to let him be bought out there, remains to be seen.

2. Qualify all four RFA’s

The Rangers will have until 5 PM on October 7th to submit Qualifying Offers to their respective RFA’s. It’s possible the Rangers may do this before the draft on October 6th, but unless it is with all four, I doubt they tip their hand at who they may be looking to trade during the draft.

3. Draft Alexis Lafreniere

Go ahead and say it. For some of you, it will be the nicest thing you’ve said about me or this site in weeks.

“Thank You Captain Obvious!”

Yes, it’s obvious but I need to show it on the Rangers to do list! Draft generational talent, Alexis Lafreniere.

new york rangers rumors
Alexis Lafreniere getting ready (Vincent Ethier/CHL)

4. Re-sign key RFA’s and hunt for bargains in free agency

On the newest episode of Tony DeAngelo’s “Watch Your Tone” podcast, he revealed that he believes a lot of RFA’s will be traded at the draft for picks. Tony, who is an RFA himself said, “I got through the last couple of drafts, I am trying to sneak through one more.”

This is why taking care of the Lundqvist situation is so important. Once the Rangers know what they have cap wise they can possibly retain all four RFA’s. They can also start bargain hunting for players in free agency.

Jeff Gorton could try waiting it out to see if a player like Zemgus Girgensons is still unsigned and looking for a deal. Or maybe someone like Kyle Turris who may get bought out and signed on the cheap.

5. Use the second buyout window on Brendan Smith

The Rangers need every penny with a flat cap that could stay stagnant for two seasons. Once they finish signing their RFA’s, they can kill two birds with one stone.

Buying out Brendan Smith gives them an additional $1.5 million in cap space and also opens up roster spots in New York and Hartford. That can be used for Libor Hajek and/or K’Andre Miller.

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