Latest New York Rangers offseason rumors and rumblings

Here’s the latest on the top Rangers storylines to follow as the NHL works on finalizing the start for next season. From Alexis Lafreniere at the WJC to Pavel Buchnevich as a potential trade candidate.

Will Alexis Lafreniere play at the WJC

The New York Rangers face a tough decision this week on their first number one overall selection since 1965. Alexis Lafreniere is eligible to play at the WJC for Team Canada and they want him very badly.

new york rangers rumors
Will the Rangers elect to send Lafreniere to WJC? (Getty Images)

“We’re going to keep that conversation going and we’re going to look at all the different options still,” Hockey Canada’s VP Scott Salmond said. “I would say it’s not out of the question.”

In order for the Rangers to make the proper choice, they need to see where the league stands on the 2021 season. If the NHL can come to an agreement with the NHLPA soon and camps can open by the end of the December it’s likely they would opt not to send him.

Jeff Gorton and the Rangers need to have a decision in by end of this week.

Cap situation, is there room to improve?

After signing all their RFAs the New York Rangers have $4.8 million in cap space. I know what you are saying, “go out and get someone!” Well you need to remember they will have to reserve about $3.5 million of that for performance bonuses. That leaves about $1.3 million for emergency call ups.

So no, the Rangers are not going to be signing anymore free agents. Now, they may offer a few PTOs for camp, but I wouldn’t expect anything too big.

Here’s a list of potential PTO candidates if you are interested.

Tony DeAngelo move to the left side

There has been a lot of talk about moving Tony DeAngelo to the left side for next season. The 25 year-old defenseman is no stranger to playing his offside as he did for many years in the OHL for the Sarnia Sting.

New York’s highest scoring rearguard is also on record with being open to moving to the left side. The primary reason for moving DeAngelo to the left is a simple one. They want to get him into the top four without dropping Adam Fox to the third pair.

Tarmo Reunanen and Libor Hajek

The Rangers are hoping at least one young defenseman claims a spot on left defense next season. Initally I thought Libor Hajek had the inside track to win the job. However, Tarmo Reunanen has been going really strong in Finland and may have an edge coming into camp.

Related: Tarmo Reunanen is a name Rangers fans should learn

K’Andre Miller will be a top four lefty for the Rangers defense. However, he would only add to the cap woes caused by so many performance bonuses. It would also be smart not to rush him and give Miller one season in the AHL.

Trading Pavel Buchnevich?

Pavel Buchnevich trade rumors
Pavel Buchnevich on the move? (Getty Images)

The topic of trading Pavel Buchnevich is going to be one that grows as the season progresses. He is entering the final year of his contract that comes with an AAV of $3.25 million. When the deal ends he will be an RFA with arbitration rights.

While the Rangers continue to make strides and have MVP finalist, Artemi Panarin and sniper Mika Zibanejad on the roster, they are not yet Cup contenders. That had Rick Carpiniello thinking the Rangers will be sellers at the trade deadline again. He even mentions Buchnevich in his article.

What Jeff Gorton needs to decide is where he sees Vitali Kravtsov in this lineup. If the answer is in the top six, then Buchnevich becomes expendable and could be used as a trade chip at the deadline.

Check out today’s latest NHL Rumors

The best part about NHL trade rumors is that there never is an offseason for them. Check out the latest including Patrik Laine in Seattle?

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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