New York Rangers: No decision on Alexis Lafreniere at WJC until NHL schedule announced

Rangers Alexis Lafreniere
Lafrenière (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan)

Despite a few positive COVID-19 cases impacting Hockey Canada’s operations, the Rangers may still consider letting Alexis Lafreniere play in the tournament. That sentiment was echoed by national team SVP, Scott Salmond.

Rangers may allow Alexis Lafreniere to play at WJC

The tournament is going to take place in Alberta on December 13th. Which could impact the decision as well considering the state of US-Canada border.

“There are precautions that you can put in place, in terms of that person and their quarantine responsibilities, in particular Alexis as he is in New York currently so there would be some quarantine restrictions on him to arrive into Canada,” Salmond said. “But we’re going to keep that conversation going and we’re going to look at all the different options still. I would say it’s not out of the question.”

via NHL.com

In order for the Rangers to make the proper choice on their #1 overall draft pick in 2020, they need to see where the league stands on the 2021 season. If the NHL can come to an agreement with the NHLPA over the long weekend, a January 1 start is possible.

alexis lafreniere rangers
NYR select Lafreniere (Getty Images)

That would open up NHL training camps on or about the same time as the tournament start date. If so, it would be highly unlikely for the Rangers to let Lafreniere participate.

Alexis Lafreniere is currently penned in the Rangers opening night lineup.

RELATED: Positive COVID-19 cases likely to keep Lafreniere in away from WJC

NHL telling teams to get ready for next season

Reports over Thanksgiving have provided new optimism that the NHL is already moving forward and looking to keep that January target. Calgary Flames coach Geoff Ward told TSN, “The league is definitely saying there will be a season.”

However, it isn’t just Ward talking like this. A league executive said yesterday, “I have no doubt we’re going to have a season.” So while the NHL and NHLPA have not talked since they asked the players to reopen the CBA, it looks like the league is backing off their demands on escrow.

Predators GM, David Poile is one of those executives that just wants to move ahead. “Let’s get the season started. I’m up for however it looks,” Poile relayed to The Globe and Mail. “Whatever the league and the PA think is the best way to get us back playing…Whatever it takes to get this season going and get it in place.”

If the NHL and NHLPA can hammer out a deal this weekend, January 1 or very close to it will be hit. That would put Alexis Lafreniere in Tarrytown getting ready for his debut as a New York Rangers player and not at the WJC.

TODAY! New York Rangers podcast with Nick Kypreos

The Forever Blueshirts Radio podcast is back today with a special guest. Nick Kypreos, a member of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion Rangers will join me to discuss his new book Undrafted.

Nick Kypreos’ book details his inspiring and motivating story for people from all walks of life. From growing up in Toronto, to making it to the NHL, and transitioning into one of the game’s top analysts after a career ending concussion, Undrafted is a great read.

Today’s episode will dive into all that, as well as his new show Real Kyper at Noon, and his start up company Little Buddha. I’m excited and Nick is pumped about it too Blueshirts Faithful.

Subscribe to the podcast here and get the episode as soon as it comes out.

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