New York Rangers rumors: Nick Ritchie chose Toronto over Broadway; Jack Eichel; and Henrik Lundqvist to retire a Blueshirt?
The New York Rangers made it a point to revamp their lineup with gritty players that go hard game in and game out.
One of those players on their list was forward Nick Ritchie. The 25 year-old, had 26 points (15 goals, 11 assists) in 56 regular-season games and added four points (one goal, three assists) in 11 playoff games with the Boston Bruins last season.
Boston opted to not qualify him as an RFA, thus making him unrestricted.
New York Rangers rumors: Nick Ritchie
The Toronto Maple Leafs signed free-agent forward Nick Ritchie to a two-year contract worth $5 million this offseason, but the Rangers did indeed go after him.
The Rangers did have serious interest in free-agent marauding winger Nic Ritchie, but we’re told that the one-time Boston left wing believed he would get a more prominent role and greater ice time in Toronto.Larry Brooks
Considering the Rangers abundance of wingers, which includes youngsters like Alexis Lafrenière, Kaapo Kakko, and Vitali Kravtsov it seems Ritchie had a good reason to choose the Leafs.
“I didn’t know I was going to be an unrestricted free agent,” Ritchie said after signing with the Leafs. “Just so excited to play for the Leafs and wear the Maple Leaf on my chest this year. There was lots of teams with interest, and I just chose what I thought was the best team and the best fit for me at this stage in my career.”
Henrik Lundqvist one-day contract?
There’s some whispers that the Blueshirts may give Henrik Lundqvist a one-day contract so he can retire as a member of the team.
Soon after Henrik Lundqvist announced his retirement from the game of hockey, the New York Rangers stated they will raise his iconic #30 to the Garden rafters. The ceremony date has yet to be determined but when it happens, it may actually be as a “member” of the team.
One speculated date for the ceremony is March 2, which would be Henrik Lundqvist’s 40th Birthday. Those looking to buy tickets should wait until the Rangers officially announce it, for the record.
Ceremonial one-day contracts are allowed by the NHL and the CBA. St. Louis just did it with David Backes so he could retire as a member of the Blues.
Were the Rangers contacted by the Sabres recently?
“I do believe Buffalo re-engaged with interested teams to see where everyone stands,” Elliotte Friedman said in his latest blog. “We will see where things go.”
Eichel is reportedly set to have neck surgery which will keep him out until December. It’s possible that Sabres GM Kevyn Adams wanted to just see where teams are at based on some of the newest information available. That way, once Eichel recovers he knows which teams to re-engage with.
The teams rumored to have been contacted may include the Ducks, Kings, Golden Knights, Wild, and Rangers.
At this time, the Golden Knights do not have the cap space to accommodate a trade for Eichel and his $10 million cap hit. The Wild are close to signing Kirill Kaprizov to the tune of $9 million per season which would eliminate them as well. That really leaves the Ducks, Kings, and Rangers.
The question remains, are the Rangers and Drury truly not interested in acquiring Eichel.
NY Post reporter Larry Brooks noted recently that Drury has been telling agents that the Rangers were never seriously interested in Eichel. That report was stunning considering up until the draft in June, Friedman said the two sides discussed players but were too far off.
Top Remaining UFAs
Here’s a list of the best UFAs still on the market. From Tyler Bozak to Alex Galchenyuk, read more here.