New York Rangers UFA Target: Garnet Hathaway

NHL: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers will be playing with a limited amount of cap space this summer and have two key restricted free agents to sign. Both Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller should be retained on bridge deals.

There’s also the possibility of at least one unrestricted free agent being re-signed if Tyler Motte and GM Chris Drury can make the numbers work.

PerĀ PuckPedia, the New York Rangers have only $11,762,918 is cap space with 14 players from last season under contract. While that may take them out of the big free agent fish market in July, some bottom-six depth pieces may be reasonable targets.

New York Rangers UFA Target: Garnet Hathaway

NHL: Washington Capitals at New York Rangers
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Hathaway, 31, recorded 13 goals and 9 assists for 22 points in 84 games this past season. He began the year with the Washington Capitals before being dealt to the Boston Bruins near the trade deadline along with defenseman Dmitry Orlov.

“We’re excited as a coaching staff,” Jim Montgomery said. “There’s no doubt we feel we got two playoff performers, guys that help you win in big moments when games matter the most, and I think we’re going to start seeing that tonight.”

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The native of Naples, Florida played with Chris Kreider at a prep school in Massachusetts and holds him in high regard. Hathaway cited Kreider’s work ethic as having a big influence on him early in his own career.

It’s that same drive and determination on every shift that makes him an excellent forechecker with bite. The fact that he’s 6-3′ and 208 pounds doesn’t hurt either.

In a recent episode of Forever Blueshirts TV, Steven Pappas noted that Hathaway would be an excellent fit for his ability to go into the corners and dig out pucks in both zones. Clearly a need for the Rangers.

With the recent reports that former Capitals coach Peter Laviolette is expected to be named the next Rangers head coach, Hathaway makes even more sense.

Hathaway has played 8 seasons in the NHL amassing 58 goals and 64 assists for 122 points in 457 games. The rugged forward has also totaled 490 penalty minutes during his career, and would give the Rangers a much needed physical presence.

The Rangers would be looking for Hathaway at somewhere very close to the AAV of $1.5 million on his last deal. If the market for bottom-six forwards remains favorable for contenders with limited cap space, he could fall into Drury’s lap.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore