Potential Free Agent additions aside from Panarin and Karlsson for the Rangers
Time and time again, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton has stated that the team will look to expedite the rebuilding process in free agency. The top two guys this summer, as we know by now, are Artemi Panarin and Erik Karlsson. But outside of those two, who else is out there that the organization can lure to New York?
Starting with a guy who will have the highest ticket price out of everyone on this list, Matt Duchene has developed a name for himself in the NHL over the last decade. That name is a guy that has tallied 547 points in 727 career games and gives the offensive threat many teams in the NHL are missing, like the Rangers.
At 28 years old, Duchene is set to sign the contract of his life, as he’s to expect a contract with a minimum of five years, while hovering around that $10 million mark. Duchene is the type of player that the Rangers need at some point in the future, and with the possibility of a couple of their prospect forwards being on the roster for next season, Duchene can provide that veteran leadership every team needs while impacting the team offensively. With a guy like Duchene, the Rangers shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger when it comes to throwing a good chunk of money at him, especially if they miss out of their main guy in Artemi Panarin.
Another offensive threat that is set to get a large raise this summer is one Jeff Skinner. The soon-to-be 27-year-old has also proven his worth in the last nine years in the NHL, posting 442 points in 661 career games. In his first year in Buffalo, Skinner reached the 40 goal mark for the first time in his career.
Currently making a shade under $6 million, and especially coming off of 40-goal year, Skinner will likely get a contract around $8 or $9 million per year, with the same length as Duchene. These two forwards are very much alike, as the addition of either of them improves the teams offensive immediately. Fitting into the Rangers lineup for Skinner would come with ease, as it usually is for natural point-scorers. Having a versatile winger under contract for a good number of years can help the Rangers now, and in a couple of years when they hope to be competing. Skinner is somebody the Rangers should definitely inquire come July 1.
The cheapest of the bunch, also the least productive, would be a nice fit for the Rangers going forward. Johansson, who seems to fit nicely as a middle-six forward, provides any team he’s on with solid numbers for someone who doesn’t need to take as much cap up as the others.
Johansson has 334 points through 588 games, and at just 28, still has plenty of years of productivity. The veteran leadership that he can bring to the young Rangers would help tremendously, and with a contract anywhere from 3-5 years at a minimum of $6 million per year. The contract is definitely doable, and for what he brings to the table, the Rangers should be sure to check up on Johansson once free agency opens.