Rangers Beat: Insight on RFA, DeAngelo, Strome, and Lemieux
In part two of our three part series with Rangers beat reporters, we asked them how they feel the RFA situation will play out for Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome, and Brendan Lemieux. Here are their thoughts.
Colin Stephenson, NEWSDAY
Some of the thinking may depend on what transition rules come out of the next offseason as the league tries to figure out how it can make up for lost revenue in ’19-20 (well, not make up the revenue, but you know what I mean). But assuming the rules they’re working with, and the salary cap, etc., are relatively similar to what we currently know them to be, then I don’t see Lemieux or Strome signing long term. I don’t see it for Fast, either, but I don’t know if he might take a hometown discount.
Tony D will not give them a discount, and as much as he’s been a solid citizen this season, you know Trouba’s here long term, and so is Fox. And Nils Lundkvist is likely not far away. So I don’t see them signing Tony long term, unless the AAV is a really nice number for them. Then they would be able to trade Tony when Lundkvist is ready. But I don’t really see that happening. I think Tony will want to hit the UFA market in his prime and go get big bucks from whoever is willing to pay. So I see him doing a short term deal.
Brett Crygalis, NY POST
I think DeAngelo and Strome could both get more than a bridge deal, depending on what they’re asking for.
Vince Mercogliano, LOHUD and USA TODAY
The big question is what they do with Tony DeAngelo. I could see him getting a long-term deal, I could see him getting traded and I could see anything in between.
Obviously, he took his game to another level this season and finished in the top five among defensemen in points. He’s one of the most skilled D-men in the league from an offensive perspective – and he’s earned a big raise. That’s well known, but I’ve also made the case for why it makes sense for Jeff Gorton to at least gauge his value on the trade market. He just gave big money to Jacob Trouba, Adam Fox is just as skilled offensively and better defensively, and Nils Lundkvist is on the way.
As I wrote this week, right-handed defensemen have become one of the Rangers’ strengths. And if the Rangers could flip DeAngelo for a high-end forward or a compelling package of assets, they should consider trading from an area of strength to address an area of need.
On the other hand, DeAngelo is just coming into his own and well-liked by his teammates. It’s very possible the Rangers want to keep him around – and it would be hard to fault them. I think it’s arguably the most interesting decision they have to make this offseason, because signing DeAngelo long-term won’t come cheap. Think Brady Skjei money, and then some. As for the rest of the RFAs, I don’t see anything long-term coming – unless Ryan Strome is willing to do something team friendly.