Rangers GM Chris Drury talks Georgiev trade, free agents, and more

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Chris Drury and the New York Rangers sat back and enjoyed the evening in Montreal since they did not have a first-round selection on Thursday night. That selection went to the Winnipeg Jets as part of the Andrew Copp trade. A conditional second-round pick became a first once the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference Final.

Earlier in the day, Drury pulled off a deal with the Colorado Avalanche by sending Alexandar Georgiev for three draft picks. In the transaction, the Avs sent over a 3rd round pick (97 overall) and a 5th round pick (161 overall) in this year’s draft. The Rangers will also receive a third round pick in the 2023 Draft.

Here’s how the Rangers will select in Day 2 of the NHL Draft:

  • Round 2, 63rd overall
  • Round 3, 97th overall
  • Round 4, 111th overall
  • Round 5, 159th overall
  • Round 5, 161st overall
  • Round 6, 191st overall

Note: Round 2 will begin at 11 AM ET and will be broadcast on ESPN+ and NHL Network.

Chris Drury on Alexandar Georgiev and new backup

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James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers President and General Manager had a fantastic first season at the helm and finished third in voting for the Jim Gregory Award (GM of the Year). Joe Sakic took home the honors after leading his Avalanche to a Stanley Cup title.

New York like many teams have cap concerns, which is what prompted a deal between Drury and Sakic in the afternoon. The Avs realized that re-signing starting goalie Darcy Kuemper wasn’t going to work with their budget. That aligned with the Blueshirts being unable to extend Alexandar Georgiev his $2.65M Qualifying Offer on July 11.

“It’s something we’ve been working on to clear some cap space,” Drury said. “We talked to a bunch of teams and that’s what came about today. It was nice to get some of the those picks [that were moved at the deadline] back today.”

Drury also addressed his high level plan for a new backup which includes either going the free agent route or via trade.

“There are some good ones out there and we’re exploring ways to get a backup,” he noted.

The Montreal Canadiens have made Jake Allen available but they would need to eat at least $1M to the max $1.4M of his $2.8M cap hit to make it work.

Otherwise, the Rangers will likely go the UFA market route and try to sign either Martin Jones, Jaroslav Halak, or Thomas Greiss for around $1.5M per season.

Chris Drury on free agency and more

The Rangers are heavily involved in the rumor mill with their obvious hole at second line center. Drury obviously wants to address that but said he has no hard timetable to get it done.

When asked about contract talks with Andrew Copp and Ryan Strome, he refused to comment. However, he did reveal that Strome didn’t have surgery to repair a core muscle injury that hampered his play down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Strome discussed the issue on breakup day saying it felt like he was playing with a “knife in his stomach.”

The NHL has some growing concerns with Russian players that went back home for the offseason. During the playoffs, they issued a statement that the Stanley Cup was not allowed to be taken to Russia. As the current political climate remains unstable it may make it difficult for some players to return to the United States.

A new report regarding Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov indicates he allegedly bought a falsified military ID card in 2017 and is being held in Russia. GM Bill Guerin said at the draft he’s not concerned but he can’t comment on it any further.

Regarding the Rangers, Igor Shesterkin reportedly remained here but it’s believed Artemi Panarin returned to Russia.

“There’s no concerns right now,” Drury said. “We talk to all our players but I’m not going to comment [on where they are] publicly.”

As of now, all GM’s are really not discussing the matter.

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

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