Report: Rangers pushing hard to re-sign Andrew Copp before free agency
When the New York Rangers acquired versatile forward Andrew Copp from the Winnipeg Jets at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21, they automatically slotted him into the top six.
They knew he was a good player that could play center and wing, but they really wanted an experienced forward for the playoffs. What they got was so much more.
Now the NHL Rumor mill is buzzing with the Rangers looking hard to extend Copp.
Rangers looking to extend Andrew Copp
Copp, 27, has been a great acquisition by Chris Drury. This season, the pending UFA has registered a point in 13 of the 16 games he’s played since being acquired by the Rangers at the deadline. For the year, Copp has 53 points in 72 games with 18 of those coming with the Blueshirts.
On the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading, Darren Dreger is reporting that New York Rangers “are going hard as possible” to extend Andrew Copp before he hits unrestricted free agency on July 13.
“I’m told the New York Rangers are going to push hard – hard – to extend Andrew Copp, we can understand why,” Dreger said. “In Andrew Copp, talk about a chemistry experiment that has been highly successful. Perfect fit with Artemi Panarin.
Andrew Copp a great fit
The Rangers sent prospect forward Morgan Barron to the Jets along with two conditional 2nd-round picks, and a 2023 5th-round pick in 2023. One of the conditional second rounders can become a first if the team makes it to the Eastern Conference Final and Copp plays in half those games.
“I try and excel in every way I can,” Copp said after playing a few games with the Rangers. “Versatility playing center, wing, face-offs, special teams both sides, and play strong defensively. Just try and do a little of everything and make the players better around me.”
It’s been that versatility and how quickly has found chemistry with Panarin that have the Rangers aggressively looking to keep him. Plus head coach Gerard Gallant loves the way he plays a simple and hard game.
“We talk about all the time getting the net drive going, people going to the net, and when (Copp) does that like he did tonight he gets an opportunity to get some great passes from great players,” Gallant said. “Sometimes we get too cute and we get fancy and we try those plays up high, but when we get people going to the net things open up. That’s what he does real well.”
Copp nursing a lower-body injury
The New York Rangers are hoping Copp will be ready for the start of the playoffs after suffering another lower-body injury in the span of five days.
After scoring a natural hat trick to help beat the Islanders on April 21 he left the game early. He missed the following game against the Boston Bruins only to tweak something again on April 26 versus the Carolina Hurricanes. Artemi Panarin also left that contest early.
Both Copp and Panarin did not play against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday and are questionable for tonight for the season finale versus the Washington Capitals.
“We have an opportunity here to rest some players,” Gallant said on Wednesday. “If (Copp and Panarin) don’t play Friday it won’t be because they’re injured.”
The outlook for Copp to be ready for the playoffs next week looks really good and it also appears to be the case for his return next season with the New York Rangers.
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