The New York Rangers offseason is going to be the most active in ages. From hiring a coach, to a potential blockbuster trade, and scouring the UFA market Chris Drury is going to be extremely busy. Here’s a few notes on the latest happenings.
New York Rangers: Filip Chytil trade bait
One of Drury’s top priorities is reshaping the bottom six of his lineup in order to diversify the way the Rangers play. Currently the Blueshirts top three lines are a mirror image of each other with just different degrees of skill. This summer they will be looking to have a lot more bite on their third line which is currently centered by Filip Chytil.
As trade talks around the NHL start to pick up, one Blueshirt that seems to be persistent in them is Chytil. Although he has the size, Chytil does not use it in a physical manner. However, his potential to become a top six forward has teams keeping tabs on his availability.
Chytil may very well be one of the key pieces moved in a trade for any center this summer. That includes Jack Eichel, Aleksander Barkov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Evgeni Malkin. It does not appear the Rangers would move both Ryan Strome and Chytil in the same deal for a center. If Strome is moved for another 1A pivot, then Drury could use Chytil in another trade to get size and grit for the third line.
At the end of the day, Chytil is emerging as one of the most likely candidates not to be here next year.
New York Rangers UFA target: Zach Hyman
Zach Hyman is a 28 year-old pending UFA whom the Maple Leafs want desperately to retain. His next contract is likely to come in at the $5.5-$6 million range which could be more than Toronto can handle. Prior to the dismissal of John Davidson and Jeff Gorton there wasn’t much chatter about the Rangers going after a player like Hyman in free agency. That was due more to the fact his next deal was closer to top six money and not something they were looking to do.
Now that the mandate has changed to make the playoffs at all costs next season, Hyman is not only on their radar but possibly near the top of the list. Keep your eyes on this one as it will gain more traction after the playoffs.
New York Rangers coaching search update
Chris Drury and Gerard Gallant met Friday and according to Pierre LeBrun the interview went well. There is likely to be another conversation but Gallant is heading to Lativa to coach Team Canada at the World Championships. The Rangers are reportedly set to interview at least 3-4 more candidates, and Bob Hartley may be the next conversation.
Based on BetOnline.ag, Gerard Gallant is a 5/2 favorite to get the Blueshirts coaching job. If we use their odds, the next three to four interviews could be Bob Hartley, Bruce Boudreau, John Tortorella, and Claude Julien.
- Gerard Gallant 5/2
- Bob Hartley 7/2
- Bruce Boudreau 5/1
- John Tortorella 7/1
- Claude Julien 8/1
- Patrick Roy 9/1
- Kris Knoblauch 10/1
- Lane Lambert 12/1
- Mark Messier 12/1
- Mike Babcock 12/1
- Rick Tocchet 12/1
- Joel Bouchard 18/1
- Rod Brind’Amour 25/1
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