Rangers Roundup: Gorton Speaks With MSG, Erik Karlsson, and More
Here are the latest rumblings around Rangerstown.
The Rangers GM spoke to John Giannone of MSG Networks last night and here is what he had to say.
- On this year’s July 1 being different than previous years: “We have a plan in place and if you saw development camp you saw how many young players we had and we are trying to develop these guys the right way and give them [the] opportunity. Based on what was out there and some of the opportunities we felt it was better to stay with our young guys and keep moving forward.”
- On bringing in Fredrik Claesson: “he’s played less than 200 games, can skate, plays physical, can play both sides. We thought it was a good opportunity to add to our depth and see if he can make our team.”
- On Brendan Smith and his status in the organization: “One of the things we liked about him was his physicality, how he played in front of the net, his skating, how he played in that run we had two-years ago was why we signed him. We think that Brendan is doing all the right things in the summer to give himself a chance to get back into the top-six and contribute and be the player we know he can be. By all signs this summer has been good, he’s been in great shape, working hard. He just had a baby, I think that this will be a really important September for him and I think he knows it.”
You can watch the full interview below.
A hot topic of conversation over the last few months has been Erik Karlsson and his status with the Senators. The Ottawa captain has a tenuous relationship with team owner Eugene Melnyk and there has been a lot of speculation as to whether or not he will be traded.
As we’ve mentioned over past few days, VGK, NYR and at least one more team has expressed interest in acquiring both Karlsson/Ryan. There are 6-7 other teams after just Karlsson. Told NYI is among them.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 2, 2018
The @Senators offered Erik Karlsson an 8 year contract extension for $10M per season. Now they are in serious trade talks with multiple teams highly interested. #NHLNews
— Kathryn Tappen (@KathrynTappen) July 3, 2018
However, The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello has learned that the Rangers are not going to be pursuing the two-time Norris trophy winner. Carpiniello explains that according to his sources, this move would go against the whole philosophy of the organization’s rebuild. In addition to Karlsson, Bobby Ryan is being rumored as a “tag along contract” and the Rangers are not willing to take on his $7.25 million AAV over each of the next four seasons.
Former Islanders tough guy Matt Martin is on the trade block for Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it would behoove the Rangers to go after him. Martin was a thorn in the Rangers side when he was on the Island; and with a team that will be full of talented young guns, having a player like Martin on the team wouldn’t be a bad thing. Martin carries a cap hit of just $2.5 million AAV for the next two years, and according to Larry Brooks of the NY Post, it wouldn’t take a whole lot for the Rangers to acquire the 29-year-old forward. “The original thought was that the Maple Leafs would have to add a sweetener in the form of a draft pick in order to find a landing place for the 29-year-old who carries a $2.5 million cap hit for the next two seasons. But, no.”
Calvin de Haan
Speaking of the Islanders, defenseman Calvin de Haan has been rumored to be on the radar of Jeff Gorton and the Rangers.
Hearing that Calvin de hann has identified 4 clubs that would be excellent organizations to join. A return to @NYIslanders or joining @NYRangers #devils #stars he is expected to sign a multi year deal today! @NHLNetwork
— Brian Lawton (@brianlawton9) July 2, 2018
Obviously, he didn’t sign with anyone yesterday, but de Haan would be a great addition to the Rangers, should they win the sweepstakes for his services. de Haan is still young at 27-years-old and is a good skater with plenty of defensive zone ability. Should Jeff Gorton be able to land de Haan, the Rangers defensive corps would get a serious boost heading into next season.