Rangers Roundup: Gorton talks draft and Lundqvist’s future, Kakko celebrates, and Panarin to FL?
Latest buzz around the Rangers.
Jeff Gorton Talks #2 Pick and Hank’s Future
Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com caught up with Jeff Gorton in Buffalo and captured these two nuggets of info.
On Trading the #2 Pick
I think it’s fair to say we are going to take that pick. It’s our job, my job in particular, to listen to anything anybody will say when the phone rings on any of those things. But we’re in a pretty good spot. We know we’re going to get a pretty good player. So like I said, the opportunity to pick this high at the highest the Rangers have ever picked, that’s where we want to be.Jeff Gorton
On Lundqvist’s future
Hank has two more years and we’re prepared that he’s going to be a Ranger. We’ll move forward like that. I think that if you look over the season, the first part of the year was great, second part not as good, he made the All-Star team. … So we know that Hank’s still a good goalie. Obviously what we’re doing, we’re going to need goaltending. We’re acting like Hank’s back and wants to be back.Jeff Gorton
The interview dives deeper into the team’s expectations and also David Quinn so give it a read.
Kakko Misses Combine to Celebrate Championship
Kaapo Kakko isn’t going to make it Buffalo for the annual Combine where NHL hopefuls show their stuff for NHL teams. Former NHL goaltender and Kakko’s agent, Mike Liut explained his client’s absence.
“The celebration will take up most of this week and Kaapo should attend every minute,” Liut said. “The NHL clubs I spoke to fully support Kaapo’s participation with his team and country.”NHL.com
Let’s be honest here, it is going to have NO impact on Kakko going first or second overall. Reports are also coming out that Kakko will report to the draft early to allow NJ and NY to interview him.
Panarin in Florida?
Dan Rosen who covers the Rangers for NHL.com was asked where he thinks Artemi Panarin will land this summer. His destination…the Panthers.
Quenneville and his familiarity with Panarin is one reason I think the Panthers will get him. There’s also the opportunity to play with an elite center in either Aleksander Barkov or Vincent Trocheck. There’s the chance to play with his good friend, forward Evgenii Dadonov. The Panthers are built to win now even though they’ve struggled.Dan Rosen
Another plus for the Panthers is that fellow Jackets teammate Sergei Bobrovsky will likely sign there this summer. Rosen did not eliminate the Rangers completely and stated they could still get him.