Rangers Roundup: Interest in Kovalchuk growing and a new coaching candidate

ITAR-TASS/ Ruslan Shamukov

Here’s the latest on the Rangers from around the web

As the Rangers’ offseason continues, here are the latest rumors and rumblings.

Other teams are kicking tires on Kovalchuk

Add the Edmonton Oilers to the teams that have spoken to Ilya Kovalchuk as he plans on making his NHL return. Per Elliotte Friedman, “Sounds like Edmonton checked in on Ilya Kovalchuk. Not a bad idea, actually. But it won’t happen.” The Oilers are looking for more offense, which is funny when you think of a lineup with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Still, it seems plausible unless you are an analyst that covers the Oilers.

One thing we know for sure, Jeff Gorton and the Rangers have spoken to Kovalchuk several times and before he makes a final decision, expect them to speak again.

Add Another Name to the Mix for Coach

Smith and Babcock (Getty)

Friedman also dropped another name into the Rangers coaching search, D.J. Smith. Who is he? He’s an assistant coach in Toronto that won a Memorial Cup with the Oshawa Generals in 2015. The Generals are partly owned by Rangers great, Adam Graves so there is a distinct connection there.

The Rangers have conducted several interviews so far but no confirmation that Toronto granted permission for Smith to interview. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. In a recent article in March, it states that Mike Babcock wouldn’t hold him back.

[su_quote cite=”Luke Fox” url=”https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/maple-leafs-grooming-d-j-smith-become-nhl-head-coach/”]“The thing with D.J. is, in my opinion he’s going to be a good NHL head coach. I always look when I’m hiring for serial winners: Wherever they’ve gone, they’ve won,” Babcock says.[/su_quote]

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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