Rangers Roundup: Let’s talk Malkin, Marner, Point, signing, trades, and more
I’m back from a week long business trip and so it the latest Rangers roundup. There was a lot of info out there and it’s time to lay it out and assess it. Let’s go!
Malkin On the Move?
Not too long ago I mentioned that even though Evgeni Malkin was said to be an “untouchable” by a Penguins beat writer, that it may not be true. This past week Elliotte Friedman said as much.
Malkin has a no-move clause, yet the buzz is that he’s taking some time to decompress and think about a.) if he’d agree and b.) where he’d agree to go to. That would be a short list, maybe the Rangers and Florida? The bigger hurdle might be Mario Lemieux, with The Athletic’s Josh Yohe reporting sources have told him Lemieux is against the idea. For the Penguins to consider this, the return must be good enough to keep them in contention now.31 Thoughts
Malkin is 32, has an AAV of $9.5M until 2022 when he will be 35 years old. On the positive side, he is still one of the most dominant centers in hockey and scored 72 points in 68 games this season. The year prior he potted 42 goals and 98 points in 78 games.
The Rangers only have 1 bonafide center heading into next season. Currently it looks like youngster, Filip Chytil would be forced into a #2 role. Gorton will need to figure this out since Kravtsov is a winger and Kakko is also.
While Malkin is not likely to happen, if the Rangers can’t address this issue past free agency, it could be an option.
Offer Sheets Option?
Once again, the topic of offer sheets this summer is coming up. The Rangers may delve into this area, but in truth these are so rare in the NHL. Still, there is quite a field of RFA’s available that make it worth it.
Mitch Marner is one, but he is a winger which the New York will have in abundance with Kravtsov and Kakko next season. So this brings me to Brayden Point of the Lightning.
Point is 23 years old, a little on the small side, but he notched 41 goals and 92 points in 79 games. Here’s the deal, the Rangers or any other team could make a big offer sheet and Tampa has enough cap space and wiggle room via trades or buyout to field a good team next season.
One last thought, Toronto is rumored to be looking to trade William Nylander who can play center as well as wing. If he indeed becomes available via trade, the Rangers should there before considering a player like Malkin.
Fox and the Russians are on the way
Adam Fox has vaulted from college into the Rangers top 4 via a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. Fox will compete and land a job on New York’s blue-line next season and could actually wind up on the top pair. Widely considered one of the best defensive prospects in the world, he is expected to be almost as good as Cale Makar, who has already made a big impact with the Avalanche.
The Rangers then topped that great move with the official signings of Vitali Kravtsov and Igor Shesterkin. After a long and difficult season, next year is already looking to be so much better and Jeff Gorton is still not done finalizing this roster.
If the Rangers add a star forward like Artemi Panarin in free agency, there’s a chance they could catch lightning in a bottle and have a fun run in the playoffs too.
More Good News
And Dallas is one more win away from giving the Rangers another first round pick this summer.
Featured image: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports