Rangers Roundup: Offseason thoughts; third assistant coach; and more

chris drury vitali kravtsov
Mar 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers associate general manager Chris Drury works the bench during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Due to the NHL COVID-10 protocol, the Rangers coaching staff were not available for tonights game. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

It almost feels like the calm before the storm for the New York Rangers.

A flurry of activity is happening all around the NHL. From retirements and buyouts, to an hourly bombardment of rumors.

Will Steven Stamkos be available? Is Gabriel Landeskog really going to hit the market? These are just a few of the things swirling around hockey at the moment.

New York Rangers offseason thoughts

As we wait for Chris Drury to submit his protected list on Saturday (which will not be public until Sunday), here are some of my thoughts on the Blueshirts offseason.

  • Rumors of the Rangers interest in Vladimir Tarasenko are basically unfounded speculation. The fact he and Artemi Panarin are friends and share an agent are irrelevant but that’s where this all started. Unless Drury is trading two of his current right wings, there’s no fit for a 29 year-old with a history of shoulder issues making $7.5 million on the cap.
  • Jack Eichel trade saga. I’ve gone on the record that I believe the Sabres are really trying to create a buzz around Eichel that isn’t really there. The last bit of decent info I received was that the Rangers and Ducks were the two likely destinations. However, when this is said and done I believe the ransom everyone expects will not come to be. Buffalo will state after the trade is made that there were plenty of inquiries but few serious offers. As to where he lands, I still think the Rangers are a good bet.
  • The Rangers will reshape the bottom six. I believe Drury will kick tires on Casey Cizikas on the first day of free agency but may find him too expensive. His focus should be squarely on either Blake Coleman or Barclay Goodrow of the Lightning.
  • Rangers will now be attached to Ryan Suter and now Gabriel Landeskog. I just don’t see it, but I will examine Landeskog later this week.

Rangers third assistant

rangers
Chris Drury at the draft (Getty Images)

The Rangers have hired both Mike Kelly and Gord Murphy as Gerard Gallant’s assistants. They are said to still be hunting for a third assistant. This is usually the “eye-in-sky” coach.

When thinking about the qualifications I think Drury should be considering here’s what I came up with:

  • Young and upcoming
  • Understands how to apply advanced analytics in real time

Who is that person? I don’t know, but it should be someone in the Sheldon Keefe mold.

Maybe Drury will lean on his USA Hockey connections and bring on Dan Muse.

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