Rangers Rumor Roundup: Jumbo Joe, Smith Returning, and Backing Up the King
Hello All! @NHLRumorsDaily here again with another rumor roundup of the latest Rangers news from the past 24 hours. The window is now open for the Blueshirts and the 30 other NHL teams to gauge interest from all pending free agents, and there are at least three names that I can confirm the Rangers have reached out to. Another top priority for the Rangers has been to re-sign defenseman Brendan Smith, and it seems to be heading that way based on recent reports of the talks between the two camps.
Smith Coming Back?
Larry Brooks of the NY Post reported last night that the Rangers and Smith continue to hammer out a deal that would have Brendan Smith stay on Broadway for the next four to five years. Smith, added to the Blueshirts at this past trade deadline for a 2018 second round pick and a 2017 third round pick from Detroit, had a strong showing when he arrived in New York. He also spent most of his time as a right-side defenseman, which happens to be what the Rangers are in the market for. Should a deal be reached, I expect it to come in somewhere around 5 years, $4.5 million per year.
Jumbo Joe to Broadway Joe?
Since the Derek Stepan trade, speculation began amongst fans that the Blueshirts should chase after Joe Thornton in free agency. We now learn from TSN’s Darren Dreger that the Rangers will show interest in Joe Thornton.
FullTiltNYR.com has also learned that the Rangers were one of many teams that reached out to the 38-year-old centerman once the “legal tampering” period opened yesterday. Reports as of now state that Thornton, coming off a torn ACL and MCL, is looking for a three-year deal, but one has to figure that no cup contending team interested would be willing to go anything more than two years, at the most. Not much else is known at this time, but the NYR-Thornton talks will be something to watch for as July 1st quickly approaches.
Rangers Looking for a Backup
The Rangers have been long rumored to trade former backup Antti Raanta, and they did just that by sending him and Derek Stepan to Arizona. Now the Blueshirts are instantly in the goaltending market, due to top prospects Brandon Halverson, Adam Huska, and Igor Shestyorkin not being NHL ready. Larry Brooks reported that the Rangers have reached out to Buffalo G Anders Nilsson, and l have also been informed that the Rangers have spoken to former Devils backup Keith Kinkaid. The one “must-happen” move for the Blueshirts will be acquiring a backup goalie, and that will most likely happen as soon as the floodgates open on July 1st.
That’s all from Rangerstown for now, but stay tuned to FullTiltNYR.com for many more rumors including a Kevin Shattenkirk update, as well as any breaking news from the Rangers. In the meantime, follow @NHLRumorsDaily and @FullTiltNYRBlog on Twitter for the most up-to-date rumors and news from the Broadway Blueshirts. Cheers!