Rangers Rumors: Patrick Kane, Vlad Tarasenko, and a shouting match

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
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The New York Rangers offseason has begun and it’s likely going to be as turbulent as the way their season ended.

As President and General Manager Chris Drury conducted his exit interviews with the players, reports have surfaced that a shouting match between Drury and the coaches took place after their Game 4 loss to the Devils.

Elliotte Friedman initially addressed it on his latest 32 Thoughts Podcast.

“After one of the games in the series there was a huge argument behind closed doors and everybody could hear it,” he revealed. “The coaches and management were frustrated with the way it was going and everyone could hear that tempers boiled over.”

UPDATE: Rangers part ways with Gerard Gallant

New York Rangers Rumors

NHL: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
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Gerard Gallant

There were times early this season that speculation arose regarding Gallant’s job was in jeopardy. After the Jacob Trouba helmet-toss in a loss to the Blackhawks, the Blueshirts went on a huge winning streak and turned it around to squash those rumors.

Friedman noted in his podcast that the Rangers did indeed put feelers out in the hockey world as to who was available and interested if they decided to make a change. Although the Rangers aren’t going to make a big change just for the sake of it. That leads us into the possibility that Joel Quenneville could be his replacement.

The 64 year-old head coach won three Cups with the Blackhawks before joining the Florida Panthers as their head coach. He resigned after the Kyle Beach investigation in Chicago was complete but could be reinstated by the NHL this summer.

Yesterday, an aggravated Gallant addressed all this speculation.

“I can’t believe I have to answer some of these questions about me being let go, or getting fired,” he said. “I see the same posts as you guys but nobody from this organization told me anything. I’m coming in here after two excellent years. We had one bad week and it cost us. If I can’t stand by my record and what I’ve done there’s something wrong. But we’re in New York and people put things out there.”

Whether or not the Rangers are going to make a coaching change seems to be predicated on the availability of Quenneville. Drury has yet to speak with the media regarding this past season and next, including the fate of Gallant.

Patrick Kane

The Rangers went through serious gap gymnastics to acquire Patrick Kane by the NHL Trade Deadline. Unfortunately, they got a less than full strength superstar and a first round exit.

Kane, 34, admitted on Wednesday to not being 100% and will be looking at what steps to take on his nagging hip injury to be ready for next season. As for where he may be suiting up in 2023-24, it’s unlikely to be the Rangers who have just a little over $12 million in cap space with restricted free agents Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller to re-sign.

“Of course I would love to be back,” Kane said. “If I could feel better with this team and this opportunity, I’d love that chance. I know they have young guys to sign and other priorities, but it was an amazing experience for me.”

There’s no word on what Kane’s next deal will be, but some early speculation is coming in at around 3-5 years at $7 million. He registered 57 points in 73 games this past season.

Vladimir Tarasenko

Another big name UFA to-be is Vladimir Tarasenko. Any hopes of the Rangers retaining the 31 year-old on a team friendly deal went out the door yesterday.

“For me, I’ve never been a free agent before and I look forward to see how it is,” he stated.

Tarasenko fit really well with the Rangers and his style of play is what the they need more of going forward. The big and strong winger notched 50 points in 69 this season while adding 3 goals and 4 points in 7 playoff games.

While I wouldn’t rule out a return for Tarasenko, who values how he and his family are treated, once he hits the open market it will be tough for the Rangers to compete.

Tarasenko spoke glowingly about how the Rangers treated his family on Wednesday.

Teams looking at Tarasenko will be contenders with cap space and the possibility of giving him 5+ years at $7 million or more.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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