Rangers Rumors Roundup: Shattenkirk and the Latest
Another week in the hockey world has gone by and with it comes more rumors about potential moves the New York Rangers will make during the 2017 offseason. Time for some quick hits about what’s been going on.
Shattenkirk’s List and Richardson’s prediction
Pending UFA d-man Kevin Shattenkirk slated to meet with his agents by week's end to narrow down list of desired teams…
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 7, 2017
…And here we go. The New York Rangers are almost for sure one of those teams on Kevin Shattenkirk’s list and with him finally beginning the process of talking to his agent things are getting real here. The time for conjecture is almost at it’s end with July 1 quickly approaching. I believe the situation with Shattenkirk will get resolved rather quickly when free agency begins; possibly not lasting more than a few days. If the most talked about rumors are to be believed than Shattenkirk will be deciding between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins for his big contract coming up. This week, Lyle Richardson of Bleacher Report predicts that the Rangers do indeed have the inside track on signing Shattenkirk in his possible free agent destinations article. Could another jump in there? Sure. Fact is we don’t know how many teams will be on his list but you’ve got to believe New York and Boston have the upper hand on any other teams.
Now in the Rangers case, management is going to have to look at all of their options on how to free up cap space if they want to sign Shattenkirk. That means tough moves will have to be made. This summer is possibly the most crucial in Jeff Gorton’s short term as GM and he needs to really take the reins and make his mark here. The defense needs an overhaul and finding a way to obtain Shattenkirk while getting rid of some of the dead weight would go a long way towards getting the Rangers back into the upper echelon of the league.
McKenzie and Friedman talk Rangers
This week on NHL Network and on Bob McKenzie’s “Bobcast,” The Rangers were a topic of discussion. Friedman spoke about the possibility of the Rangers/Shattenkirk rumors saying “we’ve all heard the rumors about the Rangers [and Shattenkirk]. I’m really curious in the direction they decide to go this summer. I think there is a chance they could just decide to go young.” Now let’s talk about that for a minute. If the Rangers decide the price is too high for the 28-year-old puck moving defenseman and they walk away, the blueline will look radically different than many predict. It opens up another possible spot for a young guy to take next year. Neal Pionk and Alexei Bereglazov are the first two that come to mind that would have a better shot to make the team, Throw in Ryan Graves, Sean Day and other young prospects and there will be a fierce competition in camp. All of those guys are very young.
Bob McKenzie, arguably hockey’s best insider, spoke about the offseasons for many teams and of course the Rangers came up in conversation. He basically said that to keep an eye on the Rangers because they’re going to be active and it’s going to be very interesting to see how they transition to a younger team. It’s not a secret that the Rangers need to be active and get younger. We’ve talked about the defense a lot on here on Fulltilt Rangers and will continue to do so in the upcoming weeks as the expansion draft looms, the entry draft gets closer and the free agency frenzy begins in July.