Top 3 New York Rangers rumors and storylines developing this offseason
Since the Rangers were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in a three game sweep, there’s been a lot of news surrounding the team. With the playoffs still in its early stages, it will be months before the draft and free agency.
Still, there are a lot of storylines and rumors brewing when it comes to the New York Rangers. Let’s dive into the top three.
New York Rangers rumors and storylines: Henrik Lundqvist
Of all the stories and rumors regarding the Blueshirts, what will happen with Henrik Lundqvist is by far the biggest. The reason being is that his career in New York by all accounts is done.
What we don’t know is how that end will be met. There has been talk of a buyout, which only saves the Rangers $3 million of his $8.5 cap hit. The more difficult route is a trade, where the Rangers retain 50% of his salary and save $4.25 million. This scenario will be the most difficult because Hank has a clause that allows him to dictate where he wants to go. And since he’s looking for a Cup, that list will be limited.
Finally, and which I believe is a scenario that is growing in possibility, is Hank retiring. If Henrik opts to do so, the team saves the full $8.5 million. Lundqvist can join his brother Joel in Frolunda as the SHL season is underway, and then could quite possibly come back for a Cup run as a free agent late next season.
The amount of money saved will be huge for dealing with the next topic.
Retaining all four RFA’s this summer
The Rangers were bounced pretty easily in the qualifying round. Matter of fact, very few players even bothered putting up a fight. New York has 4 RFA’s they need to re-sign, and they should. Here’s why.
Of all the players in the lineup only Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo dropped the gloves and got into it with Canes who were hitting players all series. When Brendan Lemieux finished his 2 game suspension, he was buzzing and getting in the grills of Canes’ players in game 3. Obviously, Alexandar Georgiev didn’t play, but with Hank moving on, he’s a must to retain.
I noted yesterday that I am working on a piece after speaking to a source that the Rangers may not have the right mix. Too many Blueshirts are non-confrontational. They are easy to play against. This is not a problem during the regular season, but was a death sentence in the playoffs. More to come on this soon.
This is not an attack on the Rangers skilled forwards. You can’t win without Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin. But do the Rangers have too many who play that way? That’s why NY must find the right deals for Strome, DeAngelo, and Lemieux.
As I was told, “putting together a Stanley Cup team is like a recipe, you need the right ingredients to win.”
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Trading their 1st round pick
The New York Rangers won the draft lottery and will select 1st overall. Obviously I am not talking about trading that pick. However, NY has 10 selections in this draft and have Carolina’s pick in the 1st round. The Blueshirts prospect pool is now reaching critical mass so it’s time for Gorton to make moves.
Can the Rangers get more size and toughness mixed with skill up front? Who do they package with that mid to late first round pick to get it? Is it Pavel Buchnevich? I mean the Rangers are starting to get crowded on the right side with Kaapo Kakko looking closer to becoming that first liner.
Vitali Kravtsov and Julien Gauthier are also positioning themselves for larger roles. The team needs another center, maybe a more offensively talented second liner. Strome can then move to the third line making the Rangers deep down the middle.
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