NHL Free Agency is less than a day away. Teams can officially start signing free agents at 12 PM ET. It is expected that Chris Drury will announce that they have inked veteran defenseman Patrik Nemeth to a 3-year deal in the neighborhood of $2.5M AAV per Larry Brooks. He was one of several defensemen we had targeted on our initial list here.
The Rangers currently have plenty of cap space to play with, but must also sign RFA’s Igor Shesterkin, Filip Chytil, and Libor Hajek. There’s also the possibility of trades which will impact what the Blueshirts will do.
Here’s our updated Rangers shopping list detailed by position, age, and last contract.
New York Rangers likely UFA targets
When the Rangers traded for the rights to Barclay Goodrow then signed him to a six year deal with an AAV of $3.6 million, they gave you a clear indication of the type of players they are looking for. I expect, even if they make a trade for a center that these names are still a consideration.
Jordan Martinook (Forward – 29 y/o – $2M AAV): Martinook is ferocious forechecker and physical player that refuses to back down. In 2018-19 he registered 199 hits to go along with 46 blocks playing in all 82 games for the Hurricanes. The guy is also vocal in the locker-room, beloved by his teammates, and wears a letter on his sweater too. If the Rangers could get him at just a small increase to his last deal, he’s be a great fourth liner.
Nick Ritchie (Forward – 25 y/o – $1.5M AAV): This past season was a good one for the now 25 year-old UFA as he notched 26 points in 56 games for Boston. He is considered a quality 3rd line guy that should be snatched up pretty quickly.
Ryan Getzlaf (Center – 36 y/o – $8.25M AAV): He is getting up there in age but is a proven winner. Getzlaf will also be coming off the last year of a big contract that paid $8.25 million. The 6’4″ pivot notched just 18 points in 48 games. He could be a cheap add for the Rangers as a fourth line center, that could move up in case of injury.
Luke Glendening (Center – 32 y/o – $1.8M AAV): Offensively, the 32 year-old Glendening is not going to bring much to the table, but that’s not why you would sign him. For his career, he has a winning FO% of 54.8 and is without a doubt a specialist.
Rangers could aim higher with these players
Should the Rangers not land a center like Jack Eichel or to a lesser extent, Evgeny Kuznetsov they could spend some money on bigger named free agents.
Phillip Danault (Center – 28 y/o – $3M AAV): Would you spend $6 million plus on a third line center? What if Chris Drury sees him as a 2nd line pivot? During the regular season, he put up a respectable 24 points in 53 games. His face-off percentage of 52.5 shows his consistency and effectiveness in the dots. For his career, he wins 53.8% of the draws he takes. He is a shutdown center who is respectable offensively.
Casey Cizikas (Center – 30 y/o – $3.35M AAV): The Islanders “Identity Line” center will be a free agent many teams will target; unless Lou Lamoriello already has him inked to a deal. He wins draws, and scores clutch goals in the postseason. Cizikas isn’t physically imposing at 5-11 and 195 lbs but he plays so much bigger than his size.
Blake Coleman (Center – 29 y/o – $1.8M AAV): The center turned winger had himself an excellent season for the Tampa Bay Lightning with 31 points in 55 games. At 5-11 and 200 lbs, he is a solid forward who is aggressive on the puck, and hits with purpose. This season he racked up 109 hits but has been known to throw his body a lot more. Here’s the rub, he’s looking for a massive new deal in the 6 year range at around $5M AAV.
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