The week leading up to free agency has been a dud so far. In prior years, we’ve seen Gomez for McDonagh, Subban for Weber, Hall for Larsson, and a myriad of other big trades. This year, the only big trade has been the one dropping today, with Steve Mason and Joel Armia headed to Montreal for a 4th round pick, a salary dump deal, clearing room to re-sign Paul Stastny.
There are rumors abound though. Chicago wants to dump Marian Hossa’s contract. Ottawa is picking up steam on a Karlsson/Ryan package deal. But most importantly, John Tavares is apparently going to be making his decision today.
Tavares’ decision will likely lead to a bunch of other moves before the madness begins tomorrow. It’s expected that many a domino will fall once Tavares makes his decision known. There have been rumblings that the Rangers have been very active in the trade market, and this Tavares decision appears to be holding everything up. So selfish of him.
I’m intrigued to see where the Rangers go with their offseason plans. I don’t think they are going to be in on the Karlsson/Ryan deal, but it’s been rumored they are in on any non-Islanders Tavares dealings to absorb salary in exchange for assets. That could get interesting.
But for now, we wait. The Rangers are in an interesting spot of non-competition next year, so they don’t need to make a deal. They might get a great offer for one of their RFA centers, but that is no guarantee. The center market will open once Tavares makes his decision.
Perhaps that is for the best. The Rangers don’t need to commit long term to a mistake contract, something they’ve been prone to in recent years. A few character guys to create an atmosphere of learning for the hopefully elite skill kids, and perhaps a few short term deals for trade deadline assets. I don’t expect much, and perhaps that is the right call."And now we wait for those dominoes",