Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers are setting their sights on one UFA, and one UFA only. That UFA is obviously Artemi Panarin. Aside from that, Brooks is noting the Rangers will not go more than two years on a UFA.
*Other than for a Panarin, if they go that route. https://t.co/NHyWMS5DLO
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) June 25, 2019
Worth noting that Brooks hedges a bit, saying the word “ideally” when making this statement. Even with that caveat, it is worth noting because the Rangers are trying to avoid long-term and costly commitments to players that will likely be overpaid and not be worth their contract.
This is pretty important, as the Rangers have kept us on our toes with recent statements that they are going to accelerate the rebuild. They have spent assets to retool that blue line already, and with some big names on forward like Matt Duchene who will command top dollar and term.
For Jeff Gorton, it appears to be Panarin or bust, if Brooks is right on this one. He’s had some missteps recently, but the desire to trade Chris Kreider and Jimmy Vesey, of which would clear space for Panarin, has been corroborated by Bob McKenzie. So there is clearly something cooking with the Rangers and Panarin.
But outside of that, there aren’t many good targets that would make the Rangers better immediately and with an efficient cost. Duchene is no better than Kevin Hayes and will likely command more money. The other sexy names are….Joe Pavelski? Gustav Nyquist? Talk about guys who will get big contracts that teams will regret.
Now that doesn’t mean the Rangers won’t dip their toes into free agency. They still lack a true 2C. They could also use free agency to try to find a veteran presence to help the kids grow. In both situations, a long term commitment isn’t needed.
For now, it appears the Rangers have their heads on straight for free agency. In all fairness though, they haven’t had a big spend in that department since Kevin Shattenkirk. Restrained Rangers are fun Rangers."Rangers "won't go more than two years on a free agent, unless it's Artemi Panarin"",