The NY Rangers would be wise to avoid free agent targets this year

As the NY Rangers explore all options to improve their roster, one area that is being overlooked is free agent targets. There are always intriguing names to be had for “nothing” but cash, but cash this year has more value than years prior. The Rangers could make something work with a big name free agent, but at what cost? Free agency is usually the most inefficient manner of improving the roster, and this year proves no different.

There Are No Impact Players That Fit A Need

The Rangers are still in a rebuild. Despite last season’s big splash, they are still looking for cheap, young talent. Artemi Panarin represents a rare opportunity, and the Rangers went for it. This year, there are no Artemi Panarin’s. There are few, if any, realistic free agent targets for the NY Rangers this year.

The only intriguing name out there is Taylor Hall, and the Rangers don’t need another winger. The best UFA center this season is…Mikael Granlund? I mean, he’s a nice player and he’s “only” 28 years old. But at the 7 years and $6.25 million he’s likely to get per Evolving-Hockey, that’s a hard pass for a guy who put up 30 points last season.

The next best center, or at least player who can play center? Vlad Namestnikov.

As for left defense, Alex Pietrangelo is 30 years old and looking at 7 years. That’s a hard pass. We’ve covered Torey Krug already. After that you’re looking at Travis Hamonic, who is likely not the answer in a rebuild.

Cap Space Matters In A Rebuild

The Rangers don’t have have a cap problem yet, but signing a bad deal certainly gives them a cap problem. The Blueshirts have a lot of money tied into Panarin, Jacob Troba, and Chris Kreider already. Mika Zibanejad will likely join that list in two years. Then the kids will need new deals as well.

One bad contract and the cap space disappears. There’s already concern about signing a bad RFA deal to Tony DeAngelo or Ryan Strome (depends on the contract for those two). Signing a UFA who’s older is worse since you know it’s going to be long term and high dollar value. It doesn’t make sense.

The NY Rangers would be wise to avoid free agent targets this offseason. There’s just no real logic to any of the big names available. Adding cheap depth is one thing. But relying on this year’s crop to fill a roster hole is bad process.

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  • The NY Rangers would be wise to avoid free agent targets this offseason. There’s just no real logic to any of the big names available. Adding cheap depth is one thing. But relying on this year’s crop to fill a roster hole is bad process.

    Enough said!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Agreed! No big targets,defeats the purpose. (Flat Cap,Expansion etc)
      Maybe just a complentary piece for the bottom 3 on a 1 year deal.
      Anyway this FA class is one of the worst in years!

      • Except for Taylor Hall and that’s too bad. Seems like a good dude. His signing will be interesting all the way around.

        • Taylor Hall is very intriguing…however, what is he going to command? That’s the main issue. Also, to consider, he’s a LOT better than many of the forwards we already have…so if you have a chance to sign him, I’d say you do it (i.e. if he’s willing to take a “New York discount”). 😉

  • Agree 100%. Notwithstanding the Panarin signing last year most FA signings turn out badly, especially the Day 1 signings.

    Stay the course for the upcoming season, which will be another developmental year. And there are no FA’s that will change that anyway. Hopefully we will be serious contenders in 21/22.

  • I would think that all the FA’s know the market will be poor. This may hold true for RFAs this year as well. I can see trading for an RFA centerman who knows he cannot get what he wants from his current cash-strapped team.

  • Trade with Buffalo..Get the 8th pick…take Lundell…If Lundell is the real deal as they say, we have the prospects that we can provide Sabres with…..This might be unpopular, but if Nils is as great as they also say….the trade is Nils for the the 8th pick….meaning we would have to sign Tony D…..if Nils goes in a trade..

  • Definitely not an impressive free agent class in terms of forwards. Could see maybe adding a bottom six forward. Other then that I would stay away from spending. I think the most likely addition will be from a trade. Possibly using the 2nd first round pick to try and add a center.

  • A little off subject but a news flash:

    Breaking: Washington Capitals hire Peter Laviolette, a perfect fit.

    Interesting signing isn’t it??????????

  • I say give Strome and TDA 2yr deals as prove it contracts! Yea they impressed everyone but we’ve seen this before ie Brendan Smith and we got screwed!!

  • Rangers will have their pick of non qualified players to stack the bottom 6 on a 1 year deal, no sense looking on the top shelf right now.

  • I know it’s off the subject, just an FYI Jonas Brodin just signed a 7 year contract for $ 6 million a year to stay with the Wild.
    Too expensive for my taste.

  • Forget the salary cap, many teams (according to Frank Seravalli as many as 17 teams have an enteral cap). Teams are having to shed cap because they will be unable to afford to play their players. While there aren’t many high quality free agents available, I believe the price for these will be tremendously low and want short term.

    For this reason I think the Rangers should look to free agency if they do not think a certain prospect is ready or will get to limited ice time. For all we know it might be possible to sign a high quality depth player (similar to fast) for low cost and decent term. For once, I feel like Rangers should be semi grateful for Dolan…….. I said semi….. and still feel dirty……….

  • The Rangers will be challenged to find enough cap room signing their RFAs, never mind diving head first into the UFA pool.

    With Strome the Rangers pretty much know what they got. A inconsistent centerman who can occasionally make cute nifty plays. Not known for his defensive play, Strome is often tardy on the back check. I don’t see Ryan as a long-term Ranger pivot unless he has a banner season. A one year show me something new deal, is all the Rangers should offer.

    ADA is a wild card. He plays a high tempo game and knows how to shoot through a crowd. His defensive play is improving as he has the wheels to get back into position. Perhaps, he will get a legitimate shot on the left flank with Troubadour. I like to see the Rangers sign him to a bridge deal.

    George and Lemieux play their roles well. Sign them up Gorton

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