What a week it’s been. The Rangers went from top overall pick in Alexis Lafreniere to worst defenseman signing in Jack Johnson. The offseason is far from over for the NY Rangers, and there is a lot more to accomplish. The roster today is not going to be the roster on opening night, whenever that may be.
I don’t expect the Rangers to make any more free agent signings at this point. Or at least nothing major. They got their pieces over with on Day 1, so now they are going to turn their attention to trades and their own pieces.
That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Hartford deals and AHL deals. Those don’t necessarily impact the Rangers, but they are important to watch. The Rangers are sending a good amount of kids through Hartford, and creating a winning culture there is important.
Now that the big names in free agency have landed, teams that missed out are going to look elsewhere. This means Tony DeAngelo is a target for teams that missed out on Alex Pietrangelo. I’d expect the Rangers to at least try to fill roster holes by dealing from positions of strength. That would mean winger and right defense to address center and left defense.
A name that has been discussed for an eternity is Brendan Smith’s. I always had him Ottawa bound, but that was assuming the Rangers couldn’t move on from Marc Staal. Now, it wouldn’t shock me if Smith stays for his final year. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets dealt either.
From the Rangers, the names to watch in rumors are DeAngelo, Strome, Smith, and Pavel Buchnevich. That doesn’t mean all will get traded. It doesn’t mean none will get traded. It just means that you should expect their names to come up.
Alex Georgiev appears to be safe for now, but sometimes the Rangers throw a curveball.
Restricted Free Agents
This was always the big ticket item for the NY Rangers in the offseason. It looks like Jeff Gorton is going to pursue trades with these guys as long as possible before being resigned to his fate of needing to re-sign them (see what I did there? Resign vs. Re-sign, let’s make this a thing).
Strome appears to be the most likely to be moved. Gorton has already tried to move him, but to no avail. John Davidson has mentioned that DeAngelo (or Adam Fox) might be moved to LD, which might indicate they had a choice between the two, and are choosing DeAngelo.
Georgiev and Brendan Lemieux are cheap enough that it’s unlikely they will be moved. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Rangers get things done with them first, before moving on to the more complicated matters. Neither will play a role in any cap constraints.
The NY Rangers have had a puzzling offseason so far, but that’s the key phrase. So far. There’s a lot of offseason left. There’s no way Jeff Gorton and company are done.