What’s next for the NY Rangers this offseason?

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.

Free Agency

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.

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  • I think you are on target here. The teams looking for Pietrangelo may come knocking. If so, you listen and try to make your team stronger where they are weakest.

    Strome may be expensive, but could be the correct cost for a productive 2C. The negotiations with Tony D will be rough, and I am sure the NYR are not looking forward to an elongated process.

    I think the wild card is Buch. Will he stay or will he go. How do you replace a first line winger? More questions than answers at this point, but teams are crunching numbers and finding they need to move people to stay under the Cap.

    I think things heat up towards the end of October when teams know where they stand with the RFAs.

  • I don’t find the off season puzzling at all. The Rangers appear to have a plan and are executing it. JD announced that the rebuild is far from over and that they still have a long way to go. With that in mind it appears that they intend to play their prospects this year to figure out what they appear to have. That is why they didn’t sign Jesper. They intend to play 4 RHD candidates: Buch, Kakko, Gauthier and Kravtsov for 3 positions. And probably get a grinder for the 4th line. No room for Jesper, especially since he wanted a 3 year term that they were reluctant to lock into.

    Rangers allocated 1 million for a veteran LHD – Johnson – that they can bury in Hartford for virtually no cap hit, if their LHD prospects can win a spot this season. Given their cap situation I believe that is the plan unless altered by a favorable trade that falls into their lap.

  • Seems to me that the most likely to be traded, or at least an attempt made, is Strome. They also could sign him short term.

    I think that the Rangers may very well slot Tony on the left side defense because they need someone there and he is better than anyone else they might get there for now. Another plus is that he had done it in the past.

    Buchnevich is the best RW they have at the moment and he doesn’t cost much presently. I think he gets traded only if they get a great deal for something they really need.

  • I don’t see them trading Buchnevich at all, Kravs and Gauthier will not be slotted into the 1 or 2RW until they’ve not only earned the shot at it but also proven they can sustain Top 6 play. This is why Fast isn’t on the team, to give both Gauthier and Kravs the opportunity. I don’t believe the 3rd year for Fast was a real issue, it’s a smokescreen — BS. Unless there was a NMC or a “difficult” NTC, he could EASILY be traded at the trade deadline or left exposed for the expansion draft.

  • No idea what Gorton and Gang are up to??hopefully they do? Johnson? Really? He doesn’t even add depth to AAA club? The Rangers need grit. They need players with a definite edge to protect their puppies. If they don’t find some tough kids like B Lemieux, we are wasting the entire youth movement. It will be same old, same OLDER

    • Swedefarn after 50 years of NYR watching, it seems the team has always been a day late and dollar short when it comes to grit. The exception being the rape of ’94. At least got the team a CUP for the sacrifices. And please, no one on current NYR management should be allowed to have anything to do with defensemen. When I remember the trades, waivers and lack of coaching on the D end I throw up in my mouth.

  • Fox should not be moved from where he looked solid. I’d like to see Tony moved to LD and succeed, for himself and the team. Obviously he is an offensive talent, and not sure what trading him would bring. Against trading Buch too, he has proven himself as a top 6 forward, and he is young.

    Believe Kakko proves himself to be a top 6 forward also, he is young and has big time talent. Kravtsov is another one, he could be a sniper. Gauthier could be a valuable 3rd line forward. Again, give the kids opportunity.

  • You can book it, there will be a lot of players available for trade, due to cap constraints their teams are facing.

    IMO, the Rangers are just biding their time, letting the trade market come to them, which is a nice change in approach, quite honestly. Don’t force it, it will happen on its own, if the opportunities are there.

    The Rangers are quiet now, but I will not be shocked if they eventually pull off a big trade or two. TB presents itself with opportunities there with the cap hell that they are in. So does Vegas.

    Plus, ADA’s arbitration hearing is Oct 20th, one of the first to be heard, so the Rangers will know what they are dealing with on that front, before having knee jerk reactions.

    The Rangers are playing this perfectly, IMO. Patience.

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