Offseason

NY Rangers PTO possibilities

With their primary offseason moves finished, the NY Rangers now move to the PTO possibilities. There are always a few PTOs in camp, and usually one makes the team. Given how the team is constructed, we can make a few logical guesses as to who they might invite to camp on a professional tryout.

It’s important to remember that a PTO doesn’t mean a guaranteed roster spot. These are usually insurance fliers in case of injury or kids needing more time.

Derick Brassard

Everyone’s favorite ex-Ranger, Brassard on a PTO would fill a need. As it stands, the Rangers have Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Strome, Filip Chytil, and Brett Howden as their NHL centers. After that, it’s a few kids (Patrick Khodorenko, Justin Richards, Morgan Barron), and a few AAAA players (Colin Blackwell, Kevin Rooney).

In Brassard, the Rangers would have a skilled veteran who can fill as an injury reserve or a depth center if none of the kids are ready. Since Kevin Rooney appears to fill the token tough guy role, Brassard would add some roster flexibility at the position.

Brassard would add some value as a three zone center, even if he’s lose effectiveness. He’d be a better option than say, Brian Boyle, who wouldn’t contribute much offensively. He’s also a more realistic PTO option than guys like Mikael Granlund, who are still UFAs.

Andy Greene

The Rangers don’t have much defensive depth, and Greene can play both sides. He’s not all that good, but the Rangers love their veteran presence defensemen. And let’s be frank, if Greene makes the team and/or gets significant playing time, several other things went wrong.

Signing Greene to a PTO gives the Rangers flexibility if/when K’Andre Miller and/or Tarmo Reunanen need time in the AHL. As it stands today, if both go to the AHL, then it’s Jack Johnson and Anthony Bitetto as the 6/7 defensemen. Greene gives an added cushion in case of injury.

Sami Vatanen

Vatanen has already been linked to the Rangers. The RD isn’t what he used to be, but he may be an option if the Rangers are able to find a taker for Brendan Smith. Smith still carries value as a bottom pairing defenseman, but the cap hit provides the Rangers with little flexibility.

If the Rangers shed Smith and Tony DeAngelo moves to the left side, then there is a hole on the right side of the blue line. Vatanen, on a PTO/low salary deal would be a decent option for the NY Rangers.

Micheal Haley

Because why not?

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  • While Miller or Reuanen or even Robertson might amaze the Rangers, they are almost certainly destined to start the season in Hartford. OTOH, Libor Hajek is definitely in the mix. Yes, his stock has fallen but he is still a prospect and he is certainly close to ready.

    Today, the Rangers are heading into camp with eight serious defense contenders – hopefully four locks and Smith, Johnson, Bitetto, Hajek fighting for slots. The question is whether a potential PTO can give one or more of that list a run for their money. Of course, it might be nice to have one more body in case of injury.

    As for Morgan Barron, he seems unlikely to make the team because of the bonus situation. For all practical purposes, his cap hit is $1.775M and the Rangers are not likely to suffer that.

    Interesting that you describe Howden as the 4th center and Kevin Rooney as a AAAA player. Howden has never been as good as Rooney is (and I personally suspect never will be).

  • I think they need to find out what they have in guys like Howden, Hajek, etc. Yes, we have some idea (not particularly good), but they are at an age where a summer layoff (so to speak) can do a lot of good.

  • They can sign maybe 2 guys to a PTO in order to keep their bonus overage under control and offer one of them a under $900k deal.

    This camp is going to be so bonkers, the Rangers might be better off stalking the waiver ire as they bank cap credits.

  • Another makes no sense, Boyle is a penalty killer an a faceoff guy who is 6ft 6in. Brassard scored 10 goals in 66 games Boyle scored 6 in 39 goals. WHO SAID WE NEED SCORING.?? Winning faceoffs was a MAJOR PROBLEM LAST YEAR.

    • Kiely,
      I’ve been saying the Rangers need an elite face off guy for two seasons!!
      It is a major factor that drives positive possession numbers , allows for set plays, and increases penalty kill percentage.

      I really think that the Rangers are banking on one of Barron , Justin Richards , or Khodorenko to fill that need. But bringing in Boyle for a PTO is not a bad idea at all. It’s always good to have more competition

    • Cap hell eh? Have you paid attention to what’s going on —Especially with other teams in the League?

  • Are Grabner, Soderberg and Matt Martin still out there. And is so, what do you think they would cost.

  • This is an awesome article Dave!! I never even thought about PTOs, which, I am sure, doesn’t surprise you. Can we sign them all on PTOs? absolute worst case scenario, they Let everyone know their jobs are not a given. Well, everyone who needs to hear it.

  • Interesting article. The Rangers are a prospect-loaded team trying to build from within. If they really are in a situation where cap issues are preventing them from calling up young players then creating cap space is the priority. Difficult in the flat-cap seasons, but it may be time to offer a team a draft pick to take a depth veteran with a high cap hit, like Smith, in a trade. Not that Smith didn’t do his job last season, he contributed.

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