The past five seasons have been successful ones for the New York Rangers, with eight playoff series victories, three conference final appearances and one Eastern Conference championship, but a woeful showing in the first round this post-season has left the potential for major changes in New York this off-season.
Heading into the summer, the Rangers have only seven forwards and five defensemen from their playoff roster locked up to contracts for the upcoming season, and even those currently under contract could be on the move. According to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, the only players who are certain to stay are Henrik Lundqvist, defenseman Brady Skjei and rookie Pavel Buchnevich. Outside of that trio, though, Brooks reported the Rangers are “prepared to listen to offers for everyone.”
It might seem inconceivable, but that means the Rangers could be saying goodbye to captain Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and, yes, Rick Nash this off-season. That said, the price will have to be right for the Rangers to move out their top talent. Read more
Could the New York Rangers trade left winger Rick Nash this summer? Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests it’s possible. He thinks the Rangers have been asked about the 31-year-old forward, speculating they could move him under the right circumstances.
Friedman points out Nash’s $7.8-million cap hit over the next two seasons and partial no-trade clause as potential stumbling blocks. He also notes the Blueshirts defended the struggling winger this season, who played through injury.
This isn’t the first time Nash has surfaced up in the rumor mill this month. On May 1, the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard suggested the Rangers used the big winger as trade bait to pry defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk away from the St. Louis Blues. However, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks doubts the Blues will look at Nash as the missing piece to their championship puzzle. Read more
Status: NHL left winger from 2003-2015 for San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.
HT: 6-2 WT: 225 pounds
DOB: September 30, 1982 In: Fermeuse, Newfoundland
First Hockey Memory: “Probably when my mother took me to play. I think I was six or seven. She only put me into hockey because my cousin was playing. I didn’t like it that much at first but then I started to like it.”
Hockey Inspirations: “I think when I was growing up my dad took me to see the Montreal Canadiens play in the winter. We were big Montreal Canadiens fans. And Eric Lindros was a player who always impressed me, how he played, power forward.”
Last Book Read: “Was Football Life, Bill Parcells.”
During a recent appearance on Edmonton’s 630 CHED radio, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman created some buzz by suggesting Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie could be in play this summer.
Barrie, 24, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. Coming off two seasons with 53 and 49 points respectively, he’ll want a substantial raise over his current annual average salary of $2.6 million. He could fetch a deal comparable to that of teammate Erik Johnson (seven-years, $42 million), which might not fly with Avs management.
The New York Rangers’ disappointing playoff performance will make this an interesting and important off-season for the Blueshirts, and GM Jeff Gorton and Co. don’t appear to be taking it slow when it comes to building for the 2016-17 season.
According to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, the Rangers are working toward an entry-level deal with prospect Pavel Buchnevich, who New York drafted in the third round, 75th overall, in 2013. Brooks reported that it’s not certain a deal is imminent as there are still some hurdles to clear, but added there remains the possibility a contract could be done “by the weekend.”
Getting Buchnevich, 21, under contract and to New York for next season would be a nice addition for the Rangers, who could use a young, up-and-coming prospect to freshen up their roster. It doesn’t hurt that Buchnevich is the best prospect currently in the Rangers’ system, either. He was ranked No. 1 among all New York prospects and 44th overall in THN’s Future Watch 2016 issue, up from 63rd in 2015. Read more
It’s been over a week since the New York Rangers were eliminated from the opening round of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. That hasn’t dampened the speculation over their off-season roster plans.
Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News believes the Rangers should find a replacement for pending UFA defenseman Keith Yandle via the trade market. He suggests they offer up left winger Rick Nash to the St. Louis Blues for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
Nash is signed through 2017-18 at an annual cap hit of $7.8 million. Shattenkirk, meanwhile, has only only one season remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $4.25 million. He’ll be eligible next summer for UFA status and could be too expensive to re-sign. This suggested trade would reunite Nash with Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, who Leonard thinks might get a contract extension. Shattenkirk, meanwhile, could play top-two minutes and thus push Dan Girardi into a secondary role.
Pascal Dupuis’ career may have ended under less than ideal circumstances, but at least he has a chance to collect some hardware as a parting gift.
Dupuis retired from the NHL on Dec. 8 as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins because he was suffering from blood clots. He had two goals and four points in 18 games this season before he stopped playing. Dupuis was first diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung in November 2014 and missed the rest of the 2014-15 season.
When the New York Rangers cleaned out their stalls Tuesday morning, defenseman Dan Boyle cursed out a couple of reporters he felt were unfairly critical of him and refused to start his breakup interview until they left the scrum. We’re going to chalk that up to a proud veteran who is going down swinging and will probably look at that incident after second sober thought with regret.
But in a way, Boyle and his rant – which will almost certainly be his last as an NHL player – provide a microcosm of the situation that is facing his soon-to-be-former team. Boyle could have gone quietly into the night or he could have come out with one last flurry. He chose the latter.