The New York Rangers are “wide open for business,” according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. He reported in his “Insider Trading” segment that there are only few players that the team wouldn’t consider shipping out of town over the summer.
The only two noted by McKenzie as players general manager Jeff Gorton isn’t discussing are defenseman and captain Ryan McDonagh and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Other players like Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan, and Derick Brassard are not a part of that “untouchable” group, signaling an openness to open a new chapter on Broadway.
That could create an interesting offseason for teams looking to bolster their lineup for next year. It could also be an important offseason for the Rangers. Gorton, according to McKenzie, isn’t interested in a rebuild, but wants to refresh the lineup. There’s probably an eye on the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins as models in that regard.
Complicating matters for the Rangers entering the summer is a tricky cap situation and some serious blue line issues, with a declining Marc Staal on contract for the next five years at a $5.7 million cap hit and a declined Dan Girardi on contract for the next four seasons at $5.5 million.
Moving players might be an effort to get out from some cap hits like those that are going to look bad in the near future (if not now). They may also work to restock the cupboards. The Rangers have won the third most playoff games over the last five seasons, behind Chicago and Los Angeles, but have depleted their prospect pool and shipped out loads of draft picks in the process.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.