It took NY Rangers president and general manager (GM) Chris Drury about a month after his first significant move, pulling strings in the front office, to make his next one. A month ago, he hired Gerard Gallant as head coach of the Blueshirts and this past Saturday, Drury made a deal to acquire the rights of Barclay Goodrow from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Drury also dealt center Brett Howden to the Vegas Golden Knights Saturday and more.
UFA Goodrow Signed
Goodrow is now officially a New York Ranger. Goodrow, who would have been an unrestricted free agent (UFA) if he didn’t sign with the Rangers by July 28, came to Manhattan for a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. However, he might not have even gotten the chance to sign the 6-year deal worth $21.85 million, just over $3.6 million per year.
The Rangers left him unprotected in Wednesday’s expansion draft, protecting Kevin Rooney, their fourth-line center instead. However, the Seattle Kraken chose Colin Blackwell with their pick from the Rangers’ unprotected roster. If you want to look at it in terms of a swap of Blackwell for Goodrow, the Rangers came out on top of this one. Both players are the same age (28). However, Goodrow is a bigger player (6-foot-2, 203 pounds) who plays all three forward positions instead of just center, like Blackwell (5-foot-9, 190 pounds). Goodrow brings two Stanley Cup rings with him as well.
He should add grit and tenacity along with his Stanley Cup experience to any of the top three Rangers’ lines. He’ll most likely slide around throughout the season until finding more of a permanent position and line as the 2021-22 season winds down. Or, he may continue to bounce around and fill in when and where he’s needed. He should be a great tool for the Rangers and what they’re trying to accomplish moving forward.
Howden Dealt to Golden Knights
The Rangers traded Howden to the Golden Knights for defenseman Nick DeSimone and a 2022 fourth-round draft pick. Howden, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound center, spent time on both the third and fourth lines for the Rangers during the 2020-21 season.
He recently signed a one-year contract with the club worth $885,000 and recorded a goal and six assists in 42 games last season. The Lightning originally selected Howden in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft before trading him to the Blueshirts in Feb. 2018 in the Ryan McDonagh deal.
Gallant’s Former Assistants Hired
The Rangers hired two new assistant coaches last week. Both of them were former assistants of newly minted head coach Gerard Gallant.
Mike Kelly was an assistant under Gallant with the Golden Knights from 2017-2020 when they were both fired. Kelly also coached under Gallant with the Florida Panthers and the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL, where they won a Memorial Cup. Kelly was previously an assistant with the Vancouver Canucks and served as Gallant’s assistant during Team Canada’s gold medal run at the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Latvia. According to (Rangers add two assistants to Gerard Gallant’s staff, NY Post, 7/12/21), Kelly will view the games from up top in the coaches box until coming down to the bench for the third period.
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Gord Murphy was promoted from the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers’ AHL (American Hockey League) affiliate, where he served as an assistant coach. Murphy was an assistant under Gallant in Columbus with the Blue Jackets and an assistant with the Philidelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers. He’ll look over the defense as he did while the Rangers coaching staff was stuck in COVID-19 protocols for six games during the 2020-21 season. Murphy played 862 games in the NHL, scored 323 points and racked up 668 penalty minutes.
*The new coaching staff is coming together; however, the Rangers still need to hire one more assistant coach before training camp.
Scott Blair is an author and journalist from Los Angeles, CA, by way of Detroit, MI. Uniquely diverse experiences have shaped Scott’s life in both of those places he calls home. He is now traveling the world, learning and growing as a human and a writer. He was a professional hockey player and then turned to the arts, becoming an actor for about 15 years. His passions turned to poetry, prose, politics, and journalism when he got tired of the Hollywood machine and what it represents. Scott is available for interviews and welcomes questions and topic ideas.