It’s no longer a secret that the New York Rangers are looking for help at forward. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that general manager Chris Drury is on the lookout for “a middle-six forward” and Arthur Staple of The Athletic has taken a closer look at some of the potential options.
Noting that all of the forwards he looked at are on expiring deals, Staple listed eight names that the Rangers might have some interest in. Some of the players have been in the rumor mill already. Others seem less likely to move based on where their respective teams are at.
Staple writes that Calle Jarnkrok or Marcus Johansson of the Seattle Kraken, Chris Tierney from the Ottawa Senators, Nino Niederreiter from the Carolina Hurricanes, Phil Kessel from the Arizona Coyotes, Dylan Strome from the Chicago Blackhawks, Artturi Lehkonen from the Montreal Canadiens, and Gabriel Vilardi of the Los Angeles Kings are all names the Rangers might want to consider. Saying the team can’t afford to bring on players with term, these eight names could make sense as pending free agents.
Staple did suggest that a player like Niederreiter could be a long-shot based on how well the Hurricanes are playing and that someone like Vilardi may not be available until the Kings slide out of playoff contention (assuming they do). As for Kessel and Strome, their names have been out there on the market for a while. When it comes to the Seattle Kraken and Montreal Canadiens, it looks like both teams will be sellers.
Staple also believes the cost of acquisition could range depending on who the Rangers really key in on. Some of these players won’t cost a lot in trade, while others would mean giving up a decent draft pick.
Who is the Most Likely?
Staple seems to think that a player like Marcus Johansson from the Kraken makes the most sense. While the scribe found reasons for all the other players that the Rangers might hesitate to make a deal, Johnsson offers more depth and at a low price point. Staple writes:
He’s most likely not the 20-goal, 50-point player he was with the Capitals several years back, but for a cheap add, Johansson is pretty versatile. He’s on an expiring $1.5 million deal, so he’d barely make a dent in the Rangers cap space, and he could cover some spots in the top nine as long as he’s healthy. That’s been a big caveat for Johansson the past few seasons, including this one, in which he already missed a month with a lower-body injury.
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