According to TSN Insider Bob McKenzie, UFA defenseman Brendan Smith is closing in on a four-year deal with a $4.35 million AAV with the Rangers. Smith was acquired by the Rangers at the deadline last season for a second and third round pick from the Detroit Red Wings and brought a nice snarl and edge to the Rangers blueline. He formed a nice tandem with Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei toward the end of the regular season and playoffs.
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Hello All! @NHLRumorsDaily here again with another rumor roundup of the latest Rangers news from the past 24 hours. The window is now open for the Blueshirts and the 30 other NHL teams to gauge interest from all pending free agents, and there are at least three names that I can confirm the Rangers have reached out to. Another top priority for the Rangers has been to re-sign defenseman Brendan Smith, and it seems to be heading that way based on recent reports of the talks between the two camps.
The Rangers have traded Antti Raanta and Derek Stepan to Arizona, as well as Oscar Lindberg being selected by Vegas, Jeff Gorton now has a lot of cap space to complete his roster for next season. But with these moves, the Rangers have lost two centermen and a backup goalie that need replacing. Add in Dan Girardi’s buyout, and Gorton will have to find all the right pieces to fill in those gaps.
The Rangers have traded forward Derek Stepan and backup goaltender Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for young defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the 7th overall pick in tonight’s entry draft.
Over the last week or so, Rangers center Derek Stepan’s name has come up prominently in trade rumors, which have been confirmed by many of the most clued in hockey insiders. Then, six days ago, Rangers insider Larry Brooks sent out this tweet:
Who Will We Replace After The Expansion Draft?
So, far the past week or so we’ve waited to see the “Protected” and “Unprotected” players for the New York Rangers. Of the unprotected, there are a few names who stand out the most for Rangers Fans, as well as Rangers brass.
The Rangers announced that they will buy out the remainder of defenseman Dan Girardi’s contract. The rugged 33-year-old had been a staple on the Rangers blue line for each of the last ten seasons, after being undrafted in the 2005 NHL draft. As was previously reported on FullTilt, the Rangers will be saving just under $3 million next season but will have a cap hit of $3.61 million in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The move was one that had been floating around on the Rangers blogs for a good part of this past season. Girardi was one of the most well-liked players in recent Rangers history. He was a hard working and dedicated teammate, who always did the dirty work as a tireless shot blocker. Girardi was named an alternate captain for most of his final six seasons on Broadway and was an NHL All-Star back in 2012.
What does this mean for the Rangers moving forward? In the immediate future, it leaves an extra spot on defense for Jeff Gorton to protect. Perhaps the Rangers can re-sign Brendan Smith before the expansion draft. Perhaps they will sign Kevin Shattenkirk with the additional cap room. One thing is for sure; the Rangers are losing one of their more dependable players this offseason.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) June 14, 2017
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein may be retiring during this offseason. The veteran Rangers defenseman was a bit of a disappointment this season, with his play dropping significantly. Klein only made it into 60 regular season games and was a healthy scratch for eleven of the team’s twelve postseason matches. After being expected to be in the Rangers “top four” entering the 2016-17 campaign, Klein looked lost from his first time on the ice back in October.