New York Rangers are only a few days away from July 1st when free agency opens. Now they will have to have some serious discussion over the next few days, as to how they will fill the holes in the lineup. These are the holes left by trading Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta, and the buyout of Dan Girardi. Sometimes a team’s best and worst off season signings are the ones they make “In-House”.
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The line of Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey was only together for a measly 2.09 percent of the Rangers season. But with Nash and Zibanejad both missing time due to injuries, this line did not have much time to gel during the heart of the regular season. The line performed well together, with Vesey able to “go under the wing” of Nash. All three players should be back on Broadway next season and, hopefully, will continue to get better in the coming years.
On June 20, 2017, the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights will draft 30 players left unprotected by the rest of the teams in the NHL. The next day, the results will be announced during the NHL awards show (unless they are leaked earlier, of course). There promises to be a lot of player movement in two high-stakes games, chess and “chicken”. Golden Knights GM George McPhee could bluff his way into a treasure trove of draft picks and prospects, by claiming to be picking a player he may or may not have any intention of taking. He could tell Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton that he is deciding between Michael Grabner and Anti Raanta. If Gorton feels strongly about keeping one or the other, he may have to pay a price to dissuade McPhee from taking the player he would like to keep.
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