New York Rangers: Rangers not expected to chase big names

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Jeff Gorton (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Jeff Gorton (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New York Rangers are expected to restrain themselves from the big names on the free agency market this offseason and stick with the youth movement.

One too many rumors have been floating about the atmosphere regarding moves that New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton plans to make in the coming days.

All I have been hearing recently are mock trades for Eric Karlsson or Artemi Panarin and what it will take to sign John Tavares and Ilya Kovalchuk. However, according to Darren Dreger of TSN, it is unlikely the front office will be pursuing these players given how they are looking to build young first.

Of course, the New York market being what it is, snatching the league’s top free agent is always a possibility for the Rangers come every offseason. It is so easy to salivate over Tavares, Karlsson and Kovalchuk, especially knowing the Rangers have about $30 million in cap space.

Any other year it’d be a given that the Rangers would land at least one of these guys, but it seems a little contradictory in this case considering what the front office stated about rebuilding through the youth movement back in February.

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Is it really a good idea to sign players already passing through the peaks of their career? Haven’t we learned enough from Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Rick Nash and Eric Staal (until he went to Minnesota).

Don’t get me wrong, I would be enthralled to sign one of these big names as it would help the Rangers get back in the mix a lot right away, however, it wouldn’t fit in with the long-term plans that the organization is so set on.

Kovalchuck has stated that he will not come to New York unless the Rangers acquire a star player. Unless the Rangers trade big for someone else, I don’t see that being a possibility, but then again everything is so up in the air right now.

All in all, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rangers let everyone else fight over these players while they quietly make big moves in the background.

Between the upcoming NHL entry draft and free agency on July 1st, the possibilities for the front office are overwhelming to say the least.

There are a handful of restricted free agents  that the Rangers must make decisions about in terms of trades.

It is said that there is no chance all seven Ranger restricted free agents will be on the ice come training camp and that it is a given they will be making moves at some point whether it be in the draft, for other assets or both.

If someone is going to be dealt, the three top candidates being shopped at the moment seem to be Vladislav Namestnikov, Kevin Hayes and Ryan Spooner due to the congestion at the center position and all being RFAs.

The Rangers currently posses the 9th overall pick, two additional first round picks and two in both the second and third rounds.

It is rumored the Rangers could trade up from the number 9 pick which would really shake things up. Maybe they will just work with the 9th considering how deep this draft will be…who knows?

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, unless a deal can be made with Montreal for 3rd overall by the draft, it is likely the Rangers are staying put at nine.

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If one thing is for certain, the New York Rangers are going to be a different team come October, but until the draft, we must continue to sit in the dark as things stay calm before the storm.