NHL Free Agency is set to kick off this weekend. While the New York Rangers still have decisions to make on restricted free agents like Kaapo Kakko, there are a plethora of options that can immediately help improve New York’s already stacked offensive attack.
Here are five options the Rangers should consider once free agency begins on the 13th.
Reunite Ryan with brother Dylan Strome?
It came as a surprise Monday morning when reports came out of Chicago that Dylan Strome will not receive a qualifying offer from the Blackhawks. Chicago is clearly looking to jump straight into a rebuild after the trade of DeBrincat and uncertainty of Kane.
The former third overall pick is only 24 years old and would have cost $3.6 million. With 48 points last season, Strome averaged over a point a game during the second half of the season.
New York needs more center help, and Strome will be far less expensive than some of the other options available. After a strong second half of the season, Strome could pair nicely with a team that is looking for more production offensively.
Imagine pairing up the Strome brothers on offense this year?
Rangers bring back Claude Giroux to the Metro Division?
Giroux is already 33 years old and goes against the Rangers young core of talented and experienced prospects. Still, Giroux does have play-making ability and may not command the long-term deal that some other top targets will be looking for on the open market.
Giroux has playoff experience with the Flyers and now Panthers and would be a sure-fire sign that the Rangers are no longer interested in waiting for the young core to grow.
Signing Grioux gives the Rangers a bonus on the second line, as well as signal the turn to championship contention for the Blueshirts.
New York Could just bring back Andrew Copp
Why look to overpay for a free agent when you already have one you can keep around? I’ve been on record saying the Rangers should do everything in their power to keep Copp around for the long-term: even if it means missing out on other cheaper options.
Trading a first round pick for a rental player is always dangerous, and it did work out for New York as they go to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in eight seasons. The issue is letting Copp walk means the team missed out on a chance to bring a first round prospect into the fold.
Copp will want a lot of money and could very well be north of $6 million on the open market, but the work he did in the second half of the season, and in the playoffs for the Rangers is more than enough evidence for New York to bring him back.
Replace Copp and Strome with Vincent Trocheck
Trocheck is a logical replacement should the Rangers let both Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp walk in free agency. The 29 year old had 51 points in Carolina last season and was a key part for the Hurricanes success last season.
So long as the Rangers need a center, options like Trocheck can definitely be possible due to the large contract extensions that are going to be needed for the next few years in New York.
Trocheck has playoff experience, brings an aggressive style of play and will fit right in to what the Rangers are trying to do offensively.
Roll the dice on Nazem Kadri
You want to get nuts? Fine, let’s get nuts.
Kadri is coming off a cup win with the Colorado Avalanche and is 32 years old. He totaled 87 points last season on a loaded Avalanche team and will be a prime target for many hockey clubs.
Kadri would be an excellent plug-and-play guy and bring even more tenacity to a Ranger’s unit whose physicality was a main calling card during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It may be a long-shot, but much like Giroux, an aging star could be the last piece to the Rangers championship puzzle.
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