New York Rangers out on Andrew Copp: Team looking for other #2 Center options

Rangers will not resign Copp
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) stops a shot by New York Rangers center Andrew Copp (18) during the third period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The New York Rangers will not be bringing back one of their heroes from last season’s Stanley Cup Playoff run. 

According to reports, New York will not re-sign forward Andrew Copp after the two sides talked over the weekend. 

Copp was traded to the Rangers in March for a 2022 first round pick, a second round pick, and a 2023 fifth round selection.

In 16 regular season games for New York, Copp totaled 18 points and eight goals while adding to an already lethal offensive attack for the Blueshirts. 

Copp’s major contribution came in the postseason though. The 28 year old was fourth on the team in playoff points, and tied for third on the team in goals, while helping the Rangers get to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2014. 

Copp’s reported departure from New York comes at a hefty price for the Rangers. At what will only come as a four month rental, New York gave away two high selections in the 2022 draft in their quest to get back to the Stanley Cup Final. 

Rangers Free Agent Options

With the center leaving for free agency, the Rangers now must look for other options at center.

While Copp was the main piece heading into free agency, the Blueshirts do have other options at center. Ryan Strome totaled over 50 points last season, but is coming off a pelvic injury during the playoffs. He is a prime candidate to return to New York with Copp leaving.

Other free agents such as Ryan’s brother Dylan and Vincent Trocheck could also offer an intriguing response to Copp leaving. 

NHL Free Agency kicks off Wednesday at noon. While New York already has a team rich in scoring depth and speed, the need for a second line center is a paramount question that Chris Drury will need to solve. 

And it appears the Rangers first choice is no longer an option for the club. 

Rangers Agree to Terms with Libor Hajek

In an announcement by general manager Chris Drury, the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Libor Hajek on a one-year contract extension.

Hajek, 24, skated in 17 games for the Rangers last season, recording one assist and averaging 13:08 of time on ice. He also skated in five games for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2021-22, notching two assists.

The defenseman was acquired by the Rangers in a trade with Tampa Bay on February 26, 2018 after being originally selected by the Lightning in the second round, 37th overall, of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He has played in 94 career games over his four year career. 

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