After a disappointing game-seven loss shutout loss to the New Jersey Devils ended the Rangers‘ Stanley Cup pursuit in the first round, the Blueshirts are entering a crucial offseason.
The Rangers have already fired head coach Gerard Gallant and now have some holes to fill as unrestricted free agents Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko are unlikely to return.
With limited cap space, here are three players the Rangers could target to help return the Stanley Cup to Broadway for the first time since 1994.
Three players the Rangers should consider in free agency:
A former two-time Stanley Cup champion would be a perfect fit for the Rangers’ bottom six.
Connor Sheary has spent the last three seasons with the Washington Capitals, and this past season had 37 points in 82 games, with 15 of those being goals.
Sheary can kill penalties and has a knack for scoring in the playoffs. In 72 playoff games, the Massachusetts native has seven goals and 16 assists. One of those goals was an overtime winner in game two of the Stanley Cup Finals against the San Jose Sharks.
With Sheary likely not costing more than a million dollars, why not take a shot on a guy who can do it all with a playoff pedigree?
Another excellent bottom-six forward addition would be former Rocket Richard winner Corey Perry.
Perry has spent the last two seasons in Tampa Bay, and this season, in 81 games on mainly the fourth line, put up 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points. In six postseason games, Perry had two goals and three assists.
The 38-year-old may not be the same goal scorer anymore but could still slot in on the Rangers’ second powerplay, replacing Tarasenko. In addition, Perry has loads of playoff experience playing in 196 games, where he has 124 points, with 53 being goals, and making four Stanley Cup Finals.
Perry also brings grit and an ability to get under the opponent’s skin that the Rangers forward group desperately lacked following the Ryan Reaves’s trade. It would be a great pickup if general manager Chris Drury could lure Perry away from Tampa Bay at a reasonable price.
The Rangers could use another top-six defenseman, and Radko Gudas could be the perfect fit.
Gudas is finishing his third season with the Panthers, where he played 72 games, scoring 17 points with two goals. Where the 32-year-old makes his mark through his physicality. Gudas finished second in the NHL with 312 hits and blocked 125 shots.
The Czech Republic native has also had an excellent postseason with Florida making his presence felt in their upsets of the Bruins and Leafs.
A defensive pairing with Gudas and Trouba would strike so much fear into the opposing forward group that if he could be signed for a reasonable price, it would be an excellent pickup for the Blueshirts.