Rangers: 3 free-agent targets who could fix first-line right wing

Jonathan Marchessault, Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers came so close for the second time in the past three seasons to advancing back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2014. This time, the other Florida team, the Panthers, would knock the Blueshirts out in six games after the Rangers swept the Washington Capitals and beat the Carolina Hurricanes in six games to reach the conference final.

The Rangers now enter the offseason looking to tinker their lineup to finally get themselves over the hump and lift the Stanley Cup. A critical area that needs improvement is the top-six forward group, specifically at the right-wing position.

The Blueshirts have had a revolving door at the position for the past couple of seasons, and with the Rangers’ top-end scorers going quiet in their elimination, it felt like another scorer could have made the difference. Here are three top-six right-wingers the Rangers could target in free agency.

Could the Rangers reunite with Patrick Kane?

Detroit Red Wings right wing Patrick Kane (88) (New York Rangers)
Jan 11, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Patrick Kane (88) gets set during a face off in the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Kane, along with Vladimir Tarasenko, was one of the Rangers’ big acquisitions at the 2022-23 trade deadline. However, he didn’t quite meet his expectations.

In 19 regular season games, Kane scored five goals and had seven assists. The former Hart Trophy winner scored six points in seven playoff games with only one goal, although he was dealing with a hip issue that required surgery in the offseason.

The three-time Stanley Cup winner recovered and looked like his vintage self for the Detroit Red Wings last season, scoring 20 goals and registering 27 assists in 50 games.  With Kane fully healthy and likely chasing a final cup run, a reunion in New York could work out quite nicely for all involved.

Jonathan Marchessault plays a style of hockey the Rangers lack

Jonathan Marchessault has blossomed into a star with the Vegas Golden Knights and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2023 before having another productive campaign in 2024.

Marchessault scored 42 goals and registered 17 assists while playing in all 82 games before scoring two goals and having a pair of apples in seven postseason contests. The 33-year-old is a proven playoff goal scorer and plays a style of hockey that the Rangers lack, making him a perfect fit for a team looking to win it all next year.

Tyler Toffoli‘s next stop could be the Big Apple

Tyler Toffoli, Rangers
Mar 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Winnipeg Jets center Tyler Toffoli (73) grimaces after a shot against the New York Rangers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Toffoli has bounced around the league over the past couple of seasons, but everywhere he goes, he still tickles the twine. Toffoli spent 2024 splitting time between New Jersey and Winnipeg, scoring 33 goals and registering 22 assists across 79 regular-season games before scoring twice in five playoff games. The 32-year-old is a proven goal scorer with a playoff pedigree that would be a massive boost to the Rangers’ top six.

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