Rangers could replace team captain with star defenseman in free agency

Dec 10, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Roy (3) awaits a face-off against the New York Rangers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers could be making some significant changes to their roster this offseason. It would be a bold choice for any general manager to trade away their team captain, but that seems to be very much on the table for Rangers’ team president Chris Drury this summer.

Jacob Trouba has reportedly been involved in trade discussions over the last few days and could be moved sooner rather than later. However, moving on from Trouba would not only leave the Blueshirts without their team captain, but it would also leave them with a hole in their defensive corps. Thankfully, one star defenseman could soon be hitting the open market and could be the perfect player for the Rangers to sign to replace Trouba.

The Rangers could target Matt Roy in free agency

Dec 10, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Roy (3) handles the puck against the New York Rangers  in the third period at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Rangers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to Pierre LeBrun, an NHL Insider and Senior Columnist for The Athletic, the Los Angeles Kings could be in danger of losing star defenseman Matt Roy:

“Never say never, but all signs point to Matt Roy going to market,” LeBrun reported on X. “Kings and his camp haven’t been able to bridge the gap.”

Roy hitting the open market would give Drury the perfect free-agency target to replace Trouba with. He might be asking for too much money according to the Kings, but Roy would certainly come in at a cheaper price tag than Trouba, whose AAV is $8 million. Trading away Trouba should clear a significant chunk of cap space for the Rangers, which could in turn be invested into Roy.

Matt Roy stat graph, Rangers, kings

The 29-year-old defenseman has enjoyed an impressive career in Los Angeles since being drafted in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Roy is +67 in his career and has earned his reputation as a physical stay-at-home defenseman.

In 2023, Roy was on the ice for 81 games, totaling 25 points (five goals and 20 assists), and recording a +21 rating. Roy would immediately slide into the Rangers’ second defensive pairing. Evolving Hockey is projecting a five-year, $6.1M deal, making him more affordable than Trouba.

There will be plenty of free agents for the Rangers to consider in the coming days. However, Roy should come in near the top of the priority list as a tremendous defenseman who would solidify the Blueshirts on that end of the ice.

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