Rangers could sign elite free agent veteran winger to long-term contract

Tyler Toffoli, Rangers
Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are currently exploring options for a first-line right winger to play alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. With free agency opening in just under two weeks, the Blueshirts should be able to find a suitable candidate looking for a new contract with a Stanley Cup contender.

Per Peter Baugh of The Athletic, New York was reportedly interested in acquiring one elite winger at the trade deadline last season, but the Blueshirts were never able to close the deal. Now, the same veteran forward will be hitting the open market this summer, making him a viable candidate to join the Rangers this upcoming year.

Rangers could look to sign Tyler Toffoli in free agency

Tyler Toffoli, Rangers
Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Toffoli had a phenomenal year split between the New Jersey Devils and the Winnipeg Jets this past season. He managed to tally 55 points in 79 games, with 33 of those points coming as goals. He’s scored 30+ goals in both of his last two seasons, essentially bringing his career back to life.

At age 32, Toffoli stands at 6’0, 203 pounds. He’s got the size and skillset necessary to assist Zibanejad and Kreider in their struggles, making him a solid option for Chris Drury to keep his eye on as free agency rapidly approaches. His age may become a negative factor moving forward, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down over the last two seasons.

Toffoli will reportedly be looking for a long-term contract to end his career

Tyler Toffoli, Rangers
Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Baugh of The Athletic reports that since Toffoli is approaching the end of his career at 32 years old, he will likely be looking for a larger contract around four years worth over $5 million annually. This is something the Rangers would probably like to avoid, as having a declining veteran on the roster four years from now would only make their salary cap situation worse.

If the Rangers are able to dwindle the AAV on Toffoli’s contract down a bit, signing him to play on the first line would make sense. But extending a 32-year-old veteran for four more years at such a high price point has more potential negative outcomes than positive. It’s up to Drury to see if he can make it work with Toffoli, or if the Rangers should look elsewhere for their answers.

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