Rangers could target 2-way forward on prove-it deal in free agency

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks, new york rangers
Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

As the off-season approaches, the New York Rangers appear to be shifting their strategy away from blockbuster deals, focusing instead on finding value in underrated talent or players experiencing a temporary decline who may have untapped potential.

New York Rangers Could Eye Value Picks This Off-Season

One such player catching the Rangers’ attention is Elias Lindholm, a 29-year-old former first-round pick from the 2013 draft. Despite his struggles in recent seasons, Lindholm’s capabilities are well-documented.

Over the last season, he split his time between Calgary and Vancouver, recording 15 goals and 29 assists across 75 games. However, his peak performance was during the 2021-22 season with Calgary, where he scored 42 goals and added 40 assists in a full 82-game season, highlighting his potential when in form.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Assessing Lindholm’s Fit with the Rangers

Lindholm is entering free agency this off-season, presenting a potentially valuable opportunity for the Rangers. At his age, it’s plausible that his recent underperformance could be attributed to mental or schematic issues rather than a decline in physical ability. Offering him a one-year contract could be a strategic move, allowing Lindholm to demonstrate his ability to rebound and potentially earn a more lucrative contract in the future.

This approach would benefit not only Lindholm but also the Rangers, as they could add depth to their roster with a motivated player aiming to prove his worth. If Lindholm can rediscover his form, he could significantly contribute to the team, especially in a Stanley Cup-contending scenario.

Weighing Risks and Rewards

While there are risks involved in signing a player who has been regressing, the short-term nature of a potential contract with Lindholm minimizes long-term liabilities for the Rangers. This deal would allow them to easily move on if the partnership does not yield the expected results. Conversely, if Lindholm manages to turn back the clock and perform at his peak level, the Rangers could find themselves with a high-value player contributing significantly at a relatively low cost, potentially turning a calculated risk into a substantial reward.

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