New York Rangers: News, Notes & Rumors

The New York Rangers had a busy day following the NHL Expansion Draft as they announced the signing of center Barclay Goodrow.

 New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced Wednesday that the team has agreed to terms with Barclay Goodrow on a six-year contract. The contract is for $21.85 million with an AAV of $3.641.667 million (Per CapFriendly.com). The deal also includes a 15 team no-trade clause.

Goodrow, 28, skated in 55 games with Tampa Bay this past season, registering six goals and 14 assists for 20 points, along with a plus-16 rating and 52 penalty minutes. He established a career-high in plus/minus rating in 2020-21, and he led the Lightning in plus/minus rating during the season.

The 6-2, 203-pounder has skated in 331 career NHL games over parts of seven seasons (2014-15 – 2020-21) with San Jose and Tampa Bay, registering 32 goals and 61 assists for 93 points, along with a plus-13 rating and 304 penalty minutes. Goodrow is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion, as he helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons in 2019-20 and 2020-21. He established career-highs in several categories in 2019-20, including goals (eight), assists (18), points (26), average ice time (15:55), and hits (162). Goodrow has recorded at least 100 hits in each of the last three seasons (Via NYRPR).

Schedule Release

The National Hockey League also announced its schedule for the upcoming 2021-2022 season. The Blueshirts will begin their 95th NHL season with a back-to-back set on Wednesday, Oct. 13 against the Washington Capitals at Washington and on Thursday, Oct. 14 against the Dallas Stars at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts will play their first all-time game against the Seattle Kraken on Sunday, Oct. 31 at Seattle. In addition, New York will host Seattle for the first time on Sunday, Jan. 30 at MSG. The Blueshirts will play nine of their first 12 games this season, as well as 14 of their first 21 games this season, on the road. The Rangers will conclude the season with 10 of their final 14 games at MSG (and with their four road games during the stretch at New Jersey, Philadelphia, NY Islanders, and Boston).

Rumors

The NHL Entry Draft is slated for Friday night where the Rangers are scheduled to have the 15th pick in the first round. They should actually be selected 16thm but the Arizona Coyotes do not have a first-round pick, so they will move to position 15.

As of Wednesday night, the club has not announced any trades that would change their selection, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been plenty of rumors about what may happen prior to the draft.

Frank Seravalli reported some news that caught many fan’s attention in his Ice Breakers column for Dailyfaceoff.com

-Sources said the Kraken were underwhelmed with the options at center presented in the Expansion Draft, so they may pursue bulking up at the position via the trade market. Ryan Strome has been linked to the Kraken. Would Strome make any sense in Vegas, who is also looking for centers?

-The Rangers have attempted to move arbitration-eligible RFA Pavel Buchnevich for weeks now. New York has been seeking a suitor for goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. The ask is believed to be a first-round pick. It’s unlikely Georgiev, who is also seeking a fresh start, will fetch that price.

Jack Eichel trade has picked up some steam over the last 24 hours. Are the Rangers the leading contender to acquire Jack Eichel? Sources say the Rangers have quietly checked with each of the teams holding a pick inside the Top 10 of Friday’s Draft, inquiring about the price to acquire it.  The belief is the Rangers would like to package that pick in a transaction for Eichel, as the Sabres are reportedly seeking another lottery-range pick to go with their No. 1 overall selection.

The last interesting report for Seravalli involved some current Vegas Golden Knights. Is Gerard Gallant Gerard interested in attempting to pluck one of Jonathan Marchessault or Reilly Smith out of Vegas? Both are available.

Brendan Smith To Test Free Agency

Rangers beat reporter Larry Brooks reported that the Rangers and defensemen Brendan Smith will part ways with Smith testing free agency on July 28.

Smith has been with the Blueshirts for the past five seasons and became one of the leaders of the team this past season on and off the ice. This is of no surprise as Smith is expected to get a long-term deal offered to him.

MSG Network To Offer Live Programming

MSG Networks announced on Thursday special programming to get fans ready for all the upcoming action.

The live draft and free agency coverage on MSG Networks will kick-off with an “NHL Draft Special” on Friday, July 23rd from 9:00-10:00 pm ET, featuring real-time updates and analysis from Rangers host John Giannone, Rangers analyst Dave Maloney, Devils host Erika Wachter and Devils analyst Bryce Salvador. The crew will recap the Devils 4th overall selection, as well as provide immediate reaction to the Rangers’ pick at 15. They will also preview the rest of the opening round, including the Devils’ additional first-round selection at 28.

On Wednesday, July 28th, John Giannone and Erika Wachter will be joined by Rangers analyst Steve Valiquette, Islanders host Shannon Hogan, Islanders analyst Butch Goring and Devils analyst Ken Daneyko for a live “NHL Free Agency.

New head coach Gerard Gallant’s vision of the Rangers must now be matched by GM’s skill

The New York Rangers held press conference on Tuesday introducing new head coach Gerard Gallant, displaying what kind of team Gallant wants to bring to Broadway, but might have had more questions than answers at its conclusion.

The Gerard Gallant era in New York officially began on Tuesday when the media had their first opportunity to hear what the new man behind the bench had to say. In an unsurprisingly voice, the 57 -year old let the NHL and Rangers fans know exactly what he wanted his new team to be known for.

“I want us to be the hardest-working team in the league.”

Work ethic, grit and never being outplayed by the opponent has been the trademark of every team gallant has coached.

Some other interesting takes from yesterdays press conference centered around the younger players on the team along with is acknowledgement that it will take all 23 players on the roster to turn the club into a winning team. when he was discussing the younger member’s of the team Gallant offered a statement of faith and opportunity,

“You give them the opportunity and hope that they take advantage of the opportunity they get. We know we’ve got some very young, talented hockey players on our team. They’re going to get every opportunity.” Gallant went on to say, It’s not going to take 15 guys to win; It’s going to take all 23 guys on the roster.”

Chris Drury Has Difficult Task Ahead

Incase one would be thinking that the hard part for the Rangers GM is over, think again. In order for this transition from David Quinn to Gallant to be successful, Drury will need to immediately look at what he needs to improve and then find a way to that. The laundry list of what to do next includes the NHL expansion Draft, the NHL Draft, and free agency which is scheduled to begin with the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Rangers have some players offensively that will not be touched.  Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Alexis Lafreniere, Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba and  Igor Shesterkin are a few names to be mentioned.  The area where the team needs to improve is at the center position and the level of toughness that was lacking last season.

This team needs to be built from the bottom up. The players that sit on the fence regarding roster spots or remaining a Blueshirt should come as no surprise.

Staying or Shipping Out

Brett Howden, Julien Gauthier, Kevin Rooney, Phillip Di Giuseppe, Libor Hajek are some names I wouldn’t be surprised off of  the roster when training camp begins.

These players are good hockey players, but for one reason or another never found a productive place in the lineup consistently. A lineup that appeared bottom heavy will need to thin out and form into a tough, hard forechecking, reliable third and fourth line for Gallant to lean on. Some of that need is already there with Vitaly Kravtsov and Philip Chytil so the job for Drury does have some sought of outline laid out.

Great teams use a balance of a smart general manager along with intelligent head coaching that know how to push the right buttons at the right time. Gallant can only push the buttons of the 23 players Drury sets up for him.

The puck is once again of the stick of Chris Drury. If the Rangers ever needed a big score from their former captain its going to be over the summer battling hard against the NHL to come away with that big win that should launch this team back into the postseason.

Rangers GM now has to add the right pieces for Gerard Gallant to be successful

The New York Rangers have their man but must find the right pieces to add to the team if they want new head coach Gerard Gallant to be successful.

The Blueshirts checked the top box off of their list of what they need to improve when they hired Gerard Gallant.  Unfortunately for the club, there are a lot of boxes left to be checked off between now and when training camp begins.

First up is a coaching staff for the new head coach. The Rangers cleaned house after the conclusion of this season.

Staff needs to be replaced

Jacques Martin, Greg Brown, and David Oliver were all let go when the club decided that David Quinn was no longer the man to lead the Rangers. Rick Carpinello of The AThletic has indicated that the team’s video coach, Jerry Dineen was also relieved of his duties which leaves the iconic Benoit Allaire as the only one to service the Broadway breakup.

Former Rangers defenseman and current Buffalo Sabres assistant Dan Girardi has been rumored to be hired as an assistant with the Rangers.  Girardi played with Drury when the two were teammates between the 2008-2011 seasons.

Toughness

Gallant is considered to be a coach that wants toughness in his lineup. After the Tom Wilson incident, the team will welcome this kind of upgrade.

General manager Chris Drury will have the task of trying to find a player who can both intimidate the opposition and at the same time can contribute to both ends of the ice. There are only so many players like Ryan Reaves, Brendan Gallagher, or Tom Wilson that become available.

Toughness has been a touchy topic with the organization justifying so. Too many times the team’s top players, Pavel Buchnevich and Artemi Panarin to name two, have been the ones to stand up for other teammates. The Rangers need to find someone else to fill the role which is something Gallant’s previous teams have been able to sustain.

NHL Expansion Draft/NHL Draft & Free Agency

The team also needs to prepare for the Seattle Expansion Draft which will be conducted by the National Hockey League on July 21, 2021.  Each NHL club, with the exception of the Vegas Golden Knights, will lose one player in order to fill the Kraken’s roster.

The Rangers can only protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goalie. Drury and Gallant will have to address the backup goalie role with the poor performance Alexandar Georgiev had last season.

The team can delay that decision since they have Keith Kinkaid eligible to be the goaltender they decide not to protect which is a foregone conclusion.

Following the expansion draft, the team then can begin the process of who or what they would like to do with their first-round pick in the upcoming NHL Draft.  The Draft will be held on July 23 and 24th in Columbus, Ohio. The Rangers hold the 15th selection.

Free agency ends the crazy month of July. The team can improve the club with a strong free-agent signing. Players that will become unrestricted free agents this year include Alex Ovechkin, Taylor Hall, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mike Hoffman.

Trades are always an option to improve on a team and the Rangers have plenty of prospects and current roster players to make an impact.

This is normally the primary responsibility of the general manager, but the odds are pretty good that Gallant will at the very least be able to get some input on what kind of player he would like to have on the roster.

Plenty of boxes to check off, but the first box was the one that will get things rolling. Unlike the Vegas Golden Knights team that Gallant took the Stanley Cup Finals in its first NHL season, this Rangers team is young.

They were the youngest team in the league for most of last season.

Gallant will need to find the balance between youth and veteran with a splash of crazy if he wants to get this team back into the playoffs next season.

 

Follow Frank on Twitter @RangerProud.

New York Rangers hire Gerard Gallant as their new head coach ( Report)

The New York Rangers have reportedly hired Gerard Gallant as their new head coach.

Gerard Gallant will lead the New York Rangers at the start of the 2021-2022 season. The organization’s 36th head coach in the rich history of the franchise has been hired per Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

 

Gallant has had an impressive coaching career in the NHL. The 57-year-old began his coaching career with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2003. Following a three-year stint there, he went on to be the head coach of the Florida Panthers in 2014 seven years later.

His most impressive run was when he was hired to take the reigns as the head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights expansion team. He took the team all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season.  They would lose to the Washington Capitals but set a standard that may never be accomplished again.

In 2018  he won the Jack Adams award winner for coach of the year.

Coaching Record

In the nine years he has stood on an NHL bench Gallant has coached 541 games with a 270-216-4 record. He has appeared in 33 playoff games winning 18 while losing 15. He won the Western Conference Championship in 2017-’18 with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Gallant takes over for David Quinn who was relieved of his coaching duties following the conclusion of this Season.

Other names mentioned for that vacant New York coaching position were Rich Tochett and John Tortorella.

This is Drury’s first big transaction as president and general manager.  The decision to hire Gallant is critical to the team’s progression in getting back to the postseason next year.  Time will tell if he made the right decision.

Follow Frank on Twitter @RangerProud