With the NHL trade deadline come and gone, the New York Rangers have decided to stand pat with the cards they have at the table. There was not a lot of trade buzz around the Rangers, as the expectation was that the Blueshirts were very content with their roster unless something was offered that was too good to pass up.
Per the New York Rangers twitter, GM Jeff Gorton said: “We made a number of calls, took a number of calls, went through a number of scenarios, and it’s clear we have a plan in place. Nothing that came along was going to add to what we wanted to do and was something we felt was going to help us, short term or long term.”
One of the Blueshirts that many thought might be traded was defenseman Brendan Smith. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and will probably not be on the Ranger’s roster next season.
Smith talked about the possibility in his post-game Zoom conference after Sunday night’s game. I mean, I know, I’m not oblivious to it,” said Smith. “But I want to be here. I want to help this team win. I love being a Ranger. They are a good group of guys, and I want to help them win. I want to help these younger guys get to that next level. I want to be here.”
At least for now, Smith will get his wish and stay in New York as the young Blueshirts make a run at qualifying for the NHL playoffs.
What will go on with the New York Rangers after the trade deadline has passed?
After Monday afternoon, the Rangers can make four recalls from Hartford, plus any emergency recalls they may need. Also, the 23-man roster limit goes away after the deadline. During this COVID-19 year, the taxi squad continues to remain in play.
One of the implications of this is that Morgan Barron could be called up soon. Barron leads the Wolf Pack in scoring with eight goals and seven assists in 15 games.
In addition, Frank Seravalli of TSN has reported that the Rangers are close to signing third-round pick Zac Jones, who is coming off winning an NCAA championship with UMass. Seravalli also reported that he will join the Rangers after going through COVD-19 protocols.
“He’s had a terrific college career so far,” Quinn said about Jones recently. “He’s someone I’m a little bit familiar with, watching him play before he got to UMass. He certainly has been a very, very good player there, and we think very highly of him as an organization.”
Meanwhile, the Rangers will face the New Jersey Devils, a team that has just traded three key players at the deadline. Today, the Devils traded Dmitry Kulikov to Edmonton for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022. They also lost Sami Vatanen off waivers to the Dallas Stars. Last Wednesday, the Devils sent Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri to the New York Islanders.
The youngest team in the NHL is just about ready to get some lessons on the NHL playoff chase. Recently, those young players have stepped up and played well. In Sunday night’s loss to the Islanders, four of the six Rangers who tallied a point in the second period are 23 years old or younger. Three of those players are 21 years old or younger.
Playoff school is now in session, with the first-class starting on Tuesday night in New Jersey.