Andersson thanked the Rangers in a statement and said that he found his way “back to the game” last year with HV71. (HV71)
Andersson is an RFA after the season.
Adam Rotter: This was expected, especially after Andersson turned down their invitation to come to training camp and join them in Toronto, but until he is traded, his only path to the NHL is with the Rangers. Even after his this season ends and his contract expires, the Rangers would almost certainly still qualify him and keep his rights rather than cut him loose and let him sign somewhere else for free. If a trade doesn’t happen at this coming draft I think you would see the Rangers recall Andersson from his loan following the HV71 season, which would probably be in the middle of the next NHL season, and bring him to North America either as a showcase or one last chance to make an impact.
6/18/20 | 7:23PM: John Davidson told Brooks that Andersson told him that he wants to be a Ranger, the team respects his decision to remain in Sweden and that “down the road” they will discuss where it is “best” for Andersson to play next season (NY Post)
5:53PM: Larry Brooks tweets that Lias Andersson has informed the Rangers that he is turning down their invitation to join them for next month’s training camp and that he intends to remain an Sweden.
Brooks adds that Andersson intends to play next season in Sweden and that he “won’t be back with the Rangers.”
In a video posted earlier today, Rangers President John Davidson said this about the status of Andersson “we are still talking about it. The one thing I will say, when Lias went back last year he got himself healthy, he ended up playing in Sweden and played very well. The GM over there was in touch with Jeff Gorton all the time. The reports were terrific, the game tape, watching him play, he played very well, got lots of key ice time. We are in the middle of making that determination now: is it better to leave him there, continue for another year or is it better to bring him here and see where it goes. It’s a tough call but we will try to make the right call as we move forward.”
2020-21 is the last-year of Andersson’s entry-level deal.
Adam Rotter: There had been some hope, after allowing Andersson to play in Sweden and renewed talks between him and the Rangers, that Lias would return to North America for another crack at things, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. The Rangers remain in control of Andersson’s rights so he needs their permission to actually play in Sweden again, but having him sit does nothing. It remains most likely that Andersson is traded by the Rangers whenever the 2020 draft is held, either as part of a bigger deal to either move up or acquire a player, a one for one for another/similar prospect, a couple of second round picks or a convoluted conditional trade that could see the Rangers get a pick now and maybe another pick or two down the line depending on his performance. Of all of those options, I think Andersson being included as part of a bigger package to either use one of their picks to move up or as part of a bigger deal to acquire a winger is most likely. The Rangers are lucky that Filip Chytil is developing and that some other young players they picked or traded for have allowed them to overcome picking Andersson and push the rebuild forward. Andersson was supposed to be the future Captain and an anchor of who the Rangers were going to become, instead they will try to find some way to get value for him and move on.