Libor Hajek is the only remaining RFA that is unsigned.
The Rangers have added Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Reaves, Sammy Blais, Dryden Hunt, Patrik Nemeth and Jarred Tinordi this offseason.
The Rangers traded Pavel Buchnevich to acquire Blais and a second round pick. They lost Colin Blackwell to Seattle in the expansion draft.
Adam Rotter: So what is next? Possibly nothing as every other potential move they can make is in some ways linked to two people: Mika Zibanejad and Jack Eichel. The Rangers can’t move Ryan Strome if they don’t have a plan in place to replace him and Alex Georgiev’s best use will either come as the back up/partner to Shesterkin or as part of a trade package.
The Eichel situation seems to be in a holding pattern, which you can argue it has been the whole time, as the Sabres wait to be offered something no one seems willing to offer. I don’t think the Rangers want to move on an extension for Zibanejad without knowing for sure what Eichel will cost/where he will end up. It’s very risky for the Rangers to enter the season without Eichel or Zibanejad under contract, but I’m not sure either situation will get resolved until the time between when training camp starts and Opening Night.
Everything else on the roster appears settled. Libor Hajek isn’t, but, like Georgiev, I think the Rangers would prefer to add him as part of a package if there is a bigger trade to be made. He doesn’t really have a spot on the team, but the Rangers will still likely sign him to a one-year deal, bring him to camp and see what happens. He’d have to pass through waivers to go to Hartford and the Rangers would probably have to wait until the last moments before the opening night roster is set, when every team is trying to settle their roster, to see if they can slip him through. Patrik Nemeth and Nils Lundkvist are the favorites for the third pair and Tinordi is there as the 7th defenseman, but if Hajek is going to remain with the organization and isn’t going to be the 8th defenseman, the Rangers will probably have to risk losing him for nothing on waivers.
Other than that the roster seems set. Losing Pavel Buchnevich is a blow, but it was a situation they were forced into. They added, possibly too much, grit, physicality and toughness, but that was not only the main objective of the offseason, probably a main condition of Chris Drury getting the job. There are still assistant coaches to officially announce and probably more front office hires, but Chris Drury and Gerard Gallant’s first training camp is about a month away.