The Rangers open training camp for the 2021-22 season today and open up the preseason this Sunday against the Islanders.
During the offseason the Rangers:
- Signed Barclay Goodrow
- Signed Patrik Nemeth
- Traded Pavel Buchnevich to St. Louis for Sammy Blais
- Traded for Ryan Reaves
- Signed Jarred Tinordi, Dryden Hunt, and Greg McKegg
- Lost Colin Blackwell in the expansion draft
- Bought out Tony DeAngelo
- Traded Brett Howden
- Signed Filip Chytil to a two-year deal
- Signed Igor Shesterkin to a four-year deal
The Rangers enter the season with more than $8 million in cap space.
Adam Rotter: Well it’s the first official day for the post-rebuild Rangers. Gerard Gallant is in charge and they’ve added a ton of players that will hit, fight and toughen up the overall roster.
As for the roster, they added a lot more than they subtracted and never made the big move I was expecting. Pavel Buchnevich is a big loss, but all of the prospects and young players, minus Brett Howden, are still here. The Rangers have a lot of players for not a lot of spots and there are a lot of questions about how the lines will be configured.
Is Alexis Lafreniere moving to the right side or are they going to stack Artemi Panarin, Alexis Lafreniere and Chris Kreider all on the left side? The likely scenario to start will be Lafreniere moving to Pavel Buchnevich’s old spot next to Kreider and Zibanejad.
Who slots in next to Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome? It should be Kaapo Kakko and it will be a disappointment if it isn’t. Kakko took steps last year and the Rangers need him to take another few steps. The Rangers didn’t get him for that spot, but I could see Barclay Goodrow fitting in really well with Panarin and Strome. He can do a lot of the things that Jesper Fast did and his cap hit is in line with someone playing that spot, but the Rangers didn’t get him to play in the top-six.
How does the bottom-six shake out? Barclay Goodrow, Filip Chytil, Vitali Kravtsov, Sammy Blais, Kevin Rooney, Ryan Reaves, Greg McKegg, Dryden Hunt, Julien Gauthier, and Morgan Barron all need to fix into six spots.
The defense is much easier. The top-four is set and the third pair of Patrik Nemeth and Nils Lundkvist seems set as well, which means Zac Jones and Braden Schneider are the top pair in Hartford.
They get on the ice for the first time tomorrow and we will see how things start to shake out.