7/8/22 | 5:39PM: Staple says that the Rangers have not given up on trying to sign Copp and they have had “no real” contract talks with Strome since the season ended. (The Athletic)
8:31 AM: Arthur Staple writes in The Athletic that both players are “near certainties” to become UFAs with Copp looking for a similar, or higher, deal to Zach Hyman in Edmonton and that Strome is looking for a 5-6 year deal around $5.5 million.
He says that there haven’t been many talks between the two sides lately and that Strome has “warmed” to the idea of not returning to the Rangers.
7/3/22 | 11:03AM: Eliotte Friedman wrote at Sportsnet that the Rangers “really like Copp,” but that it’s not a “financial fit” right now. (Sportsnet)
He adds that at times it seemed like there was momentum “gaining” for a new deal for Strome but that right now it’s not a “financial fit.” (Sportsnet)
7/1/22 | 9:10 PM: Elliotte Friedman said on the NHL Network this afternoon, “I do think they have interest in Copp, I also think there is a lot of interest in Copp out there. I heard there were some conversations with Strome and I heard one of the potential issues was term and the Rangers and Strome maybe had a different sense of eye to eye on term. I think everything I look at with New York is what they are doing at that number two center spot and whether it’s Dubois or somebody else who is out there. I don’t think Scheifele is going to be moved. That is the number one thing I’m looking with the Rangers right now.”
2:25 PM: Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that both Andrew Copp and Ryan Strome intend to test free agency.
Brooks writes that neither the Rangers nor Copp have closed the door entirely on a return and that the Rangers and Strome could circle back if Strome is still unsigned early in free agency and the Rangers haven’t filled his spot. (NY Post)
He adds that Frank Vatrano is also expected to become a free agent. (NY Post)
Brooks says that the Rangers intend to fill the second line center role via trade, adding that they have “engaged in discussions” about Pierre-Luc Dubois and are also believed to be interested in his teammate Mark Scheifele. (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: My initial thoughts in seeing this are that I’m not surprised and that, even before they acquire a new second-line center, it’s worth checking out who will be a rental to acquire at the trade deadline to fortify the forward group. It’s hard to do that without knowing who the second line center is and who was used to acquire him, but the Rangers are losing half of their top-six forwards.
A lot can happen in the just under two weeks until free agency opens and it wouldn’t shock me if the Rangers and Strome circled back to each other mid-next week, right before the draft, to see if anything has changed and before the Rangers potentially go shipping off other forwards to acquire Strome’s replacement.