The Rangers have signed:
Patrik Nemeth was traded to Arizona with two draft picks for a defense prospect and to clear his cap hit.
Andrew Copp signed a five-year deal with Detroit, Frank Vatrano signed a three-year deal with Anaheim, Kevin Rooney signed a two-year deal with Calgary, Greg McKegg signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Oilers, Justin Braun returned to the Flyers.
Ryan Strome and Tyler Motte have not signed yet.
Adam Rotter: The Rangers accomplished their two big goals today. They found their new second line center and added goaltending depth.
The Trocheck deal still seems pretty long but if he is the guy that you want and you believe you are in a window to win, you don’t worry about years 4-5-6-7 of the deal until they come to pass. You sign the deal, hope you win and worry about the consequences down the line. It’s a manageable cap hit and one that will be even more manageable as the cap starts to rise in the next few years. They needed a center, Nazem Kadri wasn’t going to fit under the cap and they obviously didn’t want to pay whatever price teams set to make a trade. He’s a good player, he fits what they need, he can score, he can be physical, he can play in every situation. Copp, because he was here already, is a year younger, fit in well, is big and can play every forward position seemed like the better option, but if the Rangers felt that they were going to have to overpay to stop him from going home to Detroit then this is what they had to do.
It seems like it came down to Trocheck vs Strome and the Rangers clearly saw enough from Trocheck, especially in the playoffs, to decide that he was the better player to go forward with. The Rangers weren’t going to go seven-years for Strome and if they were this deal would have been signed months ago. Trocheck brings a bit more with his grit and versatility, but it will be up to him to find the nearly instant chemistry that Panarin and Strome found.
In goal the Rangers signed two potential options. Halak will start as the back up and hopefully be someone they can count on to spell Igor Shesterkin from time to time. If Halak doesn’t work or gets hurt than the Rangers can go with Louis Domingue and see if he can capture that playoff magic for some games. If either of them is the starting goalie for any significant amount of time then the Rangers will be in trouble, but they are both good enough options for next season.
The Patrik Nemeth deal was a very good and necessary deal. They just couldn’t carry Nemeth for the next two years and they got out from under his deal without retaining salary or carrying dead cap hits from a buyout. You can’t worry about losing those picks down the line and it’s not as if it was a first round pick where you’d run the risk of the team going into a tailspin through injuries and then handing Arizona a lottery pick. It’s picks that convey years from now and the Rangers needed the cap space and roster spot more than those picks.
They still have some business to take care of: signing Kaapo Kakko, adding more depth, but unless they decide to strike some sort of big deal out of nowhere, it seems like the biggest things for the Rangers have been taken care of.