The New York Post‘s Larry Brooks reports multiple sources told him Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp intend on testing the free-agent market when it opens on July 13. As a result, the New York Rangers are eyeing the trade market for a second-line center.
Brooks was initially dismissive of the Rangers being linked last week to the Winnipeg Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois. He now reports they’ve had discussions with the Jets regarding the 24-year-old center, as well as teammate Mark Scheifele.
The Athletic’s Arthur Staple indicated the Rangers have also been tied to J.T. Miller of the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin. Both are eligible next summer to become unrestricted free agents.
Brooks observed the Rangers have around $10 million in cap space this summer, hampering efforts to re-sign Strome and Copp. Salary cap space will be an ongoing issue as they attempt to address their second-line center spot. Defenseman K’Andre Miller and winger Alexis Lafreniere will be due for raises next summer coming out of their entry-level contracts.
Staple reported Filip Chytil has been the most-discussed Ranger amid general manager Chris Drury’s trade talks. He’s signed through 2022-23 with a $2.3-million salary-cap hit, becoming a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights. He also said Kaapo Kakko has been discussed but his disappointing performance in the final season of his entry-level contract hurt his trade value.
The Rangers must include more than Chytil or Kakko in a package offer if they hope to land Dubois, Scheifele, or Miller. The Red Wings might be unwilling to part with Larkin if they can get him signed to a contract extension this summer.