The New York Rangers and General Manager Jeff Gorton still may be looking to add a free agent or two before the beginning of training camp to shore up a couple of weak spots, even though they have committed to a rebuild on the fly and seeing what depth is in their minor league system.
One more defenseman and a second line winger would be an area where they may be looking and with the free agent pool limited, it might be wise, in my estimation, to stick with what they have at the moment as the team has a good balance of young and veteran players at the moment. But we all know it never hurts to add a piece here and there if available. So it begs the question will the New York Rangers add more free agents?
The Salary Cap may limit who they can sign
With approximately 3.4 million in cap space remaining it moist certainly takes them out of the running to sign forwards like Radim Vrbata, Jiri Hudler and Patrick Elias as well as the top defenceman left to sign Kris Russell.
As I have mentioned in a previous article Brandon Prust and Brandon Pirri would both fit in well with the Rangers but there are also other options available to them. The management team of the Rangers has begun to fill the minor leagues with depth players and begin the long process of rebuilding their minor league system.
With that being said, there are a few low-priced free agents available that would help speed that process along, such as Eric Gryba, Marek Zidlicky, Matt Frattin, Jiri Tlusty to name a few. All could be had at a reasonable price and Frattin and Gryba could be signed to two-way contracts. It is not that the Rangers need more help at the bottom end of the roster, they just need to have players to bridge the gap until they have developed the prospects in their system to a point they can make the jump to the NHL.
Most likely route the New York Rangers will take is signing players to PTO’s
Signing players to PTO’s is the most viable option for the Rangers with their limited cap space and the direction the club is heading with a rebuild at every level of the organization. That being said, I don’t expect them to sign depth players just to have bodies in the system. With the likes of a Pirri or Prust they would help the team immediately and would be a great addition to the current NHL roster.
With Tlusty, Frattin and those players and players of that caliber they may be pieces that can help at both the NHL and AHL level for the next season. But one thing is for sure, the Rangers are not done adjusting the lineup for the upcoming NHL season. So stay tuned as we get closer to the beginning of a new era for the Rangers.
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