New York Rangers: Predicting changes on defense

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

Dan Carrozzi-

Ryan McDonagh – Kevin Shattenkirk

Brendan Smith – Brady Skjei

Alexei Bereglazov – Kevin Klein

Steven Kampfer

Starting with the easy stuff, Captain Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei are locks. Brendan Smith signs with the Rangers in the neighborhood of $4-4.5MM for four years. The Rangers sign coveted Unrestricted Free Agent Kevin Shattenkirk to a seven year deal in the ballpark of $6.5-7MM.

However, then things get tricky. In my (dream) scenario, the Rangers bribe the Vegas Golden Knights to select Nick Holden. Depending on how valuable the Golden Knights view Holden, the cost to do this may vary from a later round draft pick to a prospect to a bottom-six roster player such as Jesper Fast.

Dan Girardi (instead of Marc Staal) is traded to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Kari Lehtonen. This is because Girardi will have a limited no-trade clause come July 1st. The Rangers will then buyout Lehtonen and to wrap things up, also buyout Staal.

Neal Pionk will need at least a year in the AHL to season, as will Sean Day. Adam Clendening will be allowed to walk, as Alain Vigneault does not see him fitting into the team. Ryan Graves does not impress in training camp and Vigneault sticks to his veterans.

Alexei Bereglazov makes the team partially due to his KHL out-clause. Kevin Klein remains and rounds out the top-six. Re-signed Steven Kampfer remains as the team’s seventh defenseman.