New York Rangers rumors and notes: Raanta, Girardi, Staal and more

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

All the latest news, rumors and rumblings surrounding the New York Rangers, all in one place to enjoy with your morning cup of coffee.

  • There have been a lot of rumors involving the New York Rangers over the last few days so we are just gonna start from the beginning.
  • On Saturday afternoon, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet posted his monthly column “30 Thoughts” and dropped some interesting Rangers tidbits.

"New York Rangers associate coach Scott Arniel also interviewed with both Buffalo and Florida."

  • Arniel has been the Rangers’ associate head coach since 2013-14. He went on multiple interviews last season for vacant head coaching positions but came up empty. With Florida hiring Bob Boughner as their head coach on Saturday, Arniel’s hope is that Buffalo picks him up.
  • The Rangers can use a fresh mind on Vigneault’s coaching staff. The power play, an area that Arniel is in charge of, needs a completely different vision. If he doesn’t get the Buffalo job, the Rangers should consider a future without Arniel anyway.
  • Speaking of Buffalo, a former Sabres head coach was also mentioned in Friedman’s article….

"There are a lot of ties to Lindy Ruff in New York. Arniel played with him from 1986-89. Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld was a teammate from 1979-81. Chris Drury, who just added the AHL Hartford GM title to his portfolio, was coached by Ruff from 2003-07. With those connections, it’s not a surprise to hear rumblings that Ruff was contacted by the Rangers about joining Alain Vigneault’s staff. I’m not sure where this stands right now, but it sounds like it was with the idea of making the group stronger, not forcing Vigneault to look over his"

  • Just what the Rangers need, another old-guard head coach who can’t make adjustments. After being a head coach in the league for the past 20 years, I’m not sure how much interest he’d have on joining someone else’s staff.

Brooksie drops some info

  • In another info-loaded article, Larry Brooks touched on a lot of different areas on Sunday morning.
  • Firstly he mentioned that the Rangers have interest in adding another young, highly touted defender. He mentioned Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba and Colorado’s Tyson Barrie as potential targets. Both Barrie and Trouba would cost significant assets to acquire, as Brooks noted.
  • He also mentioned that the Rangers are interested in Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, but also mentioned that GM Joe Sakic is looking for an arm-and-a-leg in return.
  • He also gave an update on current Rangers defenseman. Brendan Smith and the Rangers have had open dialogue on a new contract and Smith is willing to come back to Broadway if the Rangers give him a market value contract.
  • That is great news for the Rangers. Smith is most likely looking at a contract paying him $4.5 million a season, or something in that ballpark. The Rangers should be more than willing to pay him that money.
  • Brooks also mentioned that the team has not asked Dan Girardi or Marc Staal to waive their no-movement clauses for the Expansion Draft.
  • The Rangers probably figure that losing Nick Holden, a player they would most likely need to protect if either Girardi or Staal was unprotected, is not as bad as losing a Grabner, Fast or Lindberg.
  • Brooks also wrote that the Rangers do not plan on extending a qualifying offer to Brandon Pirri or Adam Clendening, making them unrestricted free agents. Pirri was not very good in his only season on Broadway, and while Clendening was solid, the coaching staff obviously didn’t trust him so there was no point in bringing him back.

Antti up, Western Canada

  • The last tidbit from Brooks’ article may be the most interesting one. Brooks reports that both the Calgary Flames and the Winnipeg Jets have called the Rangers about Antti Raanta.
  • Management hasn’t committed to dealing him as of yet, says Brooks, but they should. Backup goaltenders are not too hard to come by on the trade market or free agency, for whatever reason. If they can get substantial value for Raanta, they need to move him and let Benoit Allaire work his magic on yet another backup goalie.
  • It is unknown how much value Raanta has on the trade market, but I thought this tweet was very interesting.

Next: Should the Rangers pursue Ilya Kovalchuck?

  • If that’s what’s on the table–which I doubt it is–the Rangers would be absolutely stupid not to accept.