Josh Lipman- Daniel Winnik
The Rangers should take advantage of Washington’s tight cap situation by stealing one of their best defensive forwards. Free agent Daniel Winnik won’t chip in more than 20 to 30 points, but he still adds major value.
New York could direly use someone with Winnik’s talents after trading Derek Stepan and losing Oscar Lindberg to expansion. With Jesper Fast set to miss the first month of the season recovering from hip surgery, the roster needs some experienced penalty killers. Winnik played the second most shorthanded minutes of any Washington forward last season.
Furthermore, the Rangers’ penalty kill ranked only 19th last season. Grabbing a key member from Washington’s seventh ranked unit is a no-brainer.
Winnik’s defensive chops carry over to his even strength play. Of all NHL forwards to play at least 500 even strength minutes last year, Winnik yielded shot attempts at the 14th lowest rate in the league.
Though Winnik played mostly wing in recent seasons, he has center experience too. At 32, this veteran checking forward could wind up as a bargain. If so, he makes too much sense for the Rangers to pass him up.