New York Rangers: Five unrestricted free agents to target

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders reacts against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Barclays Center on March 30, 2018 in New York City. Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New York Islanders 4-3 (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders reacts against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Barclays Center on March 30, 2018 in New York City. Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New York Islanders 4-3 (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 07: Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the New York Rangers skates the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers on April 7, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 07: Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the New York Rangers skates the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers on April 7, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The New York Rangers are at a crucial point and there is much work to be done. While a lot of the attention has been on who the next head coach will be, as well as the draft, free agency also looms large as well.

This summer promises to be a busy one for the New York Rangers. General manager Jeff Gorton has to hire a new coach, work out a plan for the draft, and also look ahead to the beginning of free agency on July 1. The first of July is often an exciting day for Rangers fans, as the team usually brings in a big name, whether it be Kevin Shattenkirk, Marian Gaborik, or Brad Richards.

This July 1 could also prove to be exciting since the Rangers are flush with cap space. Now, this obviously doesn’t mean that Jeff Gorton should just go out and throw a bunch of money and term at every big-ticket free agent. Luckily, in Gorton’s time as GM, he has shown a propensity for smart signings, such as Michael Grabner. He even managed to bring in Shattenkirk, last year’s consensus number one UFA, at a discount.

This year should be no different. While it would be nice to bring in an elite talent in free agency, giving out absurd contracts to players in their late 20’s does not always tend to work out well. With that in mind, here are five free agents the Rangers may, and should, be looking at come July 1.