Armed with a new head coach, Drury will focus on the June 28th NHL draft in Nashville, Tennessee. Then there’s free agency on July 1st. The Rangers have $11.7 million in summer cap space. A chunk of that will go to Lafreniere and Miller, expiring restricted free agents who must be locked up. The rest will go to a backup goaltender, three forwards, and a defenseman.
HARTFORD’S SUMMER UNDERWAY:
Things are calm in Wolf Pack’s world. They kept Kris Knoblauch, who will remain Hartford’s head coach.
They also retained forward Anton Blidh, who the Rangers signed to a two-year, two-way contract. Blidh will earn $775k at the NHL if recalled or $350k in the AHL.
During this season’s trade deadline, the Rangers acquired Blidh from Colorado in exchange for Gustav Rydahl. Blidh significantly contributed to the team, scoring seven goals and 11 points in 17 regular season games with the Pack. In the playoffs, Blidh also had two goals and seven points in 9 playoff games.
The playoff appearance was Hartford’s first since 2015. They swept the Springfield Thunderbirds(ST Louis Blues affiliate) 2-0 in the qualifying round. They stunned the top-seeded Providence Bruins(Boston Bruins affiliate) 3-1. Then came their doom. The Hershey Bears(Capitals affiliate) swept Hartford(3-0) in the Conference semifinals, ending their season.
Question to Blue Line Station readers: What do you think of the Peter Laviolette hire?