In a move that felt like a home run, the Rangers acquired the exclusive negotiating rights to center Barclay Goodrow before Saturday’s 3 PM freeze. They parted with a ’22 seventh round pick to the Lightning, who knew they were going to lose Goodrow in free agency.
Now, GM Chris Drury has over a week to get Goodrow signed. A gritty player who played on the Bolts’ key third line that played a pivotal role in their repeat, the 28-year old Toronto native is the kind of hard-nosed checking forward the Rangers have lacked. He’s a good team guy who does the little things well such as blocking shots and winning board battles.
While he won’t blow anyone away from a skill standpoint, the hardworking Goodrow is a solid player who will hustle his tail off to make plays like the huge one he made to set up a last second Blake Coleman goal to put the Lightning up on the Canadiens in Game Two of the Stanley Cup. A good penalty killer who likes to throw his weight around, Goodrow would be a good addition to a roster that can use more edge to it. Now, it’s up to Drury to get him signed. Hopefully, it isn’t more than five years. Even that might be pushing it. It’ll be interesting to see how much they’re willing to pay him.
In a surprising move Drury was able to pull off, he dealt Brett Howden to Vegas in exchange for a 2022 fourth round pick and defenseman Nick DeSimone. You knew a domino was likely to fall after Drury got both Howden and Julien Gauthier signed for a year. The question was who. The Rangers aren’t expected to keep DeSimone. It really was about getting a fourth round pick for Howden, who despite being an honest player who gave a consistent effort, never became the player the organization believed he could become.
Still only 23, it’s a chance for Howden to do better on an established team that’s been a contender since they entered the league. Of course, there were great expectations placed on the former Lightning ’16 first round pick after he came over with defenseman Libor Hajek in a blockbuster trade that saw Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller go the other way. At the time, the sell off also netted Vladislav Namestnikov along with an ’18 first round pick that became Nils Lundkvist, and a ’19 conditional second that saw them select Karl Henriksson. While McDonagh has gone on to win back-to-back Cups, the Rangers are hoping Lundkvist can help turn the trade around. He recently signed a three-year entry level contract. He’s expected to battle Zac Jones for a spot on the defense.
In regards to Howden, he never was the same following his surprising offensive start during a decent rookie year in ’18-19 that saw him produce six goals and 17 assists for a still career high 23 points. Although he improved slightly to nine goals in ’19-20, Howden was never more than a checking pivot who doubled as an effective penalty killer. The work ethic was unquestioned. It’s just that he never could find the back of the net with regularity. In ’20-21, he had a goal and six assists in 42 games. For his three-year Ranger career, Howden totaled 49 points (16-33-49) in 178 games.
Going to Vegas should be good for him. They play an aggressive physical style which should benefit Howden. They’re a four line team. It’ll be interesting to see how he does under coach Peter DeBoer. He’ll likely be in that checking role. Best of luck to him.
There were other trades yesterday. None bigger than the Flyers sending Phillipe Myers and former second pick Nolan Patrick to the Predators in exchange for right defenseman Ryan Ellis. A move that should aid their blue line. Ellis is 30 and signed through 2027. He is a good skating defenseman who can contribute offensively and defensively. As for Patrick, he was sent to Vegas in exchange for Cody Glass by Nashville. I would’ve kept Patrick, who if he ever can overcome the health issues, could develop into a power forward. The Golden Knights would seem to be a good fit. They have an opening at center to be filled. Might Patrick center Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty? It will all depend on his health. He’s still quite young. It’s an interesting three-team trade.
Other players moving included Jared McCann to the Maple Leafs from the Penguins for Filip Hallander and a ’22 seventh round pick. McCann wasn’t going to be protected. So, he became expendable. The Leafs get a good secondary scorer…. Jason Dickinson moved from the Stars to Canucks for a ’21 third round pick…. The Sharks acquired goalie Adin Hill and a ’22 seventh round pick from the Coyotes for Josef Korenar and a ’22 second round pick. Guess they think Hill can be the answer to their goalie issues thanks to Martin Jones.
The Islanders made two smart moves to clear room on their salary cap. First, they sent defenseman Nick Leddy to the Red Wings for forward Richard Panik and a ’21 second round pick. Aside from saving money on the remainder of the Leddy contract, they even got Detroit to retain half of Panik’s remaining salary. It really is mystifying why Steve Yzerman would do that. But adding the experienced Leddy will aid his team’s back end. Leddy can still play top four minutes and power play. He was a good player for the Islanders. They could miss him. Basically, GM Lou Lamoriello created enough room to get Adam Pelech, Ilya Sorokin and Casey Cizikas signed. There’s also talk they will have enough maneuverability to add a scoring wing after getting the dumping ground known as Arizona to take the Andrew Ladd contract with a ’21 second round pick, ’22 conditional second and ’23 conditional third. The stipulation is simple. If Ladd plays a single game next season, Arizona receives the second round pick in ’22. That’s the Coyotes in a nutshell. Always bailing out desperate teams. Marian Hossa? The Isles also re-signed Andy Greene for one year, $1 million. So, the veteran returns for another year on Long Island.
With the teams finally revealing their keeper lists earlier this morning, the Rangers decided to protect Kevin Rooney over Colin Blackwell and Gauthier. The only thing I can think of is they value Rooney due to his ability to play center and kill penalties. He was a solid addition by Jeff Gorton the previous year. Rooney can stick on a fourth line. The question is did they acquire Goodrow to play on that checking line or fill a void at third line center due to Filip Chytil. Chytil hasn’t proven he’s a center in his three years. He doesn’t win face-offs and struggles defensively. He looks more like a wing. Given the glut at forward the Rangers have, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Drury move the restricted free agent in a deal if the right one is there to be had.
I thought they would keep either Blackwell or Gauthier over Rooney. But it appears the Rangers have placed more of a value on gritty forwards who can play center. Goodrow wasn’t protected due to his free agent status. He shouldn’t be taken. It’ll be either Blackwell or possibly Gauthier, who has ties to Seattle GM Ron Francis. It was Francis that took Gauthier in the first round a few years ago in Carolina. Whoever they lose, I’m okay with. I know whoever stays can fill a role on the checking line. So, I view it as a win win.
In terms of big names who have been made available to the Seattle Kraken this Wednesday, both Carey Price and Gabriel Landeskog were left unprotected. Price has an $11 million signing bonus that must be paid up front if Seattle decides to take him. That could be interesting. Price had a great postseason carrying the Canadiens to their first Stanley Cup appearance in 28 years. His contract is Pricey. If the Kraken select him, they can’t trade him to any other team. Some in the Canadian media have speculated that maybe Montreal GM Marc Bergevin has something worked out with Francis to get Price back and save some money. We’ll see.
As for Landeskog, he’s unrestricted. So, it’s no surprise the Avalanche left him unprotected. He wasn’t close to re-signing with the asking price not what Colorado was hoping for. It would have to be a team with a lot of cap space for Landeskog to get the $8 million he thinks he’s worth. In a flat cap world, I think $7.5 is more than fair. But where? Some of these Isles’ junkies actually believe they can get both Landeskog and trade for Vladimir Tarasenko ($7.5 million AAV through ’23). How? If anything, they can probably add Tarasenko depending on the Blues’ asking price.
St. Louis will be busy. They could be trading Vince Dunn. A restricted free agent, the 24-year old left defenseman could be a good addition for another team. Given the sad state with Shea Weber, who looks like he will have to retire due to all the injuries he played with, I wouldn’t be shocked if Bergevin called the Blues up and tried to acquire Dunn, who won’t cost as much as say unrestricted free agent Dougie Hamilton. It was reported a few months ago that the Habs had interest in soon to be bought out former Blueshirt Tony DeAngelo. The question with him is is there a team willing to give him another opportunity. He won’t cost as much. We know he’s a very capable offensive skating defenseman who can contribute at both even strength and power play. Given how bad the Habs power play is, it could be possible. But he’d have to be on his best behavior.
Of course, the unreliable bloggers are still trying to smear his name because they have nothing better to do. It’s embarrassing that our fan base have such fraudulent people who think they’re important. They should be sued for libel. As for DeAngelo, I hope he learned a valuable lesson. Even if I think what happened with Alex Georgiev was overblown because skirmishes do happen between teammates, he can’t be that guy if he wants another chance in the NHL. We don’t really know if he’ll get it.
The Lightning didn’t protect Ondrej Palat. He’s the kind of winning player teams love to have. Would Seattle pick him? Or might Julien BriseBois work out a deal involving draft picks so Palat isn’t grabbed? It’s going to be quite interesting as we get closer to Wednesday.
Jaro Halak also wasn’t kept by the Bruins. That isn’t surprising. It was time for Boston to move on. With Jeremy Swayman in the fold, the question becomes will the Bruins bring back Tuukka Rask. He only wants to play for Boston. It wouldn’t be the worst thing to bring the well respected veteran back in a teacher/student role. They also would like to re-sign Taylor Hall and David Krejci.
Came across a rumor involving Ryan Strome to Ottawa. Of course, some fans immediately were excited and proposed Drake Batherson and a late pick. As much as I like Batherson, he isn’t a center. The Rangers aren’t weak at the wing. You trade Strome, the center slot is weakened unless you replace him with say Sam Reinhart. Personally, I’d go into ’21-22 with both Mika Zibanejad and Strome as the 1-2 punch at center. Whatever happens happens.
That’s going to do it for this blog. To follow me, it’s @Dflex2123 on Twitter. See you around.