Today: 21.09.2018
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20.09.2018

Rangers pursuing deals as NHL draft nears.

DALLAS — The Rangers arrived here late Tuesday owning three of the first 28 and five of the first 48 selections in the NHL entry draft, which will begin Friday night with Round 1. Nothing has changed in the interim. Unless general manager Jeff Gorton can work out an equitable deal with straw-grasping Canadiens counterpart...
Time: 23:35     Date: 20.06.2018
Last US Sport News: Rangers pursuing deals as NHL draft nears. NY Post 24 - US News

Unless general manager Jeff Gorton can work out an equitable deal with straw-grasping Canadiens counterpart Marc Bergevin to move up to third overall where the Rangers theoretically would have their pick among Michigan’s Quinn Hughes, likely the best available defenseman beyond presumptive first-overall Rasmus Dahlin; Boston University winger Brady Tkachuk; Finnish center Jesperi Kotkaniemi; and Halifax sniper Filip Zadina, the club is likely to remain at ninth-overall.

Even at ninth, the Rangers could have a shot at any of the aforementioned athletes other than Hughes. That is how volatile the board appears beyond the first two picks, where Dahlin is certainly going to be selected by the Sabres and winger Andrei Svechnikov is expected to be tabbed by the Hurricanes. That is why Gorton is not going to overpay to move up a few slots.

Make no mistake. Gorton is pursuing deals. Kevin Hayes is the team’s most marketable commodity. Of course he is. Hayes not only is coming off the most substantial year of his career, but also is one of the team’s most important players. The only way the Rangers should consider trading the impending 26-year-old restricted free-agent center is if they can get a legitimate young, top-four righty defenseman (or, for sake of argument, Carolina’s second overall pick) as the return.

Vladislav Namestnikov could appeal to the Canadiens who need a center.NHLI via Getty Images

Vladislav Namestnikov, who played 19 games with What Was Left of the Rangers after his acquisition from the Lightning in the deadline deal of Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller and Libor Hajek, is an interesting case. The talented center, who somehow wound up with Cody McLeod or Matt Beleskey on his left for a few games after spending essentially all year on a unit with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, could appeal to center-needy Montreal.

Of course, No. 90, who recorded 92 points (42-50) in his final 143 games with the Lightning, could appeal to the talent-needy Rangers, as well.

Namestnikov is arbitration-eligible and two years away from unrestricted free agency. The 25-year-old center’s agent, Daniel Milstein, told The Post on Tuesday he has yet to hear from Gorton, but added he was not reading anything into that. Still, one would think the Rangers might have wanted to gauge his contract-ask if the club were committed to keeping him. If the Blueshirts could package Namestnikov with, say, their 26th-overall for the third-overall, there would be a deal to be had.

But here on Earth, probably not. Namestnikov, Hayes or Ryan Spooner is likely to be dealt, but perhaps not by Friday. If the Rangers remain at ninth-overall, they are expected to be in position to choose among righty defensemen Noah Dobson and Evan Bouchard and winger Oliver Wahlstrom, if not Zadina.

Swedish defenseman Adam Boqvist may also be available, but he is not believed a Blueshirts target.

These words of warning, too, in attempting to read the club’s intentions: the Blueshirts did go off the board last year in choosing Lias Andersson seventh-overall, which was well above every ranking, while passing on Casey Mittelstadt.

David Quinn will make his debut behind the Rangers bench when the team opens the season at the Garden on Oct. 4 against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Predators. The full schedule will be released Thursday afternoon.

The Islanders also open at home against Nashville (Oct. 6) while the Devils’ home opener is Oct. 11 against the Stanley Cup champion Capitals.

Sport

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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