On the New York Rangers …
Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News: The New York Rangers will be looking to get younger and faster this offseason. They want to improve their blueline as they rebuild on the fly. Head coach Alain Vigneault on their roster this year.
“Inconsistency… especially from our back end… The puck-moving ability we’ve shown in the past for whatever reason was not as good and affected a lot of parts of our game.”
Keith Yandle was one of their better players in the second half, but paying Yandle around $6 million wouldn’t make them younger, and they already have cap concerns.
Leonard wonders about trading Rick Nash (two-years left at $7.8 million salary cap hit) to the St. Louis Blues for right-handed defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. It is thought that Shattenkirk wouldn’t mind playing for the Rangers one day. He will be in the final year of his deal that pays him $4.25 million. Letting Yandle hit free agency and moving Nash’s contract would free up some cap space for next season.
Shattenkirk will be looking for a big raise on his next contract, and the emergence of Colton Parayko makes him more expendable.
Dan Girardi has a no-movement clause this season, and moves to a limited no-trade in 2017-18. Moving Girardi would be hard, so a buyout may be the next option.
The Rangers could be interested in pending UFA Jamie McGinn this offseason. They have shown interest in him before.
Dominic Moore is not likely to be back next year.
They should be interested in pending UFAs Frans Nielsen and Darren Helm.
On the Florida Panthers …
Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel: The Panthers will be making some tweaks to improve their roster for next season to help them take the next step.
Re-signing their leading scorer Jaromir Jagr should be a top priority for them.
Willie Mitchell hasn’t announced his retirement, but it’s doubtful they bring him back as a player. He could becomes an assistant coach/penalty killing advisor.
The Panthers have to decide on whether to bring backup goalie Al Montoya back, try to sign James Reimer or wait for Samuel Montembeault to develop.
They should re-sign defenseman Brian Campbell, but only if they are able to get him at a bit of a discount.
GM Dale Tallon is expected to make multi-year offers to Erik Gudbranson and Vincent Trocheck.
The Panthers could have $25 million in cap space. Tallon could look at pending UFAs Keith Yandle and Loui Eriksson.
Source saying the Panthers are in talks with Alexander Radulov.