Drury Solidifies Rangers 2C Spot

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 28: Ryan Lindgren #55 of the New York Rangers and Vincent Trocheck #16 of the Carolina Hurricanes pursue the puck during the first period in Game Six of the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 28, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It’s been the question that has dominated every conversation around the Rangers since the clubs season ended against the Tampa Bay Lightning. What will the New York Rangers do with their second line center spot? On the opening day of free agency Chris Drury answered that question quite decisively by adding Vincent Trocheck to the Rangers mix.

Rangers fans got a pretty up close look at Trocheck this past spring in the Blueshirts seven game tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes. He evidently made quite the impression on Chris Drury as he was offered a 7 year contract. Trocheck as high level skill as shown by his 30 goal season as a Florida Panther but he also plays on the edge and with a grittiness that we know the Rangers have been searching for. It’s a tremendous combination that not many players seem to have so to be able to acquire a second line center for under six million dollars a year is a steal by Drury.

While some fans might be a little upset with the seven year term for Trocheck being able to land him for under 6M and having a full NMC only within the first three years makes the deal look even better. This could wind up only being a three or possibly only four year deal where the Rangers can continue to remain a Cup contender but gives the team flexibility as well.

Drury didn’t stop at adding Trocheck to the mix, he also improved the clubs backup goalie situation by adding veteran netminder Jaroslav Halak on a cheap 1 year 1.55M dollar pact. Drury was also able to correct his blunder from last summer by finding a way out of Patrik Nemeth’s contract by shipping him off to NHL purgatory in Arizona. Of course it cost Drury a 2025 second round pick but that’s unfortunately the price of doing business when trying to shed a terrible contract.

For a team that was up against the cap due to the covid cap purgatory that the league is in, Chris Drury had an impressive first day of free agency for the Blueshirts. He was able to add to the team and make them tougher to place against and solve a major team need while not giving away significant assets or overpaying to do it. With approximately 5.5M left in cap space Drury still needs to get a bridge deal done with Kaapo Kakko but it should look similar to the one Filip Chytil signed last year. One area I would like to see shored up would be the fourth line because seeing Dryden Hunt or Johnny Brodzinski on a nightly basis on the fourth line would be highly irritating, so hopefully Drury can find a way to steal Tyler Motte and re-sign him for cheap or find another contributing 4th liner like Zach-Aston Reese for cheap.

Author

  • Nick has been an integral member of TheFHN since the founding of the network. A hockey player in various levels since a young age and a lifelong Rangers fan, Nick bleeds blue. As a podcaster for the past 8 years, Nick is 1/2 of the team for the Two 4 Roughing and 30 on Broadway Talking Blueshirts podcasts. In addition to the podcasts, he is a writer for 30 on Broadway OT.

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