Rangers targeting multiple players for right-wing during 2024 free agency

June 10, 2024  (5:46 PM)

Matt Duchene
Photo credit: The Hockey News

The New York Rangers have been struggling to fill the void left by the trade of Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues in 2021. They've got to fill the right-wing position with someone who is a high-powered offensive player.

The search begins after a disappointing Game 6 exit from the Eastern Conference Finals. The offense dried up early, as Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider failed to deliver a finished series to the Rangers faithful.

With $12.45 Million in salary cap space, the 11th worse in the league puts them out of the running for higher-cost forwards like Jake Guentzel, so they will have to explore another route.
There are some free-agents that don't break the bank, all the while would be a solution to the team's woes:

Matt Duchene

Matt Duchene signed a 1-year, $3 Million dollar contract with the Dallas Stars after his contract was bought out by the Nashville Predators. Duchene's contract was in total $56 Million, due to end in 2025-2026.
He has continued to produce in the tail end of his career, in Dallas where he was a bargain deal, scoring 25 goals and helping secure a berth in the playoffs in 2024.
He'll be due a raise, but if he's willing to take less than $5 Million AAV, it's likely he could fit in the Rangers timeline.
Just two-years removed from his 43-goal season, he has remained a consistent producer, with 20 goals in the last two seasons.

Anthony Duclair

Anthony Duclair would be a retread, as he debuted in the Rangers system, as a 19-year-old in 2014-2015. He would be traded to Arizona for Keith Yandle and would move around the NHL until he found his game.
His last contract with the San Jose Shark was $3 Million dollars AAV and had an up-and-down year, before finishing it in Tampa Bay. He would score 24 goals total this season but could turn out to be a reasonable bargain for the New York Rangers.
Despite his past Achilles injury in 2022-2023, he ended up being a key piece in the Panthers lineup during the Stanley Cup playoffs, posting 11 points in 20 games. Only after posting 9 points in 20 regular-season NHL games.
Duclair scored 31 goals in Florida two years ago and is a consistent 20-goal scorer in the NHL. His speed and offensive prowess would be a great addition to the Rangers top-six.

Danton Heinen

Danton Heinen could be a great depth forward to add to the bottom-six, and flexible enough to place in the top six as well. He posted 36 points(17 G, 19 A) in 74 games with the Boston Bruins, rejoining his draft team after several seasons.
The 28-year-old primarily plays left-wing but can play his off-side as well.
He has better defensive play than Daniel Sprong and in 2018-2019 had top-six experience with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. This year logging 184 minutes with Pavel Zacha and Brad Marchand.
Heinen could be the spark, similar to Frank Vatrano in 2022, and be placed on the same line as Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad.
He recently played in Boston for a league minimum, of $775K, and is due a raise, but is an affordable option.

Daniel Sprong

Daniel Sprong isn't your typical top-six player, but if worst comes to worst with Kaapo Kakko, he could end up being an affordable solution to an expensive problem.
Sprong posted 43 points(18 G, 25 A) in 76 games with the Red Wings, while posting 21 goals with the Seattle Kraken a year prior.
While not a great defensive forward, his offensive play is one of the highest rankings in the league over 3 years(77th percentile) according to Evolving Hockey.
Sprong's contract is easily affordable, commanding $2 Million AAV and could command similar with the Rangers, making him an affordable offensive addition.

Vladimir Tarasenko

Tarasenko grew to be a fan favorite, in his 31 games played with the Blueshirts but was not at all the offensive wunderkind he used to be in his prime. But he did post 21 points( 8 G, 13 A) in 31 games with the Rangers while playing alongside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad.
Tarasenko was a cap casualty at the end of 2022-2023 and unable to re-sign in New York, despite his desire to stay.
He signed a $5 Million AAV, 1 year contract with the Ottawa Senators and is in another Stanley Cup Final, with the Florida Panthers after a trade. He scored the game-winning-goal against the Rangers in Game 6, which felt like a huge dagger in the heart of many Rangers fans.
Tarasenko may command another $5 Million dollar contract, which could prove difficult for the Rangers to fit under the cap, even with a $4.5 Million raise. He could also be looking for a long-term deal in 2024-2025 which could be opposite of the Rangers need.
However, if he wants a short-term deal, the Rangers could figure something out for the 23-goal scorer, whose recently been on the same line as Anton Lundell and Eutu Luostarinen.
His playmaking ability could be helpful, especially for Alexis Lafreniere, and has scored 297 goals total in his NHL career. Only two seasons ago, scoring 34 goals with the St. Louis Blues.
Source: Forever Blueshirts
JUNE 10   |   255 ANSWERS
Rangers targeting multiple players for right-wing during 2024 free agency

Who should the Rangers sign?

Anthony Duclair7429 %
Matt Duchene13753.7 %
Daniel Sprong187.1 %
Danton Heinen2610.2 %
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