With beginner camp well With the start of pre-season in sight, Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury has expressed confidence in the club’s standing – in terms of salary caps and staff – as the 2022-23 season approaches.
Apart from continuing to explore potential professional test contracts for a veteran defenseman and tying loose ends with 22-year-old Nils Lundqvist, who Larry Brooks of The Post reports he’s looking for a trade And not planning to attend the training camp, the Rangers have their team and so do they Ready to start evaluating their lineup options.
The ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup is the same, but the high expectations are new. Rangers have a tough job ahead of them after the Lightning team moved to the back-to-back championship to Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final last season. Other than Ryan Strome’s departure on free agency to the Ducks, most of the Rangers’ core members are back and looking to build on last season’s playoff round.
“I think we’ve got a lot of talent and a lot of hungry guys,” Drury said after the second day of rookie camp at MSG Training Center on Thursday. “You have that mix, I think setting yourself up for some success. You need breaks, you need help along the way, but I think we are in a good place hopefully to try and achieve our goals here.”
Rangers will be paid for cover for the foreseeable future, making the foundation that Drury now lays all the more important. The sophomore year and general manager has not ruled out the possibility of carrying fewer than 23 players on the roster to ensure the club’s compatibility, but it looks like it will all depend on how the training camp changes the squad. begins to take shape.
Drury added that he is comfortable with the Rangers number now in terms of cover space. It will be important for Rangers to have some breathing space as the season enters if they want to make a move or two in the trading deadline, which proved to be an important part of the post-season run last season.
As a result, filling the rest of the lineup internally is an attractive option – but not necessarily a necessity. Defenseman Zac Jones is one of the best indoor options for last place on the Blue Line, along with Libor Hajek, who is entering his fifth season with Rangers.
“We definitely love where he plays,” Drury said of Jones. “He’s played some matches. He’s had good summer training, off-season. He seems to have gained some weight and strength. We’re excited to see what he’s got, not only this weekend, but come to main camp.”
The hat dictation for Drury’s moves has been evident this season, with Patrick Nemeth’s $2.5 million cap offloading to the Coyotes and Ryan Carpenter signing the veteran’s bottom line at $750,000. Additionally, the Rangers signed a familiar face in Jimmy Vesey to PTO.
Should the former Blues’ jersey be impressed during training camp, having Vesey on the PTO gives the Rangers flexibility to see how the rest of the roster swings in before they commit to a dollar number in the contract.
“Obviously we know him, we’re familiar with him, and he’s familiar with us,” Drury said. “The guys who play here tend to track maybe a little more, and our guys, our scouts, were very interested in him coming. I think in his career and the things he was able to do really well for the jersey last year, he’s excited about us.
“The sixth-placed guy, a big guy, a physical player, had a really good year in PK so get a chance here to show us what he can do.”