Updates on the Rangers and Stars – August 27, 2016
More New York Rangers trade rumors plus recent Dallas Stars speculation.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien reports the New York Rangers recent signing of Brandon Pirri is generating speculation general manager Jeff Gorton could have a bigger deal in the works. He notes Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman seemed to suggest when asked about this in a recent interview with the NHL Network, noting Gorton “has his hands in a lot of things.”
O’Brien cites recent rumors linking the Rangers to St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, possibly involving winger Rick Nash. While noting Gorton probably isn’t feeling desperate to swing a trade, O’Brien suggests the Rangers GM has amassed enough forward depth to land a quality defenseman down the road.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: New York Post hockey beat writer Brett Cyrgalis is skeptical the Pirri signing signals a upcoming trade. I have my doubts that Nash could a good fit with the Blues. That doesn’t mean Gorton isn’t trying to land a defenseman and won’t draw upon his forward depth to do it, but that’s a move that might not be resolved until later in the 2016-17 season. While it’s possible Nash could be a trade candidate, it’s by no means a certainty he’ll be dealt.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: In a recent live chat, Mike Heika believes Stars GM Jim Nill will remain patient with his current goalie tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi, noting their splitting the duties worked during the regular season in 2015-16. However, he speculates Nill could wait until later in the season for a good deal involving a goaltender.
As for re-signing veteran winger Patrick Sharp, Heika believes a lot will depend upon the 35-year-old’s performance in the coming season. Sharp is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. He also doubts the Stars will bring back defenseman Kris Russell.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there was an opportunity to land an upgrade between the pipes this summer, Nill would’ve done it by now. The Stars were linked to Tampa Bay Lightning starter Ben Bishop during the NHL draft back in June, but nothing came of it. If Nill does pursue a goaltender, he’ll have to find a taker for Lehtonen or Niemi. Given their respective contracts, that won’t be easy.