NHL: Rangers sign Vitali Kravtsov, Panthers release two assistant coaches, and more

vitali kravtsov trade
Apr 20, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) and New York Rangers right wing Vitali Kravtsov (74) fight for the puck during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers and restricted free agent forward Vitali Kravtsov have agreed to a 1-year extension. The terms of the deal per Vince Mercogliano state it’s a one-way contract for $875,000.

Kravtsov left the Rangers for the KHL after failing to make the roster out of training camp and refusing assignment to the AHL.

This deal is good for both sides as Kravtsov can’t be sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack without clearing waivers which increases his chances of playing in the NHL next season. In addition, by having him under contract it raises his value versus trying to trade his rights.

Last season, a knowledgeable source told me that the best return the Rangers are likely to get would be a second round pick. That is very similar to what Lias Anderson, another Rangers’ disgruntled first round pick received in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings.

Florida Panthers release two assistants

florida panthers
Jan 1, 2022; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers interim head coach Andrew Brunette watches from the sideline against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers have parted ways with assistant coaches Ulf Samuelsson and Derek MacKenzie, NHL Network reported on Sunday.

The report comes at a curious time considering the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers set franchise records for wins (58) and points (122) this season.

To boot, interim coach Andrew Brunette was a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy, which recognizes the head coach who has “contributed the most to his team’s success.” Calgary Flames coach Darryl Sutter won the award this season.

According to Kevin Weekes, there has also been no news on Brunette’s future as head coach.

Samuelsson, 58, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with Florida. He held the same position with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2017-18.

MacKenzie, 41, has spent the past three campaigns as an assistant coach with the Panthers.

2022 Stanley Cup Final Schedule

The NHL released the full schedule for the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

Wednesday, June 15: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Saturday, June 18: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Monday, June 20: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Wednesday, June 22: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Friday, June 24: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Sunday, June 26: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Tuesday, June 28: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports

* if necessary

–Field Level Media contributed to this report