NHL Rumors: Rangers shopping, and do Flyers and Canucks changes mean trades are imminent?

nhl rumors
Apr 22, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers tries to keep the puck from Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers in the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

One of the NHL’s hottest and most surprising teams this season are the New York Rangers. Like any of the other teams that consider themselves contenders, the Blueshirts have needs and a shopping list they would like to fill.

Two reported wants from President and GM Chris Drury are a middle six winger and a veteran defenseman.

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NHL Rumors: Rangers shopping list

The Rangers are rolling lately with 10 wins in their last 11, so there’s absolutely no urgency to get something done soon. Drury will bide his time, especially when it comes to a middle six winger. Many speculate they are waiting for Vegas’ pending UFA Reilly Smith to be become available. That will happen once Jack Eichel returns from IR and they need to get cap compliant.

As for a veteran third pair defenseman, I still feel that Mark Giordano is on their radar. However, Larry Brooks is speculating that Montreal’s Joel Edmundson could be a good fit.

I wonder whether Montreal’s Joel Edmundson might be a target. Edmundson is 6-foot-5, 224 pounds, and plays that way. But the 28-year-old is operating under a contract that carries a $3.5 million cap hit through 2023-24. The Canadiens would probably have to eat half for the Rangers to consider it and even that might not be enough.

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Another name mentioned was Anaheim’s Hampus Lindholm, that is worth keeping an eye on.

Canucks will likely hold on to their players a little longer

Bruce Boudreau picked up a resounding 4-0 win over the Kings last night in his debut. His deal expires at the end of next season, but he’s certainly going to do his best to extend his time in Vancouver.

With the firing of GM Jim Benning, it’s unlikely that interim GM Stan Smyl is going to make any rash trades. First off, the ownership believes that the talent is there and wants to give it room to show itself under Boudreau.

The Canucks have some great young talent in Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Bo Horvat, and others. So they want to avoid making a huge mistake that could set them back years.

That doesn’t mean a trade won’t happen by the deadline, but everyone circling around J.T. Miller can back off a bit for now.

Flyers lose 9th straight after coaching change

nhl rumors claude giroux
May 1, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) against the New Jersey Devils at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike the Canucks, the Flyers are aging and looking worse by the game. Mike Yeo made his debut last night as well and Philadelphia continues to be a mess in their own zone as the Avs spanked them 7-5.

GM Chuck Fletcher keeps preaching that he believes the team can turn it around but there’s really been no evidence they can. Not even a shred of it.

At some point, moves will need to be made and pending UFA Claude Giroux is going to be a good place to start. Other veterans that will be unrestricted this summer are Keith Yandle, Rasmus Ristolainen, Justin Braun, and goalie Martin Jones.

Changes are coming to Philly, sooner rather than later it seems.