NHL Rumors: Replacement for Rangers’ Ryan Strome, and Senators home games in Quebec?

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Today’s NHL rumors focuses on the New York Rangers and how they may address their plans at second line center.

The Rangers and pending UFA Ryan Strome have exchanged numbers on a new contract per multiple reports, but there’s been very little progress since. Which raises the question as to just what will they do if they can’t come to terms?

NHL Rumors: New York Rangers

The Blueshirts may already have Strome’s replacement as the team’s number two center behind Mika Zibanejad.

Andrew Copp, who was acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline has acclimated himself well as the team makes a push to the top of the Metro Division. Since his acquisition, Copp has one goal, and five assists in four games. His last three points have come at center with Artemi Panarin, replacing an injured Strome who is day-to-day.

The 27 year-old pending UFA is a year younger than Strome and could come in at the sweet spot the Rangers are looking for which is $5 million per season.

Larry Brooks of the NY Post also mused on the possibilities for the Rangers should Strome walk via free agency. His alternate options included Vancouver Canucks J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat.

Recent reports have Miller’s next contract in the Mika Zibanejad territory of $8.5 million per season for 8 years. Based on that, I don’t see how that would be a fit. On the other hand, Horvat is a more interesting option but is similar to Andrew Copp, whom the Rangers already see as a fit.

Two other possibilities Brooks’ offers that don’t seem very realistic are Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin and St. Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly.

One name that Brooks puts forth that I agree with as well is Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Scheifele. The big and skilled center has two years of cost certainty at $6.125M AAV which Chris Drury could make work.

That’s a number the Blueshirts, who have a passel of prospects that could trigger a necessary Winnipeg reset, probably could handle. The Blueshirts would likely prefer an extra year of contract control, but Drury may not be in a position to be choosy. Scheifele, who had Copp as a linemate most of the season, has recorded 62 points (26-36) in 61 games.

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Ottawa Senators playing home games in Quebec?

ottawa senators quebec
Nov 13, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; The Ottawa Senators celebrate a goal scored by left wing Parker Kelly (45) in the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

In a report by La Presse, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a January 14 meeting put on the table that the Ottawa Senators could possibly play five homes games in Quebec.

But according to La Presse sources , it was Gary Bettman himself who put forward such a scenario during his virtual meeting with Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard in mid-January. And he seemed convinced that it would be done without too many obstacles, we confide.

During the meeting, the great financier of the Legault government asked Mr. Bettman what could be done to demonstrate that Quebec City is a market for the NHL. The commissioner of the League then raised the idea of ​​presenting a few matches of a team’s season.

Subsequently, the NHL presented a scenario to Quebec to verify its interest in hosting five Senators games. The financial package is “in preparation”, but not finished, it is specified.

La Press (translation via Google)

Bruce Garrioch, who covers the team for the Ottawa Sun calls the timing of this report suspect. Owner Eugene Melnyk passed away on Monday.