Rangers center Andrew Copp is coming off a career year that saw him record 21 goals and 32 assists in 72 games while he was better than a point-per-game player after New York acquired him from Winnipeg back at the trade deadline. That has him setting a high price in extension talks as Arthur Staple of The Athletic reports (subscription link) that the 28-year-old is seeking a contract similar to the one that Zach Hyman received from Edmonton – seven years at a cap hit of $5.5MM. That will be difficult for the Rangers to afford without them clearing out some cap space so it’s quite possible that Copp will hit the open market on Wednesday.
Other free agent news from around the NHL:
- Still from Staple’s column, he cites a league source who noted that pending UFA goalie Braden Holtby may not play this season due to injury concerns. The 32-year-old had a nice bounce-back year with Dallas, posting a .913 SV% in 24 games which would have had him fairly high on the list of veteran backups that teams will be pursuing on the open market. Dallas, his soon-to-be former team, wasn’t expected to be among them after they re-signed Scott Wedgewood to serve as Jake Oettinger’s backup.
- When Tampa Bay freed up some cap space with the trade of Ryan McDonagh to Nashville, it was expected those savings would go towards re-signing pending UFA winger Ondrej Palat. However, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic relays (Twitter link) that the expectation is that the 31-year-old will instead test the open market next week. Palat is coming off a season that saw him put up 49 points in 77 games but he was much better in the playoffs for the Lightning, notching 11 goals and 10 assists in 23 contests to finish second on the team in postseason scoring which should help boost his market. He had a $5.3MM AAV on his set-to-expire deal and should be able to land a bit more than that in free agency.
Doubt it will be difficult for the Rangers. They’re not going to bring him (Copp) back before Strome. And he’s not coming back either. Nor is Copp worth that contract. He’s a product of the players on the line he was on in NY. I’d pass as a Rangers fan.
Would not mind seeing the Kings take a run at Copp. Versatile, good defensively, with a decent amount of offensive upside. Could pair with one of the young centers as a wing or center the third line if one of the youngsters aren’t ready. A good middle-six guy that could help the young players in multiple ways.
Kings won’t have any cap space after signing Fiala, Kempe and all their restricted free agents.
Copp is one of the very FA’s that I think are worth Buffalo making a strong pitch for. I think he’d add a couple of elements currently missing in the org. Obviously salary is not an issue for the Sabres – but term might be.
Curious as to how close McDonough and Palat were in Tampa? I thought Palat would be signed already since they moved McDonough’s salary out, but it looks like Palat is going to check out the UFA market. Would the Preds be on his radar now that McDonough is there?
AJ the Rastaman
they needed that money for Cernak, Cirelli, & Sergachev. MUCH BIGGER priorities than Ondrej.
AJ the Rastaman
anyone who pays a 31 year old complimentary piece over 5 mil a year is a certifiable quack. as apparently some of the writers on here are as well. i would say stick to your day job for making such a nonsensical suggestion. but then again, this may be it. at least no one’s picking you up to be a GM.