With a looming cap crunch for the Rangers, they will be hard-pressed to re-sign their pending restricted free agents to market-value contracts and round out the rest of their roster. To that end, Arthur Staple of The Athletic suggests (subscription link) that they may need to focus on bridge deals with defenseman K’Andre Miller and Alexis Lafreniere or even consider the possibility of moving Lafreniere this offseason. New York has more than $71MM in commitments to 14 players for next season per CapFriendly and a long-term deal for Miller would eat up a bulk of their cap space alone. It’s a problem they can ignore for now with the team aiming for a long postseason run but GM Chris Drury is going to have his work cut out for him to keep his core intact this summer.
More from the Metropolitan:
- The Flyers have returned goaltender Samuel Ersson to AHL Lehigh Valley, notes Olivia Reiner of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). He had served as the backup for Philadelphia for the past two games with Carter Hart dealing with an illness. Ersson’s first taste of NHL action has gone relatively well this season as he has a 3.03 GAA and a .898 SV% in ten games while winning six of his eight starts.
- A pair of injured Penguins defensemen have returned to the ice. Justin Guerriero of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes that Marcus Pettersson skated on his own before practice today with head coach Mike Sullivan indicating that the 26-year-old is making progress. He’s currently on LTIR and isn’t eligible to return until April 13th. Meanwhile, Jan Rutta returned to practice in a non-contact jersey. He has been out with an undisclosed injury for the last two weeks. Pittsburgh is down three blueliners at the moment (Dmitry Kulikov is also out) and just narrowly holding onto the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
- The Rangers have re-assigned prospect Adam Edstrom to the minors, per an announcement from AHL Hartford. The 22-year-old forward more than doubled his point output from a year ago, collecting nine goals and ten assists in 42 games with SHL Rogle. With their playoff run now over, Edstrom will now get his first taste of playing in North America.