With the Rangers needing to find out ways to clear out salary cap space in the near future, their trade chips don’t appear to be drawing much interest. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that Brendan Smith has yielded no interest while the only way they can move fellow buyout candidate Kevin Shattenkirk is if they take back another onerous contract (which wouldn’t do much to help their cap situation). Meanwhile, they haven’t had any takes for winger Vladislav Namestnikov yet either. With basically two weeks until their second buyout window opens up (which could come earlier if both Jacob Trouba and Pavel Buchnevich re-sign before their scheduled hearings), GM Jeff Gorton will certainly be active in the coming days to try to find a fit on the trade front.
Elsewhere in the East:
- Lucas Johansen was once Washington’s top defensive prospect but he has been passed on the depth chart over the last couple of seasons. Accordingly, NBC Sports Washington’s J.J. Regan posits that the blueliner could ultimately find himself on the trade block before too long as a result. The Capitals have some quality depth on the back end in their system and his first-round pedigree could still be of interest to some teams; with only a small group of plausible trade chips, it’s possible that Johansen could be made available at some point next season.
- While Charlie McAvoy is among the sizable class of notable restricted free agents this summer, NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty suggests that a bridge deal for the defenseman may be the best way to go. McAvoy has lots of offensive upside but he hasn’t yet been able to put it together on a consistent basis while also dealing with injury troubles. Between that and the fact he’s not eligible for an offer sheet, he doesn’t have a lot of leverage. From the Bruins standpoint, a shorter-term contract would also make it easier for them to re-sign fellow RFA Brandon Carlo without needing to free up much salary. That said, that route is probably a Plan B at this point as finding a suitable long-term fit is likely the priority for both sides.