The Rangers are among the teams that have done some research into Coyotes winger Phil Kessel, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reports. The 34-year-old is in the final season of his contract with Arizona carrying a $6.8MM cap hit, one that few playoff-bound teams other than New York can actually afford without requiring retention. Kessel has just six goals in 60 games but has chipped in with 31 assists to sit fourth in team scoring. Kaplan notes that Arizona’s asking price earlier in the season was a third-round pick which would be a reasonable price to pay to add some extra offensive depth on the wing. The Rangers already made a move like that this week with the acquisition of Frank Vatrano but they still have cap and roster space to add more help on that front.
More from the Metropolitan:
- While Hurricanes defenseman Brendan Smith returned to the lineup on Thursday after suffering a broken skull, Cory Lavalette of the North State Journal notes that the veteran still hasn’t fully regained his hearing in his left ear. It is expected to gradually improve over time and shouldn’t require surgery but it’s something Smith will have to play through for the time being.
- The Blue Jackets haven’t had much interest in goaltender Joonas Korpisalo so far, notes Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli. Earlier in the season, they had hoped to pick up a second-round pick or a third rounder for his services but Seravalli pegs their asking price at a late-round selection now. It has been a tough year for the pending UFA as he has a save percentage of just .880 in 20 games this season, 22 points below his career average.
- Islanders winger Zach Parise told reporters, including Newsday’s Andrew Gross, that he’s hoping to return to the team next season. The 37-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent and with a base cap hit of just $750K, he’s someone that could be moved to a contender looking for extra forward depth. After a quiet start to the season, Parise has improved offensively in recent weeks, collecting a dozen points in 21 games since the start of February.
- Capitals winger T.J. Oshie was a late scratch for tonight’s game against Carolina. The team announced (Twitter link) that the veteran is dealing with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. This is now the sixth instance that has caused Oshie to miss time this season and as a result, he has been limited to just 28 games although he has managed to record 20 points.