The Rangers season is finally over. After every season — whether it ends in early April or after an exit from the postseason — there’s a breakup day that often sheds some light on unanswered questions and the immediate futures of players. The guys come in to clean out their lockers, have some final interviews with the coaching staff and management, and talk to the media one last time.
The only real injury news, which we posted about last night, was related to Jesper Fast. The winger went under the knife this past Monday for a thumb fracture suffered back in February.
Fast had surgery Monday on right thumb to repair torn ligaments and fracture suffered around all star break. Six week rehab.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) April 7, 2019
How, and why, Fast played through the injury is still a mystery to this day. He was routinely held out of practices before he was finally shut down.
As is a tradition, when a team ends its season, many of its more notable players announce whether or not they plan to play in the World Championships held later in May. This year, the Rangers are no different, with a bevy of their top players heading to don their national colors in Slovakia.
Kreider, Skjei will play for Team USA in World Championships. Chytil has invite to play for Czech. Georgiev may get invite from Russia. Zibanejad unsure whether he will play for Sweden.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) April 7, 2019
Chris Kreider and Brady Skjei are both no strangers to the international scene. Filip Chytil gets his second invitation to the Worlds from the Czech Republic after playing for them last spring, while Alexandar Georgiev getting an invite from Russia would be a nice capper to what was breakout season for the young Bulgarian netminder. We’ll keep you posted on any updates.
Finally; the head coach and general manager took some time to speak to the media yesterday. both David Quinn and Jeff Gorton reflected on the season that was and what will come next for the Rangers.
Throughout that tweet thread Quinn mentions that there were no “surprises” among player evaluations and that Brendan Smith “did himself a lot of good” playing forward, so make of that what you will.
Finally, it was the GM’s turn to speak to the press and he had some thoughts on a wide range of topics.
On Chris Kreider, who has 1 year left on his contract, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton didn't go into specifics on the plan, but he mentioned "Chris is a goal scorer and they're hard to find. We'll figure out what's the appropriate way to go here in the coming weeks."— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) April 7, 2019
Obviously, Gorton isn’t about to reveal his plans the day after the season ends, but Quinn did mention that he was going to discuss the team’s need for shooters when the organization meets in the offseason.
When asked about whether the Rangers are going to accelerate things, Gorton offered a few thought-provoking quotes:
Rangers GM Jeff Gorton said he likes the track the team is on but added, "there’s a lot of things that can happen this summer to speed that up.” He then said, "I think we will try to do everything we can to advance it."— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) April 7, 2019
Gorton said he felt the Rangers overachieved in certain areas, including what they got from Mika Zibanejad and Alexandar Georgiev in particular. He also said he would have liked to see more in other areas, but he didn't go into specifics on that.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) April 7, 2019
So, there’s plenty to chew on here before and after tomorrow’s Draft Lottery. Keep your eyes on Blueshirt Banter as the offseason unfolds.