The NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and the New York Rangers remained quiet in terms of transactions. General Manager Jeff Gorton spoke with the media following the deadline, and talked about how the team has a plan in place, and how nothing they were involved with made sense for the short or long term for the organization.
Jeff Gorton: “We made a number of calls, took a number of calls, went through a number of scenarios, and it’s clear we have a plan in place. Nothing that came along was going to add to what we wanted to do and was something we felt was going to help us, short term or long term.”— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 12, 2021
The team had conversations regarding Tony DeAngelo, but that’s something that will be dealt with during the offseason.
#NYR Jeff Gorton on if there was interest in Tony DeAngelo:— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) April 12, 2021
"Yeah I've had some conversations with some teams about Tony, but nothing really every materialized, and nothing lately. So that will be a summer issue we'll deal with."
Gorton also spoke about how the team has played this year, and the path the team is on.
It's hard not to feel good about the Rangers future and where we're headed."— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) April 12, 2021
As of today the Rangers are 19-16-6 with 44 points in 41 games played which is good for fifth in the East Division. They have a goal differential of +21 and trail the Boston Bruins who have 48 points in 39 games played.
Gorton was also asked about 2019 third-round draft pick Zac Jones, who reportedly is close to signing an entry-level contract as first reported by Frank Seravalli.
#NYR do make a trade deadline addition: Rangers are close to signing 3rd-round pick Zac Jones out of UMass after winning the national title.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) April 12, 2021
Jones will report to Rangers, he’s burning the first year of his deal and #NYR expect him to be in lineup after quarantine.
While nothing is done now, but it appears to be close, maybe we will see something on Jones officially inking a deal in the coming days.
Speaking of defense prospects, Gorton also said that he expects Nils Lundkvist will join the Rangers for the 2021-22 season, and they are excited about how he’s played and where he can fit in with the team’s mix.
We're pretty certain that he's going to be part of that mix. I think our focus is when he comes over, it'll be for next season. We're watching every game like everybody else and really excited about what we're seeing."— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) April 12, 2021
Lastly, Gorton mentioned Morgan Barron, and how he is someone who could be one of the Rangers’ four post deadline recalls.
with what he's done, so we're looking at that, along with some other players down there too."— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) April 12, 2021
Overall, it makes some sense that the Rangers were quiet at the deadline. While there were likely opportunities to make some deals, it appears the Rangers are a team who will be very active in the offseason. The team is focused on the future with getting their defense prospects signed to contracts, but there’s also adding another top-six center into the mix.
That sounds like something that can be done before or after the expansion draft, as there’s bound to be an opportunity for some deals depending on teams who are unable to protect or are looking to open up slots to protect players.
With all that said, prepare for a busy offseason in which the team will have a good amount of cap space and assets to make additional alterations to push toward becoming a Stanley Cup contender.