Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Jesper Fast (19) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Jesper Fast (19) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

Jesper Fast has signed a three-year deal with the Rangers that has a cap hit of $1.85 million.

Fast said last week that he is happy to remain with the Rangers after not being selected by Vegas in the expansion draft.

Jeff Gorton had said recently that he was hoping to have Fast locked up soon.

For the second straight season Fast was the winner of the Rangers Players' Player Award.

For more on Fast, click HERE.

Fast had reportedly filed for arbitration prior to signing. (NY Post)

Adam Rotter: This is a pretty fair deal for both sides. Fast gets a nice raise and the Rangers get some term on a valuable bottom-six skater and penalty killer. We've seen over the past few years that Alain Vigneault has a lot of trust in Fast in all situations and will even move him up in the lineup when needed. The thing, to me, that shows how valuable Fast is that his teammates voted him the past two years as the player who "best exemplifies what it means to be a team player." It seems like a pretty fair deal for someone who will net 20-30 points, played 13-15 minutes a night and start nearly 60% of his shifts in the defensive zone.

Tags: Jesper Fast
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The Rangers jumped out to a three-goal first-period lead and held off the subsequent comeback attempt for Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes before 17,269 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

After the Rangers (12-9-2) jumped all over the Hurricanes (15-9-1) with three goals -- from Mike Zibanejad, Brendan Smith and Adam Fox -- to open the game, New York needed Henrik Lundqvist's 41 saves and ultimately held on.

The process was not perfect, but the Rangers have now come out on top in their past three games, following last Saturday's 6-5 edge of the Montreal Canadiens and Monday's 3-2 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild.

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Feb 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mats Zuccarello returned to Madison Square Garden for the first time as a visiting player on Monday and was honored with a tribute video during the first period against the Wild.

Zuccarello appeared in over 500 games in nine seasons with the Rangers, collecting 352 points (113 goals, 239 assists). He was traded to the Dallas Stars at the trade deadline last season and signed a five-year, $30 million deal with the Wild in the offseason.  

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Kaapo Kakko is has begun to show exactly why the Rangers selected him with the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

The 18-year-old played well beyond his age in Tuesday's 3-2 overtime win over the Penguins, scoring two goals including the game-winner in the extra period.


The Rangers held practice in Central Park at Lasker Rink Saturday afternoon, giving their fans an extra treat with the holidays just around the corner.

Thousands of fans came to watch their favorite team practice for an hour in the outdoors, something that doesn't come to often for any team in the NHL.

"This is I think exciting for everyone, just to try something new" goalie Henrik Lundqvist said Saturday. "Just being out in an outdoor rink is a cool experience, but also to have the fans here and a great sunny day in Central Park, I really enjoy it and it doesn't get old to me."

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Defenseman Marc Staal has been a fixture on the Rangers' blue line for a decade-plus. That came to an end this past week. 

On Tuesday against the Lightning, Staal was made a healthy scratch by head coach David Quinn. It was the first time that's happened in his career. 

On Friday, Staal said he was given little notice of the decision and that only added to his displeasure with the decision. In addition, Staal is sitting out Saturday's meeting with the Predators as well. 

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Adam Fox will always remember his first NHL goal.

With the Rangers leading the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 with under three minutes to play in Tuesday night's game, the Rangers found them self in an odd-man rush.

After Lighting goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped the initial shot from Chris Krieder, he allowed a long rebound out into the slot, where Fox wristed in his first NHL goal to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead. 

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Filip Chytil (Adam Hunger)
Filip Chytil (Adam Hunger)

After dropping their third game in their last four, the Rangers have called in some reinforcements from AHL Hartford in C Filip Chytil and D Ryan Lindgren. 

Chytil played a full season with the Rangers in 2018, but he began the year with the AHL Wolf Pack. That quickly changed, though, as his nine points (three goals, six assists) is the type of production the Rangers are looking for at the NHL level. 

Head coach David Quinn explained how Chytil isn't just productive, but he has accomplished what they sent him down there to do as well.

Tags: Filip Chytil, Ryan Lindgren
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The Rangers announced on Monday that goalie Henrik Lundqvist and forward Mika Zibanejad are both dealing with "day-to-day" injuries. 

Both players took knocks on Sunday against the Boston Bruins (8-1-2). Both missed Monday's practice. 

Lundqvist took a multiple bumps during Sunday's 7-4 loss. He was pulled from the game after the second period after allowing four goals on 31 shots. Lundqvist was tabbed to have an "upper body injury." 

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, Mika Zibanejad
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko went head-to-head on Thursday night for the first time since the duo was selected first and second, respectively, in this year's NHL Draft.

With the Devils already up 2-1 in the second period, Hughes recorded his first NHL point. with under eight minutes to play in the period, Matt Tennyson wristed a shot from the point. The shot deflected off of Hughes' stick, then bounced off Miles Wood's backside and into net past Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev.

Wood was credited with the goal, but Hughes picked up his first career NHL point on the play. 

Tags: Kappo Kakko
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Held off the scoresheet for the first two games of his NHL career, Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko broke a scoreless tie with the Oilers for his first NHL goal on Saturday.

The second-overall pick out of Finland took a pass in the slot from Ryan Strome, got the puck to his backhand and slipped it past Mike Smith to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.


On Monday night, the Rangers traded forward Vlad Namestnikov to the Senators in exchange for defenseman prospect Nick Ebert and a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

On Tuesday, head coach David Quinn and general manager Jeff Gorton reacted to the trade.

"We feel like we've got guys who are going to be able to assume a little bit more responsibility throughout our organization," said Quinn.

Tags: Vladislav Namestnikov
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Four points in your first two games of the season? Doesn't get much better than that, and that's exactly what Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad did to start the 2019-20 NHL season. 

Zibanejad started his year with eight total points, an even split with four goals and four assists. 

For his efforts, Zibanejad was named the First Star of the league's opening week to the season on Monday. 

Tags: Mika Zibanejad
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Mar 23, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Vladislav Namestnikov (90) shoots the puck against Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Mar 23, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Vladislav Namestnikov (90) shoots the puck against Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

The Rangers have traded forward Vladislav Namestnikov to the Senators Monday night, in exchange for AHL defenseman Nick Ebert and a fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft, as it was announced by his agent, Dan Milstein, on Twitter. 

Namestnikov played in 99 games during his time in New York, scoring 13 goals and 35 points in that time. 

Tags: Vladislav Namestnikov
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The Rangers opened their season with a 6-4 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden.

Five things to know from Thursday's game

1) Marc Staal lit the lamp with 8:25 left in the first period, the first goal of the season for the 2019-20 Rangers. Staal made a great wrap-around move to beat Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck, breaking a scoreless tie. With 2:37 left in the first period, thought, the Jets tied the game with a Mark Scheifele goal. The Rangers carelessly turned the pick over in their own zone to set up the Winnipeg goal.

2) At the start of the second period, the Rangers struck quickly to retake the lead, as prized free agent addition Artemi Panarin found the back of the net just 27 seconds into the period. Right away, though, the Jets answered back. Thirty seconds after Panarin's goal, Blake Wheeler beat Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game at 2-2.

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 (Sarah Stier)
(Sarah Stier)

As the Rangers open their 2019-20 regular season Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets at 7 p.m. from Madison Square Garden in New York, an early look ahead to the Stanley Cup is already on the minds of oddsmakers.

The Rangers' journey back to the postseason begins with the team facing an uphill battle, as far as odds are concerned, with Odds Shark pegging New York at +4000.

The number is the same for the Vancouver Canucks, who share the odds in the bottom half of the list, which is included below.

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Mar 27, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins fans cheer after New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) gave up a goal during the third period of Boston's 6-3 win at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Mar 27, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins fans cheer after New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) gave up a goal during the third period of Boston's 6-3 win at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

The Rangers and goalie Henrik Lundqvist are hoping 2019 is different. 

His numbers alone he'd like to improve. His save percentage was .907 and his goals against average was 3.07 last season. Both were career-worsts, but also very much a product of what was going on around him with the team's rebuild. 

With that in mind, he's not worrying about 2018 at all. 

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

After 13 seasons, including his first 11 with the New York Rangers, two-year Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi retired from the NHL, he announced Friday.

"I would like to thank all my coaches, family, friends and teammates for supporting me throughout my entire hockey career," Girardi said in a statement released Friday by the Lightning. "I want to thank the New York Rangers for giving me a chance to fulfill my childhood dream of playing in the NHL. Throughout those 11 incredible years I have made so many friends on and off the ice. I bled Ranger blue and gave it my all for my team, the city and the Garden faithful. I also want to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning for helping me continue my career by giving me a chance to play for such an amazing organization, city and fan base. The last two years in Tampa Bay have been so much fun for me and my family. I will always fondly remember my time here. Finally, I want to thank my wife Pamela for always being there for me and holding down the fort and to Landon and Shaye for always being daddy's No. 1 fans.

"I gave my all every single night and left it all out on the ice. Now it's time for the next chapter of my life to begin and I couldn't be happier ... and so is my body."

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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

The Rangers made a lot of moves this offseason to bolster not just their NHL roster, but their farm system as well. And because of that, they're being honored as having the best farm system in the entire league, per The Athletic's rankings.

Kaapo Kakko, the No. 2 overall pick by New York back in June, is a main reason why their ranking jumped from No. 11 last season to the top dog now. The Finnish forward was highly touted as an NHL-ready prospect that should make an immediate impact for the Rangers this season. Playing in TPS-Liiga, Finland's top league, he dominated at age 17. 

But there's also Vitaly Kravtsov, the Rangers' first-rounder in 2018, that experts rave about as well. The Athletic has him pegged as a "High-end NHL prospect," after his season playing in the KHL. 

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Oct 21, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 21, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Mark Pavelich, a former Rangers center and "Miracle on Ice" team member, was arrested and charged with assault last week after an incident with a neighbor at his Minnesota home. 

Pavelich allegedly attacked his neighbor with a metal pole, breaking several bones and bruising a kidney among the injuries, after he believed the neighbor "spiked" his beer, according to the criminal complaint obtained by the Associated Press.

The 61-year-old went to Cook County District Court on Monday, where the judge "ordered a mental competency hearing," according to the report. Bail has been set at $250,000. 

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Feb 15, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Hoffman)
Feb 15, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Hoffman)

No New York Ranger has more goals over the past three seasons than Chris Kreider's 72. However, that doesn't mean that the Rangers' longest-tenured forward is safe heading into what would be his eighth season as a Blueshirt. 

Given the Rangers' salary cap troubles, it's been speculated that the team may have to part with an expensive piece like Kreider to make room for young talent. The team only has slightly more than $1 million in cap space, and still must re-sign forward Brandon Lemieux and defenseman Tony DeAngelo, who are restricted free agents. Kreider, a free agent in one year, carries a $4.625 million cap hit.

From a financial perspective, it makes sense to trade Kreider. However, members of the Rangers' front office reiterated on Thursday that as of now, the expectation is that Kreider will remain a member of the Rangers for the 2019-20 season.

Tags: Chris Kreider
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Jan 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) reacts after losing to the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) reacts after losing to the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Yet another former Ranger has packed his bags for the sunny shores of Tampa.

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Monday that they have signed ex-Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

Shattenkirk will slide into a top-four role on the Lightning defense, potentially beside ex-Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh. Ironically, the Lightning signed Shattenkirk to fill a spot formerly held by two ex-Rangers, Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi, who were let go this summer.

Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
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Jan 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) reacts after losing to the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) reacts after losing to the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Rangers, stuck in a tough salary cap situation, bought out the contract on defender Kevin Shattenkirk on Wednesday, according to the New York Post. The news was later confirmed by Shattenkirk's agent. 

Shattenkirk, 30, spent the past two seasons with the Rangers after signing a four-year deal with the team worth $26.65 million during the summer of 2017.

Prior to the move, the Rangers were over the NHL's $81.5 million salary cap ceiling. The buyout saves New York over $5 million on the cap and now puts them just under the league's spending limit. 

Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
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Feb 18, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Feb 18, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Disappointing seasons from the Rangers and Devils prompted impressive offseason work from both organizations. It certainly helped that both teams had the top two picks in the NHL Draft -- selections that netted potentially franchise-altering talents in Kappo Kakko and Jack Hughes, respectively.

While they didn't have a high draft pick or significant free agent signing, the Islanders made a handful of moves, mainly in the form of re-signings. For the most part, their roster enters 2019-20 relatively unchanged.

Taking all of this into consideration, here's a closer look at the biggest moves each organization made...

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Mika Zibanejad, Robin Lehner, Taylor Hall
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Oct 7, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) looks on before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 8-5. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Oct 7, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) looks on before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 8-5. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

The Rangers announced on Friday night that the team has officially agreed to terms with restricted free agent Pavel Buchnevich.

The 24-year-old played in 64 with the Rangers last season, scoring 21 goals and adding 17 assists. His seven power play goals led the team, while his 21 goals ranked third on the squad, trailing only Mika Zibanejad (30) and Chris Kreider (28).

In three seasons with the Rangers, the Russian-born Buchnevich has tallied 43 goals and 101 points overall. Buchnevich has recorded the fourth-most goals and the fifth-most points by a Russian player in Rangers history.

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Jan 5, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Nashville Predators left wing Phillip Di Giuseppe (16) skates with the puck against Montreal Canadiens during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Jan 5, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Nashville Predators left wing Phillip Di Giuseppe (16) skates with the puck against Montreal Canadiens during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

The Rangers just continue to make offseason moves, this time to improve their offensive depth. 

New York announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to terms with F Phillip Di Giuseppe

The 25-year-old played 24 games in the NHL last season between the Predators and Hurricanes. He tallied four points (one goal and three assists), while being a minus-3 overall on the ice. The Toronto native has played in 150 NHL games over his four-year career, totaling 14 goals and 27 assists. However, he's a career minus-15. 

The left-handed stick was a second-round pick by the Hurricanes back in 2012. 

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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

Kaapo Kakko, No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, is officially a Ranger. 

Kakko signed his entry-level deal with the Rangers on Thursday, which the team shared via Twitter. 

Rangers fans have already embraced Kakko, flocking to the team's developmental camp to catch a glimpse of him on the ice. And many like Kakko for the Rangers, especially NBC Sports' NHL analyst Pierre McGuire who told SNY "I can see him fitting in right away."

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Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba reacts against the Los Angeles Kings in the second period at Staples Center. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba reacts against the Los Angeles Kings in the second period at Staples Center. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The NHL Players Association announced on Friday that 40 players have filed for salary arbitration and the most prominent name on the list belongs to the New York Rangers.

Of those heading to an arbitrator are Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich and recently acquired defenseman Jacob Trouba. Both are restricted free agents.

At a later date each player will have arbitration hearings in Toronto. Those have yet to be scheduled, but according to the NHLPA release, league-wide meetings with individual players will take place from July 20 to Aug. 4. The Rangers and players can continue to negotiate a contract before the meeting.

Tags: Jacob Trouba, Pavel Buchnevich
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The Rangers officially landed Artemi Panarin, the prize of this year's NHL free agency class, on Monday.

By Tuesday, Panarin was introduced to the media after touring Madison Square Garden.

"I want to say thank you to the Rangers organization," said Panarin, who signed a seven-year contract with the Rangers on Monday. "I appreciate the opportunity … I'm really happy."

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Feb 18, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Feb 18, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Another superstar is coming to New York.

The Rangers made it official on Monday when they announced the signing of All-Star winger Artemi Panarin. According to SportsNet's Elliotte Friedman, the new contract is the largest in franchise history at $81.5 million over seven years.

Panarin took less to make his way to New York. The Blue Jackets, the team he played for last season, offered an eight-year, $96 million deal, which was also their largest contract in team history. 

Tags: Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
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Apr 30, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) controls the puck against the Boston Bruins in the third period during game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Apr 30, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) controls the puck against the Boston Bruins in the third period during game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin is tihs summer's prized free agent in the NHL, and the Rangers are interested in adding him. Here's the latest updates:


July 1, 11:50 AM:

"All signs are pointing" to the Rangers landing Panarin, reports Darren Dreger of TSN. Dreger adds that it is believed Panarin is leaving money on the table to join the Blueshirts. 

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New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers have traded LW Jimmy Vesey to the Sabres in exchange for a 2021 NHL Draft pick, the team announced on Monday. 

Vesey was in the final year of his two-year, $4.55 million deal with New York, so the Rangers created a little more cap space by getting rid of his contract. 

Is it a coincidence that Vesey is a left winger and the Rangers are aggressively pursuing top free agent LW Artemi Panarin ahead of NHL free agency kicking off at noon today? Not at all. 

Tags: Jimmy Vesey, Scott Thompson
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Kaapo Kakko, the second-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, caught up with SNY to discuss his first week as a member of the Rangers.

"It was a great week for me and for the team," Kakko said.

The Finnish winger also spoke about getting to know his new teammates and how his game translates to the NHL level.

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May 2, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins in the first period during game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
May 2, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins in the first period during game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The top free agent in the NHL market this summer is by far Artemi Panarin, the Blue Jackets' left winger that has been a consistent points machine for four seasons. The Rangers are expected to be very aggressive in trying to land him, but New York doesn't seem to be the favorite at the moment. 

According to The Post's Brett Cyrgalis, the Panthers are the leading candidate to land the 27-year-old. The two main reasons Cyrgalis has the Panthers at the top is the fact that Florida doesn't have any state income taxes, and the Panthers have hired Joel Quenneville as head coach. Quennevile coached Panarin during his first two seasons with the Blackhawks. 

Why does income tax matter? Florida can actually offer Panarin more than the Rangers, or even the Islanders, when it comes down to contracts. Panarin is looking to settle down with a seven-year deal at $11-12 million per season. 

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On Wednesday afternoon, the Rangers introduced members of their 2019 NHL Draft class to members of the media at Madison Square Garden.

Among the group was second-overall pick Kaapo Kakko, who gave his initial impression of MSG and the city of New York, and spoke about wanting to play with the Rangers next season.

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Oct 21, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 21, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

A member of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion Rangers has been induted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Defenseman Sergei Zubov, in his seventh year of eligibility, made the cut to join professional ice hockey's most esteemed players in Toronto's sacred hall. He joins a class that includes Guy Carbonneau, Václav Nedomanský and Haley Wickenheiser.

Although Zubov spent most of his career with the Dallas Stars, he began his career as a Ranger. Drafted in the fifth round in 1990, he played a pivotal role on the legendary 1994 team, scoring a career-high 89 points in 78 regular season games. He also added 19 more over 22 playoff contests en route to the Rangers' first championship in 54 years.

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Apr 30, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) controls the puck against the Boston Bruins in the third period during game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Apr 30, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) controls the puck against the Boston Bruins in the third period during game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

The Rangers are making their push for free agent Artemi Panarin, but their hopes of landing him do not appear favorable. 

According to Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic, the Rangers are meeting with Panarin this week but it remains possible, if not probable, that he will sign with the Florida Panthers instead. 

Rangers president John Davidson, who knows Panarin well from his time as the Columbus Blue Jackets president, is expected to be part of the meeting with the free agent winger. 

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New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers have announced their schedule for the 2019-20 season.

Highlights include:

  • Seven of their first 10 games, and 11 of their first 16 games of the season taking place at Madison Square Garden
  • Their 2,000th all-time regular season game at the current MSG on Oct. 27, 2019 against Boston.
  • Three of their four games against the Islanders coming in a nine-day span from Jan. 13, 2020 to Jan. 21, 2020.
  • Their five-day bye week following the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, which takes place on Jan. 26.

Check out the full schedule below...

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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

As the first two picks of the 2019 NHL Draft, the careers of Jack Hughes of the Devils and Kaapo Kakko of the Rangers figure to be forever linked.

New Jersey only ratcheted up the recently dormant rivalry with their Manhattan counterparts further Saturday by pulling off a blockbuster trade for Norris Trophy-winning defenseman P.K. Subban, countering the Rangers big addition on the blue line earlier this month, the acquisition of first-pair defenseman Jacob Trouba from Winnipeg.

While free agency looms in July, the transformational addition of the Blueshirts' summer haul so far clearly was the Finnish-bred Kakko, the slam-dunk No.2 selection after the Devils expectedly opened the draft by grabbing Hughes, the 18-year-old American projected franchise center, with the top pick.

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 (via Getty Images)
(via Getty Images)

The Rangers are far from a finished product as they aim to climb back into playoff contention in the Metropolitan Division, but they officially have landed their coveted Finnish product. 

Drafting 18-year-old winger Kaapo Kakko with the No.2 overall pick in the NHL Draft on Friday night in Vancouver was a slam-dunk choice after the rival Devils selected American center Jack Hughes first overall a few minutes earlier.

"Of course, it was my dream to be No. 1," Kakko told reporters Friday night in Vancouver. "But of course, the second one is also good, and every team in the NHL is a good team, so I'm happy.

"I've never been to New York before, but I think it's coming. It's my plan and my hope I can be there next season."

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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

Rangers fans have been waiting eagerly to see which super-prospect they would get ever since they moved up to second in the draft lottery in May. Now, the waiting is finally over.

General manager Jeff Gorton chose Kaapo Kakko second overall in the NHL Draft on Friday night, gifting the Rangers a generational talent that instantly slots into their top-six forward group.

The Devils made Gorton's decision easy by selecting U.S.-born Jack Hughes first overall, leaving Kakko the clear-cut best option. Although he went second overall, Kakko is projected to be a budding superstar and becomes the most exciting prospect in a stacked Rangers system.

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Apr 16, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan (24) against the Columbus Blue Jackets in game four of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Apr 16, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan (24) against the Columbus Blue Jackets in game four of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Ryan Callahan's NHL career appears to be coming to an end. 

The former Rangers captain, currently on the Tampa Bay Lightning, was told by doctors he has a degenerative back disease and was recommended that he no longer play hockey, Lightning GM Julien BriseBois announced on Thursday. 

Callahan, 34, opened up about his back condition in an interview with the team's website, calling it a "degenerative disc disease," and essentially confirmed he will not be returning. 

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Jan 10, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) shoots during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Jan 10, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) shoots during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

The Rangers are in the midst of a rebuild, but their latest move already has them trending in the right direction. 

New York struck a deal with the Jets to acquire D Jacob Trouba in exchange for Neal Pionk and the No. 20 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on Monday. Many believe the Rangers got a steal in this trade, acquiring a 25-year-old two-way defender that is one of the best in the league. 

Getting Trouba onto their roster is just another positive step for the Rangers, who are impressing NBC Sports' NHL analyst Pierre McGuire.

Tags: Brady Skjei, Kevin Hayes, Scott Thompson
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Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)
Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)

The NHL Draft Lottery was kind to the New York Rangers, a team looking to accelerate their rebuild as fast as possible. And on Friday, they'll be selecting No. 2 overall in Vancouver. 

And with that pick, it's almost certain that it will be Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko, who many view as the second-best prospect in the Draft behind United States C Jack Hughes

If the mock drafts and speculation hold true, the Rangers will be getting Kakko - a 6-foot-2, aggressive player that has the potential to go down in history as one of the best to come out of Finland. 

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Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)
Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)

NHL DRAFT DETAILS

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Round 1: Friday, June 21 at 8 p.m.; TV: NBCSN
Rounds 2-7: Saturday, June 22 at 1 p.m.; TV: NHL Network

PICKS

No. 2 (First Round)
No. 20 (First Round, via Winnipeg)
No. 49 (Second Round, via Dallas)
No. 58 (Second Round, via Tampa Bay)
No. 68 (Third Round)
No. 112 (Fourth Round, via Columbus)
No. 130 (Fifth Round)
No. 161 (Sixth Round)
No. 205 (Seventh Round, via Columbus)

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Jan 4, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) stands for the national anthem against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Pens won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jan 4, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) stands for the national anthem against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Pens won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

After the Jets bungled the process a bit, the Rangers swooped in and traded for star defenseman Jacob Trouba on Monday night -- and got him for a price that most saw as very low.

That price was Neal Pionk and the No. 20 pick in the upcoming NHL draft.

On a conference call Tuesday morning, Trouba talked about the "shock" of getting traded, said he "couldn't be more excited" to be on the Rangers, and talked about his future.

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Jan 10, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) shoots during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Jan 10, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) shoots during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

The acquisition of Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets represents the start of a new era on Broadway. No longer will the Blueshirts be hoping the ping pong balls fall in their direction during the draft lottery. Rather, they are planning to be battling for playoff positioning as the season winds down next spring.

Trouba will immediately become the top-pairing right-handed defenseman in the Rangers lineup.

"He is a big defenseman, he is 25 years old, can play against the best players, has offense, can kill penalties, and is in the prime of his career," Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said as he raved about Trouba's skill set. "The opportunity for a player like that to become available doesn't happen all the time, we jumped on it."

 

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Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba reacts against the Los Angeles Kings in the second period at Staples Center. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba reacts against the Los Angeles Kings in the second period at Staples Center. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers acquired Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba for defenseman Neal Pionk and the No. 20 pick in the NHL draft, the team announced Monday.

Trouba, 25, is a restricted free agent who recorded eight goals, 42 assists and 50 points for Winnipeg last season, scoring 18 points on power plays.

"He's in the prime of his career ... we jumped on it," Rangers GM Jeff Gorton said.

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Jan 10, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) shoots during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Jan 10, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) shoots during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

The Rangers are aggressively pursuing a trade for Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba, according to the New York Post, but they're not alone.

The rival Islanders and Devils are also in the mix for Trouba, per the Post. 

Trouba, a 25-year-old righty, is a restricted free agent who's been the subject of trade rumors for quite some time. With the Jets facing a cap issues, a Trouba trade might finally happen this offseason. The NHL Draft is next weekend and free agency starts on July 1, so it could happen sooner than later.

Tags: Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes
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Dec 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk (22) and Brendan Smith (42) watch the action during practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk (22) and Brendan Smith (42) watch the action during practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)

There is recent precedent for the Rangers buying out a player to save some cap space, a longtime warrior at that. They bought out Dan Girardi's contract two years ago, and they could very well go the buyout route for at least one player this summer when the buyout period opens on Saturday.

"In all honesty, we haven't ruled it out," Rangers GM Jeff Gorton told the New York Post. "It's on the table. And regardless of what we do with this buyout window, we'd certainly look at the second one, too, depending on what comes up over the next few weeks. A lot can happen."

As the Post reports, Brendan Smith and Kevin Shattenkirk are the two big buyout candidates for the Blueshirts. Are there others? Let's take a look at whom the Rangers might buy out as they prepare for an important summer.

Tags: Brendan Smith, Dan Girardi, Kevin Shattenkirk, Marc Staal
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