Winter Classic veteran Mike Rupp scored two goals last night in his eighth game back from knee surgery.

John Tortorella said, with a big smile, on his post game news conference on the NHL Network that he couldn't be happier for Rupp after the season he has had, he is a "great" teammate and that he brings an intangible to the young core of the team as a veteran.

Rupp said earlier this year that he was thankful for the chance to join the team on road trips while he was injured.

Rupp was awarded the Broadway Hat following the win.

I have been a big Rupp supporter since he was signed and I think his game is finally coming along. I certainly didn't see him scoring two goals, especially the slick first one, but he stepped up in a big moment. I loved seeing Brandon Prust basically jump into his arms after Rupp scored the second goal. I love that John Tortorella calls him a "glue guy." He understands his role on the ice and his role in the locker room. He is a very valuable player.

http://youtu.be/BZg1lXnthqw

Tags: Mike Rupp, Adam Rotter

New York Rangers' Rick Nash (61) fights for control of the puck with Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson (65) during the second period of Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Rangers' Rick Nash (61) fights for control of the puck with Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson (65) during the second period of Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

James Dolan said recently that he knows the Rangers still need to find "one great player who can make a difference." (NY Post)

Dolan said that the Rangers have identified some players that might become available and that if they do, they want to be in a "position where we're able to get them. (NY Post)

The Rangers have been mentioned as a possible team for Erik Karlsson.

Larry Brooks wrote in early April that there is no indication that Tavares would sign with the Rangers or that the Rangers have a plan to after him. (NY Post)

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

According to Larry Brooks, Bill Peters, the former coach of Carolina who is believed to be joining the Flames, was never a candidate for the Rangers head coach opening. (NY Post)

Brooks notes that BU's David Quinn is still considered to be a "strong candidate" for the Rangers opening despite, earlier today, being named Team USA's coach for the World Juniors in 2019. (NY Post)

He notes that AHL coaches Sheldon Keefe, Todd Nelson and Dallas Eakins could be "persons of interest" and adds that the Rangers are believed to be interested in Denver's Jim Montgomery and Minnesota-Duluth's Scott Sandelin. (NY Post)

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Mar 22, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters reacts from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Arizona Coyotes 6-5. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Mar 22, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters reacts from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Arizona Coyotes 6-5. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

The Hurricanes have announced that head coach Bill Peters has resigned and they will begin their search for a new head coach.

Peters exercised an opt-out in his contract to leave the Flames.

Rumors this week have indicated that Peters could be the leading candidate to replace Glen Gulutzan in Calgary.

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Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Rangers owner James Dolan said that the organization's intention is not to bottom out but to go through this rebuilding process "the right way." (NY Post)

Dolan said that the Rangers now have a plan but need to "be smart" and "carry it out." (NY Post)

He added that it's his belief that the Rangers could compete for a playoff spot next and possibly get in as a 7th or 8th seed. (NY Post)

On the process as a whole, Dolan said that the Rangers are committed to winning the Stanley Cup and that "we're rebuilding but it doesn't have to take forever." (NY Post)

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 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

4/20/18 | 4:36PM: David Quinn of BU has been named Team USA's head coach for the 2019 World Junior Championship.

It's not known if this will take him out of the running for any potential NHL jobs.

4/19/18 | 3:51PM: Craig Custance spoke to an NHL source that said the college coaches are in play for the Rangers but added that their search is "very open." (The Athletic)

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Dec 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) skates during practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Dec 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) skates during practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

James Dolan told Larry Brooks of the NY Post that the Rangers spoke with Henrik Lundqvist and offered to find a "good landing place" for him if he didn't want to go through the rebuild. (NY Post)

Lundqvist declined the offer and said that he wants to see it through, something that Dolan said he was happy to hear. (NY Post)

Dolan said that Lundqvist was able to keep the Rangers in the playoff race for a while this season and that having him "in place gives us a great foundation going forward." (NY Post)

Lundqvist said repeatedly, before and after the Rangers announced they would be selling, that he wants to stay with the Rangers.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Rangers owner James Dolan described Alain Vigneault as a "great coach for a developed team" but said that the next coach the Rangers hire has to be a "developmental coach, I can't stress that enough." (NY Post)

Dolan said that Vigneault seemed to re-affirm that notion with what he said after the last game of the year in Philadelphia when he referenced that he could only coach the players he had. (NY Post)

He said that the Rangers next coach has to be one that will be able to help the young players the rangers have "get them to the next level." (NY Post)

Jeff Gorton was asked about about Vigneault's role in developing players and said, "I hear that too and heard it when he was coming out of Vancouver. I don't necessarily agree with that as a broad statement, that he doesn't develop young players. He has had success, Kreider and Skjei are a couple of guys that come to mind. We had Pionk and he had no problem playing him. It wasn't a huge issue for me. Our group, we just felt that maybe the guys who have been here could use a fresh start and a message from somebody else. It had more to do with that than anything."

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Mar 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) is congratulated as he scores a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) is congratulated as he scores a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

4/12/18 | Larry Brooks noted back in March that Kevin Hayes, Vlad Namestnikov and Ryan Spooner are all arbitration eligible RFAs closing in on being unrestricted free agents. (NY Post)

Hayes and Spooner can become UFA following this season while Namestnikov, along with Jimmy Vesey, cane become UFA after the 19-20 season.  (NY Post)

Brooks says that it's "extremely unlikely" that the Rangers bring back all three of them though he does note that Namestnikov and Spooner have seen a lot of time on the wing. (NY Post)

Tags: Kevin Hayes, Ryan Spooner, Vladislav Namestnikov
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Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Jeff Gorton said last week that "fresh" was a good word to describe the kind of coach the Rangers are looking to hire.

He said that the Rangers are looking for someone with a "progressive mind," make changes on the fly, lead and develop young players.

The Rangers GM noted that lately in the NHL some coaches have had success in their second turns and that the Rangers will "look at anything that might work for us and get us to where we want to go as far as speed and character and getting back to that."

Gorton said that he didn't want to rule anyone out and that in his estimation the Rangers would speak to many different candidates and probably interview between 5 and 10 people.

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 (Scott Rovak)
(Scott Rovak)

4/18/18 | Elliotte Friedman was on the NHL Network on Monday and said that the feeling around the NHL is that "unless something happens,"Ilya Kovalchuk's top choice would be to join the Rangers.

Friedman noted that reports out of Russia last week suggested Kovalchuk and the Rangers were discussing a 2-3 year deal worth around $6 million per season.

Friedman added, "at this point in time, nobody is saying anything, nobody is confirming that. The belief is, as always, is that he wants to be a Ranger, and the Rangers certainly have some interest. He can't officially be signed to a contract until July 1st, but people can talk to him. So we've got a bit of time here and there, but the word we've all gotten is, assume Rangers until there's reason not to assume Rangers."

For more on Kovalchuk and the Rangers, click HERE.

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8:30PM: In the NY Post, Adam Graves said that Amirante was an "integral" part of the "special energy"that occurs at MSG. (NY Post)

Graves said that Amirante's singing was "inspiring," set the tone before each game and brought with it the passion he had for the Rangers and MSG. (NY Post)

Mark Messier recalled, with tears in his eyes, when he spoke with Amirante before Game 7 in 1994 and how "focused and engaged he was to make sure he did his part for the team." (NYR)

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Mar 31, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan on his bench against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 31, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan on his bench against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

The Calgary Flames announced today that Glen Gulutzan has been relieved of his coaching duties.

The Flames join the Rangers and Stars as teams looking for a new head coach.

The Flames have been linked to Carolina coach Bill Peters because of past experience he has with Flames GM Brad Treliving.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Rangers are reportedly close to signing Swedish free agent forward Michael Lindqvist, according to Hockey Sverige.

Lindqvist, 23, is 5-10, 172 and had 20 goals and 14 assists in 33 games last season for Farjestad of the SHL.

Lindqvist's agent said that he would not confirm anything but did say that the list of potential teams has narrowed and a deal is close.

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4/17/18 | In the Athletic, Rick Carpiniello writes that he hasn't heard anything about Carolina coach Bill Peters possibly being on the Rangers radar and that Sheldon Keefe of the AHL Marlies is not at the top of their list.

4/16/18 | On the NHL Network on Monday, Elliotte Friedman said that it's likely teams will start lining up interviews with head coaching candidates.

On the Rangers, Friedman said that he has heard mixed things about which direction the Rangers will go in with their next head coach.

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Mar 1, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center J.T. Miller (10) skates against the Dallas Stars during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Mar 1, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center J.T. Miller (10) skates against the Dallas Stars during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

JT Miller said that it wasn't a "secret" that he and Alain Vigneault were not a great fit together with the Rangers and said that there are "better fits for both of us." (NY Post)

Miller said that things were never personal with Vigneault and that the former Rangers coach taught him how to get through "all the crap and become a player in the league." (NY Post)

Miller added that he has nothing bad to say about the Rangers or anyone in the organization. (NY Post)

Tags: J.T. Miller
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

4/16/18 | McDonagh said on Monday that he wasn't surprised the Rangers got rid of Alain Vigneault and said that it made sense that if they are going in a different direction they "might as well start" with a new coach. (NY Post)

4/13/18 | Ryan McDonagh said earlier this week that he was not surprised the Rangers decided to move on from Alain Vigneault but said that he will bounce back. (RDS)

McDonagh, who was captain for four of Vigneault's five seasons in New York, said that he always "respected" Vigneault's "methods and philosophy" and said that he was organized, demanding and able to be tough when the team was struggling. (RDS)

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
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The NHL has released their final rankings for the 2018 draft for North American and International skaters.

Rasmus Dahlin is ranked 1st on the International list and Andrei Svechnikov is ranked 1st on the North American list.

On the International list, Dahlin is followed by Adam Boqvist (D - Sweden), Vitali Kravtsov (RW - Russia), Martin Kaut ( RW - Czech), Adam Ginning (D - Sweden).

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Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Madison Square Garden before a game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Jeff Gorton said this past week that he expects the Rangers to have a "young look" this coming season and that while they won't close their mind to any idea, "we will have a younger team and that will be exciting."

Gorton said, "when you say rebuild you are usually talking about a young team and letting players play and giving them chances."

He noted that he doesn't expect a team of twenty 18-19-20 year-old players and that could might look to add some "character and leadership type players that might help us develop these young guys."

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Henrik Lundqvist makes one of his 50 saves against the Calgary Flames on Friday night. (AP)
Henrik Lundqvist makes one of his 50 saves against the Calgary Flames on Friday night. (AP)

10:02PM: Lundqvist is expected to undergo PRP therapy and rest for three weeks before starting his normal offseason program. (NY Post)

Lundqvist's MRI revealed no structural damage to the knee. (NY Post)

6:47PM: On breakup day last week, Henrik Lundqvist revealed that he had been playing most of the season with a knee injury.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Oct 2, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild assistant coach Scott Stevens during a preseason hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Hurricanes 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Oct 2, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild assistant coach Scott Stevens during a preseason hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Hurricanes 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

4/15/18 | Larry Brooks suggests that former Devils defenseman Scott Stevens would be a head coach that could teach the Rangers young players and also re-establish "a no-nonsense culture and hard-edged identity" for the team. (NY Post)

Brooks says that Stevens' history as captain of the Devils should not disqualify him as a candidate for the job and that this would be different than when the Rangers hired Bryan Trottier as head coach. (NY Post)

Stevens was a development coach with the Devils for three seasons before joining them as an assistant coach from 2012 to 2014.

He sat out the next two seasons before joining the Minnesota Wild for one-season in 2016-17.

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Nov 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) skates during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports  (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) skates during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

4/15/18 | Larry Brooks writes that Grabner's " largely unproductive stint" with the Devils might make it more "feasible" for him to return to the Rangers. (NY Post)

Grabner, 31 next season, is likely going to double his current cap hit of $1.65 million, according to Brooks, but it's not clear if the Rangers would give the term he can likely command. (NY Post)

Tags: Michael Grabner
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 (Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports )
(Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports )

4/15/18 | Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers need Kovalchuk more than Kovalchuk needs the Rangers but that neither side can commit to anything until the Rangers have a head coach. (NY Post)

Kovalchuk can officially start talking with teams today but can not sign until July 1. (NY Post)

4/13/18 |5:09PM: Kovalchuk said in Russia today that he has not had any contact with any NHL teams but that teams have expressed interest. (Sports.Ru)

Tags: Ilya Kovalchuk
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Lias Andersson had a goal, an assist and was named Best Player of the game in Sweden's exhibition win over Denmark. (NYR)

In the two exhibition games this week against Denmark, Andersson had a goal and two assists.

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While speaking with the media earlier this week, Jeff Gorton said that he was disappointed with some of the players the Rangers had in the lineup after the trade deadline.

Gorton said, "there are certain players, and I won't name any of them, that I would be disappointed in and that I will talk to in our meetings tomorrow. The opportunity to play in NY and play for the Rangers is special and I expect that players would understand that and play that way and those are the players we want moving forward."

He said that he was looking forward to spending time with the players in their exit meetings and finding out how they felt their games were, especially after the deadline, and gain any insight into the season.

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 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

4/14/18 | Pavel Buchnevich has been named to Russia's roster for the World Championships. (Russia)

Vladislav Namestnikov has also been named to the team but is undergoing medical evaluation to determine whether he can play. (Russia)

4/10 | 7:23PM: Mats Zuccarello said that he will not play at the World Championships due to a knee injury that has bugged him all season. (Nettavisen)

Henrik Lundqvist said earlier today that he is also dealing with a knee injury and needs time to decide if he will be physically and/or mentally ready to play in the Worlds.

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Nov 22, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) points after his third period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 6-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Nov 22, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) points after his third period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 6-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

After returning from his injury, Chris Kreider said that he lost around 15 points and was feeling faster on the ice. (NY Post)

Kreider said that he plans to stay at his current weight and that it allows him get around the ice "a millisecond" sooner. (NY Post)

Kreider said that the slight increase in speed gives him a "huge advantage" on the ice. (NY Post)

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Jeff Gorton was asked multiple times on Tuesday whether there was a timeline to have a coach by a certain point and said that they weren't putting dates on anything.

Gorton said "we will meet our best candidates, spend time with them and when we make the decision we will let you know."

He noted that it isn't necessary to have a coach for the NHL Draft but did say that it would be ideal to have someone hired by the time free agency happened so that potential players would know who they were playing for.

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Jeff Gorton said repeatedly, across multiple interviews, that the decision to move on from Alain Vigneault as head coach was only made in the last week or so.

He said that the organization had been evaluating things since the deadline and "in the last week we had some real conversations with our group and basically made that decision in the last few days."

Gorton said that Vigneault was successful with the Ranges but "I think that after five-years, we think it's time for a change and the players need a new voice and the organization needs a new coach. That is the decision we made."

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New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Shattenkirk met with the media during Rangers break up day on Tuesday and said the following (NYR):

  • On the season, "it obviously a year that did not go well for me and then for our team. Just something you didn't envision happening September 15 last year. I'm very determined this summer to go back in amazing shape and be the hockey player that management and the fans expected to see."
  • Did you get to show any of your game, "I think that I had bits and pieces of it but I don't think it was a true representation of the player that I am or player I want to be for this team. I think I hold myself to the highest standard of anyone when critiquing my game and who I am in the locker room and the rest of it. For me this was kind of a year where I didn't fulfill that role in my mind. That will definitely drive me to improve on that next season."
Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
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Apr 4, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; The Ottawa Senators celebrate a goal by defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Apr 4, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; The Ottawa Senators celebrate a goal by defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

The Boston Globe suggests that the Rangers might be a match for Ottawa when it comes to a possible Erik Karlsson trade. (Boston Globe)

They note that Ottawa only has one pick in the first three rounds this year while the Rangers have three in the first, two in the second and two in the third. (Boston Globe)

They note that Karlsson would fill the slot of a top-pair right shot defenseman, ahead of Kevin Shattenkirk, and that he could be an example for Lias Andersson to follow. (Boston Globe)

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Rangers prospect Brett Howden scored the game winning goal for Moose Jaw last night in the WHL playoffs.

Howden has 10 points in 10 playoffs games this season and had 24 goals and 51 assists in 49 games during the regular season.

From the Rangers Prospect Report, "I think I can play well at both ends of the ice. I'm strong on faceoffs and I think I can read the play pretty well and (have) a good hockey IQ. … I do everything I can to help the team win. It doesn't matter to me what role I'm playing." - Rangers prospect Brett Howden's self-assessment of his style of play

Tags: Brett Howden
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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Larry Brooks listed the following Rangers in order of least likely to be traded (NY Post):

  1. Henrik Lundqvist
  2. Filip Chytil
  3. Chris Kreider
  4. Lias Andersson
  5. Brady Skjei
  6. Pavel Buchnevich
  7. Kevin Shattenkirk
  8. Mika Zibanejad
  9. Kevin Hayes

Brooks writes that in the event a "stud" player becomes available everyone could be on the table with the exception of Lundqvist and Chytil. (NY Post)

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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers' goals 00:01:18
Rangers' Kevin Shattenkirk and Henrik Lundqvist discuss the team's outlook for next year after missing the playoffs this season.

Feb 11, 2018; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello (36) skates against Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (55) during the first period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Terrence Lee)
Feb 11, 2018; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello (36) skates against Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (55) during the first period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Terrence Lee)

Mats Zuccarello spoke with the media on Tuesday about this past season and said (SNY):

  • On the season, "it's been a tough season for everyone, fans, players. The whole team and organization, not going to the playoffs is always tough, I've never been in this position before. It was a tough season mentally, we lost a lot of good players and friends but at the end of the day it's over and focusing on next year and it's going to be hopefully a good summer, a long summer to rest up and get healthy and get back next year and with the mindset to make the playoffs. Everyone is disappointed right now and will take some time to rest and it will be good next year, I think."
  • On the coaching change, "sad for sure but it's like with the players, it's a business, nothing you can do about it. I've been here with them for five-years and it's sad to see that stuff happen. Nothing you can control and just focus on the team next year coming into camp, new year, positive year, a lot of young guys and hopefully some new guys. It's going to be good."
  • On how he is physically, "I just had something done with my knee. It's been struggling for a bit now this season, I will rest up for 3-4 weeks and will start working out and should be good."
Tags: Mats Zuccarello
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Jan 1, 2018; Queens, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres during overtime in the 2018 Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 1, 2018; Queens, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres during overtime in the 2018 Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media at Rangers break up day on Tuesday and said (SNY):

  • On emotions thinking about the future, "right now you think more about the season we just played and try to analyze it the right way. We all know that there are going to be changes over the summer. Part of me is a little excited about what is ahead, I hope we take some good steps in the right direction. Ever since they told us this is the plan, we always, every day coming to the rink and helping the young guys improve as much as they can in this little stretch but also over the summer to make sure they come well prepared for the fall. You don't know who is going to show up but whoever is going to be here, we are going to compete and be sure we have a better year and that is that."
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 (Pavel Golovkin)
(Pavel Golovkin)

Alexei Bereglazov's agent announced on twitter that the defenseman was placed on unconditional waivers with intention of having his contract terminated by the Rangers.

Bereglazov is returning to Russia and his agent says that "future plans" will be announced soon.

He signed with the Rangers last spring, went to training camp, started the season in Hartford and then returned to Russia with the Rangers retaining his rights.

 

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Feb 18, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 18, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Henrik Lundqvist and others made posts on social media following the end of the season:

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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GEICO SportsNite: Jeff Gorton 00:00:37
Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton speaks on the recent firing of former head coach Alain Vigneault and the current direction of the team.

Jeff Gorton was on The Michael Kay Show at 4PM on Monday and said the following:

  • Did AV's post game comments expedite you firing him, "no, I think, it's a godo questionm based upon what he said. We had made the decison to do it once the decision was made I wanted to do it after the game and not have it linger any more. It didn't have any effect."
  • Did it get contentious, "not really. For anyone who has ever had to do that, it's never a great conversation. AV felt he should still be coaching the Rangers and said so and I can appreciate that and I will leave it at that."
  • Why did you make the decision, "I think that in sports five-years is a long time and watching our team over the last several months and thinking about going forward with youth, it just felt like it was the right time to make the change. Have the timing of a new coach and, essentially, a young team start together."
  • On Lindy Ruff, "I just had a brief conversation with him today. He will head home and then we will talk in a few weeks and see where things are at. I will talk with some people and see where they fit for head coach and then we will talk to Lindy at the end of the process."
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 (Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
(Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

Jeff Gorton announced on Monday that in addition to letting Alain Vigneault go late on Saturday night, the Rangers also let associate coach Scott Arniel and assistant coach Darryl Williams go.

Arniel had been Vigneault's associate head coach since Vigneault joined the Rangers in 2013.

  • Arniel had been candidate for a few NHL jobs over the past few years.

Arniel was mostly in charge of the Rangers forwards and power play.

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Rangers GM Jeff Gorton met with the media at 11AM on Monday and said the following (SNY):

  • "Hello everybody, thanks for coming. As I am sure everyone is well aware,Saturday night we let go Alain Vigneault and then yesterday we also let go Scott Arniel and Darryl Williams. All good guys, all did a good job here and we thank them for everything they did here and wish them well as they go forward. Those are the decisions we made at this time and we are prepared for questions if anybody has any for me." 
  • When did you know, "I would say that once we hit the deadline we started to really evaluate where we needed to go as a team and organization and in the last week we had some real conversations with our group and basically made that decision in the last few days."
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 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

The NHL confirmed last night that the Drat Lottery will be held on 4/28 and that the Rangers have a 6% chance of getting the first overall pick.

The Rangers finished with the 8th best odds and according to Tankathon.com, they have a 19% chance of landing a pick in the top three.

The NHL runs three separate drawings in the draft lottery: for the first, second and third overall picks with odds increasing "on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 1st Lottery Draw, and again for the 3rd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 2nd Lottery Draw."

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The Rangers have released the following statement on behalf of Alain Vigneault:

"I would like to thank the New York Rangers management - Mr. James Dolan, Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton - for allowing me the privilege to coach the Rangers. I spent five wonderful years in New York and I want to express my gratitude to all the coaches, players and staff that I worked with during that period of my life. The Rangers have an incredible fan base and I will cherish many special moments, especially our trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Rangers are going in a different direction, I respect that and I wish them all the best. Thus far in my coaching career I am very grateful that I have had the privilege to work with three great organizations - Vancouver, and two Original Six teams with New York and Montreal. I have great respect for everyone in the media but for now please understand that I don't intend to comment any further, as I will regroup with my family. Thank you everyone for a great ride and life-lasting memories."

--AV

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St. Louis controls the puck during Game 3 against the Canadiens. (AP)
St. Louis controls the puck during Game 3 against the Canadiens. (AP)

In the NY Post today, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers spoke with Marty St. Louis about "taking over" the Hartford Wolf Pack when he retired. (NY Post)

Brooks says that the timing wasn't right then for St. Louis but that now, if he wants to be, St. Louis could be "on-the radar" as a possible assistant coach. (NY Post)

Brooks first mentioned the idea of St. Louis possibly joining the Rangers as an assistant back at the end of February. (NY Post)

Tags: Marty St. Louis
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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks lists the following 10 names as possible candidates to replace Alain Vigneault:

  • No NHL Head Coaching experience: Jim Montgomery of U of Denver, David Quinn of BU, Rick Bennett of Union College, Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Marlies.
  • Unemployed Stanley Cup Winners: Dan Bylsma, Darryl Sutter
  • Unemployed Playoff coaches: Dave Tippett, Patrick Roy
  • Still Employed coaches: Bill Peters
  • Former Rangers coaches who are employed: John Tortorella, with Brooks writing "Unlikely to become available, but if somehow he does if Columbus goes down early, Rangers could become interested in reunion."
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Dec 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mats Zuccarello spoke with a Norwegian Newspaper following the announcement that Alain Vigneault had been relieved of his coaching duties and said (Nettavisen):

  • Vigneault believed in him, gave him a chance and "that means a lot to me."
  • This is part of the business and these things happen after "such a bad season."
  • "We have had him for five years so they thought it's time to get a change. We will hope that it will be good, "

Zuccarello had 281 points in 396 games under Vigneault, 61 more points than Derek Stepan in second place.

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GEICO SportsNite: Vigneault 00:03:11
The GEICO SportsNite panel breaks down the Rangers' firing of Alain Vigneault and what the team should look for in the next head coach.

4/7/18 | 11:19PM: : The Rangers fired head coach Alain Vigneault after Saturday night's season finale against the Flyers. 

The Rangers finished with a 34-39-9 mark and missed the postseason for the first time since the 2010 season.

Vigneault delivered a defense of his time as coach following yesterday's loss in Philadelphia and said that he felt and he his staff were the right people to lead the Rangers in this rebuild.

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Mar 2, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the third period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. New York Rangers won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 2, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the third period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. New York Rangers won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media following the loss to Philadelphia and said (ESPN Radio):

  • "It's hard to say how I feel right now. We knew this was going to be the last game, we knew it would be a tough game against a good team, desperate team. The last couple of weeks I have had time to think about the season and try to figure out what went wrong and analyze. The first half, I felt really good. Felt as good as I have felt in a few years, we were winning and right there and then the injuries started to come and we started to lose and it was too tough for us to recover from that. After the change we were never really close to getting back in the race."
  • "I think the next few month will be crucial or the team, organization. Decisions and how we analyze it and it's on all of us players to come back and make sure we get back in the playoffs because that is where we want to be. It's about winning and the last two months it's been tough to really feel the job when you play the game. You compete and try to accomplish something and when you are not, it's not as much fun. You try to focus on things that make you better and enjoy the game but the biggest thing is winning games and when you are not it's a tough stretch. You look at the teams we are playing and what we are doing right now, the last couple of months, it is what it is and you have to accept it. It's been a tough stretch to go through. Spend the next couple of weeks analyzing everything, how to train, prepare for next year, it's technical, mental, physical. It's everything but I know it's right there. First half my numbers were some of the best in the league and make the All-Star team and the last few months it's been tough to make a difference."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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