rookie camp is well underway And with the preseason start on the horizon, Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury expressed his confidence in where the club stands – in terms of salary caps and personnel – going into the 2022-23 season.
In addition to exploring potential professional tryout contracts for a seasoned defenseman and tying up loose ends with 22-year-old Nils Lundqvist, who The Post’s Larry Brooks Reveals He’s Seeking a Trade and not planning on attending training camp, the Rangers essentially have their team and they Ready to start weighing your lineup options,
The ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup is the same, but high hopes are new. The Rangers have an uphill task after taking on back-to-back championship Lightning squads in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals last season. Aside from Ryan Strom moving to the Ducks in free agency, most of the Rangers’ core is back and looking to build on last season’s playoff run.
“I think we have a lot of talent and a lot of people who are hungry,” Drury said Thursday after the second day of rookie camp at the MSG Training Center. “You have that combination, I think it sets itself up to have some success. You need a break, you need help along the way, but I think we’re here to achieve our goals.” Are in a good place to expect.”
The Rangers will be pushed against the cap for the foreseeable future, which makes Drury all the more important now. The president and general manager for the second year did not rule out the possibility of taking fewer than 23 players on the roster to ensure that the club is in line with the cap, but it seems that it will all depend on where the training camp is based on their How shakes up as the lineup begins to take shape.
Drury said he is comfortable with the numbers Rangers are now in with regards to cap space. It will be important for Rangers to have some breathing room going into the season if they want to take a step or two on the trade deadline, which proved to be a key part of last season’s postseason run.
As a result, filling the rest of the lineup internally is an attractive option – but not necessarily a necessity. Defenseman Zack Jones, along with Libor Hajek, is one of the top internal choices for last place on the Blue Line, entering his fifth season with the Rangers.
“We definitely like where his game is,” Durie said of Jones. “He’s played a few games. He’s had a good summer, off-season training. It looks like he’s put on some weight and some strength. We’re excited to see what he has, not only this weekend, but What’s in the main camp?”
Cap’s dictation of Drury’s moves was evident this offseason, with Patrick Nemeth’s $2.5 million cap on the Coyotes being taken down and Ryan Carpenter signing a veteran for a minimum of $750,000. In addition, the Rangers signed a familiar face to a PTO in Jimmy Vesey.
Should the former Blueshirt impress during training camp, having Vesey on PTO lets Rangers see how the rest of the roster pans out before the dollar figures on the contract.
“Obviously, we know him, we know him, he’s familiar with us,” Durie said. “The guys who play here, you probably track a little bit more and our people, ie our scouts, were very interested in his coming. I think about where he is in his career and the things he does really well for. Was able to jersey last year, got us excited.
“The bottom six, big guy, physical player, had a really good year at PK, so here we get a chance to show us what he can do.”