New York Rangers Blueshirt Beat, 6/25/17: Lindy Ruff Hired, Contract Talks Begin 1
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (19) celebrates his goal against Montreal Canadiens with teammates center Mika Zibanejad (93) and defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

After an exciting NHL Entry Level Draft, the New York Rangers continue to work by hiring Lindy Ruff and beginning contract talks with RFA’s.

The last several days for the New York Rangers have been jam packed with trades, draft picks, and of course, speculation. There was a break in the storm today, as most of the NHL was relatively quiet on day two of the draft. The New York Rangers and GM Jeff Gorton continue to make splashes in the pond.

Rumors of the New York Rangers making a call to Lindy Ruff surfaced a week ago but quickly faded with no substantial evidence and no coaching vacancy in New York. In true New York fashion, those rumors surfaced again on Friday night. Saturday, Larry Brooks of the New York Post confirmed the rumor that Ruff would be taking an associate head coach job focusing on defense for the Blueshirts. Jeff Beukeboom will relinquish his duties on the bench and continue with the organization as a professional scout. For full coverage on the Lindy Ruff hire check out the ESNY article.

Contract Talks Heat Up for New York Rangers

The expansion and entry levels drafts are in the rear view mirror for Jeff Gorton. Priority number one now lies with free agents, both restricted and unrestricted.

Starting today, NHL franchises are allowed to begin talking to unrestricted free agents. Better put, Jeff Gordon’s phone will be in frequent use. Many calls will be made tomorrow, from the obvious in Kevin Shattenkirk to the obscure in Joe Thorton. It’s fair to assume the New York Rangers will be extremely active in the free agency and trade market.

Staying in-house, Jeff Gorton has confirmed that contract negotiations are in progress for both Jesper Fast and Mika Zibanejad. These two players should be top priority signings for the Blueshirts. Keeping them in New York should be a simple task as both want to continue at Madison Square Garden. The Mika Zibanejad situation has bridge deal written all over it, however, Gorton has suggested they would also entertain a long-term deal for Mika. Guess they like the guy eh?

Other New York Rangers News:

  • Zach Silver of The Cornell Daily Sun writes a piece on Morgan Barron, who was selected 174 overall by the New York Rangers in the 2017 NHL Entry Level Draft.
  • ESNY’s own Tom Castro honors Dan Girardi, but argues Anton Stralman was the better option.
  • New York PostsBrett Cyrgalis discusses the New York Rangers coaching shake up and adding experience to the bench.
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