The New York Rangers have an opportunity to improve their Blueline now that Adam Fox and the Carolina Hurricanes are at an impasse.
With just three games left in the 2018-19 NHL season, the New York Rangers are looking ahead to the offseason.
Late Monday afternoon, Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon announced that the team would try to move Fox. The junior defenseman has decided against signing an entry-level contract with Carolina.
Fox was originally drafted by the Calgary Flames who had hoped that he would sign with them following his sophomore year at Harvard. He then decided to go back to school for his junior year, prompting the Flames to trade him to the Hurricanes in June 2018. The deal also saw defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm going to the Calgary for defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Micheal Ferland.
The Jericho, New York native now has the leverage in this unusual negotiation. The defenseman can decide, regardless of what the Hurricanes do, to go back to Harvard and play out his senior season.
Should he complete his senior year, he would become an unrestricted free agent in 2020. Fox could give Carolina a team he would be willing to sign and play for right now which would immediately begin the phone ringing.
This is an option that would be most beneficial for Carolina. The prospect of gaining draft picks as opposed to just letting him go after the next college season is something the Hurricanes would like to obtain.
The Rangers might be a destination Fox and the Hurricanes would be willing to negotiate with.
With the news coming out of this stalemate, both Bob Mckenzie and Pierre LeBrun mention the Blueshirts by name in tweets that put out when discussing who might be interested.
Hearing that the Hurricanes have been informed Adam Fox isn't likely to sign with them, that a trade would be the desired route, and I'm guessing the Rangers would top the d-man's list. Carolina looking at its options…
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 1, 2019
New York has 10 picks in the upcoming NHL Draft. The Rangers certainly wouldn’t offer one of their two first-round picks for Fox, but with three second-round picks and one third-rounder on the slate, general manager Jeff Gorton could make Carolina an offer considered worthwhile.
The Rangers could also choose to make a deal that would include a draft pick and possibly one of the many defensemen in their AHL minor league system. John Gilmour might have been a good consideration, but his unrestricted free-agent status impending, it’s an unlikely scenario.
Would the Rangers consider a player such as Sean Day or maybe Neal Pionk? The team has high hopes for Ryan Lindgren and Libor Hajek becoming future men to stand on the blue line. With Brady Skjei and Tony DeAngelo enjoying strong seasons, the Blueshirts need to reevaluate their defensive program.
Fox would absolutely be able to find a spot on the team. He is a right-handed shot that has been considered by many to be NHL ready. This past season at Harvard, he appeared in 33 games, scoring nine goals along with 39 assists.
The 21-year-old had a fantastic college career. In 2016-17, he was named the ECAC Rookie of the Year, named NCAA Ivy League Rookie of the Year, and won the Gold Medal as a member of the U20 WJC USA team.
Fox led the ECAC in points with 33, was named to the ECAC First All-Star Team for the third consecutive season, and was a Hobey Baker Finalist (awarded to the best College Hockey Player).
This is an opportunity the Rangers should look at. If it doesn’t work out now and Fox decides to play his senior year at Harvard, the team could go after him again next season, which would cost the team nothing in regards to picks or players.
The rebuilding never ends. The Blueshirts need to look at ways to improve the blueline and what better way than to pick up a New York Kid to play with many kids under the bright lights of Broadway.