4. Calvin de Haan
The Rangers are quite familiar with defenseman Calvin de Haan. He has played against them numerous times while with the New York Islanders. After a nasty injury in December, de Haan missed the rest of the season. He’s primed to hit free agency this offseason.
For several reasons, signing de Haan makes a ton of sense for the Rangers. First of all, he’s likely only going to get a one-year deal. No one should be willing to commit more than a year to him after his injury. This works out perfectly for New York. They had some younger guys come up and do a solid job after the trade deadline.
But here’s the thing about young players. You can’t just gift them lineup spots. No, you need depth in case they aren’t ready to be in the lineup every game. Signing de Haan would give the Rangers a very solid defensive defenseman. While New York should probably want to see him skate before signing him, he should be a solid fit in their system. He’s far from a liability as far as his skating and offense.
Secondly, let’s suppose a young player in the AHL proves himself deserving of a lineup spot. Great! The Rangers can easily trade de Haan to someone for a draft pick. Signing him could lead to New York indirectly buying a draft pick. But hey, the Blue Shirts are the wealthiest team in the NHL. It’s time they start acting like they are. The Maple Leafs did it, and look where they are.