Teams are expected to battle on the trading market and the New York Rangers will surely get in there. After shipping out Derek Stepan to the Arizona Coyotes in June, the Blue Shirts are now lacking experienced skill at center.
According to Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News, the Rangers will place Mika Zibanejad on the first line and Kevin Hayes at the center their second or third line, meaning GM Jeff Gorton could hit the market to pursue a top-nine center via trade. New York carries about $3 million in salary-cap space, leaving sufficient wiggle room to add depth as they see fit.
However, the Pittsburgh Penguins are also looking to land a third-line center. Both clubs could compete for the same players.
The Detroit Red Wings are hoping to shed salary before the season opener to free up space to re-sign forward Andreas Athanasiou. Center Riley Sheahan could be moved to allow that.
Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner can play center or wing and might benefit from a change of scenery. The Pens and Rangers might be eyeing the same targets: let's see who strikes first!