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Nils Lundkvist forcing New York Rangers to commerce him will probably backfire

It has been roughly roughly round 9 months since defenseman Nils Lundkvist requested for a commerce from the New York Rangers.

“We did request a commerce when Nils was despatched down final 12 months,” his agent Claude Lemieux informed Perpetually Blueshirts by way of textual content on September 1. “We hope one thing can get completed within the subsequent few weeks.”

Common supervisor Chris Drury was requested about Lundkvist in the beginning of rookie camp and did not have a lot to say.

“I do not actually have any replace on it,” Drury said by NY Post’s Mollie Walker. “Clearly, we predict he is an actual good participant. We drafted him. We have labored with him the final variety of years. We actually hope he is right here subsequent week.”

Nils Lundkvist forcing New York Rangers to commerce him

In what can solely be outlined as an enormous threat, Lundkvist is opting to remain in Sweden and never report back to coaching camp. It’s definitely to play to drive Chris Drury right into a commerce.

Lundkvist, 22, was taken twenty eighth general within the 2018 Draft and has two years left on his entry-level contract with an AAV of $925,000. There isn’t any doubt that there have an interest suitors on the market. A number of the more than likely candidates are the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Crimson Wings, and the Montreal Canadiens.

The Habs look like an apparent commerce companion with Nick Bobrov there. He was head of the Rangers European scouting division when Nils was chosen earlier than Drury dismissed him final summer season. Former Blueshirts GM and now Habs VP of Hockey Ops, Jeff Gorton is there as effectively. Nonetheless, the 2 groups haven’t made a single commerce since these adjustments had been made and I am not anticipating one anytime quickly.

Keep in mind when Vitali Kravtsov requested for a commerce final September? Everybody had him enjoying in a Canadian uniform as quickly as that information hit the wire.

Perpetually Blueshirts was informed by somebody accustomed to the scenario that it wasn’t going to be that simple. Whereas Gorton would have curiosity, it must be at a reduced value. What was additionally relayed to me is that Gorton could be extra inclined to amass one of many prospect defensemen he drafted like Zac Jones, Braden Schneider, or Matthew Robertson.

Clearly, Schneider joined the Rangers in January when Lundkvist was despatched down and is deemed an untouchable right now. Whoever loses out in camp between Jones and Robertson this season could very effectively be in search of an out subsequent.

Lundkvist play will probably backfire

Nils Lundkvist
Nov 5, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers defensemen Nils Lundkvist (27) skates in opposition to the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Obligatory Credit score: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports activities

On the finish of the day, I imagine this transfer will probably backfire on Lundkvist. It will most likely have been higher for him to reach at camp and showcase his skills from him to attainable suitors.

Proper now, his commerce worth is not the place Drury desires it to be or else a deal would’ve been completed.

The previous Borje Salming Trophy winner because the SHL’s finest Swedish-born defenseman struggled in his 25 sport NHL stint final season. He managed to select up 4 factors earlier than being despatched right down to the Wolf Pack the place these struggles continued registering 15 factors in 34 video games.

Lundkvist comes outfitted with an elite shot and glorious offensive talents. Nonetheless, he is on the small aspect at 5-11 and 187 kilos, which solely exacerbates his points within the defensive zone.

It is going to be onerous for any GM to surrender a high prospect or excessive draft decide for him simply earlier than the season begins. Plus he desires to be traded, and different groups can clearly see there is not any spot for him behind Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba, and Braden Schneider. These elements all drive his worth down.

Whereas I perceive Lundkvist’s frustration and want to get a legit alternative, Drury is not the GM to play this sport with.

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek when discussing the Kravtsov scenario final season identified Drury’s observe report as Wolf Pack GM. Whereas he was there, a number of gamers demanded trades together with Sean Day, Ty Ronning, Brandon Halverson, and Ryan Gropp. Their requests did not go as they hoped.

“In all these conditions Chris Drury mainly mentioned ‘kick rocks’, I am not gonna deal you,” Marek mentioned. “And it was comfy to attend it out.”

I am unsure you wish to play hen with a man who has come he will not be compelled right into a transfer. You’ll be able to ask Vitali how his commerce request went. Not solely did he re-sign this summer season however he confirmed as much as New York a month prematurely of camp per Drury’s demand.

Backside line, I do not imagine Lundkvist goes to be traded earlier than the beginning of the season. Which implies he could also be requested to report back to Hartford and be suspended if he refuses. Extra probably than not, the Rangers will mortgage him to his former SHL group Lulea, the place he can play till the subsequent commerce deadline hits on March 3.

Then perhaps he would possibly get traded.

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