Almost a year ago, New York Rangers general manager Chris Drury was attempting to shop unhappy winger Vitali Kravtsov after he refused assignment to their AHL affiliate. He's now trying to find a taker for Nils Lundkvist.
The New York Post's Larry Brooks last week reported the Rangers were attempting to trade the 22-year-old defenseman, who could skip reporting to training camp if he's not moved. He's dropped down their blueline depth chart and wants to be moved to a club where he'll have a better opportunity to earn top-four minutes and power-play time.
Kravtsov spent last season on loan to KHL club Chelyabinsk Traktor awaiting a trade that never came. He signed a one-year contract in June with the Rangers and will be in training camp trying once again to earn a regular roster spot.
Brooks indicates Lundkvist doesn't have any issues with Rangers management. His agent, Claude Lemieux, is working with Drury to try and find a new NHL home for his client. It's believed Drury wants a promising young center in return.
Clubs in need of right-side blueline depth, such as the Arizona Coyotes, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks, could express an interest in Lundkvist. Montreal Hockey Now's Marco D'Amico suggested the Canadiens could part with a prospect such as Riley Kidney or Jan Mysak given their recent additions of centers Sean Monahan and Kirby Dach.
Drury's handling of Kravtsov's situation suggests he'll take the same patient approach with Lundkvist. He could retain the young defenseman if no one meets his asking price. That risks Lundkvist refusing to report to camp but it won't hurt the Rangers' blueline depth for the coming season.