Earlier this month, the New York Post's Larry Brooks reported the possibility of Nils Lundkvist refusing to report to the Rangers training camp unless he was traded. According to USA Today's Vincent Z. Mercogliano, the 22-year-old defenseman intends to do just that.
Lundkvist's agent, Claude Lemieux, told Mercogliano they've requested a trade from the Rangers and his client intends to remain in Sweden until it happens. Brooks had reported the puck-moving blueliner would like to be moved to a club where he'll have a better opportunity for top-four minutes and power-play time.
A right-shot rearguard, Lundkvist has little chance of taking away playing time from former Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox and team captain Jacob Trouba among the Rangers' top-two defense pairings. Braden Schneider has taken over the right side position on the third pairing.
Mercogliano believes Chris Drury has called around to gauge interest in Lundkvist but felt the Rangers general manager won't rush into a trade. He pointed out that Drury held onto Vitali Kravtsov when he didn't get a suitable offer for the winger last season. Kravtsov has now returned to the Rangers in hope of landing a full-time roster spot.
The Arizona Coyotes, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks are among several clubs that could use additional right-side blueliner depth. So far, however, there's no indication that any of those clubs have inquired about Lundkvist.
One reason could be Drury's asking price. It's believed he's seeking a promising young center in return. Another could be Lundkvist's limited NHL experience, appearing in just 25 games last season.