WASHINGTON, D.C. – The New York Rangers have taken the first moves towards obtaining Patrick Kane.
By dismissing forward Jake Leschyshyn on Saturday, they started the process of accumulating the salary cap space required to pull off the deal that everyone in the NHL now believes is unavoidable. Then, about an hour later, they completed a trade that sent forward Vitali Kravtsov to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward William Lockwood and a 2026 seventh-round draught selection.
That was the good news for Blueshirts fans.
Everything else that transpired during Saturday’s matinée in the nation’s capital was bad news.
The Rangers lost 6-3 against the struggling Caps, tying their season-high losing skid of four games.
“It shouldn’t be,” forward Barclay Goodrow said when asked whether trade talk is causing his mind to wander. “Our job is to go out there and have fun. It makes no difference what is going on around us or what is occurring on the internet. It is our responsibility to go out there and play once the puck is down. We must improve in every aspect of the game.”
To make things worse, they lost solid defender Ryan Lindgren to an upper-body injury, complicating their Kane-focused roster constraint even more.
T.J. Oshie smacked the unwitting 25-year-old into the boards during the first period, sending Lindgren to the ice and directly to the locker room with his left arm dangling in agony.
Gallant provided no injury update beyond the normal “day to day,” but labelled it a “dirty hit” from Oshie.
“The victim had no opportunity to defend himself,” he stated. “I’m unhappy there wasn’t a penalty – a five-minute major – but it was a cheap hit in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I like that hockey guy. But it’s a nasty hit.”