With lists due to the NHL by 5:00pm Eastern Saturday, and a trade freeze starting two hours before – and running until 1:00pm Thursday – the Rangers were about to give us the first clues as to what might happen this offseason.
The re-signing of both Julien Gauthier and Brett Howden prior to the deadline suggested that the Rangers might want some different options on the protection list, or in the case of Howden, it proved to be for the purposes of a trade.
Full Protected List
That left the following players unprotected:
The Rangers certainly benefitting from a young roster, with many players exempt from the protection list, meaning it really came down to whether they’d protect Blackwell, Rooney or Gauthier (after the Howden trade).
As it turns out they chose to pick fourth line forward Kevin Rooney, whom they signed as a UFA last October.