Found July 01, 2012 on The Rangers Tribune:

SlatsIt's not often that the National Hockey League's Free Agent Frenzy falls on a Sunday, but that's what general managers across the League will be working with when they hit the phones this afternoon. The day in which the frenzy falls on is not the only unique factor playing into July 1, 2012, but so is the circumstance in which the NHL finds itself in right now. With no CBA written up for the next season and a possible lockout/delayed start looming around the corner, it should be interesting to see how things play out over the next few days. Will teams be more aggressive to sign players knowing that the CBA will be revamped for the following season, or will that make them more hesitant when going to make a drastic move?

For the New York Rangers, at least, the whole NHL vs. NHLPA CBA thing doesn't seem to have much of an effect on their thought process at the moment. GM Glen Sather has already been quoted on saying that the Blueshirts will be hungry going into this year's free agency period and will be looking to make a big splash - something we've become accustomed to hearing over the years as followers of the team. 

There are bundles of rumors out there right now, as there always are, but no name could be tied to this team with any sense of certainty. It was a little more obvious last summer that the Rangers were targeting Brad Richards and that was there guy; This summer? Not so much, at least not in regard to free agents. 

Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan are two names that have been coming up often, but remember, neither player is a free agent or will be any time soon, so a hefty trade would be required to bring either to New York City. Unless the price comes down on Nash, that whole thing can just be forgotten because the Rangers simply aren't biting at the moment - you cannot blame them with defenseman Ryan McDonagh being one of the demands of the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

As for Ryan, a player I'd prefer to see the Rangers acquire over Nash, the asking price should be up there as well, I would imagine. He's a talented young American-born kid that would fit perfectly into the mold this franchise is building here, but how much of that mold would they have to give up to acquire him is the big question. 

So on this day of free agency, you may just see the Rangers more active in the trade market than in the free agency market, but you never know what tricks Sather and company have up their sleeves. There's no question they are looking to build on both the depth and primary scoring areas of the offense, as well as acquire a prove puck-moving defenseman. 

Those are high demands, yes, but nothing is impossible. 

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the day....

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