Since missing the playoffs in 2010, the New York Rangers have made it to the Eastern Conference Final three times, and to the Stanley Cup Final once. Instead, they’ve lost to the L.A. Kings in the final and watched their division rivals from Pittsburgh win it twice in a row, even losing to the Penguins in the first round in 2016. The Rangers went after prized free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk with a four-year contract worth $26.6 million.
The Vegas Golden Knights currently have 10 defensemen under contract — and that is without Nate Schmidt signed. Schmidt and the Golden Knights have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 3, so there is still plenty of time for them to negotiate a new deal for the restricted free agent blue liner without having a neutral third party decide the matter. Schmidt’s agent, Matt Keator, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that talks with the Golden Knights have been positive, which lends to optimism that perhaps the club and player will avoid this whole process with a deal.
It’s a slow period for hockey right now, so the NHL Network is doing a tremendously solid thing by recapping each of the 31 teams' situations after the expansion, draft and free agency periods altered many rosters. MORE What's left out there in free agency for Bruins? This week, the NHL Network turned its TV eyes to the Bruins and pointed to their right-shot heavy stable of defensemen as the clear strength of the team. That perception is quite the 180-degree turn from just a couple of years ago when the B’s were bereft of top-four defensemen on the back end after shipping out Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton. This was further compounded by No. 1 defenseman Zdeno Chara approaching 40, and,