New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton will be hunting for an upper-echelon veteran rental center as the season evolves.
The New York Post has learned the Rangers and Joe Thornton had several productive conversations during Thornton’s free-agency period last summer that extended into midday of July 1. They ended almost at the same time Kevin Shattenkirk unexpectedly made himself available on a short-term deal and Thornton, coming off a serious knee injury, decided to return for a 13th season in San Jose.
But there is no doubt both parties were comfortable and intrigued with the idea of Thornton coming to New York to team up with his pal and Team Canada teammate, Rick Nash, while bolstering the team’s middle.
For a trade to happen this season, the Rangers would have to concoct the way to absorb the remaining portion of Thornton’s full-year $8 million cap hit. And the clubs would have to agree on the compensation going San Jose’s way.