Forward Barclay Goodrow is slated for unrestricted free agency on July 28 and in the meantime very well might be left exposed in the NHL Expansion Draft, leaving him free to negotiate with the Seattle Kraken. However, should he not sign with Seattle, Goodrow’s exclusive negotiating rights now belong to the New York Rangers. The team took the minor risk of getting a head start on contract talks with the two-way winger by sending a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for his expiring contract. That risk will be well worth it if Goodrow signs with New York, as he was expected to draw considerable interest on the open market. The Lightning were not able to extend Goodrow due to salary cap concerns, so they will happily settle for an extra draft pick.
While Goodrow was known as a good two-way forward during his time in San Jose, he blossomed over the past two seasons in Tampa. His offense has improved as has his physicality, creating a dangerous bottom-six combination. A hard-nosed player who excels at even strength and on the penalty kill, Goodrow could assist the Rangers in a number of ways. Namely, new GM Chris Drury wanted to make the team more difficult to play against and adding Goodrow would accomplish that.
However, New York needs to be careful not to negotiate against themselves in this situation. While there has already been rampant speculation that Goodrow could command a long-term contract or considerable salary this off-season, that is with the presumption that he reaches the open market. The Rangers have too many promising young players that will need expensive extensions down the road, not to mention a major hole at top-six center, to get roped into overpaying for a bottom-six forward. Their only competition for Goodrow right now is the Seattle Kraken, otherwise they would be wise to negotiate as if they have exclusive rights and try to keep Goodrow’s value from being artificially inflated before free agency begins.