St. Louis Blues: Top UFAs from the New York Rangers to Consider Signing

As most NHL fans are eyeing the upcoming NHL Draft, directly following the prized event is the opening of the free-agent market. Could the St. Louis Blues pursue a UFA from the New York Rangers?
New York Rangers v Florida Panthers - Game Six
New York Rangers v Florida Panthers - Game Six / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

The New York Rangers fared well, losing to the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Rangers fans were left disappointed, longing to return to the finals and seeking a Cup win, as the team has been in an ongoing drought for thirty years.

New York Rangers GM Chris Drury must make several critical decisions during this offseason, including re-signing or letting several RFAs and UFAs go.

Which New York Rangers UFAs would be a good fit for the St. Louis Blues?

Erik Gustafsson

Gustafsson, 32, had a good year in 2023-24, scoring 6 goals and recording 25 assists to compile 31 total points. This season marks his first with the Rangers, having previously played for a handful of teams, most notably spending several years in Chicago.

Gustafsson remains a legitimate option to consider. GM Doug Armstrong would find his services to be fairly priced, and his performance in the NHL during the 2023-24 season ranked as the third-best out of his nine years.

He is perhaps a perfect example of a player molded by development and NHL experience. Gustafsson, a fourth-round draft pick, earns the respect of his peers and could boost the struggling St. Louis Blues defense.

He would have been in second place for total points among the Blues this season, with 31 points.

Due to his age and current contractual figures ($825,000) with the Rangers, he remains an ideal defenseman for Armstrong to pursue.

Blake Wheeler

If St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong isn’t committed to a rebuild, another veteran who can score the puck could help.

Even though Blake Wheeler is reaching the end of his career, his credentials are highly impressive.

Wheeler’s one-year contract expires, which paid him $800,000.

Despite being 37 years old, he’s just one year away from a 55-point season with the Winnipeg Jets. His performance in the 2023-24 season with the Rangers included 9 goals, 12 assists, and 21 points. His ice time was the lowest of his career at 12:43 minutes.

If Armstrong is willing, they could offer him a minimum contract. In this scenario, Wheeler can serve as a seasoned player who can have a significant offensive impact, specifically in terms of puck possession and setting up his teammates for scoring chances.

Alexander Wennberg and Jack Roslovic

While other free agents exist, notably Alexander Wennberg and Jack Roslovic, both will receive comfortable contracts due to their success this season. Armstrong could pursue either, but if he’s looking for a bargain and to pay little, they most likely aren’t legitimate considerations.

Wennberg finished the season with 30 points, similar to Roslovic’s 31 points. Due to their age and previous contracts, they might be out of the bidding war for the St. Louis Blues.

The New York Rangers made several key acquisitions at the trade deadline, bolstering their team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Erik Gustafsson remains an intriguing name. He could immediately step in and help the Blues. Taking into account his age, productivity, and salary demands, he is the ideal match for the team.