Friedman: Rangers not in on Karlsson trade

With Erik Karlsson Trade Watch continuing into July, it seems as the New York Rangers are not in the running for his services.

For years, the Rangers had always been connected with virtually every single big-name player, whether via free agency or trade.

General manager Jeff Gorton has changed that course though, and it continued to be evidenced by the Rangers’ lack of making a splash July 1.

“They stuck to their plan,” noted Elliotte Friedman during the final episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, which was recorded July 4 and released July 5. “People are saying they’re in on Karlsson. They’re not. I don’t think they’ve ever been in on Erik Karlsson.

“And I like that. ‘This is our plan. We’re sticking to our plan.’”

Weeks ahead of the February 26 trade deadline, the Rangers took their message directly to the fans about their process of reshaping their team and the organization’s focus on adding “young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character.”

Karlsson is in the final season of his contract, which carries a $6.5 million cap hit and includes a modified no-trade clause.