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Rangers draft targets, Mark Messier, Brad Richards

Rangers center Brad Richards looks to make a

Rangers center Brad Richards looks to make a pass in the second period. (April 3, 2013) (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

With the draft approaching Sunday, the Rangers have five selections as of now---with three picks in the third round, none in the first or second, although they could move up to the second round, we’re told.

They’ll be looking at left wings (plenty of righties in the system), a goalie to groom for five years (not Zach Fucale of Halifax, who will be gone in the first round), and defensive depth.

Me, I beat the lines and grabbed my credentials this morning from Newark, so I’m all set to cover the event.

Actually, wonder if the possible Brad Richards buyout or trades will be the Rangers story of the day on Sunday at Prudential Center rather than the picks? Something’s gotta give on No. 19 soon: Sather said “shortly” yesterday. 

Still think Sather and the brass will bite the dollars bullet and set Richards free…Slats and Assistant GM Jeff Gorton and Vigneault have explored options on the free agent and trade market if they have $19 million available.

FYI, I don’t feel sorry for any of the fellows (Lecavalier, Bryz, Briere, among them) being bought out. They’ve sort of hit the lottery and there’ll be bids, albeit lower than they’re being paid now, for most.  

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If you’ve been following here and on twitter and in the paper, you realize that I was never sold on Messier being selected as head coach (in fact, I still believe if there had been a relocation of the Coyotes, Dave Tippett would have been a stronger finalist, given the timing and the current structure of the team.)  Having said that, I believe Messier could eventually return in some role in a few years, but without that coaching experience, would he end up as an assistant GM or a pro scout?  If this sounds familiar, yeah, we’ve speculated on this during the search. Keep up with your daily clicks and reading, boys and girls!  

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Have the Rangers played their last road game in Phoenix?  We’ll know next week.  NHL commish Gary Bettman has asked for a resolution from the Glendale City council by July 2. Deputy commish Bill Daly told us after the Board of Governors meeting in Manhattan yesterday that the realignment would not change---indicating that Seattle was a possibility---and that Key Arena wouldn’t be an immediate problem.  

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Good to see Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson say he’s sticking around for another year…Hearing rumblings that David Clarkson won’t be a Devil next season…Just saying: If Roberto Luongo’s outta Vancouver, and you’ve gotta bet that’s coming one way or another,  Torts may find out quickly just how valuable Lundqvist was, penciling him in every night. He may be doing the netminder shuffle as he did in Tampa…             

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