Barclay Goodrow of the Rangers skates against the Stars at...

Barclay Goodrow of the Rangers skates against the Stars at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 20. Credit: Jim McIsaac

San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier, a friend and protégé of Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury, helped his pal out in a big way Wednesday when the Sharks claimed veteran forward Barclay Goodrow off waivers from the Rangers.

In so doing, the Sharks took all of Goodrow’s $3.641 million salary cap hit off the Rangers’ payroll, freeing up space for Drury as he seeks to upgrade the roster for next season’s chase for the Stanley Cup.

The move brings Goodrow, 31, back to the Sharks, the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and for whom he played his first five-plus seasons before he was traded to Tampa Bay in 2020. Goodrow won consecutive Stanley Cup titles with Tampa Bay before being traded to the Rangers in the summer of 2021.

The Rangers placed Goodrow on waivers Tuesday, and with him now off their books, they have approximately $12.85 million in available space under the NHL’s $88 million salary cap for next season, with 12 forwards, four defensemen and two goalies on their roster.

They will need to re-sign restricted free agents Ryan Lindgren and Braden Schneider, but that should leave them some space to bring in a right wing for their top line, with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, either via free agency or trade. They will also need to replace Goodrow, their fourth-line center this season, and add a veteran defenseman who would challenge for a spot in the top six.

Goodrow spent three seasons with the Rangers and helped them get to two Eastern Conference final appearances. He was one of their most effective players in this postseason with six goals – two game-winners – in 16 games. He’d scored four in 80 games in the regular season.

The Sharks no doubt wanted Goodrow for his veteran leadership, which should go a long way on a young, developing team with the first pick in the upcoming NHL Draft, and the right to select projected No. 1 overall forward Macklin Celebrini. San Jose has plenty of cap space to absorb Goodrow’s contract, which had become too pricey for the Rangers.

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