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Defenseman Brendan Smith hoping to remain with Rangers as trade deadline looms

Igor Shesterkin at Rangers practice on Jan. 15,

Igor Shesterkin at Rangers practice on Jan. 15, 2021. Credit: NY Rangers/Nick Homler

The Rangers aren’t expected to be very active at the trade deadline Monday, but general manager Jeff Gorton still could make a deal if someone offers something worthwhile for a veteran player such as defenseman Brendan Smith.

Smith is well aware that he could be traded before the 3 p.m. deadline, but he was emphatic after the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders on Sunday that his preference is to stay with the Blueshirts.

"I’m not oblivious to [the possibility of being traded], but I want to be here,’’ he said. "I want to help this team win. I love being a Ranger.

"I don’t know, if there’s other things going out there where I get traded, it is what it is. It’s a job, it’s a business. But like I said, this is where I want to be.’’


Lineup stays intact

Aside from starting Igor Shesterkin in goal, coach David Quinn made no changes, meaning forwards Julien Gauthier and Phillip DiGiuseppe were scratched again. Gauthier missed his fourth straight game and DiGiuseppe his third straight . . . Another prospect defenseman, Nils Lundkvist, had his team, Lulea, lose to Skelleftea in overtime in the first game of the Swedish Hockey League playoffs Saturday . . . Kaapo Kakko played in his 100th game.

Prospect Jones wins title

UMass won the NCAA hockey championship Saturday, beating St. Cloud State, 5-0, in the final. Rangers prospect Zac Jones, a third-round pick in 2019 and a sophomore defenseman for UMass, made the all-tournament team. "He’s had a terrific college career so far,’’ Quinn said. "He’s someone I’m a little bit familiar with, watching him play before he got to UMass. And he certainly has been a very, very good player there, and we think very highly of him as an organization. And congratulations to UMass.’’

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