GREENBURGH, N.Y. – As 56 players reported Thursday for physicals, only unsigned RFA defenseman Tony DeAngelo was absent. DeAngelo and winger Brendan Lemieux had been the two remaining unsigned players until the Rangers and Lemieux agreed to a one-year, $925,000 deal late Wednesday night.
Rangers president John Davidson, who met with the media Thursday, said general manager Jeff Gorton is in daily contact with DeAngelo’s agent, Pat Brisson.
“And it’s up to Tony,’’ Davidson said. “He’s welcome to join us every time he wants. He has every right in the world to not come to camp. So far, he’s not coming to camp, so we’re worried about who we have in camp, and that’s the way we’re going to go.’’
Davidson clarified that as long as DeAngelo is unsigned, he can’t participate in camp, but said, “He can make an agreement with us anytime he wants.’’
No captain in sight
Davidson was asked if the Rangers will choose a captain. They played last season without one, after trading Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning in February 2018.
“I’m not really worried about it,’’ said Davidson, who recalled that the Blue Jackets went a long period without a captain before naming Nick Foligno. “But if something fits and you find one, it’s always a good thing. But it’s got to be the right person. We have to make that decision in a very professional way.’’
Ds Sean Day and Yegor Rykov, both nursing injuries, are expected to skate Friday, Davidson said. Players will take part in on-ice testing Friday … C Boo Nieves, who wore No. 24 last season, switched to No. 15, meaning Kaapo Kakko can have the No. 24 he wore in Finland if he wants. He wore No. 45 at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament … Davidson on D Kevin Shattenkirk, who was bought out to create salary cap room after Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba signed big money contracts: “He’s a good person. But, it’s the business of hockey; it’s the business of the salary cap, and we decided to make the decision, that’s the way we went; we stand by it.’’