Goodrow, Rangers talking contract, GM confident deal will get done

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The 28-year-old forward can become an unrestricted free agent July 28. He scored 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 55 regular-season games and six points (two goals, four assists) in 18 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Lightning win the Stanley Cup for the second straight season.

“We’ve talked,” Rangers general manager Chris Drury said Monday. “We’re making progress but nothing to report now. But I don’t anticipate any issues getting him under contract.”

Drury said Goodrow’s winning pedigree and ability to play anywhere in the lineup under new coach Gerard Gallant made him a coveted commodity.

“I think he’s pretty versatile,” Drury said. “I could see him do all different things for Gerard, whether that’s more time in the middle, whether it’s face-offs in the [defensive] zone. But we think he’s got a pretty complete game. He’s going be able to help a lot of different areas.

“He’s a guy that we targeted and obviously went out and made a deal with Tampa early to get a jump on it.”

Drury said Goodrow fits into the Rangers plans of developing a more straight-line approach because of his combination of skill, grit and north/south skating up and down the ice.

“Obviously the bigger the game the better he seems to play,” Drury said. “He’s aware. He’s able to walk in our locker room and talk about what it’s like to play in the playoffs and to win Cups. That’s a unique thing and obviously a very special thing, so we’re excited to be able to trade for him and work towards trying to sign him.”

Goodrow has scored 93 points (32 goals, 61 assists) in 331 regular-season games with the Lightning and San Jose Sharks, and 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 65 playoff games. The Lightning acquired him from the Sharks on Feb. 24, 2020.

Drury also addressed the trading of forward Brett Howden to the Vegas Golden Knights for defenseman Nick DeSimone and a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft on Saturday. Howden had signed a one-year, $885,000 contract with the Rangers on July 9 and scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in 42 games this season.

“He’s a terrific kid,” Drury said. “I think he was a good Ranger and I think a fresh start will be good for him. Certainly wish him nothing but the best.”

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