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This week off marks the start of the trade deadline, with just under six weeks until the March 8 deadline. Coupled with the Rangers’ relegation to mediocrity over the past two months, hitting 12-12-2 over the last 26 games after a terrible 18-4-1 game, GM Chris Drury had plenty of urgency to try and improve. His list, especially in the future.

Then came Friday. Philippe Chytil had to be helped to the Garden dressing room after taking in fluids during his second time on the ice during the three-man morning skate due to shock. The expected announcement came Sunday that Chytil was locked up for the remainder of the 2023-24 season, including the postseason, a devastating development for the 24-year-old.

So now Drury must continue to aim for a center instead of looking for a top-nine right-sided forward for the third deadline in a row. Frank Vatrano and Andrew Cope were big hits in 2021-22. Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane are mixed last year.

The Rangers will hit Chytil’s $4.44-million hit from long-term injury reserve, which is the only silver lining in this situation. That certainly adds to Drury’s options, perhaps even to the point of having two forwards if all else fails.

We had some of these same names on our very early lists last month, but now there are a few more to keep an eye on.

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Adam Henrik, Duck: The talented No. 3 center can still produce, as he showed with two goals against the Anaheim Rangers last weekend. He doesn’t make the Rangers fast, but he plays an all-around game and doesn’t look out of place between Will Quayle and Capo Kako, giving the Rangers a threatening third line. The Ducks appear willing to eat some of their $5.825-million cap hit, which means the buyer pool could be deep. He’s not worth a first-round pick, but it might be worth giving up a second to make it happen.

Elias Lindholm, Flame: If Drury is going there — and as one Eastern Conference executive noted earlier this week — “when the East is so wide, why don’t they all go in?” — It might be worth paying a big price to get Lindholm. The pending UFA is far out of the Rangers range on contract so this will be strictly a rental and expensive, as other teams will want to sign Lindholm after trading for him. A first-runner is certainly a piece of demand in Calgary, but Lindholm provides dangerous depth down the middle for the Rangers.

Jack Rozlovich, Blue Jackets; The 27-year-old has plenty of appeal for Rangers as he plays center and right wing and offers some scoring pop to go with a good third-line profile. He’s a pending UFA who won’t break the bank beyond this season and certainly costs more than a second round pick right now.

Sean Monaghan, Canadians: He’s a perfect fit in Henrique’s mold, but the brief description of the situation people have been talking about for weeks, Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday night: There’s no love lost between former Rangers GM Jeff Gorton, now Montreal’s top executive, and Drury. There’s also the matter of Gorton hiring two of the longtime Rangers staff Drury fired, director of scouting Nick Bobrov and medical coach Jim Ramsey. Someone who regularly talks to the Canadiens believes the Montreal front office will be short-lived because Drury is unlikely to reach Canadiens GM Kent Hughes. Perhaps this will change, but the indicators are that both parties are looking elsewhere.

Alexander Weinberg, Kraken Another pending UFA that won’t bring the same good game as Henrique but would help Rangers. Price might not be that much, though Seattle still seems unconvinced he’s traded.

Yanni Gorde, Kraken: This will take some creativity, as Gourde has another season on the $5.16 million cap hit. So the Rangers need to send a contract the other way around — Barkley Goodrow screaming to be gone, mind you — and some assets to make it work. Farfetched, but Gorde has the right makeup to be a strong 3C for the Rangers.

Kevin Hayes, Blues: How are you, my old friend? Hayes was a popular Ranger and will be five days back again after dealing with the Jets for a first-round pick. The main problems here are that the Blues are making a playoff push and Hayes has two years left with a cap value of $3.57 million. If the Blues can keep some salary, it could work and give Rangers a very capable third or fourth center for a while.

Morgan Frost, pamphlets A slightly different option here as Frost, the 27th pick in the 2017 draft, has a lot of talent but is not a huge fan of Flyers coach John Tortorella. Although Chytil could return up forward, Rangers will need to drop down the middle a bit at some point. Snow will obviously cost them at first, but he will control spending over the next two years.


Vladimir Tarasenko, Senators For that to work, Ottawa would have to retain salary on Tarasenko’s $5-million salary, especially in conjunction with another center move, but the reunion makes some sense. Tarasenko was a strong addition off the wing of Mika Zibanejad last season and will find himself primed to earn a long contract with a decent spring and playoff run. At this point, Tarasenko could be the answer to the right’s woes again, as long as there is no other trade for the right wing behind him.

Jordan Eberle, Kraken: Perhaps Drury could fill both key forward spots in one deal by adding solid top-six RW Eberle to one of the centers above. Out of the waiting UFA team, the Rangers could do worse than Eberle, who has two big playoff appearances with the Islanders not too long ago.

Anthony Duclair, SharksIgnore the offensive metrics, as everything San Jose does data-wise this season is red on every chart. Duclair has game-breaking speed and a more well-rounded game since struggling for ice time as a Ranger as a teenager. It also does not cost much.

Alexander Barbanov, Sharks They don’t seem to have a Rangers-style high-engine third line. It has a slight touch of effect. He will be one of the people who made a difference somewhere on the last day.

Jason Zucker, Coyotes: Arizona is still in the Western Conference finals, so this may finally be the year the Coyotes don’t sell everything that isn’t nailed down. On the other hand… Zucker is still effective and likes to foul the nose, two traits the Rangers could use.

Frank Vatrano, Duck: He’s headed to the All-Star Game and the Ducks aren’t exactly overflowing with talent, so moving him seems like a long shot. It worked well with Chris Kreider and Zibanejad two years ago, but at least a call from Drury is worth it.

Brook McGinn, Duck A guy who scored some big goals in Carolina and Pittsburgh and did nothing in Anaheim. He has another year left at $2.75 million so this is one of the cheapest the Rangers could make asset wise, but he probably isn’t a guy you want to commit to for another season.

Patrick Kane, Red Wings: just kidding.

(Photo of Frank Vatrano (77) and Adam Henrique (14): Andrew Morzynski / Icon Sports via Getty Images)