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Barclay Goodrow Is Not Pleased With The Rangers’ And Sharks’ Handshake Deal

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30: Barclay Goodrow #21 of the New York Rangers prior to the National Hockey League Eastern Conference Final game 5 against the Florida Panthers on May 30, 2024 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Barclay Goodrow is a forward who kills penalties, delivers hits, offers veteran leadership, and is generally well-liked by teammates. He's also, more broadly, one of the worst forwards in the league. He had four goals for the Rangers this regular season, then six in the playoffs, and if you want to know which of those is more representative of his skills, it's the one that didn't require him to shoot 40 percent. New York, up against the cap and needing to make some moves this offseason if they want to take the next step while their window is open, was desperate to move Goodrow's contract, which has three more years left at $3.46M per. The problem is that no contender in its right mind would take on that contract, not without getting something else as a sweetener.

Luckily for the Rangers, the San Jose Sharks are not a contender, nor all that pragmatic.

When New York placed Goodrow on waivers on Tuesday, it was assumed he'd clear, and the Rangers would either buy him out or find a trade partner and throw in a draft pick or something to wash their hands of Goodrow's contract. But on Wednesday the Sharks claimed Goodrow. They will assume his contract in full. It was a curious move, but not an accident: the New York Post reports that the sequence was pre-arranged by the Rangers and Sharks.

Goodrow had a 15-team no-trade clause which included "teams in less-than-desirable locations and those who are not contenders," the last of which certainly describes the Sharks, who were a league-worst 19-54-9 and were thus atop the waiver order. Waiving Goodrow allowed the Rangers to sidestep his NTC and San Jose to have the first crack at him.

Rangers GM Chris Drury and Sharks GM Mike Grier played together at Boston University and with the Buffalo Sabres, and Grier worked in New York's front office before joining the Sharks. I'm just mentioning some facts, for no particular reason.

Goodrow "is not happy about how this went down," the Post reports. Despite having started his career in San Jose, it's no wonder. To go from a conference finalist—with a contract and an NTC that should have allowed him to pick and choose his next employer—to the NHL's worst team is not what most players are hoping for at age 31. It's cold-blooded business, which is fine and good for New York, but perhaps not so much for the team that now hopes Goodrow will be a productive employee.

So Goodrow gets hosed. The Rangers get out from under an unwanted contract. What do the Sharks get out of this, besides the right to pay a disgruntled guy $10.9 million in the next three years? Another clue can be found in San Jose's Wednesday acquisition of Ty Dellandrea from Dallas for a fourth-round pick. The Sharks are going to take Macklin Celebrini first overall in next week's draft. They appear to be looking to surround him with physical players, and in Goodrow's case a veteran presence. It's not the worst idea to protect a prospect upon whom a franchise's future might lie, and they certainly have the money available. But when you're assuming a player on a contract that no one else would have taken on, and you're not getting anything else for it, maybe it's worth spending a moment to consider who you think you're outsmarting.

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