NHL Rumors: Rangers' Former Top Pick Not Available For Trade

After Alexis Lafreniere was made a healthy scratch by Gerard Gallant and the New York Rangers, many trade rumours started to arise and it appeared as though it struck the interest of general managers around the league. The Rangers have since told teams that Lafreniere is in fact not available and that this will be a good reset for him, per Pierre LeBrun.

Elliotte Friedman spoke on 32 Thoughts: The Podcast before this news was released revealing that this is the style of coaching Gallant has and he has been consistent in executing it. He doesn't like to keep players out of the lineup for too long, and if a player isn't giving him consistently strong play, he will take them out. Just because Lafreniere is a former number one overall pick, doesn't mean he is safe from this. It would be different if he was producing more, but he hasn't this season.

The Rangers really liked how Lafreniere responded last season after he was made a healthy scratch. He picked up his play for the remainder of the regular season before having a strong postseason. The team hopes that benching him will result in the same from last season and have it stick. They really liked what they got from Lafreniere in the playoffs and hope that is the type of play he can bring on a nightly basis moving forward.

There are other examples of Gallant making similar decisions with young players on the back-end this season. He gave Libor Hajek and Zac Jones shots and wasn't satisfied. This is why Ben Harpur is in the lineup as the sixth defenceman. For all of the Lafreniere fans out there, the team is not planning on giving up on him so early in his career. There is a reason he was drafted number one overall.

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