The Rangers won’t have Lias Andersson as a lineup option if the NHL resumes play this summer. According to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, the 21-year-old forward has told the team he’ll be staying home in Sweden.
“We had discussions with Lias about coming over for camp, but he felt it was better for him to stay in his home country at this time,” Rangers President John Davidson told Brooks. “We respect that decision. We had a number of good conversations. He told me he wants to be a New York Ranger. We’ll continue to hold his rights and down the road we’ll have discussions about where it’s best for Lias to play next season.”
Andersson was loaned to HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League in January. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 draft left the team in December and requested a trade after splitting time between the Rangers and AHL Hartford. He has three goals in 66 career NHL games.
The pick used on Andersson was acquired from the Coyotes as part of the deal that sent Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to Arizona. Also headed to New York in that trade was Tony DeAngelo, who led Rangers defensemen in scoring this season with 15 goals and 53 points.
Brooks reports that Andersson spoke with Davidson and head coach David Quinn, but the young forward turned down the training camp invite. His time in New York could very well be done and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him spend next season with HV71 on loan again.
The Rangers hold Andersson’s rights through the end of the 2020-21 season. Should the priority be to try and mend the relationship or move on?