The decision comes after TSN's Frank Seravalli reported the Rangers agreed to a four-year deal with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, a New York native, worth $26.6 million.
Both Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski and The Hockey News' Matt Larkin were fans of the Shattenkirk contract for New York:
As CapFriendly noted, though, the Rangers don't have a wealth of remaining salary-cap space when taking into account their pending deals:
A little over $8.3 million would be more than enough on its own to sign Marleau or Thornton, but even bringing one of the two aboard would leave New York with little room to make any remaining upgrades to the roster.
Signing Shattenkirk addressed one of the Rangers' biggest concerns this offseason, and adding Thornton or Marleau would give them the proven forward they need as well. But after spending big to get Shattenkirk, New York may have little choice but to look for a more cost-effective forward alternative.