Yesterday’s free agency activity can be summed up in one word: over payment. Time and time again in the live chat we would see someone sign, and then ask ourselves “Wait, he got WHAT?!”. In a market where Ville Leino can get six years and $4.5 million per year, the Rangers showed restraint, and came out victorious in the first day. They bowed out on Jaromir Jagr, they bowed out on Andrew Brunette. In fact, they only signed two players, Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Rupp.
Neither contract is a cap killing contract. We know what Fedotenko brings to the table, and I’m glad he’s back. As for Rupp, the initial reaction was “wait, he got how many years?”, but the more you look at the signing objectively, the more it makes sense. The Rangers need a bigger body to be physical and play on the fourth line. They also needed someone who can serve a purpose other than just being a big body. Rupp is the guy they wanted, Rupp is the guy the got.
Rupp wins 50% of his face offs, which immediately makes him the best face off guy on the team. Add that to his ability to throw his body around, drop the gloves when necessary, and chip in ten goals a year, and you have yourself a nice little signing. The contract (three years, $1.5 million per) is a bit much, but it doesn’t really hamstring the Rangers.
Glen Sather spent $5.9 million yesterday, a far cry from what most people expected, even without a Brad Richards signing. The signing of both Rupp and Fedotenko may lead to later moves (so long Erik), but they were signings that we either a) wanted (Fedotenko), or b) were necessary (Rupp). For $2.9 million next season, which is almost half of Leino’s salary for ONE season, let’s call yesterday a win.