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The Rangers have re-signed Chris Kreider to a two-year bridge deal, worth $2.35 million in the first year and $2.6 million in the second year ($2.475 million cap hit). Kreider finally had his breakout season, putting up 17-20-37 in 66 games after being called up early in the season by the Rangers. Kreider also put up 5-8-13 in the playoffs after missing the first round and a half with a broken hand.
Kreider has been an interesting prospect. With elite talent, he has as high a ceiling as any forward prospect we’ve seen in New York since Tony Amonte. Problem is that he still hasn’t put it all together yet, which drove his cost down a bit. Last year was a solid year for the kid, but he needs to build on this past season and show he can consistently be a first line contributor to get the big bucks.
Since Mats Zuccarello signed yesterday, the Rangers just need to sign Derick Brassard and John Moore, the only two pending RFAs.
Here for another year.
Sorry we are late here, but you know, life. Anyway, the Rangers have re-signed Mats Zuccarello to a one-year deal at $3.5 million, a bargain that really helps the cap-strapped Rangers. Zucc was the Rangers leading scorer this year on a one-year, $1.15 million deal, one of the best bargains in the NHL. There is some concern about the fact that this is a one-year deal, but it wouldn’t shock me if this is done in the mold of Henrik Lundqvist’s one-year deal way back when. If you remember, Hank signed a one-year deal at a discount before signing his six-year, $41.25 million deal in January.
The reason for this is that any extension signed in January would kick in for the following year, thus a bit of a loophole in the CBA. It allows the Rangers to have some flexibility with the cap while still giving Zucc a much deserved raise. It also allows Zucc –if I’m right here– to negotiate in January for the deal he would get as a UFA.
The Rangers national TV schedule (NBC/NBSCN) has been released for the 2014-2015 season, and the Rangers will play 14 nationally televised games. Of these, at least 10 are expected to be exclusive to NBC and NBCSN:
- 11/5: Red Wing 8PM NBCSN
- 11/19: Flyers 8PM NBCSN
- 11/18: @Flyers 1PM NBC
- 1/7: @Anaheim 10:30PM NBCSN
- 1/18: @Penguins 12:30PM NBC
- 1/29: Montreal 7PM NBCSN
- 2/4: Bruins 8PM NBCSN
- 2/28: Flyers 8PM NBC
- 3/4: @Red Wings 8PM NBCSN
- 3/8: @Chicago 7:30PM NBCSN
- 3/11: @Washington 8PM NBCSN
- 3/18: Chicago 8PM NBCSN
- 3/22: Anaheim 7:30PM NBCSN
- 3/24: LA 7PM NCSN
Photo: New York Times
As the lone RFA from the Rangers that is not arbitration eligible, the John Moore contract renewal falls at the bottom of the to-do list for the Rangers. Moore’s contract will become more of a focus after Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard, and Mats Zuccarello all sign, but that doesn’t mean Moore is forgotten about. If you remember Glen Sather’s history, he waits until August to get his non-arbitration RFAs under contract.
As for Moore, he’s coming off his ELC that paid him $810,000 in salary, with an additional $125,000 available in performance bonuses. The 23-year-old defenseman played the majority of his time on the third pairing, splitting his time with Michael Del Zotto and Kevin Klein. Moore played his weak side before the Del Zotto/Klein swap, moving to his strong side once the right-handed Klein came on board. Moore also put up career highs in goals (4), assists (11), and points (15) this season while averaging between 11-13 minutes per game.
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Per Elliotte Friedman, there is a $600k gap for the Rangers on a new Chris Kreider contract. Kreider’s initial ask was $2.8 million per year, with the Rangers opening at $1.9 million (since upped to $2.2 million). I initially ballparked Kreider at two-years, $2 million +/- $250k. At this point I’d assume he gets a deal similar to Carl Hagelin ($2.25 million over two years).
Kreider is set to have his arbitration meeting on Wednesday. Per CBA guidelines, both sides must submit their contract terms 48 hours prior to the meeting.
Photo: Michael Ivins, USA TODAY Sports
Derick Brassard is the third and final RFA that filed for arbitration this month (Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider). I’ve looked at both Kreider’s and Zuccarello’s next contracts already, and with arbitration dates coming up, it’s time to look at Brassard’s potential deal.
Brassard is an interesting case, if only because of his high salary and inconsistent production. Despite his inconsistencies, he was a part of the most consistent line and powerplay unit for the Rangers last year. Brass has been a 50-point pace guy in the regular season, and has actually been a nice playoff producer as well. He is just off his second contract, which paid him $3.7 million last year (his QO) at a cap hit of $3.2 million over hit over the four years of the contract. At 26 years old, the Rangers will be buying his UFA years.
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Per Darren Dreger, the Rangers are closing in on a deal with free agent winger Lee Stempniak on a one-year deal. The Rangers struck gold with Benoit Pouliot last season, and are looking to do so again with this signing. Stempniak and Pouliot had similar offensive output and #fancystats are comparable, so this seems like a decent fit for the Rangers. Oh, and he’s a right-handed shot, which is super.
Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers are targeting 2010 first round pick Kevin Hayes out of Boston College. Hayes may become a UFA if Chicago does not reach an agreement with the forward by August 15. Hayes is a big kid at 6’3″ and 205 lbs, and put up 27-38-65 in his final year with the Eagles, a whopping 40 point increase from his totals a year prior. In 2012, HP had this to say about Hayes:
The Good: Hayes is a pretty toolsy player. Aside from being 6’3”, he’s an above-average skater with notably above-average possession skills—he’s a very coordinated puck-handler with impressive vision. When he’s on his game, Hayes simply makes plays. For a player his size, Hayes’ offensive skills make him a very intriguing prospect.
The Bad: Hayes’ main concern is his consistency. His game to game effort wavers and he doesn’t play with a high level of energy. He could be a little more physical as well.
It’s worth noting that the Hawks might try to trade Hayes’ negotiating rights, much in the way Calgary traded Tim Erixon to the Rangers a few years back. Since Chicago would get a 2nd round pick as compensation for not signing Hayes, that is the minimum asking price in a trade.
Per Ryan Rishaug, the Rangers had interest in center Mike Ribeiro before he signed in Nashville yesterday. The Rangers are lacking center depth and Ribeiro likely would have slotted in at the 2C position. Per Rishaug, no state tax in Tennessee helped sway Ribeiro, who signed for $1.05 million for one year.
Going to need a big year from this guy.
Part One, Part Two
One of the major concerns for next year is the payroll. The Rangers have a lot of money tied into a few players, and the club lost a lot of key players in free agency. Another major factor was that the cap ceiling, initially projected to be $71 million, was announced to be just $69 million. Five key players departed via free agency, trade, or buyout (Anton Stralman, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Boyle, Derek Dorsett, Brad Richards), and another three appear all but gone (Justin Falk, Raphael Diaz, Dan Carcillo).
To counter that, the Rangers brought in Dan Boyle, Tanner Glass, and Mike Kostka. There were some other depth players brought in to help fill out the AHL roster as well (and yes, I’m counting Matt Lombardi as an AHL guy for now).
There are three types of players the Rangers are dealing with now: Those that are signed, those that have filed for arbitration, and those that are non-arbitration RFAs. Let’s break them down.
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