Well, the New York Rangers stayed quiet for the most part, making primarily depth signings to fill out the roster. Let’s break down each move the Rangers made yesterday.
Front office moves
For those that missed it, Glen Sather stepped down as General Manager, but will remain as team president. Jeff Gorton is now the GM, and Jim Schoenfeld has been promoted to Senior VP, Assistant GM, and GM of the Hartford Wolf Pack. This was a move that came as a surprise, but had been speculated for a while. Gorton had been running most of the day to day by this point, so I think the move is more of a formality. That said, it was the biggest move the Rangers made yesterday, which is a good thing.
Worth noting here: Pre-lockout Slats was pretty brutal, and we’ve all recognized that. But post-lockout Slats built this team from a laughing stock into a perennial contender. In ten post-lockout seasons, the Rangers went to the playoffs in nine seasons. They went to a pair of Eastern Conference Finals, and one Stanley Cup Final. He wasn’t perfect by any means, and there are some significant questions, but the end-result was the best era of New York Rangers hockey we’ve ever seen.
Viktor Stalberg – one year, $1.1 million
The New York Rangers were busy on the first day of free agency, but a change in the front office overshadowed all signings and trades for today. It has been speculated for a month now, but it has been officially announced that Jeff Gorton will replace Glen Sather as General Manager of the club. Slats will remain on as Team President, while Jim Schoenfeld has been promoted to Senior VP, Assistant General Manager, and GM of the Hartford Wolfpack.
Here is a quick round up of the moves Gorton made today:
- Signed winger Viktor Stalberg to a one-year, $1.1 million contract
- Signed defenseman Raphael Diaz to a one-year, $700k contract
- Traded a 2017 6th round pick to Nashville for goalie Magnus Hellberg
- Signed depth/AHL players Jayson Megna, Matt Lindblad, and Brian Gibbons
The live blog is still going, so keep up there for more moves from around the league.
Well, free agency is upon us. The Rangers don’t have much cap space to work with, as they still need to get Derek Stepan, Emerson Etem, J.T. Miller, and Jesper Fast under contract. When those four are signed, the Rangers will have 11 forwards and 6 defensemen, meaning they need a pair of forwards and a defenseman to fill out the roster.
That’s not to say they will go after free agents to fill those spots. It looks like the Rangers want to keep Matt Hunwick around as the 7D, who was pretty solid in that role last year. There are also a few kids –Brady Skjei, Dylan McIlrath, Oscar Lindberg, Ryan Bourque– vying for NHL spots next year. The holes in the roster may be filled by these kids, or they may be filled by a depth signing.
My guess is that the Rangers will look to add one depth forward via free agency on a one-year deal. Someone like Mike Santorelli or Shawn Horcoff, depending on price, are intriguing. Tomas Fleischmann is also a decent option.
Use this as your open thread for the day. Becky will be updating this with all signings across the league during the afternoon, and I will be back at night to do the night cap. There will be a blackout with no updates between 4:30-6pm EST.
Got a few questions regarding free agency, which begins tomorrow at noon. Let’s have at it.
BrooklynVic asks: Do you think the Rangers move any other pieces when free agency reopens Wednesday?
There is a serious logjam on defense. Brady Skjei and Dylan McIlrath are going to be fighting for spots, and all six defensemen from last year are returning, or at least it appears that way. Something has to give. I’ve been saying the Rangers are going to trade Kevin Klein, since he is the most easily moved, and I still believe that to be the case. However, with Carl Hagelin in Anaheim, the Rangers don’t need to move him right away. They can wait until camp, see how the kids perform, and go from there.
And no, I don’t think they are moving Tanner Glass.
The New York Rangers qualified eight of their nine RFAs yesterday, meaning they will retain the rights to those eight players when free agency opens on July 1. The one RFA they did not qualify was defenseman Conor Allen, who will become a UFA. The eight RFAs qualified: Derek Stepan, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Emerson Etem, Dylan McIlrath, Mat Bodie, Marek Hrivik, and Oscar Lindberg.
Apparently the Florida Panthers were only rumored to have offered Jimmy Hayes for Cam Talbot. That is not confirmed. What appears to be confirmed is their offer of a pair of 3rd rounders and a 5th rounder for Talbot:
– The Florida Panthers offered two third-round draft picks and a fifth-rounder for New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot, but finished runner-up in that chase to the Oilers. The Panthers may have been offering restricted free-agent forward Jimmy Hayes, whose brother Kevin plays in New York, too. “I guess they wanted Cam to play out west,” said Florida GM Dale Tallon.
The Rangers got a 2nd, 3rd, and 5th for Talbot, which is a better deal than what Tallon had on the table. The whole Jimmy Hayes stuff is still unfounded rumormongoring.
As for the Rangers prospect camp, here is the roster:
In case you missed it, the New York Rangers traded both Cam Talbot and Carl Hagelin during the 2015 NHL Draft. The return for Hagelin was Emerson Etem and the #41 pick on Saturday. The return for Talbot was three picks on Saturday. While most of this post is going to analyze the Hagelin/Etem swap, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least first cover the Talbot trade.
While many rumors pointed to the Rangers getting a much bigger haul for Talbot, it’s not surprising that the Rangers landed what they did. Rumors went from a top-15 pick to a 1st round pick to a pair of seconds and a prospect to just about anything. This is why they are rumors and not reported facts. In the end, Talbot is a 27 year old pending UFA with just 57 games under his belt. Yes, he played very well, but goalies are weird. He could be great, he may not be. Without certainty, both on the ice and with his contract, the value was going to take a hit.
The Talbot trade comes off as a disappointment not because of the return, but because of the rumors heading into the draft. The reaction on the Hagelin trade was entirely different.
The New York Rangers have acquired their backup goalie, grabbing Antti Raanta from Chicago in exchange for forward prospect Ryan Haggerty. Haggerty, 22, was an undrafted free agent signing for the Rangers. He impressed a few in camp, but then struggled a bit throughout the season in Hartford, posting pedestrian numbers (15-18-33 in 76 games).
Raanta was the #3 goalie on the depth chart in Chicago, behind Corey Crawford and Scott Darling. Raanta is a capable backup, posting a .936 SV% and 1.89 GAA last season with the Hawks. He split time with the Hawks and Rockford of the AHL, where he put up a 2.18 GAA and a .918 SV%.
Raanta has one year left on his deal at a $750k cap hit.
Day One of the 2015 NHL Draft came and went last night, with the Rangers staying largely silent. There were rumblings of an eventual deal for Cam Talbot, but that was the only action we saw for the Rangers. It was a relatively boring night.
Day Two, however, was the complete opposite. The day opened with more Talbot rumors. But before the eventual Talbot deal could be made, the Rangers shocked their fan base by sending Carl Hagelin to the Anaheim Ducks for Emerson Etem. The trade also involved the Rangers moving up in the draft from #59 to #41, giving Anaheim the 59th and 179th picks. The Rangers grabbed forward Ryan Gropp with the 41st pick.
Minutes after making their selection, the Rangers then sent Talbot to the Edmonton Oilers for three draft picks. The Rangers got the 57th, 79th, and 184th picks. The Oilers also got the 209th pick in the deal.
Talbot played 36 games with the Rangers this year, and basically saved the Rangers when Henrik Lundqvist went down with his vascular injury. Talbot posted a 21-9-4 record with a 2.21 GAA and .926 SV% over that time, steadying the Rangers during what could have been a rough stretch. In 21 games last year, Talbot put up a remarkable 1.64 GAA and a .941 SV%.
The value for Talbot was sky high, and it would have been silly for the Rangers to hold on to a guy that was only going to play 20-25 games, and none after April.