Archive for Transactions
The Rangers have recalled forward Boo Nieves from the Hartford Wolf Pack. It is expected that the 2012 second round pick will play tomorrow night in Vancouver in place of the injured Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich. Oscar Lindberg will also play.
After an impressive preseason, Nieves was sent to Hartford where he has a line of 1-5-6 in 13 games. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s third on the team in scoring. The Wolf Pack are kind of bad right now, so it was a choice by the club to take either the highest scorer (Marek Hrivik), or the kid who might have a future with the Rangers. They chose the latter.
I’d expect Nieves to play in a top-nine role in Vancouver.
The long awaited Dylan McIlrath trade has happened, as the Rangers have sent the former first round pick to the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman Steve Kampfer and a conditional 7th round pick. Many have waited for McIlrath to be on the move since before his demotion, as it has been clear that he has no future with this club as currently constructed.
In return, the Rangers are getting Kampfer, whom they actually traded to Florida two years ago after signing him as a free agent. Kampfer has actually played some significant minutes with the Panthers in years past, but has skated in just one game this year, likely as a result of an upgraded blue line in Sunrise.
McIlrath ends his Rangers career with a line of 2-2-4 in 38 games with 84 PIMs. This was overall bad management by the Rangers since 2010. It was a bad pick (given who was available), bad development, bad handling once in the NHL, and now a relatively bad trade for a spare part and a conditional late pick.
Update: McIlrath needs to play 41 more games this season, or else he becomes a UFA. This is likely the reason why there was no trade.
The Rangers have officially placed Dylan McIlrath on waivers. This move comes as no surprise, as Alain Vigneault has more or less stated he’s not going to play him. As the odd-man out on the now healthy blue line, the Rangers appear to have been unsuccessful in trying to trade him.
Personally, I don’t think McIlrath ever got a fair shake from AV. I think he could have been a serviceable bottom pairing guy. That said, he’s not going to be a top-four guy, and he’s not someone to really flip out over losing. It would have been nice had he made it, though.
The Rangers have apparently signed forward Justin Fontaine, and immediately placed him on waivers to send to the Hartford Wolf Pack. The news on both broke from one seemingly innocuous tweet from Elliotte Friedman, who stated that Fontaine was on waivers for the Rangers. Friedman is rarely wrong, but most immediately thought Gabriel Fontaine, 2016 draft pick.
In fact, it is Justin, who will go to Hartford to replace the now departed Nathan Gerbe. Gerbe has gone to Switzerland, and has been released from his contract with the Rangers. Fontaine will be that veteran presence among the forwards in Hartford. He will also play a scoring role with the club. My guess is that, given his relative success with Minnesota over the last few seasons, he will be the first injury call up in these next few weeks.
The Rangers have the same amount of contracts/forwards in the system. When Oscar Lindberg returns, one more forward will be sent to Hartford as well.
The Canadiens surprised a lot of people yesterday morning, placing defenseman Mark Barberio on waivers. The 26-year-old left handed defenseman put up a line of 2-8-10 in 30 games last season with the Habs, which falls just a bit short of a 30 point season over 82 games. But in the AHL he regular puts up 60 points per season. He appears to be the classic tweener, someone who excels in the AHL, but not in the NHL.
The scouting report on Barberio is what every team hopes to have on the blue line. He is a good skater, has great vision, makes a good first pass, and qualifies as the “new NHL puck mover” that teams are gravitating towards. On paper, he looks like a guy that should be given a shot, especially on a team that is woefully thin –even if the Rangers front office refuses to admit– on defense after Ryan McDonagh.
The Rangers have made another shrewd signing, inking free agent forward Brandon Pirri to a one-year deal worth $1.1 million, per Elliotte Friedman. Pirri is another low-key forward who has solid rate metrics, which suggest he could see an increase in production if given more time.
Pirri scored a whopping 22 goals in 49 games with Florida in 2014-2015 (with just two assists), and had that balance out a bit last year with a line of 14-15-29 with the Panthers and Ducks. The 25-year-old forward will likely be a bottom-six player with the Rangers, possibly insurance in case Pavel Buchnevich isn’t ready.
The Rangers have a lot of flexibility on the bottom six right now, something they didn’t have last year. In that regard, it’s been a solid offseason for Jeff Gorton. The depth the Rangers have is incredible.
The Rangers have landed their guy. Jimmy Vesey is now a Ranger, signing a two-year entry-level deal to be in New York.
Vesey was the most sought after NCAA player that became a free agent on August 15. In landing him, the Rangers get a middle-six forward for the bare minimum, a huge need for a team that needs bargain scoring.
Vesey, originally a third round pick of the Nashville Predators, was traded to the Buffalo Sabres, where he did not sign. It’s expected Vesey will make the roster out of training camp.
Per Mark Divver, the Rangers have agreed to terms with NCAA free agent defenseman John Gilmour. Josh wrote about Gilmour, who is a left-handed defenseman our of Providence College. The former 7th round pick for Calgary is a strong skater who makes good decisions with the puck. He’s the type of “new-age” defenseman teams want, in that he can quickly transition to offense with a strong first pass out of the zone.
Gilmour put up career highs in his senior season, with a line of 9-14-23. The 5’11, 185 lb defenseman signed a two-year ELC, and will likely spend the first year at Hartford, where he will complement Ryan Graves on the left side.
The Rangers have re-signed RFA Marek Hrivik to a one-year deal. Hrivik was the last RFA the Rangers needed to sign, and barring any trades, will be the last move the Rangers make this offseason. Hrivik has spent the overwhelming majority –just 5 NHL games– of his four year career in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack, putting up an impressive 12-29-41 in 68 games last season.
Hrivik might compete for a fourth line role in camp, but with some of the signings made, it appears he is still on the outside looking in. Hrivik would be a good fit on the fourth line as a good skater who is competent defensively. It’s unlikely the offense would translate to the NHL level, though.
The 6’1, 197 lb winger makes a better option than some of the other options that are going to be in camp this year. It will be interesting to see how long of a look he gets.
Per Renaud Lavoie, forward Maxim Lapierre will be brought into training camp on a PTO this September. Lapierre has that old school “gritty” reputation as a defense-first fourth line guy who can help the penalty kill. Problem is that he isn’t that guy. He’s that guy in the way that Dan Paille was that guy this past winter.
The 31-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, opting to play overseas in Switzerland and Sweden. He is familiar with Alain Vigneault though, as a member of the 2011 Vancouver Canucks that went to the Stanley Cup Final.
This isn’t anything to get all pissy about, it’s a PTO, and it’s unlikely Lapierre makes the team. The only concern is that this is now the second of “AV’s guys” brought in to fix a problem, and the guy brought in only exacerbates the problem.