Archive for Signings
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.
Per Alex Nunn, New York Rangers RFA winger Carl Klingberg will head to Torpedo of the KHL. The Rangers acquired Klingberg at the trade deadline from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for winger Lee Stempniak. The deal cleared Stempniak’s contract in order to land James Sheppard and later that day. Sheppard was supposed to be a better fit for the fourth line, but he never played.
Klingberg, 24, was struggling to crack an NHL roster, so this move isn’t that surprising. People are going to look to this move as “Stempniak was traded for nothing,” which I guess is a fair conclusion. I don’t see it like that though. I wasn’t all that pleased in letting Stempniak go for nothing (would’ve preferred a draft pick), and the injury to Mats Zuccarello showed the Rangers could have used him, but on the surface, Sheppard was a better fit for the fourth line.
The Rangers will retain Klingberg’s NHL rights, depending on the length of the deal in the KHL.
The Rangers have wanted Skjei to turn pro, and this appears to be the first step in the process.
Update: Skjei has signed his ELC. He will turn pro next year.
The New York Rangers have signed 2013 third round pick Adam Tambellini to a three-year entry-level contract. Tambellini, currently with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, has a line of 45-34-79 in 65 games this season as an overager. With Anthony Duclair now in Arizona, Tambellini is one of the better forward prospects in the system, with a good blend of size and skill.
Tambellini left the University of North Dakota halfway through last season to join the Hitmen. In the NCAA, Tambellini had a line of 2-2-4 in 16 games. In the 31 games with Calgary that season, he had a line of 17-22-39.
Tambellini will join the Hartford Wolf Pack next season, where he will likely need at least a year (probably more) before hopefully pushing for a spot on the NHL roster.
The New York Rangers and Mats Zuccarello have finalized a contract extension that will keep Zuccarello in New York. Zucc will get $4.5 million per year for the next four years, a modest raise and, more importantly, a discount for the Rangers. Zuccarello has a no-trade in his first year, but nothing thereafter.
Make no mistake, Zuccarello was going to get $5 million or more on the open market. He took a discount to remain with the club. He has been a top-line producer for some time now, and a must-keep for the Rangers.
Following up on the report this week, the New York Rangers and defenseman Marc Staal have agreed to terms on a six-year contract extension worth $34.2 million ($5.7 million per year). The deal will have a no-move for the first three years, and a limited no-trade for the last three years.
Folks are comparing this to the deal for Dan Girardi, and I disagree. Yes, it’s a big contract for a defenseman that doesn’t contribute much offensively. However Staal brings more to the table than Girardi, at least in my opinion. There will be a post breaking this down coming later this week.
Starting tomorrow, the Rangers will be allowed to sign Mats Zuccarello to a contract extension in accordance with a clause in the CBA that prevents teams from re-signing their players until January 1 after they agreed a one-year pact during the summer.
Zuccarello inked a one-year, $3.5 million deal in July despite interest by both sides in a longer term commitment, but the team had precious little cap space, so there was a general understanding that they would revisit a multi-year deal once the new year hit. The Blueshirts were in a similar situation with Henrik Lundqvist back in 2007-2008, and they worked out a six-year, $41.25 million contract by mid-February.
The decision on Zuccarello’s future is more difficult than it was with The King. The all-time leading scorer amongst Norwegian-born players has admitted that his contract is weighing on his mind, but the Rangers might not be in a hurry to ease those concerns.
Though Zuccarello is a fan favorite and a creative player with outstanding vision, he’s occupying one of the key top-six wing spots that are suddenly very crowded. Rick Nash is a lock for one of those positions going forward, and Chris Kreider will also be given more time to round out his game. Talented youngsters J.T. Miller, Anthony Duclair and Pavel Buchnevich all also figure to be in the mix for permanent jobs going forward. The one wild card is Martin St. Louis.
The 39-year-old winger is still very productive and has made it clear he wants to finish his career in New York, but he’s also set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. One would think the Rangers and St. Louis have an understanding that they’ll reach a series of short deals to keep him on Broadway as long as it’s beneficial for both sides, a la Teemu Selanne in Anaheim over the last several seasons. But St. Louis’ status could have a direct impact on Zuccarello.
Obviously it’s easy to see parallels between the two, starting with their size and extending to their similar roles as playmakers and power play specialists. Zuccarello has the huge advantage of being 12 years St. Louis’ junior, but St. Louis comes with a championship pedigree that is invaluable, especially when you consider the relative youth of the aforementioned wingers that figure to be his teammates moving forward.
Sather could deal Zuccarello before the trade deadline, but the return for an expiring contract isn’t going to be great, especially since Zuccarello figures to be interested in seeing what he could command on the open market if he doesn’t remain in New York. Plus, though some of those young wingers figure to make an impact over the next few seasons, none of them are would match Zuccarello’s contributions for this year’s playoff run.
Sather will likely stew on this decision for the next few weeks before deciding whether to dive into negotiations or pursue a Plan B, but eventually, something has to give.
What do you think the Rangers should do with Zuccarello?
Per Seth Rothman, the New York Rangers have signed backup goalie Cam Talbot to a one-year contract extension worth $1.45 million for next season. Talbot was set to be an unrestricted free agent next season after making $562,000 this season. Talbot took over the backup job after Thomas Hertl deked Martin Biron into retirement, and the 28-year-old has posted a 14-9-2 record with a 1.81 GAA, .936 SV%, and 5 shutouts.
As noted at Blueshirts United, the New York Rangers have agreed to terms with 15-year-old defenseman Chris Falzone on a one-day contract. Diagnosed with cancer during his freshman year of high school, Falzone was told he would never play hockey again after needing a full hip replacement. His treatment options changed, and he was placed in a semi-body cast in Philadelphia to heal. Falzone has healed completely and has since rejoined his hockey team, with tryouts for his high school team coming.