Archive for Signings
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.
The Hartford Wolf Pack have officially signed defenseman Tomas Kaberle to a professional tryout. It was reported yesterday that Kaberle reported to the Pack to play in a few games this weekend. The PTO is a formality that allows that to happen. Kaberle is not signed to an NHL deal yet.
As expected for some time now, the Rangers have signed Ryan Malone to a one-year, two-way deal expected to be around $700,000, per Larry Brooks. This is a very low-risk signing, since the contract is two-way and will not have any cap implications should Malone need to be sent to the AHL. It also serves as competition for guys like Jesper Fast, J.T. Miller, Oscar Lindberg, Ryan Bourque, and Kevin Hayes.
As we found out last week, Anthony Duclair’s contract does not count towards the 50 contract limit if he is returned to the QMJHL (although it won’t slide and they will burn a year of it), thus the Rangers had room to add Malone.
Some quick notes on this Thursday morning:
- NHL.com released their top-60 prospects, and only one Ranger (Kevin Hayes) cracked the list at #49. That may seem a bit alarming, but it’s on par with what we’ve seen from other rankings. Although, it appears NHL.com’s list is heavy on who is closest to NHL ready, as top-end skill guys like Anthony Duclair and Pavel Buchnevich were noted as receiving votes. Brady Skjei also fell into that category.
- The Hartford Wolf Pack are rounding out their roster adding forward Vinny Saponari and defenseman Steve Spinell to AHL deals. Saponari spent the majority of last season with Cleveland in the AHL, putting up 15-18-33 in 58 games. Spinell spent last year primarily with the South Carolina in the ECHL after four years at Miami of Ohio, putting up 1-8-9 in 58 games. Both will be depth players, and do not count towards the 50 contract limit.
Glen Sather’s offseason list is complete. RFA defenseman John Moore has re-signed on a one-year, $850k deal (his qualifying offer). Moore put up a line of 4-11-15 last season, averaging 15:19 in ice time.
One interesting bit about the contract: This appears to be a “show me” deal for Moore. There are kids knocking at the door, specifically Brady Skjei next season, and he will need to show he can be a consistent third pairing defenseman in a short amount of time.
The Rangers have agreed to terms with RFA forward Ryan Bourque. Bourque broke out last season with the Hartford Wolf Pack, notching his first 20-goal season as a pro (21-16-37). Previously a defensive forward, Bourque plays solid hockey in all three zones, and could be a dark horse to make the NHL club out of camp. Bob Crawford mentioned he made incredible strides offensively last season, to go along with his solid defensively play.
The Hartford Wolf Pack have announced the signing of center Ryan Potulny to an AHL contract. Potulny is a career AHLer, but has 126 games of NHl experience since the 2005-2006 season. Potulny will help the Wolf Pack with their depth up front, which was a serious issue this past season.
Since Potulny is signed to an AHL deal, his contract will not count towards the 50 NHL contract limit.