Archive for Signings
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.
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.
It appears that the Rangers have signed forward Matt Lombardi to a two-year contract. Injuries really hurt Lombardi’s NHL career, but he put up 20-30-50 in 46 games in the Swiss league last season. His last “full” NHL season was in 2011-2012, when he put up 8-10-18 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. That was two years after his career high 19-34-53 with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2009-2010. His metrics are pretty terrible though.
We need to note the source on this (I haven’t heard of this source before today). I’d like to assume this is an AHL depth move, but it’s rare that AHL guys get more than one year.
This news broke over the weekend, but 24-year-old forward Danny Kristo signed his qualifying offer, meaning the Rangers will retain his services for at least one more season. Kristo was acquired last summer in exchange for Christian Thomas, and put up 25-18-43 in 65 games with the Wolf Pack last season. Kristo appears to be an offense-only guy, but his offensive zone skills should translate nicely to the NHL level. The problem is that he is a bit of a disaster without the puck, and the organization will need to see a massive improvement before he is a serious consideration for the NHL club.
Kristo’s NHL salary will be $826,875.
The Rangers have signed Nick Tarnasky, a 6’2 225-lb forward. Tarnasky has 245 NHL games under his belt, but hasn’t sniffed The Show since the 2009-2010 season. Since then, Tarnasky has bounced from the AHL to the ECHL to the KHL then back to the AHL. Tarnasky is going to be another depth forward at the AHL level.
Per Renaud Lavoie, the Rangers have re-signed RFA goaltender Jason Missiaen to a one-year, two-way deal worth $715,000 at the NHL level. Missiaen bounced between the ECHL and AHL last season, putting up a .919 SV% with the Greenville Road Warriors, but a pretty bad .864 SV% with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Missiaen will serve as organizational depth in the minors.
A successful franchise is well built from the bottom to the top. In the cap era a club needs to develop their own, they need to have a solid pipeline and a competitive minor league affiliate. Prospects need to get into the habit of success and the Rangers’ minor league affiliate hasn’t helped in this regard the past two years as the Wolf Pack have failed to get to the post season for two straight seasons.
To many Ranger fans, the Rangers had a disastrous July 1st. They lost popular players in Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle. They added a whole bunch of ‘minor leaguers’, an aging defenseman (Dan Boyle) with a recent injury history as well as a fist swinging bottom line player to an excessive deal. This is all true. However, let’s look at two key issues here; the loss of core players – Boyle and Stralman – and the ‘minor league’ bunch.
Stralman and Boyle are replaceable
Everyone laments the loss of Stralman and Boyle. Rightly so. They have developed into solid NHL players and became core members of the Rangers. However do you remember where they came from? Stralman couldn’t stick with a team and couldn’t do better than a try-out with the Devils; Boyle was a Kings cast-off destined for the AHL, he was a project. There is no reason why the Rangers cannot develop this kind of player again.
With Dan Boyle signed, the next person inserted into the line-up will have sheltered minutes on the 3rd pairing. In a cap world you have to make sacrifices and Stralman is getting far too much money and term from Tampa. At the end of the day, Stralman doesn’t offer anything that is irreplaceable. He offers no reason to panic.
In an unannounced move made late last night, the Rangers added some more depth in Hartford, signing Ryan Bourque’s brother Chris to a one-year, two-way contract worth $600k at the NHL level. Bourque has 51 games of NHL experience, and his last role was with the Bruins (18 games). He played in the KHL and Swiss league last year.
In just a few short hours, the 2013-2014 New York Rangers were blown apart.
Usually it’s GM Glen Sather that flashes the power of the dollar as he plucks key contributors away from other top teams on July 1, but yesterday it was the Blueshirts that were victimized by the league’s annual spending spree. The unfortunate part of the carnage was that much of it could have been avoided.
That Sather wasn’t prepared to come near the five years, $20 million that Benoit Pouliot received from Edmonton is completely understandable. But that he wasn’t willing to match the five years, $22.5 million that Anton Stralman got from Tampa Bay is a little less so.
The real kicker came towards the end of the day, when the same Lightning that had already re-signed Ryan Callahan and poached Stralman then inked Brian Boyle to the perfectly reasonable contract of three years, $6 million. Read More→
The Rangers signed defenseman Steve Kampfer and forward Chris Mueller to two-way deals (one year each). Both signings are depth deals, aimed to improve a woefully bad Hartford Wolf Pack team. Mueller played six games with the Stars this year, but put up 25-32-57 in the AHL. Kampfer hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2011-2012 season.
Update: The Rangers have also signed Matt Hunwick to a one-year, $600k deal. Hunwick played one game in the NHL last season after spending six seasons as a #7 defenseman in Colorado and Boston.
Update #2: The Rangers have also signed goalie Cedrick Desjardins. The 28-year-old goalie will serve as AHL depth.