Via Larry Brooks, the Rangers have claimed backup goalie Alex Auld off re-entry waivers from the Stars. The team will assume a $500,000 cap hit with the move, which saves them about $350,000 compared to carrying Chad Johnson.
Auld, 29, will be a free agent after the season, and is 9-6 with a 3.00 GAA and a 0.894 SV% in 21 games this year. Dallas had no place for him following their pickup of Kari Lehtonen. It’s hard not to like the move, the Rangers freed up some cap space, got a veteran backup, and can let Johnson and Matt Zaba continue to play regularly in Hartford.
Courtesy of Blueshirt Banter, who consolidated all of the beat writers’ twitter updates, Artem Anisimov is finally getting his shot between Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik on the top line. I expect fantastic results from him. Erik Christensen is centering the third line between Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik.
Also, to most people’s surprise, Steve Valliquette cleared waivers. Chad Johnson has been recalled.
Update 4:15pm: As per user dbmaven from Blueshirt Banter (and Jordan from here at BSB), defenseman Ilkka Heikkinen has been recalled. Wade Redden will not be ready for the game against Buffalo on Saturday.
The Rangers made a pair of waiver moves today, waiving goaltender Steve Valliquette and claiming forward Erik Christensen from Anaheim. The Valliquette move is unsurprising, considering he has been less than reliable this year. Valliquette’s cap-hit was $725,000. It is likely that Chad Johnson will be called up to replace him as the backup goaltender. So far this season, Johnson has posted a line of 10-6-1, with a 2.10 GAA and a .926 SV%, and will represent a cap hit of a prorated $850,000.
Christensen, an RFA after this season, will be a cap hit of $750,000 (prorated). The soon-to-be 26 year old winger played 9 games for the Ducks, putting up no points and a -3. With 13 forwards already on the NHL roster for the Rangers (Christensen makes 14), it’s safe to assume another roster move is coming. Will P.A. Parenteau be returned to Hartford? That is probably the most obvious, and easiest, move to make. However, Parenteau, while not standing out in his call up, hasn’t necessarily done anything that warrants him being returned to the AHL. Speculation is always fun. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of Brian Boyle, Aaron Voros, Christopher Higgins, or Enver Lisin let go.
Remember, the Rangers will need another forward spot when Brandon Dubinsky returns from injury. Speculate away!
With the way the Rangers defense folded last night, and the horribly inconsistent play of Michal Rozsival (and to a lesser extent, Dan Girardi), it has become abundantly clear that the Rangers will require a seventh defenseman to put some pressure on some of the guys who may have become too comfortable with their role on the team. Competition breeds improvement, even if he only plays one game a month.
Finding a defenseman that can not only accept playing a limited role, but can come out of the press box and deliver a decent game is a tough task. The defenseman will have to be a veteran who is used to that kind of treatment. The Rangers have $1.2 million (prorated) in cap space available for the seventh defenseman. But you would have to assume that GM Glen Sather would like to have some room at the trade deadline. So someone at the cap minimum would be preferable.
I was perusing the waiver wire today and saw something interesting. According to TSN, Devils defenseman Cory Murphy has been waived by the club. Murphy, 31, has been a career seventh defenseman, playing anywhere from 25-47 games during his NHL tenure (which began in 2007-2008, after spending six seasons in Europe). He also makes the NHL minimum $500,000 (on the NHL level of his two-way contract, $105,000 in the AHL).
Murphy definitely fills all the requirements of the proverbial seventh defenseman. He’s a veteran (meaning he has a lot of hockey experience), has experience playing in a limited role, and makes the minimum. He wouldn’t cost the Rangers anything, as he was waived. And, the cherry on top, he wouldn’t cost owner James Dolan much if he doesn’t succeed. They can bury him in the minors for 20% of his NHL salary if he isn’t claimed off waivers.
It has become abundantly clear that defenseman Alexei Semenov has played well enough to make the team as a seventh defenseman, but the Rangers appear to be waiting it out before they fully commit to him. GM Glen Sather is simply doing his due diligence as GM and waiting to see which players pop up on waivers. Brad Lukowich ($1.56 million) and Randy Jones ($2.75 million) have both popped up on waivers, but are too expensive. They will both be interesting options on re-entry waivers though. Rob Schremp hit waivers, and was immediately picked up by the Islanders.
Manny Legace and Dan Fritsche were waived by Atlanta. Brian Bochenski, Ryan Craig, and former Ranger Adam Hall were waived by Tampa Bay.
Alexei Semenov is just going to have to wait and see as well. If the Rangers like a name that pops up, expect Semenov to be cut from his tryout.
In a very good move for the Islanders, they have put in a waiver claim for Edmonton forward Rob Schremp. As the last place finisher last year, the Islanders had first dibs on any player placed on waivers. This is a very low risk, high reward move for the Islanders, as Schremp didn’t cost them anything.
Schremp, a first round pick from the 2004 draft, has fallen far. So far, in fact, that he couldn’t even crack the Oilers roster, and was set for yet another season in Springfield. The Islanders should be able to give the kid top line minutes while he tries to find his game again. If he ever does, the combination of him and John Tavares can become lethal.
In rather unsurprising news, winger P.A. Parenteau was reassigned to Hartford this afternoon. Parenteau played will in his time with the Rangers, but unfortunately for him, there just isn’t a spot on this roster for him at the moment. This was not a financial decision either, as Parenteau is on a one-way contract, and will earn $500,000 regardless of where he plays.
Assuming he goes unclaimed through waivers, he will play top line minutes in Hartford, probably with Evgeny Grachev once the preseason ends, and await a call up in the event of an injury or someone’s game goes to hell. This is a bit of a risky decision, because if Parenteau puts up the same numbers in Hartford, he may be claimed on re-entry waivers should he be needed. He is a cheap player and could fulfill third line duties admirably on most teams. As for his status with the Rangers, he is just too far down on the depth chart to really be considered.
This cuts the roster to 24, 8 defensemen and 14 forwards. It’s safe to assume that two more players will be cut before the season begins. My guess is that Grachev and Michael Del Zotto will be what I’m going to call contract casualties. Del Zotto still has a year of eligibility left in the OHL, and Grachev will benefit from a year in the AHL. But you can guarantee that they will be on the roster for the last two preseason games to get as much experience as possible.
Hockey season is just nine days away, and it can’t come soon enough.
According to TSN, the Rangers have placed forwards Patrick Rissmiller and Tyler Arnason on waivers today. If they go unclaimed, they will be sent to Hartford. This was expected, as they were a part of the initial roster cut, but were sticking around due to waiver issues.
Both have one-way contracts, so they will make their respective salaries ($1 million for Rissmiller and $700k for Arnason) while playing for the Wolfpack this year. Remember, one-way and two-way contracts have no bearing on waiver eligibility. Because both Rissmiller and Arnason would have to pass through waivers to get back to the Rangers, it is unlikely that they will see the Rangers this year. That’s just my two cents though.
As expected, the Rangers claimed Sean Avery from Dallas on re-entry waivers. The Rangers will be on the hook for $2 million a year for the next three years, which is pretty much what the Rangers wanted to sign him for this past offseason. This also leaves the Rangers with roughly $4.99 in cap room for the remainder of the season.
I don’t understand this move, I really don’t. I like Avery, I really do, but the team needed a change and a catalyst, and they got it in Tortorella. Throwing Avery into the mix just doesn’t sound like a good idea right now, especially because Torts doesn’t want him there. You really have to question if there is a proper line of communication between Torts and Sather.
This also puts the Rangers against a wall next offseason, with the cap going down, and the Rangers with a lot of RFAs to sign. Let’s hope Sather has a trade of a medium to long term contract (Voros?) to clear some room for the offseason.
But for now, welcome back to NY Sean. I’m sure Stas is doing back flips.
Update 12:30pm: Looks like Niklas Backstrom won’t be leaving Minnesota this trade deadline. He re-upped with the Wild today for 4 years, $24 millioni.
Update 12:50pm Aaron Voros and Eric Reitz have been placed on waivers. That clears some room.
Also placed on waivers: Miro Satan, Gary Roberts, Brenden Morrison, Brenden Bell, Jon Sim, Lawerence Nycholat, Martin Gerber, Craig Adams, and Eric Perrin.
As per Zipay, the Stars have placed Sean Avery on re-entry waivers, where Glen Sather is expected to pick him up. Mark Bell has been sent to Hartford to clear up space for Avery. I don’t see why you pick up Bell if you aren’t going to use him in lieu of Avery, or just use him at all.
Eric Reitz has a broken foot, which may explain his sluggish play in Torts debut.
It’s a really slow day, apparently GM’s don’t get a lot done when it snows.