Day One of free agency started off with a bang for the Rangers, as they inked a backup goalie in Martin Biron to a two year deal worth $875,000 per year, and re-signed center Erik Christen to a two-year deal worth $975,000 per year. In Biron, the Rangers get a capable backup goaltender that can potentially start 20 games next season. If the Rangers manage to get capable backup goaltending from Biron for the two years, consider this to be a bargain. This, of course, is a huge IF. In Christensen, the Rangers get a top-12 forward who, if he plays well enough to earn first line time, is an extreme bargain. If not, he’s just a cheap second or third line guy. There is nothing wrong with that.
It was later in the day, around 4pm, when things in Rangerland got intense. After letting Jody Shelley go to the Flyers at $1.1 million over three years (which is almost double his salary), the Rangers signed tough-guy and monster Derek Boogaard to a ridiculous contract of 4 years at $1.65 million per year. On the surface, this deal looks absurd. But, if you dive deeper, Boogaard made $1.2 million last year, so this is a modest raise. The dollar amount per year really shouldn’t irk anyone. That length though is, well, horrible. I’m not in love with this signing, but it’s not the end of the world that Rangers fans are making it out to be. It’s not the worst signing in Rangers history, and I think that as long as people realize that it’s not his fault that Sather offered him four years, we will be OK with what he brings to the table.
In one of the last moves of the day, the Rangers re-signed Vinny Prospal to a 1 year deal worth $1 million base, with potential for $1.1 million in bonuses. These bonuses will be easily attained, and applied to next year’s salary cap. This was a fantastic deal by Sather, and kind of makes up for the questionable signing of Boogaard. The Rangers know what they get with Prospal. He’s this year’s version of Brendan Shanahan, except more tan.