Signings

Rangers ink Brandon Pirri to one-year deal

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete
AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

The Rangers have made another shrewd signing, inking free agent forward Brandon Pirri to a one-year deal worth $1.1 million, per Elliotte Friedman. Pirri is another low-key forward who has solid rate metrics, which suggest he could see an increase in production if given more time.

Pirri scored a whopping 22 goals in 49 games with Florida in 2014-2015 (with just two assists), and had that balance out a bit last year with a line of 14-15-29 with the Panthers and Ducks. The 25-year-old forward will likely be a bottom-six player with the Rangers, possibly insurance in case Pavel Buchnevich isn’t ready.

The Rangers have a lot of flexibility on the bottom six right now, something they didn’t have last year. In that regard, it’s been a solid offseason for Jeff Gorton. The depth the Rangers have is incredible.

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  • I don’t get it. Pirri is a nice player, but shouldn’t we save some of that Cap space for the backline? We have about 10 players who are vying for the bottom 6. Unless there is something brewing to move a big salary we have barely $1.6M in Cap space available. We still did not address the defense. We still have Tanner Glass on the roster, who, like it or not, makes the team with AV behind the bench.

    Hey, don’t get me wrong, Gorten has done a wonderful job, but we have about 28 forwards and 8 defenseman, including 2 in wheelchairs. I just hope he has some more moves up his sleeve because he looks to be pinning more hopes than even me on Girardi and Staal having big bounce-back years.

    • “Unless there is something brewing…”

      This could be the case. The Panthers and Coyotes just completed a trade where the Panthers got two draft picks for Dave Bolland and Lawson Crouse that they were working on for about three weeks. Trading player(s) for player(s) isn’t going to be any easier unless the players have roughly the same cap value.

      No doubt the Rangers have a surplus of talented forwards. Don’t forget that Glass didn’t make the club out of training camp last season and at this point, I think he’ll start the season somewhere other than NY unless a deal is made.

    • This move does not have much to do with cap space — and it may even be a positive.

      Before this signing, the Rangers were expected to start the year with 13 active forwards and Lindberg on IR. That is still the case. The only difference is that now there is a good chance Pirri will be one of the thirteen.

      So Pirri just replaces someone else who would have made the club. If it is Gerbe or Jooris, he costs an extra 500K. If it is Buch or Glass, he costs almost nothing.

      And the extra depth makes it easier to trade a higher priced player.

    • There are literally no roster spots available for more D. The Rangers already have 7 D, 8 with Clendening. Carrying 9 D and only 12 FW would be nuts.

      Staal and/or Girardi can’t be removed from the roster unless someone trades for them.

      The beauty of the glut of bottom 6 forwards is that other than Grabner, Pirri, and Glass, all of them could be waived and sent to the minors with zero cap implications. So the Rangers have tons of roster flexibility with the 6 or 7 spare forwards they have. Gorton did something similar last year with the Megna, Adam, Gibbons triumvirate. Since Pirri signed for over $950k I think this is the end of Gerbe actually making the roster, and I’m ok with that. I guess Clendening, Gerbe, and Glass get waived/sent down; Lapierre gets released from his tryout; Lindberg goes on IR; and Pirri, Vesey, Buch, Jensen and Jooris make the team out of camp. That would mean 14 FW, 7 D, and 2 G on opening night. I’m not thrilled with Jooris as a 4C but I guess that’s how it’s going to be.

      • I agree that Pirri stays and Gerbe goes. However, it has nothing to do with salary. It is cheaper to keep Gerbe since you save more salary by sending Pirri down (saving 950K vs. 600K).

    • Well not all these guys will stick, so some of that cap space will be recouped, but this signing will make many BSBers happy.

    • I agree. There must be a trade brewing. Some of this bottom-6 depth must be on the move, maybe with a top 6 guy (like Nash???) for help on the blue-line.

      Whatever Gorton does, so far he’s been close to excellent, especially considering what he started out with (cap-wise).

      • Nash, Stepan or Zucc have to be part of a deal brewing. If we are lucky Staal/Girardi are also part of the deal. The only reason we are stockpiling forwards is because someone won’t have a seat when the music stops.

        • I would like to know if you were one of the other 29 GM’s in the NHL if you would pay both Girardi’s and Staal’s full contract dollars for the length of their respective contracts.
          My answer is no…which means buyouts or swallowing a large
          portion of their salaries.

          • my best case is trade staal, keep dan, paying him for low bottom pairing minutes.

            I think buying him out is not a good financial move.

    • Original 6, spot on with something brewing on the defensive help coming, unless Manager & coaching staff feel Mcllrath, Skjei and maybe Graves too?? Are all ready for prime time, able to do the heavy lifting? ? . Add in McDonagh, Klein, and a rejuvenate Staal??

        • Staal as a third pair D is fine. He is totally overpaid as one, but would hold his own. My problem with him is when he is paired in the first two pairings. Ugh.

        • Rejuvenated?

          How bout just healthy?

          This whole G n Staal are the worst stuff is REALLY starting to get to me.

          Not trying to pick on you Pavel, as it seems that 95% of the BSB’ers are on the “Let’s Hang G n Staal” bandwagon and I’m just SIIIIC of it already.

          I CAN’T WAIT to see these guys make everybody eat crow this year!

  • For the Suggestion Box: I was thinking it would be a good time for a post about which NHL defenseman (not named Shattenkirk) may be had, that can help the Rangers, since it appears that a defensive trade is brewing (or we are just trying to field a team full of forwards).

  • Interesting that this comes a day after Kevin’s article on Zucc possibly traded for D help.

    Thumbs down yourselves. 🙂

      • who said I didn’t?

        Rangers tried to get Pirri at the trade deadline.

        and I don’t have a GM on speed dial. and you may not like the next move that may be coming. Zucc may be on his way out if there’s D help coming back. So Kevin’s article was very spot on and very timely. Maybe.

        • Gorton couldn’t have tried that hard to get Pirri…he went to ANA for for a sixth rounder! LOL. I know hindsight is 20/20 and all, but even before Staal was even less effective than I (or most anyone else) would have expected after the trade, and we gave up way too much for him anyways, I personally wanted to see Gorton get Pirri instead. I was thinking it might take a fourth, maybe third rounder. Then when I saw he went for a sixth rounder I was really shaking my head.

          • stuff happens sometimes. He went to the Ducks as maybe FL didn’t want to trade him east. Who knows? But Gorton/Sather did want him. I was very surprised he went for a 6th.

            The guy I REALLY wanted at the trade deadline was Purcell. I thought a 3rd would do it and it did. He would have fit perfectly on our 3rd line.

          • Purcell would have been fine by me also. I just wanted to see if Pirri could hit his upside in our system as it seems a good fit (which of course now I hopefully still will). Like Hags, his game doesn’t really fit with the physical grinding approach the Ducks run. We’re a whole different ballgame obviously. And fit was part of the reason Staal didn’t work for us, too, I believe. The first game off one of his first shifts (if not the first), Staal beelined right to the slot to camp out. That’s his style, and I think the Rangers need a bit more of it…but nonetheless, I told my buddy I was watching with, “Watch, AV will have him stop doing that,” because that’s not AVs style…and sure enough, he stopped doing that for most of the rest of the game. Also, indeed, it is possible that FLA just didn’t want to trade Pirri in the East I guess…but it’s not like he’s a dangerous superstar, and if they could have gotten anything better than a sixth for him and turned it down for that reason…to me, that’s bad business on their part. It would be highly unlikely that Pirri would come back to bite them too hard in that scenario – and obviously we didn’t even end up playing them. We’ll never know exactly what happened behind closed doors though, of course. Maybe the issue was they wanted a pick period and Gorton was only offering prospects. That’s the other possibility I suppose.

          • lots of things are discussed, could be very credible, and not happen. GMs talk all the time.

            I don’t know that Zucc gets traded for sure, but i keep hearing his name so it’s very possible. It’s also possible that other teams don’t meet the Rangers’ demand for him and nothing gets done.

            I always listen for 2 to 3 different areas of info to say the same thing independent of each other. Then I know it’s possible.

          • I didn’t know AV had a style. Just make sure not to get in front of the other teams net, and make certain never to hit anybody or you will sit next to McIlrath while Girardi watches every forward in the league blow by him.

          • Just make sure never to hit anybody *effectively. AV prefers a nice crisp Glass-like hitting style, where you leave your man unassigned to go hit a guy forty feet away, preferably taking yourself completely off your feet while your opponent shrugs the hit off more or less, and also preferably four seconds after your opponent has already passed the puck and the rush is going the other way.

          • Pirri is a young player with good wheels and can put the puck in the back of the net. When it was rumoured he was coming to New York at the trade deadline I also thought it was a great move. Gorton once again has redeemed himself with this solid signing.

        • Cmon Richter. I’m just poking fun at the random guy on the internet who “knows things”. As Egel stated below. They couldn’t have tried too hard to get Piri. They couldn’t beat a 6th round pick and waited a month and a half to sign him as a free agent.

          If Zuke gets traded you look like a genius. If he doesn’t (would you bet on it?) then you just say “it was close but fell through”.

          But hey I get it. Eklund makes a living on reporting trades that almost happened!

          • I get it pal. Lots of people spewing BS about stuff and I would be “leery” about anyone saying things as well. I respect your skepticism.

            Nash was all but headed to the Ducks on draft day and the Ducks pulled out last minute. Lots of stuff are “discussed” and could very well be credible. I’m telling you Zucc is being shopped. Why? Because Rangers’ management wants to change the mix of the team. The other 2 amigos, Haggy and Brass are gone. It’s not a coincidence. They partied very hard in NYC.

          • BTW, most of the hockey media had the Rangers out on Vesey towards the end. I laughed very hard at that though I was “nervous” because Vesey was supposed to be official on Thursday, not Friday.

  • Nice, but where is the defensive help ???????????????

    Stay tuned folks, maybe next week we’ll find out !!!!!!!!!!! Or we hope so…….

  • I would like to see McIlrath paired with McDonagh. This is about compatibility and not if DMac is a 1st pairing D. By that thought process Bueke was not a 1st pair D either. Compatibility and style have more to do with how a player should play. So that leaves Staal and Girardi as 2 pair which can not be cool and Klein with Skeij as 3rd Pair. Holden is a legit player so he bumps into the equation. So is Graves ready?
    Based on this Info I see Staal being of the most value for a trade for many reasons. The best scenario is going to say Edmonton with a prospect for picks to open roster spots or say Lindberg and Staal for Patrick Maroon and a 2nd round pick. This type of trade makes way more sense than trading forwards for a D’man. That type of trade just is not logical to my brain housing group.

    • Mcllrath & McDonagh, the second coming of Leetch & Beukaboom, I am all in, I do agree McLLRATH IS NOT A # 1 PAIR GUY!. But needs to be in the line up EVERYNIGHT!

    • DMAC & MAC have been paired in the last two training camps & MAC was effusive in praising DMAC’s progress. I don’t think it’s a crazy idea at all but many will.

    • Running with your thought process, DMC, and Yandel worked out very well, so what your saying could work as well !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Getting a defenseman is not a no-brainer. The Rangers can only play six of them and likely will carry seven on their roster (Eight can create cap problems and boredom). The Rangers have Girardi, Staal, McDonagh, Klein, Holden, Skjei, McIlrath. That is enough people. If you add, you must also subtract. If the rules say you can’t subtract Staal or G, it’s not so appealing.

    • Exactly. Though, I might rephrase the last sentence to, the Rangers would need to find a trade partner that Staal or Girardi would be willing to go to.

      It can happen. They will have only partial no trades in a year and two years anyway. They would likely be willing to waive their no trade now if it’s for the right landing spot.

  • My feeling is Girardi will get traded to Las Vegas…many reasons there too so G-man is on the roster this year 100%

      • Walt,

        If we believe that G n Staal have great leadership qualities, wouldn’t it be wise to not trade them?

        Haven’t we continually spoken and speculated about the lack of leadership with this squad the past 4-5 months? On how Mac, being so young may take a couple of years more to be well rounded as a Captain?

        These guys get a lil more healthier this year, then you find yourself looking at a Club that’s very uniform.

        • As I stated, for leadership reasons only, because his play has declined so much, it’s a shame. The man was exposed in the Cup finals, and I stated it then, so it’s nothing new from my postings. I think the guy gave us his all, but that’s history, and life goes on, even without Dan.

          As for your post that you’d like for us to eat crow when Staal, and Girardi prove to be valuable, please save a spot at the table for me, but I suspect they will sevre me pasta onstead !!!!!!!

      • correct…I see Girardi being the Captain of the Vegas team…character….no one can deny that from him

  • I don’t know what he does off ice(maybe he kicks puppies), but he’s burned through 3 organizations in 3 years even though he’s a productive player. Still, not much of a cap hit if he gets sent down/traded/bought out.

    Caveat emptor

  • Let’s say…..

    you put this shooter with a good center, a good passer, and give him excellent offensive opportunities, even 2nd and sometimes 1 PP time.

    2 years ago, prior to him being traded out west, where we saw Hagelin have a hard time only to come bast east and lift the cup while contributing….. this fella was on pace to rock a massive goal scoring tally…

    so say we do trade nash, who is better on the defensive side but who should be scoring but lets face it, isn’t, and getting paid BANK.. get a D-man worth salt…

    I don’t know, I think Gordon is about to make a move and that this signing was about getting more shots on goal, goals and points to offset the Nash deal that is going to happen.

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