Projecting Brendan Lemieux’s next contract and possible expansion impact

Brendan Lemieux’s next contract, plus expansion implications, with the NY Rangers isn’t spoken about that often. That makes sense, as there are three far more important RFAs to deal with. However it is likely Lemeixu is still with the Rangers next season, meaning a new contract is needed. Lemieux is coming off his one year, $925k bridge deal, but a raise may not be in order.

Lemieux missed a portion of the season, finishing with a line of 6-12-18 in 59 games. He was mostly paired with Brett Howden, as 44% of his even strength time came with the young center. The other forward he was with for a majority of his time was Kaapo Kakko (31% of his even strength time). Remember, that line wasn’t overly good.

Lemieux this yeas was a net-negative on offense, not overly surprising given his linemates and skill set. Lemieux is a no Chris Kreider in front, but he’s still a pest in front of the net. With Howden and Kakko struggling to produce consistent offense, Lemieux’s better skills were underutilized. On defense, surprisingly, Lemieux was net-neutral. That’s actually pretty good given how much Kakko and Howden struggled on defense this year.

There’s a solid argument that Lemieux was miscast as a third line winger for most of the season. The new NHL needs scoring depth beyond the top-six, and the “third checking line” days of the 90’s are long gone. Lemieux can provide some scoring depth and a decent defensive presence on the fourth line. It’s also worth noting that Lemieux was one of the better players at drawing penalties last season.

An Eye On Expansion

The thing with Brendan Lemieux’s next contract is that, assuming he re-signs, he will almost assuredly be exposed in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. The Rangers are going to finalize their preparations this offseason, and that may begin with Lemieux. Since the Rangers need to expose players under contract, Lemieux’s next contract is likely going to account for that.

Using Evolving-Wild’s contract projector, Lemieux is most likely going to get a two year deal at $1.3 million. That gives him a 50% raise on his current salary, while still being affordable for the likely 4LW role he will have.

The Rangers will be signing a few players to two year deals to account for expansion. It seems like Brendan Lemieux will be the first contract to go down that expansion road.

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  • He will probably get a light raise to $1.25m to $1.5 m for 2 years.And he will be exposed in the expansion draft,unless to turns into popa Claude. Rangers will probably make a side deal with the Kraken not to take him.

    • Yeah, i also see him getting closer to $1.5 per. Also on a 2 year deal, with no “movement protection” at all. I doubt though, that they make any deals with the Kraken to not take him. Do not think he is worth forking over a 2nd , let alone a 1st, to “protect” him from being selected.

    • They’re not going to make a side deal any more than they did in 2017. The side deals mostly worked out terribly for the teams that did them.

  • They can easily protect Lemieux. We need sandpaper guys otherwise we are one of the softest teams in the league. I honestly think this is who we will protect

    (I think Buch gets traded)

    Tony D


    • You are right to a degree! You need to take into account trades? These players will probably have to be protected. This is just a feeling I have.
      Exempt Kravtsov,Kaapo,Fox and Shesterkin thank god.

      • Lets not forget Laff (assumed), regardless of what happens we will be the team that is least impacted with the expansion draft.

    • I could easily see Strome left unprotected if they sign him to a 2 year deal. Considering what Strome cost us (Ryan Spooner), it might be a good thing to leave him exposed and shed the cap hit.

      Lemieux is EXACTLY what this team needs, we saw his influence in Game 3 against Carolina … clearly our best game of the series and in no small measure due to the type of play we saw from Lemieux. He was engaged and his aggression level high. We could use another guy like him for the 4th line.

      • I agree with you that was our best game,we played braver with him in the lineup. We do need 1 or 2 more players like him. It’s just a feeling I have that they will expose him with “wink wink” side deal. Just a thought anyone like Matt Martin for a 1 or 2 yr deal.

        • Martin? Probably too expensive — at least for us.

          Side deals are always a possibility, but ever since Vegas played HARD BALL in the last expansion draft I have a feeling the pricing may be exorbitant. Depending though on what else is available out there I could see the team grabbing Strome and his contract to 1) get a potential top 6 guy and 2) hit the floor of the cap.

          • Don’t quote me,but I think Martin made only $1.7m last year.. he’s getting older 31 going to be 32,some injuries popping up. Might be doable.

          • Martin, Clifford are on the wrong side of 30, as we have learned in the past…the rough and tumble players age a lot worse than players who do not engage in that aspect of the game.

          • Martin is nowhere near effective as he was before his Leaf’s deal and now he is 31 and the NYR should want no part of that.

            Someone who WOULD be a great fit for this team is Boone Jenner. He is 27 a Center, which we need, can also play LW, and has two more years at a cap hit of $3.75M. He is a rough and tumble sandpaper guy and is extremely tough around the net. He scored 30 goals in 2015-16, but that is definitely an outlier.

            Now would Columbus trade him? Doubtful, as he is a Torts kind of player, but you never know.

            What would it take to get him? Well, one interesting name is Tony DeAngelo. He would benefit greatly from Tort’s tough-love approach and would add depth to their blueline bind Werenski and Jones.

            DeAngelo would not likely be enough, so adding Strome or Howden would help offset the loss of Jenner.

            Again – not likely – but he would be a great addition to this team, FOR SURE.

          • I suggest MacDermind, and get all dislikes…but you suggest trading for Boone Jenner, who, I like but your saying Tony D, plus more to get him and no one disagrees with that…you guys seriously have very little idea what it takes to win playoff hockey games.

            The Habs and Flyers were killing each other last night and you guys think out passing your opponent is enough to win.

            The Canucks and Blues are like two battering rams facing off against each other.

            The Av’s, in addition, to being very good are also a nice blend of size and grit.

          • Mr jjb – I personally did not dislike your post and I don’t control other people’s likes and dislikes.

            Boone Jenner, whom you admittedly like, is the epitome of a player that would add exactly what you are advocating in terms of grit.

            I said it was doubtful he would be traded, and it is doubtful for all the reasons I stated, not to mention that he wears an “A” for CBJ.

            I threw out TD as a trade chip and then stated I doubt that would be enough. And I doubt it would. So I tossed in Strome or Howden as examples of ways to sweeten it. Obviously, Strome carries more value than Howden, but it was just an example.

            If this “you guys seriously have very little idea what it takes to win playoff hockey games” was meant for me, then I don’t have a clue to what you are talking about. No clue at all.

          • I have to say, EE…that was a nice, civil and respectful response. I liked that. 🙂

        • I would prefer a poor man’s version in signing local kid John Hayden (NJ Devils). I think he is a more appropriate 12-14 forward on this team.

        • It won’t be Martin, but I guarantee you that the Rangers saw Tom Wilson running every Isle player that he could, every chance that he got.

          • “running every Isle player that he could, every chance that he got.” For a tall player he keeps his arms tuck down for clean hits… He also rarely charges but knows how to read a hit to glide into bodies.

            Sigh… Wish Kreider did stuff like that? This was why he wasn’t a Torts type player… I don’t see Quinn being a fan of his neither..

      • What influence did Lem have in game 3? He was terrible lol and he brought zero momentum shifts, zero examples to bring up from his game. I love 4th line grinders, I’m in awh at them every time I turn a hockey game on.

        Lem’s IQ and motor is questionable so I’m not buying your “engaged” narrative of his. There’s a reason why he’s on his 3rd club and couldn’t hack playing on a top heavy Winnipeg’s team last year. He wouldn’t have a place on any of the top 4 teams in the East or West, they have superior bottom 6 players who are of his age and already established NHL’ers.. He doesn’t have the motor or size to play a power foward type game liked he claimed to last off-season. He also doesn’t have the smarts to take runs in the nz or dz without going out of position. Guys like Reaves and Wilson have that IQ to know where to staple someone or put someone else on their backside in any of the zones. Than you had names who were always undersized like Cal Clutterbuck or Blake Comeau who knew how to forecheck an take west/east type of runs at other star players.

        Remember this- Brendan L earned his position on this team by default, NYR is a good gig for him, not the other way around. I don’t understand your fetish for borderlineAHL type of players..

        • NotsoAvery

          A Pee Wee player, who wants to analyse everyone’s post, and then shows his stupidity as shown here:

          “Than you had names who were always undersized like Cal Clutterbuck or Blake Comeau”

          How many times do you have to be told the word is THEN, idiot……………….

    • Matt

      I can see Howden moved in a package deal, with Barron coming on board. The rest is pretty much spot on…………

  • I rather like Brendan Lemieux for his spirit and willingness to mix it up when necessary. He and guys like Tony D are necessary on the club as they provide sandpaper despite not being huge humans. They need that and more guys who will deliver checks like Trouba dishes out. Gauthier is a big kid, I haven’t seen him play quite enough to determine if he takes the body enough.

    Lemieux will not be an offensive star, but he should be a decent 4th liner. Sign Brendan for now. Protect him in the draft only if he doesn’t squeeze out someone with better skills.

  • I am not sure what it would take to get Kurtis MacDermid, from Kings, but he is left dman and would go a long way in helping us get bigger and tougher.

    Maybe Tarmo Reunanen and a 3rd/4th

    • A little over $1M per in the sense of like 1.1 or 1.2 mill? Right now all he has to offer are poor special teams skills (PP or PK, either way he provides very little value in of those skill zones). Then you have deployments which he has a bad past in.. Quinn has tried him in every role that there is since the trade to NY. We know he can’t/shouldn’t move up to play with any of our stars like Panarin and Zib, so we can’t view him as a Tyler Bertuzzi type, you can cross that idea off. If by some miracle that a checking line forms organically by next season, he isn’t smart enough to play there and against other team’s top lines while starting his shifts in the dz… So once again, anything north of 1.1 mill is massive overpayment on a cap stuck team like this. Lem isn’t worth paying to make him feel comfortable, he needs to get better or bounce soon. I hope JG low balls or pays his exact worth.

      Right now Jesper Fast>Lem value to the team. You have a better/faster skater who can accomplish more in various roles unlike the other one. Chytil and that 3rd line will go a lot farther with Fast’s forecheck/dirty work around the boards. Lem’s pennies should go into Jesper’s bank account. He doesn’t have Fast’s engine unless if the gloves are off.

      • The Rangers noticed how they lost to the Canes, and the “we have to be harder to play against” all but guarantees Lemiuex a spot here.

        And why not? He’s an RFA with zero leverage. Maybe he gets $1.5M per, for 2 years. But, again he has zero leverage.

        • I’m not denying Lem’s spot over here but like I said it’s by default. None of the qualifying top 4 seeds from either conferences would want or need him. I want NYR to be that team soon.

          How come? Read my comment, I talked about how useless he was for both special teams, top 9 play and can’t be trusted to play on a checking line that keeps a top 6 line in check. I made it pretty clear on why you don’t pay over a penny for that kind of skill. He is no Derek Dorsett who could multi task in various roles and do a good job at it. 1.5 mill is a lot for just a 5v5 4th liner. 1.1-1.3 mill at best.

  • Brendan Lemieux plays with his heart on his sleeve, and has a set of stones that some of our bigger guys should try to emulate. As to what his contract will be, no more that $1.2, which would be a nice increase for the kid.

    I find it amazing that the smaller in stature guys on our team, Brendan, ADA, Lindgren seem to have the chestnuts, and willing to go to fist city, while the bigger boys are bystanders!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • “Brendan Lemieux plays with his heart on his sleeve.”

      So does Howden, but that does not mean that I want Brett in the line up, lol.

      The difference with Lemiuex is that he brings an element that most Rangers do not. And that’s why he will be back.

    • Rangers need to keep Lemieux and add a bigger version of him.

      The Rangers need a Brendan Gallagher type, but refuse to draft any type of player like that.

      The Rangers need a Jeff Beukeboom type of dman, had one, Ryan Graves and kicked him to the curb.

      Gordie Clark needs to retire and the head of scouting for the Flyers or Av’s should be hired.

      • The Rangers will definitely add a little more sandpaper in addition to re-signing Lemieux.

        Which probably means that Fast’s Ranger career is over.

  • I’m surprised that no one mentioned that a class act, Dale Hawerchuk, passed away at the age of 57. That is much too young, and for the record, he was one hell of a player. RIP Dale…………….

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