The list of pool worthy unrestricted free agents is dwindling down, even more so after the New York Rangers came to terms with forward Brandon Pirri, signing a 1-year, $1.1 million deal, according to some reports this morning.
In the 2016 season, Pirri was ranked 195th among all forwards in scoring, picking up 14 goals and 29 points in 61 games between Florida and Anaheim. His season did have an injury setback as well, missing out on 13 games, due to an ankle injury, and then an upper-body injury ended his season prematurely, losing out on the last four regular season games and then the playoffs.
The Rangers are adding some quality depth, likely in a 3rd line role with some 2nd line upside and there should be all kinds of opportunity, as their lineup has really gone through an overhaul in this off-season.
The opportunity for playing time is certainly there, but with this overhaul in progress, it's hard to say when chemistry will be made, how the lines will actually pan out, so it is hard to gauge where the projections should be. I am going to take the cautious approach and say Pirri will be in the 35-point range, assuming he can play the whole season. There is certainly potential for more, but I am not so certain he can reach it right away.
I think it has been said on the blog already, but it is really odd to see the Rangers in great shape against the salary cap ceiling. They have a pretty full projected roster, adding another player like Pirri at a very reasonable rate and still having $5.2 million left in space. The Rangers still have Jesper Fast to sign in their restricted free agent list, but he should fit well within those parameters and this team could be both competitive and cost efficient at the same time. Who knew?!?