And in the matter of only a few short days, the New York Rangers went from facing three arbitration hearings with some key restricted free agents to getting them all locked down for at least one more year, in other cases more.
Ryan Spooner would indeed be one of those cases, signing a 2-year, $8 million deal, ahead of his case later on this week, and with that, the Rangers are pretty much ready to roll on with training camp, give or take a few more minor-league signings.
The 26-year old was a breath of fresh air for the Rangers, after he was acquired at the trade deadline in an asset sell-off to Boston, picking up 16 points in 20 games to finish off the year. In total, Spooner played in 59 games between Boston and New York and finished with 41 points. He missed a considerable amount of time at the start of the season to a groin injury, but still fared pretty well by the end.
The Rangers do seem a bit skeptical about signing anyone for the long-term these days, likely part of their rebuilding plan, but a couple of seasons should be enough time for Spooner to show some value and I think he's poised to do just that. I'm picking him to do some good things this season, which will be highlighted more in my pool projection posts in a couple of weeks time.
|Mika Zibanejad||5.350||Kevin Shattenkirk||6.650||Henrik Lundqvist||8.500|
|Kevin Hayes||5.175||Marc Staal||5.700||Marek Mazanec||0.650|
|Chris Kreider||4.625||Brady Skjei||5.250|
|Mats Zuccarello||4.500||Brendan Smith||4.350|
|Vladislav Namestnikov||4.000||Tony DeAngelo||0.863|
|Ryan Spooner||4.000||Fredrik Claesson||0.700|
|Jimmy Vesey||2.275||Steven Kampfer||0.650|
I think the Rangers have done quite well in this off-season, as they have a fairly fast looking team, still fairly young, you know... not counting Lundqvist back there and they're coming in well under budget, with nearly $5 million in cap space with this current 23-man roster above. Their rebuild may actually be a little more exciting than in some other markets, because I think they've done an okay job at being relatively competitive today as well. Maybe we can call it more of a retool for now, despite how much work that wrecking ball did last spring.