The New York Rangers’ Busy Offseason: The Old Guys

Forward Chris Kreider agrees to a new contract with the New York Rangers. (Photo courtesy of MSG photos)

Forward Chris Kreider agrees to a new contract with the New York Rangers. (Photo courtesy of MSG photos)

Jenna Febbo, Health and Beauty Editor

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Going into the offseason, fans were left with bitter tastes in their mouths from the New York Rangers’ underwhelming season and short playoff run. This extended offseason gave the Rangers front office, and fans, plenty of time to mull over just what was wrong with the team and how to fix it. Fans didn’t believe they could fix it, which made general manager, Jeff Gorton, public enemy #1.

Let’s review.

The Old

Keith Yandle – Yandle, the Rangers’ best defenseman, powerplay specialist, and the defense’s point leader was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. The Rangers needed to sign him and Yandle wanted to be sign. This was impossible because of defensive nightmares, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. Their contracts are huge, not well thought out, and that wasn’t attractive to any team (for a trade). Not to mention they stunk up the ice literally every time they stepped foot on it. Yandle’s rights were traded to the Florida Panthers and he proceeded to sign a 7 year, 44.5-million-dollar contract. And the Rangers…the Rangers were left with even larger defensive holes to fill.

Derick Brassard – In a shocker that no one saw coming, the Rangers traded their best forward, Brassard (and a 2018 7th round pick), to the Ottawa Senators for forward Mika Zibanejad (and a 2018 2nd round pick). Fans were heartbroken but they recovered somewhat quickly when they realized that the Rangers had won the trade. The Rangers made a good trade.

The New Old

Considering how little faith fans had in the New York Rangers (Jeff Gorton) after the season ended at the hand of archrivals (and future Stanley Cup Champions), Pittsburgh Penguins, the signing of their restricted free agents seemed bleak. To everyone’s surprise, not so much.

Chris Kreider – Kreider was a must sign, there is no other way to put it. He’s a proven, young power forward with plenty of playoff experience and a winning tool to this team. Translation: he was going to be very expensive. The trade of Brassard helped make his signing possible. NYR inked him on a 4 year, $18.5-million-dollar deal. Thank God.

Kevin Hayes – Hayes had a rocky second season with the Rangers, which made fans wonder if he was expendable in the Rangers’ eyes. Thankfully, he wasn’t. The Rangers signed the former 1st round pick to a two year, $5.2-million-dollar deal. Thank God, part 2.

J.T. Miller – Miller had a long awaited breakout season with the Rangers, which made fans worry that the team wouldn’t be able to sign him. Ahem, cap issues. But, they did it! They signed him! To a bridge deal, yes, but he was signed and that’s what mattered. His deal, like Hayes’, is two years, $5.2 million dollars. Thank God, part 3.

Dylan McIlrath – McIlrath quickly became a fan favorite when he was drafted. He was a large defenseman, standing at 6 foot 5 inches, and he was not afraid to be physical, or throw a punch. The Rangers needed a guy like him. After a season of keeping his seat warm in the press box, McIlrath’s fate was unknown. Ultimately, his fate is still unknown but they did sign him to a one-year deal worth $800,000 dollars.

Marek Hrivik – Hrivik played most of the 2015-2016 season with the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, but he was called up a few times because of injuries. He was a solid, bottom six addition. The Rangers signed him to a one-year deal worth $575,000 dollars.

Next Week – The New York Rangers’ Busy Offseason: The New Guys

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