Offseason Roundup: New York Rangers
Over the next month, theScore's NHL editors will review all the offseason moves for each team around the league.
The New York Rangers took their season to the furthest point last year making it to the Stanley Cup Final and falling victim to four overtime losses. Although the eventual Champions, the Los Angeles Kings, were favorites all along, the Rangers want to get back to the final sooner rather than later.
Alain Vigneault's second full season behind the bench should produce some more results as the team should be used to his systems by now, but they did lose some important players.
The Rangers are set in goal with Henrik Lundqvist, barring a slow start to the season like last year (10-10). The team will look to give their younger players a shot at filling the roles vacated by veteran players.
Center Brian Boyle now plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning with former Rangers captain Ryan Callahan. Boyle was a faceoff specialist if nothing else winning 52.9 percent of his 592 faceoffs last year. His 18 points in 82 games likely won't be missed, but his six-foot-seven, 244 pound frame will be.
Brad Richards also skipped town after being bought out and joined the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks on a one-year deal. Bringing his 51 points last season with him, the Rangers saw their second-best center walk.
The New York Islanders tried by acquiring his exclusive rights, but veteran defenseman Dan Boyle chose to join the rival Rangers instead during the offseason.
The Rangers re-signed both Chris Kreider and Derick Brassard. Kreider's two-year, $4.95-million extension is a safe bet for the Rangers as the 23-year-old has played just two NHL seasons, but broke out last year with 37 points in 66 games. Brassard's 45-point season rewarded him with a five-year, $25-million contract which will keep the forward locked up for the peak years of his career.
Mats Zuccarello signed a one-year, $3.5-million contract after a breakout season scoring 59 points in his first full NHL season. If he can repeat last year's season, he'll be one of the cheapest power forwards in the league.
Among the extensions, the Rangers also re-signed Lee Stempniak and Dominic Moore as well as highly regarded college prospect Kevin Hayes.
Losing Richards might not be the worst thing to happen to the Rangers who struggled with him in the lineup. Rick Nash will have to contribute more to bring the team back to the Cup Final, and younger players like Ryan McDonagh, Chris Kreider, and Hayes.
- MacKinnon to miss approximately 4 weeks with upper-body injury
- Scheifele 'pretty happy' to beat ex-Jets head coach Maurice
- Report: Canucks' Boeser generating trade interest
- Calder Trophy Rankings: Beniers rises to No. 1 as Zetterlund debuts
- Murray stymies Stars with 44 saves for 1st shutout with Maple Leafs