New York Rangers Free Agency: Rangers Sign Defenseman Steve Eminger To One-Year Deal

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers celebrates a second period goal with teammates Steve Eminger #44 and Artem Anisimov #42 during the game against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden on December 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers have broken the ever-long silence among free agency, and announced the re-signing of defenseman Steve Eminger. The Rangers were said to be in the hunt for another defenseman, and were dipping into the free agent pool to get it done. However, it looks as if the Rangers fell back on a familiar face within the franchise with Eminger. He will make a total of $750,000 throughout next season, which is $50,000 less than what he made last year. The Rangers made the right move on this one, and the price is as good as it gets.

Eminger, 28, skated in 42 games last season with the Blueshirts, where he tallied a total of two goals and three assists. Eminger was sidelined March 15th, after he separated his shoulder during a regular season game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Although, he did return during the playoffs where he appeared in four total games.

This now gives the Rangers six healthy defenseman heading into next season (barring a lockout), with Michael Del Zotto still in a holding pattern. The Rangers have offered him a multi-year deal, worth reportedly $2.5 million per year. Glen Sather stated yesterday, that the Rangers are sticking to their guns, and hoping Del Zotto "comes to his senses" soon enough.

Official press release after the jump.

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH STEVE EMINGER

NEW YORK, September 10, 2012 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Steve Eminger on a new contract.

Eminger, 28, skated in 42 games with the Rangers last season, registering two goals and three assists for five points, along with 28 penalty minutes. He tied his career-high for most assists in a game with two assists, including one on the power play and one while shorthanded, on December 10 at Buffalo. He missed 32 games due to injury, including 20 games from December 20 to February 5 with a separated shoulder. Eminger also skated in four postseason contests, making his Rangers playoff debut on April 28 against Washington.

The 6-2, 203-pounder has recorded four goals and seven assists in 107 games with the Rangers over the last two seasons. He made his Rangers debut in the 2010-11 season opener on October 9 at Buffalo, and tallied his first point as a Blueshirt in the home opener that season on October 15 against Toronto. Eminger finished the 2010-11 season ranked third on the team with 103 blocked shots, as the Rangers posted a record of 4-1-1 when he tallied a point. He skated in his 400th career NHL game on March 4, 2011, at Ottawa, recording an assist and a plus-three rating in the contest.

Eminger has skated in 453 career NHL contests over nine seasons with the Rangers, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Anaheim Ducks, registering 19 goals and 77 assists for 96 points, along with 351 penalty minutes. He tied Anaheim’s franchise record for plus/minus rating in a single game with a career-high, plus-five rating on March 31, 2010 at Colorado. In 2008-09, Eminger established career-highs in games played (71), assists (21), points (26), power play goals (two) and shots on goal (85), and tied his career-high in goals (five) while splitting the season between Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Florida.

The defenseman made his NHL debut as a member of the Washington Capitals on October 11, 2002, against Nashville. He recorded his first career point with an assist on October 10, 2002, at Toronto, and notched his first career goal on October 10, 2005, against the Rangers.

The Woodbridge, Ontario native was acquired by the Rangers from the Ducks in exchange for forwards Aaron Voros and Ryan Hillier on July 9, 2010. He was originally selected as Washington’s first round choice, 12th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

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