2012 NHL Free Agency: Wrapping Up Day One
Alright, the New York Rangers were involved in a bunch of different moves in one way or another, so let's sift through everything.
Arron Asham: Signed a two-year, $2-million deal. There was a significant amount of animosity about this move, but in the end it's a depth move made by Glen Sather. Asham is a player who is going to play a fourth-line role, with fourth-line minutes. For the price tag. There were more expensive options on the table, and in the grand scheme of things this type of signing (a depth fourth-line player) is pretty inconsequential. I'm not saying this is a home run move by Sather, but for the role Asham will play, it's worth the contract, it's not worth getting worked up about.
Join me after the jump for the rest of the moves.
Brandon Prust: Signed a four-year, $10-million deal with the Montreal Canadiens. That's not a typo. The Canadiens thought it was a good move to shell out $10 million dollars for Prust, and good for him for getting paid. It was, however, a smart move not to match that contract by the Rangers. Prust is not worth $2.5 million a year for four years. He's just not. Put your love of the way he played the game away, he's not worth $2.5 million. Thanks for the memories, good luck in Montreal.
Stu Bickel: Signed a two-year extension, earning $750K a year. John Tortorella is a big fan of Bickel, and Bickel did good work for the Rangers during the regular season. While he typically earned three to four minutes a night in the playoffs, Bickel brought toughness and grit to the bottom pair of the Rangers' defense. For a sixth defenseman, the price was right.
Kris Newbury And Micheal Haley: Both signed two-way deals with the New York Rangers. I'm lumping both of these signings together because they're both depth moves for the Rangers. I doubt either of these two players see time on Broadway this year. Newbury, however, is a leader in Connecticut, and has been a good soldier in the system down in the AHL. Nothing to see here.
John Mitchell: Signed a two-year, $2.2-million deal with the Colorado Avalanche. This is the only player the Rangers let walk that I would have given a second look at. For $1.1 million dollars a year I wouldn't have minded keeping Mitchell on the roster. I have an idea, however, that the Rangers weren't willing to give him two-years. Either way, he's gone.
Chad Johnson: Signed a deal with the Phoenix Coyotes. A good soldier who ran his course as a goalie in the Rangers' system. Again, nothing to see here.
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter also seem to be heading in different directions. The Detroit Red Wings are favored to land Suter and Parise is rumored to be looking at a short list of the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota Wild. Apparently the Rangers are the only divisional team Parise seems to hate.
Either way, once Parise is off the market the Rangers are going to be pushing for Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan. As of right now it's unknown which of the two the Rangers are primarily targeting -- although all indications point towards Nash.