The Rangers have added one-time Penguin and former Columbus Blue Jacket Brian Gibbons today in a move that in all likelihood replaces Chris Bourque for the Hartford Wolf Pack. Bourque is a UFA for the Rangers and had 66 points in 73 games in Harftord last season and a very productive postseason.
Gibbons is a diminutive forward that has yet to find his scoring touch in professional hockey but he's not a bad addition for the Pack. I recall him being a guy who skated his heart out when he played against the Rangers as a Penguin two seasons ago. In other words, he's your prototypical AHL forward. A little too small and the offense isn't there, but he's all heart.
About two hours ago, the Rangers signed another former Penguin to play on their farm team when they landed Jayson Megna, a 25 year old who picked up 40 points in 62 games last year with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Megna is a guy that was plugged in a few times with the big club this year when the Penguins were devastated with injuries.
The Rangers also landed Matt Lindblad from the Providence Bruins, making it three minor league forwards that have been added on the first day of free agency. Lindblad is another 25 year old that looks like a solid AHL middle-six guy. Not a lot of fireworks in his game, but he's a guy who will do whatever he can to help his team win a hockey game.
These aren't the sort of signings that most people want to talk about, but these are three solid guys for the Wolf Pack that might help a young squad that was very close to winning the Calder Cup this past season take another step closer to minor league supremacy. All three minor league forward are American born, for whatever that is worth. There are still some holes in both the Wolf Pack and the Rangers' rosters that need addressing, we'll have to see what else unfolds today. For a quick look at the Rangers' UFA minor league forwards check in here.
Let's go Rangers.