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New York Rangers Extend Matt Puempel; Become Expansion Compliant

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NHL: New York Rangers at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have agreed to terms with pending free agent Matt Puempel.

With this extension (the Rangers do not release contract deals per a team policy) the Rangers now have two forwards under contract for next year who can be exposed in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. Michael Grabner is the other.

Between Puempel, Brandon Pirri, Jesper Fast, and Oscar Lindberg we knew one of these deals was coming. It was reported all four were playing hardball since they knew the situation the Rangers were in, but for Puempel and Pirri they should probably take the money where they can get it. Puempel obviously did.

Also note, this does NOT mean Lindberg or Fast can’t be selected. Even as unsigned RFAs they can be taken, their rights would simply be absorbed by Vegas. This move was required to ensure the Rangers weren’t penalized a draft pick for not being expansion compliant by this week’s deadline.

Puempel was claimed off waivers from Ottawa this year, and recorded nine points in 27 games. He did not play a single playoff game.