The New York Rangers have re-signed Vladislav Namestnikov.
OFFICIAL: #NYR have agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Vladislav Namestnikov on a two-year contract. pic.twitter.com/prOyeC7osf— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 1, 2018
According to Pierre LeBrun the deal is worth $8 million over two years for an AAV of $4 million.
Year 1: $3.5M base salary plus $500k bonus; Year 2: $4M salary https://t.co/PrwXTT8wyU— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2018
Matt Cane’s contract prediction for Namestnikov was two years at $3,796,941, so this deal is just slightly over that ($203,059). Namestnikov was acquired in the trade that sent Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller to Tampa Bay, and this deal comes on the heels of both former Rangers signing long-term extensions with the Lightning. 3
Namestnikov was looked at as a replacement for Miller, and his $4 million per year contract is significantly less than the $5.25 million that Miller is now earning annually. The 5’11”, 180-pound forward had 20 goals and 24 assists in 62 games with Tampa before coming over to New York, and he finished the season with just two goals and two assists in 19 games played.
It should be noted that he was used in a variety of spots with the Rangers, and he averaged 15:43 a game which was less than the 17:30 he played per game in Tampa. At this point it is unclear how he will be used going forward, as he spent time as a center and winger. It is also unclear what will happen with Ryan Spooner, but I would expect the franchise to make some additional moves in the coming days and weeks.
The Rangers have a bit of a log jam at center, and that doesn’t even factor in Kevin Hayes who is still unsigned.
No matter your opinion of Namestnikov, it is fair to say he joined the Rangers at a turbulent time. It is clear that things were going south, and while that doesn’t excuse his lackluster performance, a fresh start under David Quinn could be a great thing for him and the Blueshirts.
Once the team makes some more moves it will be clear how they intend to use Namestnikov, but on the surface this isn’t a terrible contract for a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.